Hello-newbie intro

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Sleeplessof2, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. Sleeplessof2

    Sleeplessof2 Guest

    OK..I have never been on any type of forum, so for me to do this is out of pure love or maybe desperation for help of my son. I am trying to figure out all of the lango. Is there a key??? Not kidding. I hope I will get readers even though I have no abbreviations for anything!!!! :D My wonderful husbnad and I have two kids. Our 7 1/2 yr. son is the reason I am here. We have yet to get a diagnosis on him. But our research points us in the ODD direction. We have to get a handle on him before he hits his teenage years! We have been to lots of dr.'s and had lots of tests. He seems to fall in the ODD category with a few other disorders gently sprinkled on him! Although, he seems to be ODD it only shows in his comfort zones. So he has been a difficult one for dr's to diagnosis. We are on a waiting lists to see a new child psychiatrist that seems to have a good rep. Until then I will read and post as needed. Thank you.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hi Sleepless, and welcome!

    First off, go to this link for info on how to create a signature for yourself. This helps in providing basic info on yourself and your child for people who read your posts:


    Second, here is a link to give you information on the different abbreviations we use here:


    And finally, you have come to a great place for information and support. It's good that you are being proactive about helping your son. FWIW, the diagnosis ODD is usually viewed as a symptom of other more basic disorders like ADHD, mood disorder, Autism, personality disorder, and even Learning Disability (LD). The trick is to figure out what is causing the ODD symptoms. Once you treat the underlying disorder, most if not all of the ODD symptoms should resolve.
  3. Sleeplessof2

    Sleeplessof2 Guest

    Wonderful! Thank you for your insight. I'll look at the sites you provided and get myself acquainted.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Once you've settled in, can you tell us a little more about the behaviors you're seeing?
    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?
    Any speech or developmental delays?
    Any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    Any mood issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Sleeplessof2.
    Sounds like you're on the right track, making appts and trying to find answers. Also sounds like he's adept at flying under the radar.
    I hope you can get a dr who can see through the smokescreen and figure out what's going on.
    Have you signed up for psychoeducational testing?
    Is you son on medications? If so, you may want to skip the medications the days he has testing and interviews, so they can get a better point of view of who he really is.
  6. Sleeplessof2

    Sleeplessof2 Guest

    Thank you for all of the wonderful welcomes! I did add a little to my bio (signature). Thanks for the tips. As for my troubled angel: Here is some history hope not to go on too much! Since he was a baby he went to bed crying and woke up crying, just a fuss and very demanding. We chalked it up to first born and spoiled. Everything from diaper changing to applying sunscreen to potty training took every ounce of energy out of us. As he got older it has become defiant, socailly awkward at times, attention getter, immature, rude. Restless sleep, sometimes waking as ealry as 4 am. Has NEVER slept in a day in his life (never past 6:30). Sometimes sad for no reason. Although at school no problems academically and socailly no issues. Our pediatrician thinks were nuts and we just don't realize "boys". Some friends tell us the same. But the ones who really know us and have seen our son in his other moods know what we are talking about. It has been terribly frustrating. I just read recently that children with ODD can often only display these issues when in a comfortable setting. Our son can also be very loving. He is also very honest, gets concerend about breaking any rules (like not wearing a bicylce helmet). He is extremely creative. He can also obsess about things. Like not beign late to anythingWhen he gets angry or upset he is not physical at all. He doesn't hit or kick. He will cry, he yells, he talks back. He gets frustrated easily. He often falls to the floor and ends up hurting something on him. At almost 8, he often acts worse than our 3 yr. old over silly situations. There are days he is just awesome! Fun to be around, no tantrums happy go- lucky. Then there are dark days, when you just can't wait for the day to end. I could go on. But hopefully you can see where I am going with this. What is psycoeducational testing, what does it show? I am happy to have found this site and can tell it is going to offer me a wealth of information!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Your pediatrician is SO wrong. I hope you find another one.

    Your son, at the very least, has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (Sensory Integration Disorder). But that usually goes along with-other diagnosis's.

    Best of luck!

    P.S. WE believe you. :)
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Yes, it is very common for ODD kids to hold it together at some places & in front of some people, but can't hold it together anymore when they are with the people they KNOW will love them no matter what.
    You should no longer address this with peditrician - he/she does not understand. I had the same experience.

    I recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation. Try calling the nearest Children's Hospital.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he have any quirks? Did he have any speech delays and does he understand how to participate in a give and take conversation? Does he ever repeat things he hears on television verbatim? Any strange quirks such as lip smacking, arm flapping, weird throat noses, blurting things out that make no sense, picking scabs? Does he know how to adequately relate to his same age peers? Can he make strong, steady eye contact with both you and strangers? Does he transition well, without a fuss? Does he rage over transitions? Does he like to be held and stroked?

    ODD rarely stands alone. It is usually a reaction to another, bigger disorder. All of our kids would qualify as ODD, but they all have different diagnoses. I am thinking perhaps he may be on the autism spectrum. Actually, a neuropsychologist is the professional many of us think figures our k ids out the best. Psychiatrists look for mental health issues and often miss neurological issues. NeuroPsychs are aware of both and test from 6-10 hours.

    Welcome to the board!
  10. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Just wanted to add my welcome, sleepless.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I also firmly recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation.

    A warm welcome to the board. :D
  12. Sleeplessof2

    Sleeplessof2 Guest

    Thank you thank you!! I just introduced my husband to this site this am and he is amazed at the amount of support and info that has already flowed in. OK many questions you have asked of our son--let me see if I can answer all.
    No substance abuse/mental disorders in the family tree (that I know of). Our son had a period when he was about 4 where he had an annoying tic of rubbing his shoulder to his ear. (It lasted about a month). doctor told us it was normal for kids of his age to sometimes do this. He did have speech therapy for S/SH/CH/L/W sounds. He also went through an annoying tic (just remebering this one) of clearing his throat when his allergies were bad. That too lasted about a month. He doesn't flap arms or smack lips. He doesn't prefer to be held or stroked. Eye contact is good. He is mainly irritable all of the time. He gets frustrated over very small things. Irritablitlity to tags, socks not being on just right USED to be a problem but no bother anymore. Drawing and coloring seem to calm him. He will draw for an hour. He often hums the entire time he is doing it. We have to ask him many times to stop humming while at the dinner table. And his behavior is not consistent. As I mentioned there are no problems at school. Behavior is excellent. At a friends house, no problems, parents say he was great. And when he is "feeling good", he really is a great kid. It doesn't make sense to us. Academics are right on track. There are times when we get compliments when being in public places because he is so well mannered. Confusing??? So what we have gathered so far is that there is an underlying issue to this ODD monster. And what we need is some testing and a Nuerosych. Let me get back to the yellow brick road and continue my research. I am determined to let this boy have a happy successful life! I am truely amazed to find such an understanding group of people step up to take time to answer me in such a short period. I knew you peeps were out there somewhere!!! Thank you.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I would have him evaled for autism. And don't let them tell you that autistic kids can't/don't make eye contact, because mine does so just fine. He also enjoys being hugged.....when he wants to be hugged. There is also a strong Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issue going on, also common with autistic kids.

    To give you some hope. (cuz I wish someone could've given it to me when my son was 7) My autistic son is now 23. There were no treatments when he was little. We just sort of winged it until we found this board more than 10 years ago. He is now in college, I think he is pretty darn happy, and he has certainly come a very long long way. :D

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yep. I agree with considering autism. Don't let the label scare you - I never thought I would ever cope with having an autistic child, but I have found that I understand my autistic kids so much better than I ever thought I would, and so much better than many other people around us. It's also not necessarily such bad news, considering some of the alternatives. Autistic kids have gifts and talents which greatly compensate for the difficulties.

    Welcome to your husband too - my husband also has found hanging around this site to be of value. He has since joined in his own right, he is "Marg's Man". He would lurk and read everything i wrote, and although we thought we already had wonderful communication, we found it improved even more - when I posted, it condensed my thoughts so he got it all in one chunk and it helped him 'get it' even better.

    For behavioural issues in the meantime - read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It helps. husband couldn't get into it (he did try) so I summarised it for him (which also helped it 'gel' in my own head) and that got him onto the same page. Some of the stuff seems counter-intuitive, but for kids like ours, you need to think outside the square and sometimes turn things on their heads.

    difficult child 3 makes good eye contact with people he knows and loves, plus he is outgoing and loves people. He likes to be around other kids, but could never work out the unwritten social rules of behaviour and games. Plus he obsesses about his favourite topics and really, couldn't hold a conversation unless it was on his terms. He also had language delay. However, difficult child 3 is high-functioning and despite scoring moderate for his autism, is still doing a mainstream school program, although by correspondence. difficult child 3 almost certainly has a career ahead of him as a computer geek.

    Positive traits in autism -

    1) honesty (they learn that they are really bad at lying, they can't invent a complex alternative 'truth' and so after constantly getting caught out, eventually choose to not lie because it's easier).

    2) obedience - this is obedience to rules, mostly rules as the child understands them to be. Watch this one.

    3) ability to concentrate for a long time at a deep level on what interests them.

    4) Problem-solving skills (again, especially in areas that interest them).

    5) Loyalty and love - they can be intensely loyal, often to a fault. They often are more loyal, than loyalty is shown to them. They also can be very loving, but not always show it in ways you recognise.

    I hope this helps.

  15. Sleeplessof2

    Sleeplessof2 Guest

    Wow! You guys are blowing my mind! I am so appreciative of all of this info. Some of it makes a lot of sense and we can relate that to our son, other things not so much. But keep sending your thoughts and info our way. I'm going to get the "Explosive Child" tomorrow. Is it not crazy that our son shows none of these symptoms at school??? Have your children been that way? On a separate note: I'm amazed that some of you folks have been on this forum for 10 years!!! That says something for itself. Thank you again...
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Your little guy is only 7. Not surprising they aren't as yet picking up on this at school yet. Travis' didn't stand out until around age 8 or so......By age 9 I had a teacher contact me about his social issues, and this was when no one was familiar with autism....she knew there was a huge problem, she just didn't know what it was. As he grew older it became more and more impossible to ignore, and then downright obvious. Another thing complicating it was that Travis always did fine with adults or very small children. It was kids his near his own age he had the most issues with. The very young don't notice when you don't get social cues, and adults tend to excuse it until you reach a certain age.

    I on the other hand knew from the get go there was a major problem. But it took forever to find the right docs to listen, the rest......well, I swore if I heard "he's just being a boy" one more time I'd deck them. lol

    Not saying your difficult child is autistic, but he does seem to have quite a few of the traits/behaviors. Worth checking out.

  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    School is more structured and the school day follows a pattern. These kids do better when they know what is going to happen. Change is one of the biggest challenges for them and if you think about it, a lot of your problems could be connected to a need to change - change what he is doing ("Come and have your bath now!"); change what the family is doing ("I know we usually have dinner at 6 pm, but tonight we're having it at 7 pm and it's meatloaf, not hamburger") or some other change in routine ("Tonight we're all going out to see grandma"). The problems are much worse if the child has no notice - school, by the very need to move a lot of kids form one place to another, give notice of impending change in task or routine.

    difficult child 3 has a good friend who is younger but also has a diagnosis of autism. This boy's parents have not told the school of the diagnosis, plus the boy copes better at school than difficult child 3 did. Friend also copes better with bullies (because his dad is big and tough so the other boys are less willing to take on friend in a fight). Friend's mother has also been known to tackle bullies head on and threaten them. Not what I would do, but it has meant her son is less of a target than difficult child 3 was (my fault for doing what is right - doesn't always work).
    Friend does take medications for ADHD (which like difficult child 3, he has as well as the autism) and this makes a huge difference to his performance in class. As far as the school thinks, friend's problem is primarily ADHD.

    Every kid is different. difficult child 3's Grade 1 teacher has identical twins, one is autistic the other is not. She said to me at the beginning of the yer, "Don't worry about difficult child 3, I understand about autism."
    I said to her, "Every kid is different - he will surprise you."
    After the first day she said to me, "You're right, he IS different. I didn't expect that!"
    By later in the year she was fuming at times and saying, "I'm certain he has ODD!"
    difficult child 3 was becoming very oppositional in his determination to have as much control as he could wrest. Meanwhile her son was not doing anything like this, he was actually very malleable as long as his anxieties were kept damped down.

    Anxiety is a problem with a lot of kids for a lot of reasons (not just autism). It also can manifest in different ways, even in the same child. If you can keep the anxiety under control, a lot of the other problems also improve.

  18. Sleeplessof2

    Sleeplessof2 Guest

    Hi Marg,

    Your knowledge tells me you have been through so much. Thanks for your valuable input. After reading all of your advice and symptoms it seems our son could have maybe a degree of autism? Is that possible? He does prefer structure but change doesn't throw him off. He relates to kids his own age but tends to be the more immature of the bunch. When I mention that he is a honest kid. He has always been very honest, not because he figured he wasn't a good liar. (My 3 yr. old daughter on the other hand I need to be watchful of) There is no doubt in my mind that he isn't "just a boy" or I wouldn't be here. I have known from early on that something just isn't quite like the others, but not too far off. Does that make sense? I will read more, wait for our pshych appointment. and continue to seek for answers.
  19. Marg's Man

    Marg's Man Member

    Gday Sleeplessof2,

    We can't diagnose here. Although there are almost certainly some doctors amongst us none of us have actually seen your kids.

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned this yet.

    Go to www.childbrain.com and do their online Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can't use it to diagnose, but you can print out the result and take it to the school, to the doctor, to a specialist and say, "This is an indication of what concerns me."

    Marg's Man
  20. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, that makes sense.

    Like difficult child 3's friend whose autism is mild and who slips below the radar at school - some kids are not so obvious.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 does not have a formal diagnosis of Asperger's, but we're certain she's got it. SHE is certain. also, husband is increasingly sure he's Aspie, so is a friend of ours. But both men are in their 50s and to diagnose at that age, after a lifetime of adapting and "pretending to be normal" as difficult child 3 described himself when he was 8, makes diagnosis now a non-issue for the adults.

    Your son sounds very high-functioning but yes, autism is still a possibility.

    The honesty - it's not always from repeated experience of being caught in a lie. But never forget - it's normal for all kids to lie, and for us, we found difficult child 3's attempts to lie to actually be a healthy sign.

    Every kid is different, every autistic kidalso. Some kids choose to not lie because they value honesty as a premium. If you read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon, although it is a work of fiction, it does describe what it can be like inside the head of someone with fairly severe Asperger's. Chances are, your son is not that severe (if he does have autism). I know in most respects, difficult child 3 is not that severe. In the book, the main character describes how he doesn't like looking at those optical illusions where something can be one thing form one angle but blink again and it's something different. He gave the example of the Peter-Paul goblet (see this link for some explanation - http://www.eruptingmind.com/figure-ground-perception/) and how it really upset him to look at things like that, that could be two different things at the same time. In the same way, in his mind there was only one truth and to say something that was not true set up too many confusions and conflicts in his brain and it was just too unpleasant for him to do it. I do sometimes wonder about husband in this respect - he also cannot lie. He's lousy at poker, even though he is very poker-faced.

    Mind you, on the topic of seeing two different things in the same image - difficult child 3 has no such problem. In fact we have a number of Escher prints around the house, all our kids are fascinated by Escher and when we get out and about, some of the favourite places to go over the years have been those "Believe it or not" museums of oddities, marvels and illusions. Some Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids love them, others avoid them. It's all different.

    Something that might help you understand as well as perhaps how to tell your child (if it does turn out to be autism in his case - anyway, whatever it is, feel free to use this) is the computer program analogy I used for difficult child 3.
    My kids, especially difficult child 3, are very computer-oriented. We use Mac at home but they've used easy child at school, as have husband & I. So we're a bilingual family, when it comes to computer use. The kids also have had ready access to computers from as young as possible, infancy in difficult child 3's case.
    Now, when you have typed up a text file, neatened it up, enlarged the font for the heading, centred the bits you want centred, justified the text, made it look exactly how you want it, you send it to the printer. But if you have your printers hooked up to both Macs and PCs, someone collecting work off the printer has no way of knowing AFTER it's printed, whether the text page was done on a Mac or a easy child. It's possible easily to make output from either computer look identical.
    BUT - the software and the programming in detail that helps you interface with that computer and helps the computer do what it has to do, in order to produce that page - it will be very different for a Mac compared to a easy child. Each type of computer, with the appropriate programming, can do what you ask it to do.

    And the final statement - some people have Mac brains and some people have easy child brains. They need different ways of programming, in order to work at their best.

    No value judgements. No statements about "this type of brain/computer is better..." or even "your brain is a easy child brain while everyone else's are Macs". No such judgements. Let the child add in those bits should he choose to. Nobody is inferior. Just different. And as I have said before - if everybody were like everybody else, the world would be a dull place.

    If your son can handle change, that is great. But keep him exposed to as much change as you can arrange, because it can be very easy, especially as they get older, for them to 'discover' how much they enjoy NOT having to put up with change. We've set up a system regarding difficult child 3 trying new foods (which has been a problem for us). Other change issues/control issues - I remember difficult child 1 hated swimming classes. In Australia, our schools all engage in learn to swim classes in our elementary schools every year, for any kid who can't swim. The kids will spend most of every day for several weeks, in an intensive learn to swim class at the nearest swimming pool. difficult child 1 got very adept at coming home with a dry swimsuit - he somehow achieved the impossible and avoided having to get into the pool and do the exercises. I enrolled him in a weekend class and watched - and found he would slip in to the back of the line all the time, or maybe the front of the line of the kids who had already performed the exercise. Sometimes he had to get in the pool and get wet, but he generally avoided having to put his face in the water, which was the big thing he hated.

    At that time we would often go to the beach as a family. Hew would come too, but stay on the edge of the water and build sandcastles. At home, he went years without us being able to wash his hair except with a damp washcloth. Finally he worked out a way that he could tolerate, so we were able to wash his hair as long as he had control of lying down in a shallow bath to rinse his hair.

    As he got older and had more say in what he came along with, he refused to go to the beach. Why? He insisted he just doesn't like the risk of getting wet. However, he's married an outdoorsy girl and so goes to the beach with her (when she can persuade him).

    husband likes to go for a swim on a hot day but otherwise won't go to the beach, except for a short swim. He also hates the feel of sand underfoot. A pity - our part of the world is noted for having some of the best sandy beaches in the world.

    Everyone is different.

    While you wait for appointments, read those books (get them from the library and don't buy books until you're sure you actually want it on your shelves - you'll get lots of books recommended). Also try to put in place some different methods of handling your kids according to what information you can find. Give it a go.

    ANd perhaps the most important - begin documenting everything. Go back and try to recall all the things tat have concerned you about him, from as far back as you can remember. Also record ongoing issues, try to describe the full event. Set it out in diary form or whatever form you can determine seems to be the most efficient to read. Take a copy with you to the appointment. If you've done the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire on www.childbrain.com, take a copy of that printout too. They will have to do such a test more formally (the online one can't be used to diagnose) but it does indicate the areas that are of concern to you.

    What worked for us with difficult child 3 (and would have undoubtedly helped with difficult child 1, if we'd had the sensitivity we needed at the time) was giving him what he wants, as long as it doesn't matter to us. In other words, if there is a choice of vegetables to eat - carrots or tomatoes - and we give difficult child 3 the choice, we let him have what he chooses. But if there's only one tomato left and Daddy needs that for his lunch at work, then we have to insist on carrots being the only choice. THis is not spoiling a kid, I don't think. The child knows that there are sound reasons and especially if the child accepts those reasons, he has become part of the decision process and this gives him control. And there is nothing wrong with a child having this kind of control. It actually begins to teach reasoning, rationality and self-control as well as consideration for others. Whereas if you're always applying the controls, when will the child have the chance to learn how to do it for himself?

    Respect your parental instincts. They've been worth listening to so far.