Finally! I found a group.........


New Member
Hello! I am SO glad that I found this group!!!!! I have a son, Gavyn, who is 3 yrs old (he will be 4 in October). He was just diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder. First of all, I have never heard of this disorder. Second of all, I am in DIRE need of some help and so much support right now. I Have no idea how to deal with him or me for that matter. By 3 in the afternoon I am so stressed out that I can't see straight! Please help me. I can't do this alone. My husband travels for work and I'm alone dealing with this. I also have a 14 mo. old daughter. Thanks! I'll go into more detail about his behavior when I get a free moment. HA!


Active Member
It would help if you posted who diagnosed him and some of the medical, behavior, and family history. This is a great group and is wonderful for supporting each other. They have some sound advice. Welcome to the board.


New Member
Like you, I am a newbie, and i am made to feel very welcome....i find myself late at night coming to this site and just really find out alot and i am writing much down to take to my pyschiatrist....i know it's son has odd as well, and it can be a thing i found out while reading up on the disorder is that odd usually has something with it (like adhd)...keep your chin up and always dance to the music only you can hear!!! good luck!!


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome. I have a few questions. First off, I'd like you to know that ODD very rarely stands alone. It is usually the result of another disorder.

1/Did you see a Psychiatrist, Developmental Pediatrician, or neuropsychologist? If not, who diagnosed him?
2/Are there psychiatric disorders in your family tree on either side? Substance abuse?
3/Any developmental delays (speech, motor skills?)
4/What kind of behaviors does he have?

If you could do a signature much like the rest of us have, it would really help us. I highly recommend you read "The Chandler Papers" which are here on this site. YOu may also want to purchase "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene until your child is stabilized.

Others will check in :smile:


New Member
I have finally found a few minutes to sit down and be more specific. So here goes.

My son, Gavyn, is three. The suspicion started somewhere around June of last year, after I had my daughter. At first I thought it was just him being jealous because of the new baby. Then things got progressivly worse. There were many times that I had to beg a family member to take him so I could rest. My daughter had colic and a lot of other health problems including jaundice. I was already stressed out over that. Then somewhere around 3 months after I had her, He started getting physically sick at night. We spent two months going back and forth between doctors to find out why he was throwing up every night. We finally got that diagnosed (he started producing to much acid). Things seemed to calm down a lot for a while. He was doing great with potty training, helping me around the house, playing with his sister, and just being a great all-around kid. Then towards the middle of February or March of this year, things started going down hill real fast. He would go off at the drop of a hat. Tantrums that were out of this world. Hitting himself, beating himself in the chest, leaving brusies on himself, banging his head against the wall until he knocked something off. Slamming doors, punching inaminate objects, knocking his sister down (who was a late walker), hitting her, literally beating me....and the list goes on. All these things were so out of the norm for him. He's never been violent. Then a few months ago, he got mad at his great-grandmothers cat. He ran it over with his bike, breaking most of its ribs. Yes, it died. After that, I knew something wasn't right. I had to convince my husband that we needed to get him checked out by his pediatirican. My husband was skeptical about it since he and I both know first hand what some of the side effects of medications are. (*more about that in a minute*). After a month of his irrational and random behavior, he agreed to get him looked at. I called his pediatrican and scheduled an appointment. His doctor called me back in minutes and said that this is something out of his practice and that he needed to see a counselor. They refered me to a local child/family psychologist. I made an emergency appointment. with her and went in last Tuesday. We went to one appointment. By the end, I was in tears. She watched his behavior in a room to see how he reacted. The room was full of age-appropreate toys and books. he spent 10 minutes yelling and screaming that he wanted something to eat or something to drink or he wanted his games or something like that (keep in mind-he's had lunch so I knew he wasn't hungry or thirsty). She tried to talk to him and all he did was argue with her. Loud and angry. After 30 minutes, she said that we should continue next week (this week) but as a prelem diagnosis, she strongly feels that he has ADHD with ODD. Now-our family hisory comes in play. My husband has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) type 2 and I have ADHD. We were both diagnosed when we were small children (him when he was 5 and me when I was 6). We both have MI on our respective sides of our family. Both of us have been on medications galore. I had once been diagnosed as bipolar but then that was recanted by another doctor.
I am at a total loss at what to do. They told me that 3 is to young to medicate, but I really don't want to do that unless it's a last ditch effort. I need something that will help us both at home and in public. My realationship with my husband is strained as is because we can't find a sitter who will watch him. I am 26 yrs old, stay at home mom, and feel like I'm locked in a cage because I can't help my son. I so need some help. Thanks.


Welcome! I'm glad you found us but sorry you had to.

We're not doctors and can't diagnosis over the internet, but I have a strong suspicion that you're looking at more than ADHD and ODD. As you suspect, your son's behaviors are over the top and need the guidance of good medical professionals (NOT a psychologist). I'd strongly recommend calling either the developmental pediatrics or neuropsychological department of either a children's or university teaching hospital first thing tomorrow morning. It may take a few months to get your son in, but he needs a thorough evaluation to figure out what's going on. Only with an accurate picture will you be able to put the appropriate interventions into place.

Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.

Sara PA

New Member
I think it's way too much of a conincidence that the behavior started with the birth of a second child. He's stressed, you're stressed with the colicky baby. Your stress feeds his stress and the next thing is he's throwing up at night. I suspect you have a very anxious little boy there, expecially with those Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) genes.

Anxiety can mimic ADHD. ODD is more often a symptom of something than a separate disorder.

In your position (well, anyone will tell you.... in any position) I would think more than twice about medicating a three year old for a diagnosis based on observed behaviors and nothing more. Too many conditions/disorders can cause the described behaviors in a three year old and the drugs used to treat one can make another far worse than it is.

Considering the possibilities of side effects and that virtually none of the psychotropic drugs have been tested for the short term, let alone the long term, on children as young as yours, I would be very slow to medicate.


Well-Known Member
I think it's best to see a neuropsychologist. You won't get an absolutely correct answer because of his young age, but you can get some really good guidance as to weaknesses and strengths and possibilities that can point you in the right direction for help. in my opinion it sounds way over the top for ADHD/ODD. Whether you want to medicate him or not is your choice after somebody evaluates him completely. I've learned to be cautious and to get second and third opinions because so many people were wrong about my son.
I personally think his reaction is way over the top for just anxiety disorder, which I have. My oldest son has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and some Asperger symptoms, and he was always an anxious kid and refused to throw anything away, but he didn't throw tantrums or get violent. Your son is way complicated and early intervention is always a good thing. Does he have a developmental delays or strange behaviors with other people?
If it were my child, I'd schedule a neuropsychologist appointment at a university or children's hospital and I may throw in a Multi-DIsciplinary Evaluation (I've learned to be very thorough). I woudn't trust a regular psycologist to make a diagnosis. I have bipolar and my son is on the autism spectrum and we had terrible luck with them (also with plain counselors and therapists). I'd also want to involve the school distrist--they may be able to help with early intervention. If he is in Early Education, that also gives you a break and it's free, through the school district and was VERY helpful for my kid. You really do need a more professional evaluation than just a psycologists's observation. And we're just parents with our own opinions, but we don't have any ability either to tell you what's wrong and we don't know what to do. I do recommend reading "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene, but I'd still get that complete evaluation ASAP.
Others will drop by :smile: Welcome to the board.


I agree with smallworld. It sounds like more than ADHD and ODD. 30 minutes is not enough time to be able to give a diagnosis. A more thorough evaluation is needed.

Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome! I agree that he needs an evaluation by a neuropsychologist. You will find much support here-you are not alone.


Well-Known Member
Wow, he's quite the handful!
Our son was diagnosis'd with-ADHD, ODD and Learning Disability (LD), and the more accomplished he's become, the more he has calmed down. I'd hate to medicate a 3-yr-old, too, but boy, what you've said would make me want to try anything ...
What if you leave the baby with-a friend for an hr or so and try some behavior modification, 1-on-1, with- your son? Something simple, like having him ask for food in a nice tone of voice. If he has a fit while you practice, at least his little sister won't be in harm's way. Also, this would give you time alone with-your son, which he seems to need.
Others here will have more ideas.


New Member
You guys have given me some great advice and I've already ordered the book that was recommended "The Explosive Child" I am working on finding a Neuropscyh in the area. Can you guys give me an idea about what to expect during a visit? I've never even heard of these types of doctors. Come to think of it--all of this is new to me. And while I'm thinking about it as well---I know several of you all have mentioned the medications thing and I'm really not into putting him on medication unless everything else fails. With that said, does anyone have any suggestions that would help even the slightest..maybe something to help calm him down or reduce the anger issue? I had heard somewhere that soft, almost pastel, colors help the mood. Something like light purple,pink or yellow tend to calm kids down.....or did I imagine that. :smile:


Well-Known Member
A neuropsychologist is a psycologist with extra training in the brain. The testing is very intensive. For us, it was twelve hours worth, in two hour increments, and we got a huge report, like fifteen pages. They finally got my son right. I'm not saying a neuropsychologist will pinpoint your son--he's only three and will probably go thru many diagnosis., but I think their evaluations are way superior to a 1/2 hr. of observation and no testing at all. My son had every test under the sun, but he was 11. I'm sure your son's testing will be modified due to his age--probably will include IQ, performance of tasks, receptive language, social skills, reactions and behavior while testing, eye contact, the whole nine yards. We also had to fill out a million forms! Again, when kids are older it's easier for Neuropsychs, but at least they nail down the child's strengths and weaknesses and areas which can cause frustration. They can suggest Early Intervention thru the School District (no harm can come by interventions). I feel we started medications too soon. WE accepted that son had ADHD and put him on a slew of stimulants. In hindsgiht, I would have had second and maybe third opinions before medicating him. The worst was his bipolar diagnosis. because those medications were so heavy duty, and he never needed them. On the other hand, some kids are violent both to others and themselves. Under those conditions, I'd definitely use medications, especially if they attacked other people. in my opinion it would be more dangerous NOT to medicate under certain circumstances. My son would self-mutilate and sometimes lash out at us (but just us), and he has really learned to control it--I give credit to the early interventions and the continuing interventions throughout his school life so far. Really, depending on what is wrong is what you do, and never be afraid to challenge anyone or seek a different view.


New Member
Our neuropsychologist spent about 1 1/2 - 2 hours with each of our difficult children. Bunches of different tests like IQ, ink blots etc. I've heard many on the board say they have had longer testing with their neuropsychologist.

As for now, if it were me, I would get him on a strict schedule. Structure helps kids so much. It also keeps their hands from being idle and their brains coming up with their own things to entertain themselves. At this age, 20-30 minute intervals would probably keep his attention best. If you need to write down the schedule with times, do it, it helps to keep track! I'd give him 30 minute time periods with reading, tv, electronics, board games, outside time, whatever he enjoys, but keep him on it. Schedule his breakfast & lunch time as well. Snacks to keep his blood sugar even too. Limit sweets or chemically treated foods. Try nuts for a snack, the protein helps. Go natural for a bit. It really made a huge difference in my youngest difficult child. We noticed a change within a week, just by changing his diet. I made it through this long summer because of the schedule I created at home. I made a new one once school started to schedule time when kids were home. It made a huge difference.

I hope this helps you think of something that will work with yours!


New Member
What kind of activities would you suggest? He is really bright and things his age seem to bore him. He likes to play his fathers gaming systems, which I'm not to happy about because of his age, but he plays them just as good as his daddy does (nothing above E rating though!). I try to get him to color and that entertains him long enough to for me to get from one end of the room to the other. He reads a little bit, but he gets aggraviated and quits. I read with him and to him (I love to read, so I have been reading to both kids since birth...literally). Should I go above his age and try something more sutiable for like a 5 or 6 yr old? I know my brother was like that (bored) when he was in school because the work was to easy for him. He was diagnosed with ADHD in Elem. school but then he was diagnosed with Diabetes in middle school and I think that the diabetes was a big factor in his behavior--with the drops in blood sugars and things,he got anxious and jittery. I just see a lot of my brother in his activity behavior (as far as being bored with activities because they're so menial).


New Member
I read Harry Potter to all of my kids. But that is a personal choice and some people are really against it. I also include parent time in my schedule. This is 30 minutes of just one kid and I playing together, whatever they'd like to play. I also cook with my kids because I have quite a few who really enjoy this, so we'll bake something special for dessert or bake a breakfast bread with eachother, something easy and fun.

My son is reactive hypoglycemic, and was diagnosed by the same Dr. ADHD and ODD. I'm not 100% sure these DXs are accurate, but the diet did help with behavior and moods.

If your son gets bored with things his age, then find things he enjoys that he'll stay on task with for 15-20 minutes. If its something he'd stay on task longer for, give him a little longer on that time.

If you want to, I can email you the schedule I have and you can look at it. Mine includes 6 kids activities, so you would have to change it significantly for your house, but it may help get you headed in a direction.


New Member
I just emailed them to you! Take what works and leave what doesn't. I tried two different summer/weekend versions and so far one school days version. Your kids are younger so replace it with what works for your kiddos! Like maybe nick jr shows or coloring. Whatever keeps them occupied.

During family time, I would take kids to the park for a picnic, to the $1 movies, to the library, play dates, swimming pool, whatever I could come up with to fill the time. If we stayed at home we played games, watched movies from Blockbuster, colored, whatever. As long as everyone did it together.

I hope this helps some!