hello...new member

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by seeker78, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. seeker78

    seeker78 New Member

    I was really glad to come across this site because you talk about a lot of the things I'm dealing with. I have a 6 year old son who I've had problems with since he was 2. He's really aggressive, can't keep his hands to himself with other kids, will hit me if he gets really angry and throw things. Getting him to do something I ask him to do is awful too. I've tried a lot of different things-Parent Child Interaction Therapy, several different counselors, parenting class, books. They help for awhile but it's never sustainable. It's very isolating because other kids or more their parents, don't want to be around him so it's hard to do things with other families.
    I took him to get an evaluation but didn't like the psychologist but he told me even though he wasn't finished, he thought he probably has ADHD and ODD. I'm not sure I want him to be labeled so I haven't taken him back for an evaluation but now considering it because not sure what else to do. Any suggestions or advice you may have from your own experiences would be really appreciated. Thank you!
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Welcome to our little corner of the world. First of all, many of us here don't put much stock in the ODD diagnosis. All that says is that the child is oppositional and defiant but does not tell anyone WHY. There IS a reason and it's their job (and ours) to figure that part out. If you can find a good neuropsychologist, that would be the first place to look. I would also recommend you have a thorough Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done to see if there are any sensory or motor problems. That can be huge.

    The best books to read, as far as a lot of us are concerned, are The Explosive Child by Ross Greene and also What Your Explosive Child Is Trying To Tell You (drawing a blank on the author for some reason). Those two books will give you a whole different view of the behaviors and hopefully help figure out why they are happening.

    Can you give us some specific examples of the types of behaviors you deal with and what is usually happening BEFORE the behavior starts as well as how you usually handle them and how he responds?

    Others will come along and give you more feedback and probably ask a LOT of questions to get to know the situation better. No one is being nosy but it will help everyone steer you in the right direction.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome.

    Can you tell us a little bit about his infancy and if there are any genetic stuff on either side of his family tree, either mental healthwise or neurological, like autism or ADHD? The more we know, the more we can help.

    Also, as much as it is sometimes distasteful to certain parents, you KNOW something is wrong with your boy; that he needs help. Most likely you can't get much help without a label. That's how it works, if you live in the US. Sadly, otherwise he will probably just be labled "bad" and you a "bad parent" (which isn't true) and he won't get the help he needs for the problems that are causing his behaviors. I don't put stock in an ODD diagnosis either, but there are many other diagnosis. that do have importance and the child can be helped if the right professionals assess him (I like neuropsychs). You have probably already seen this "bad child" garbage at school.

    You can try to help him on your own. In the end, you will probably need to take him in for an evaluation anyway as his behavior is disruptive to other children and to yourself and your husband and his siblings, if there are any. Any label is just a "working diagnosis" until the child is older anyway, but it can help him a lot with supports and with the way he is perceived by his school.

    Was there anything unusual about his early history? Did he scream a lot as an infant, refuse to cuddle or make eye contact, or did he have a chaotic time in his early years? Any change in caregivers? Any illnesses? Did he speak on time and reach his motor skills on time? Potty on time? Does he know how to relate well to his SAME AGE peers? How is he doing academically? Can he transition without crying? Does he eat and sleep well?

    Others will come along.
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    As much as we don't like the idea of our kids being "labeled", if you are going to get him, and you, the help that he needs you are going to have accept a label of some kind. If you can get him into a neuropsyche who specializes in children that is your best bet at this point. It may take a while to get an appointment (I called in June to make an appointment for my easy child for academic testing and I originally couldn't get an appointment until October). Tell them that if there is an earlier cancellation that you would like to be called to see if you can make that appointment. That happened to us and we were able to get in in September.

    How does he behave in school? Does he hold it all togther there and then fall apart when he gets home? How does he do with his school work? Did his behavior get worse when he started school?
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Seeker.

    You do have your hands full! I would, first of all, persuade you to give up any notions you have of labels being bad. They can be useful tools in receiving assistance and therapies, and also, they can and will be changed throughout your son's lifetime.

    Don't worry about that part!

    Also, if he is labeled ODD, it's an adjective. I, for one, am sick of doctors and others who label kids ODD and call it a day. It's an adjective as far as I'm concerned. It simply describes behaviors but does nothing to tell you what your son (or mine) really has.

    You need to watch your son carefully to see what his triggers are. Lights? Noises? Running water? Textures in food? You get the idea. He could have sensory integration disorder, for example, or sensory defensiveness, which is a stand-alone or can be part of something bigger.

    I hope that you get a little bit of time alone each day to breathe and recover. It is hard and it wears you out.

  6. seeker78

    seeker78 New Member

    Thanks so much for all the feedback. I'm going to look for a neuropsychologist to get an evaluation I think and maybe get an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation.

    To give you more information, I'm a single parent...his father and I haven't been together since he was born. His father didn't want me to go through with the pregnancy but he accepted my decision and has been a part of my son's life the whole time. He has him about 2 nights a week. His dad and I don't really get along but we never fight in front of him.
    My son doesn't act out with his dad like he does with me. He listens a lot better. I think he's kind of afraid of him though I don't think his dad is abusive. I think he's kind of hard on him though. His dad and I have very different parenting styles which I know doesn't help. His dad has a very dominant personality where I'm more passive. My natural style would be to be laid back with parenting but I've had to be a lot more assertive, firm with my son. It's hard though and I know that's something I need to work on. Following through with consequences, holding him accountable for his actions consistently. I struggle with that a lot.

    I tell him if he hits me, he has to go in time out in his room or he gets TV taken away. He won't go to time out by himself and he'll try to run out so I have to hold the door to his room and sometimes he throws stuff at the door, screams, wrecks the room, etc. When I try to get him in there, he's fighting me, scratching me, etc.

    He was a pretty happy baby. He slept well and he nursed a lot. He made eye contact. I think he didn't like to be held very much. He liked to be moving around on the ground. He would be unconsolable at times when he was really young and with someone else. He's always been really active, even as a baby. He crawled and walked early. His development has been normal except for socially I think. In school, he's had problems with following directions and keeping his hands to himself. He does well with schoolwork except for handwriting-that is below average. He's really bright. His pre-school teacher didn't think he had ADHD but thought ODD or maybe some attachment issues. His last counselor thought he might have anxiety and he thought ADHD possibly.

    His early years were kind of rough. I went through some depression and anxiety especially in his first 6 months. Then we moved in with my parents when he was 6 months and then we moved out when he was about 1 1/2. from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2, he lived with me and my mom in an apartment and then my mom and I bought a duplex and she lived upstairs and him and I downstairs. A few months ago, she moved out and back with her husband and now my cousin lives downstairs. My son was pretty attached to my mom I think. My mom and I are very alike and she would give in even more and that was one of the reasons I didn't want her to live upstairs anymore.

    Family history--his dad and I are both in recovery for alcoholism. We both have been sober his whole life. I've had issues with depression and anxiety, social anxiety especially. There is alcoholism, depression, anxiety in my family an d probably ASP too. I know there's some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) issues on his dad's side and alcoholism. I think his dad had some similar behaviors when he was young but I don't think he was defiant until he was older.

    I know I have things to work on with my parenting but I wonder if some of my son's behavior is a reaction to his dad being overly controlling with him and sometimes kind of harsh.

    Let me know if I left anything out. Thanks for your help!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Very sensitive question and I apologize, but it is important to know: Did you drink alcohol at all while you were pregnant? Use any other drugs? While it's great that you are sober now (congrats!), drinking during pregnancy can have very serious affects on a developing fetus and if you did, that could be part of the problem. Again, I do not mean to criticize. Just asking to see what his issues may be related to.

    Teachers are educators. They do not know how to diagnose. Don't allow them to :)
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I was going to ask the same question. We had another member a few years ago whose son had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome from her alcohol use during pregnancy. When she found this board, she had been in recovery many years and was a great mom.

    It is great that you recognize that your parenting style (while probably great for a more typical child) isn't working with your son. I had to change my parenting style too -- and it was tough! Have you read "Parenting with Love and Logic" or "the Explosive Child". Both are great resources for our kids.
  9. seeker78

    seeker78 New Member

    Valid question but no, I didn't drink or use anything during the pregnancy. I had gotten sober before I got pregnant.

    Thanks for all the advice! I'm definitely going to look into that Explosive Child book. Also, the questions about triggers, and sensory stuff is really getting me to think about and notice things. My son always wants to be holding our cat or wants to be sitting on my lap or laying on me--wants that touch.

    And triggers for him I think are not getting what he wants, rejection, lack of sleep for sure, being around a lot of people, and it's hard for him to keep hands to himself when he's playing sports. So there may be some sensory stuff going on.

    Thanks so much!
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You're welcome. :)

    A specific sleep schedule is extremely important. I would not hesitate to give him melatonin at night. It's something our bodies produce naturally and a lot of people use it when traveling to different time zones. You can usually get it at any pharmacy.