Hello I'm new here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Vivionion, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. Vivionion

    Vivionion New Member

    I think I'm very glad I found you all!! I am in the early stages of this process. My son is 8 years old and such a beautiful boy. We have had trouble with his behavior in school from day 1 (since pre-school), but this year, third grade, is the worst so far. When I say the worst I don't that mean he's bullying people or mean-spirited in any way. We've started bringing him to a psychologist who had us and the teacher fill out these questionnaires called "Conners" something or other, and when she scored them, the results were as she put it "highly indicitave" of ADHD and ODD. Since then I've been reading up on these two disorders and I realize they fit my son almost to the letter. So now we are navigating the psychologist process AND the in-school process, since school seems to be where the symptoms are most pervasive. It doesn't help that he HATES SCHOOL and will tell anyone who will listen in great detail how school is like torture and he'd rather be anywhere else. I feel defeated at this point, but have resolved myself to do whatever it takes to give him every opportunity to excel. I don't have any specific questions, rather just hoping for some success stories and words of hope! Thank you for listening.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Welcome. There is help here. Make sure you don't use your real name or your child's real name, so if you ever need to, you can vent and know your child's school, doctors, relatives or whoever cannot get offended because they won't know it's YOU.

    Do a sig when you can, like mine below. It keeps the information straight so you don't have to repeat yourself with every post.

    The Connors test is useful, but it's only a starting point. ADHD is fairly common but there are a lot of other things that can look like it. Similarly, ODD is something you might observe but it needn't be the bad news with no cure that doctors seem to enjoy torturing parents with. Generally, a number of conditions (including ADHD) can also produce, in a child who is feeling unheard, frustrated and who is not coping, the signs that can be indistinguishable from ODD. If you treat the underlying condition and make other changes in how you handle the child, the ODD-like effects can rapidly ease.

    Read what you can on this site, there are some great posts in the archives too. Other parents have been where you are now and found a lot of ways to help their child. Learn from their experience.

    Another book to read - The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It gives some different approaches to help with the ODD-like problems, regardless of what the underlying condition might be. Google it, there are some sample chapters out there which should ring bells with you. Also on the Early Childhood forum there is some discussion on how to adapt the book for younger kids. Read that too, it could give you some advance insight into the book. If you're reluctant to buy yet another book, try and find a library copy. It will help. It is not a cure, though.

    You describe your son as a beautiful boy - so there is something about him that is loveable. He's not being a bully, but is a problem at school - exactly what are the problem behaviours? It could help us to know.

    Something else I suggest - listen to him and let him know that you want to hear what he has to say. He says he hates school - try to find out why. He's entitled to his opinion, chances are if you were in his shoes you'd say that school is torture too.

    But school shouldn't be torture - why is it? What is going on there that upsets him so much? And is there anything you can do, to ease the pain for him?

    Once you have an official diagnosis, then you can put some measures in place for him, such as an IEP.

    For now, keep a diary on him and write down your observations, your issues, any specific problems that are happening. Keep this up, you need to do tis for years. But it is worth the effort because as you read back over old entries, you will see that he is making progress. Sometimes you can pick up patterns of past problems and use this to advantage.

    Written communication between yourself and the school is also a really good idea because it helps both you and the teacher stay on top of any issues. Again, either of you can see patterns. It was this sort of communication re difficult child 3 that helped me and his teacher see a pattern in his behaviour - when he was coming down with a cold, his behaviour would be a lot worse in the three days or so BEFORE symptoms showed up. Once he had the cold - his behaviour was much better. Then again as he was recovering, his behaviour would be bad again. So knowing this, we often chose to keep him home for an extra day or so, until he was coping again with the changes in his body due to the illness recovery.

    A kid who hates school isn't necessarily a kid who is a bad scholar. Sometimes a bright kid can be bored, then misbehave. Or some topics might be challenging for him and a bit of coaching in those subjects can help.

    What you need right now is information, a broader picture on what is actually going on from his point of view, and a diagnosis that you can use for now to get things happening for him.

    He will get there. Sometimes just knowing it's not his fault, can make a difference to his behaviour.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome!! Do you live in the US?

    Where do you live and has he ever been tested by a neuropsychologist? How was his early development? How are his social skills?

    Are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of his family tree (this is regardless of whether he lives with his birthfather--he does have his genes).

    I would not trust the Connors or a teacher as the final word. Teachers are educators, NOT diagnosticians and rarely know from ADHD and ODD. A lot of kids with other disorders than ADHD fail the Connors test. You need more than that to figure out what's going on with him.
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    I remember when my son manster, about 5 at the time took one of those. It showed I had a different boy at home than at preschool. He was shy and withdrawn and well behaved at daycare, too anxious to misbehave lol. At home he was he\\ on wheels. The second time he took a similar test he was about 8 and was misdiagnosed. I brought him in to test for Aspergers and the research facility told me he didn't have it. Now, at 11 there's no doubt in my mind that's what it is.

    My point is that these tests are just one tool and only so useful. What they can do is guide you to certain possibilities. It's a good place to start and I'm glad you've begun the process of discovery. I just encourage you to be patient and hang out with us for a while, read the links about the various diagnosis and never discount your instincts. Many of us have been given initial inacurate diagnosis and even medicated our kids taking a professional's word and later wished we had "known what we know now".

    Also, one thing I wished I'd done differently "if I'd known then what I know now" -- try to separate these issues and diagnosis from your beautiful boy. Whatever it turns out to be, these letters (ADD,AS,Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD),ODD,BiPolar (BP),Tourette's Syndrome,etc) do not define who he is. He is your beautiful son who may just happen to have a set of challenges you and he will learn about together. But always show unconditional love and acceptance of who he is and never let him think you think there is something "wrong" with him. I often wonder if my son's lack of confidence could have something to do with my fanatic search to find answers. I worry that my relentless quest to keep looking for answers when everyone else told me there was nothing wrong may have sent the message to manster that I didn't accept him the way he was. I even remember one day before we went to one of our doctor appointments, he was doing some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) stuff with his food and I said to husband "he's blowing on his food, I have to remember to tell the doctor about that" and manster just melted down and cried "why mom, why do you have to tell the doctor I blow on my food. Even if you tell her, I'm still going to do it. Why can't you just accept me the way I am". This from an 8 year old at the time. It humbled me to the core.

    I welcome you to our family and hope you'll find answers and friendship here like I have.


    Lasted edited by : Jan 17, 2010
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    We've done the Conners Rating Scale twice. Both times it had results all over the place--no clear pattern. Stilll, it was useful in that it indicated that our son was not sitting sweetly at his desk with-his hands folded, LOL!
    Best of luck.
    Give us some more information, okay?
  6. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    I can't tell you how many times the Conner's rating was used on the tweedles.

    Saying that we went through I don't know how many diagnosis's before the current one(s) that kt & wm carry. As our children age the diagnosis changes frequently. A young child's frustration level (very low) combined with an ongoing disorder makes for tough diagnosing.

    Hopefully you can go beyond the school districts evaluations & have a complete evaluation completed on your difficult child. A private complete physical (to rule out anything in that area) plus a neuropsychologist evaluation helped our diagnosis process & get the right treatment.

    It is an expensive process if your insurance company doesn't pay for it; to my knowledge your pediatrician may well have to give a referral for this testing.

    The Explosive Child is recommended here as the go to book for help when dealing with difficult children.

    Keep us updated & oh, by the way, welcome.