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So difficult child had an appointment yesterday and they are talking ODD but that there is nothing really that can be done for it. So his behavior has escalated. He is now sneaking out of house. He is stealing things. We have tried an Incentive for him where he can earn an amount of points per day and bonus points and if he ended the week with certain number he could pick a Redbox. But first day he was negative.


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JMO... incentive systems don't work for most difficult children. They need instant feedback, not delayed gratification. If they were good at delayed gratification, they probably wouldn't be difficult children, if you know what I mean.

Who did he have the appointment with? and how long? Has he ever had a really comprehensive evaluation? (the kind that takes all day, or parts of several days). It's really easy to slap the ODD label on, the behavior patterns are obvious. But there is usually something ELSE going on, maybe parts of several things. These kids are complex. Don't settle for "a" label... you need to know everything that applies, or even partly applies.

I've been off the board for a while, so don't know what else has been tried or suggested... But it's a really huge thing for the "baby" in a family to lose that place... which is what has happened to this kid. He's now just a middle kid, and the only boy. Add in some family history of whatever dxes (known or not), and... hugs, it's a tough road.

For the record, school is no where near able to diagnosis anything. So for them to suggest ADHD and ODD is a cop out. They don't know any more than you do. Hopefully the appointment wasn't a school-based evaluation... if so, it's biased to begin with.


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My difficult child's only official diagnosis that I have in writing is ODD. Basically they are never happy unless they are getting their way. Doing things to earn things almost never works. I can honestly say that with my difficult child it is easier to just pull her out of the situation than it is to try and drag her kicking and screaming through it. A lot of the time I have to hold my tongue in order not to get angry with her for just being obstinate. Simple things are just never simple with her.


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So his appointment was outside of school but he will have counseling while in school, they are also sending someone to the house. But again he is so manipulative that he played everything off and yesterday was pointless. His dad would bring something up and difficult child would roll his eyes and deny. The kid has us trapped at home. We have 8 cameras up now and he has no care about them. He stole money or of his dad's jacket and lured about it repetitively until he started getting punished. He has signs when he is lying...


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Kids who would actually sneak out the house at 11, in my opinion, need a lot stronger measures than a reward system. I don't think this counselor gets him. If it were me, I'd put an alarm on his bedroom door so he can't sneak out of the house. Id also call the cops if he went missing. He is too young to be running all over the neighborhood doing who-knows-what with who-knows-who. Is he "in" with any older kids. Drugs? Yes, he's young, but my daughter started at 12 and says kids started earlier. Is he ever sexual?

Did he have very chaotic early years, like ages infant-three? Is he a danger to your children? Animals? Like fire? Lie a lot? Pee and poop inappropriately? False allegations of abuse to teachers? I ask because you could have a seriously disturbed child here. To me it sounds like more than ODD, but whatever it is called, he is already running his own show...and at such a young age.

Who watches him after school while both of you are still at work?

Do you want to deal with him long term? He is likely to get worse...your girls can't be too thrilled at having to deal with him. Have they spoken up? The four year old is much younger than him. Would he hurt or molest her? I ask because this happened in my home and often extremely rule resistant, self-centered, disturbed and uber-defiant kids do engage in inappropriate sexual activity/abuse with much younger kids. It's not a given, but it's a red flag for watching her closely, especially at night.

Sorry about this chaos. You have much to think over.
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Wiped Out

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It would be interesting to know what type of doctor diagnosed him. Many don't believe in a stand alone diagnosis of ODD; it seems usually there is something going on that brings out ODD behaviors. In the case of my son it was a mixture of things.

I agree that an incentive program for someone sneaking out and stealing things is probably not going to be very helpful. Does he see a therapist on a regular basis. This didn't seem like it was helping at the time but our difficult child went twice a week for years and then once a week for several more years and in the end we could see results. Of course, for my difficult child, all the therapy in the world didn't help til the right medications were finally prescribed for him.

Sending some hugs your way.


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I totally agree. That type of incentive program won't work. He's got more going on. He's way more advanced.
He needs 24/7 supervision, I hate to say ... that's what I did when my son was that age, and even then, I dropped him off at a house where the mom was giving the kids pot. Not much you can do when even the parents pull the wool over your eyes.
At any rate, I'd say you need a REAL diagnosis, not just ODD. What is causing the ODD? Is it genetic? I don't know his history.


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Okay, just went back and read the other note. You do watch him. 8 cameras. Okay.
But what do you do when you catch him?
Our son lies because he wants what he wants when he wants it.
For example, he says he doesn't like it when we (parents) sometimes say he can have money, and sometimes he can't.
So sometimes just to make it easy on himself, he takes it.
We told him that is our privilege and prerogative to be as inconsistent as we want, because we are in charge. However, what may not make sense to him makes perfect sense to us. For example, he may take his girlfriend out for their anniversary, but may not take two more friends and use our money to pay for them. We are doing him a favor because we love him and are glad he has a girlfriend. But we don't want to feed complete strangers at a local restaurant.
He doesn't want to go through that explanation. He just wants to go out and eat. With our money.
(This was a lie that dragged through 3 mo's of contested charges with-Chase Visa and two restaurants. So much for giving him the credit card.)
So that is our reaction--no more credit card. He either uses cash or he stays home.
He was just getting to the point where he felt grown up and was trustworthy but then he blew it.

In your case, your 11-yr-old sneaks out. Who stops him at the door? Does he go out a window? Do you wake him up in the a.m. when he's tired and make him go to school? I have a big guy friend who was in the military. I had him come over and physically lift difficult child out of bed one day.
There's always got to be someone bigger, stronger and smarter who can meet your difficult child head-to-head.
Quite frankly, he may not learn respect until he learns fear.

Also, don't negotiate with him. If you give on one thing, he'll expect you to give on another thing. It is so hard!


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Residential treatment?

If he won't listen to a cop, he sure won't listen to you. As he gets older, without extreme intervention, he could very well get even worse, bigger, and even scary.


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So what do you do when you have called the cops because of stealing and he thinks it's a joke? Then steals again?

At age 11... it's a major problem. I'm not sure about where you are, but here, they can't even arrest a kid at 11. They have to be at least 12. I know what you mean about finding that everything out there is for kids who are not this kid's age (too old, or too young... either way, it doesn't work).


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I would call the cops and tell the 911 operator to send stern cops. Usually, when the operator hears that it's a kid, s/he'll send cops with-a background in mental illness or something, and they talktalktalk. :)
You need to scare your kid. He needs to know that it is not a joke. Do you have any friends who are cops? Anyone who can set up something?
I agree with-Insane. 11 is a hard age. No one wants to arrest such a little kid. (Except for weird stories you read about Florida!)
When my son was 10 or 11 (I don't remember now) I took him to juvenile detention and had the director give him a tour. On the way home difficult child said, "I know you would never send me somewhere like that. Because you love me."
I told him, "Just the opposite. Because I love you, I would make sure you went there if you broke the law and were convicted and sentenced. Because I love you, I will teach you consequences."

If he thinks that something is a joke, you have to up the ante. Our therapist told us to keep upping it until we get to a point where difficult child notices. If that means taking away his clothes (except for one outfit to wear the next day), do it. Is he staying up at night playing video games? The games go away. Lock them up somewhere so he can't see them. The lightbulbs come out of the sockets in his room. He's sneaking out? Get a camera--better yet, an alarm system--and catch him in the act. You'll lose sleep for a few nights waiting (although he probably has a pattern) but it's worth it. And make a big, hairy deal out of it.

Conversely, if he does something good, tell him right away.

Can you tell me where your first notes are here? I can't remember what he was like as a baby, if he has any hoarding habits, if he has texture issues or if there is something in the family tree you know about.