Help !! PLEASE!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    My 12 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD several years ago. Has been on Strattera for 4 years and that is helping greatly with the ADHD. We have tried several medications to help with the ODD but he always has side effects. He is currently on Depakote which up until now has helped. The biggest problem is in school but more often lately home is unbearable, too. He does everything he can to get kicked out of school. He goes overboard in the bad behavior category. He swears, throws things, bangs & slams doors, disrupts classes with obnoxious or childish acts. He has been suspended twice already because his behavior is more severe than his current BIP addresses. At home, he is argumentative about EVERYTHING. He yells, defies all requests, and throws things. He takes off on his bike whenever he doesn't like what I'm saying or wants to avoid the consequences of his behavior. He knows I can't catch him and he's very good at hiding so I can't find him. I don't know what else to do.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi, welcome. Sorry this is so bad.

    A couple of things, quickly.

    First, I loathe the ODD label because it can mislead parents so badly. Also misleads teachers. it makes you feel that the child is deliberately choosing to is behave, that he has control and is using it like thumbscrews. It's almost the opposite. But their behaviour does become oppositional, often because they feel constantly put upon by everybody. Sometimes it's because they are being required to do something they find really difficult if not impossible, such as sit still and be quiet. Sometimes (often) it's because we're trying to correct too much at one time. "Sit still! Come here! Be quiet! Speak up!" and so on. Conflicting, confusing or too many instructions can lead to a kid getting resentful and shutting down. And underling problem such as ADHD (and other issues) can make it a lot more difficult for a kid to comply as well as the kid next to him, but he is still held to the same standard which to the kid, seems unfair. But tis can be turned around.

    Second, a book tat will help a great deal is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. it really is almost magic in how it can help. But you do need to read it first! There are links on this site and in other areas, which outline what it is about.

    Third, there is a fount of wisdom collectively in the heads of people on this site (including yours). Just read around to unlock it all.


  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. I don't care for ODD either...nor do many here. It's unhelpful as a diagnosis and is most often spawned by another, bigger disorder. ODD means defiance. All our kids are defiant, but they are defiant for various reasons. I have a few questions that could help us help you, and I hope you don't mind.

    1/Who diagnosed him and has he ever seen a neuropsychologist?

    2/Are there any psychiatric disorders on either side of his genetic family background? Any substance abuse on either side? Does he live with both genetic parents?

    3/How was his early development as far as speech, playing appropriately with toys, other milestones, liking to cuddle, ability to transition from one activity to another. How about now? Does he know how to socialize with his same age peers? Can he hold a give-and-take conversation? Any quirks or obsessive behaviors? Does he know how to transition from one activity to another without melting down? Does he act age appropriately? How are his grades? Any sensitivities to noise, crowds, certain foods, textures, light? Does he just not get "it" (it meaning life and societal rules).

    It would be helpful if you did a signature like I have below. Welcome to the board, but sorry you have to be here!
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks for your input. I am so glad I found this sight. Nice to know I'm not the only one with these problems. I don't like the ODD label either because it is so misleading. I was misled until I started researching. Now I just need to try to educate the school. They are still on the wrong page.

    Marg, thanks for the book recommendation. I will be getting it very soon. The title sounds perfect.

    Now to answer MidwestMom's questions.

    1) He was diagnosed by a highly recommended child psychiatris. We had a neuropsychologist done 3 years ago which was not helpful at all. JW wouldn't cooperate with the testing. Dr's conclusions: A. the ADHD medications are not working(he wasn't wired just refusing to cooperate) and B. Mom needs training on how to parent effectively

    2) Me- major depression and severe anxiety 15 years ago- no current problems
    My mom- untreated Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) (never officially diagnosed but the signs are there)
    JW's father - schizoeffective, ADHD, bipolar (don't know about his side because he was adopted at 3 days old & has no information about biologicals) - has no contact with JW since birth. Left 3 weeks before JW was born.

    3) Normal development. He is a twin. Very small for his size still and very sensitive about it. He was sexually abused by a babysitter when he was 3 years old. Has major trust & touch issues since. I am the only one allowed inside his bubble 24/7. He transitions well as long as he knows about it ahead of time. Melts down with unexpencted change. He gets along well with other kids. He hates any authority he has a run in with because he's convinced they hate him when they don't approve of 100% of what he's doing or try to set limits. He is very sensitive to certain smells but haven't been able to narrow it down. We just know it when he smells it. He is fidgety, playing with string or squishy things and he constantly has something tiny in his mouth to chew on. He has been on the B honor roll until now. He's refusing to do the work because "it's too hard" or "it's too much writing". I am having the school test him for tactile issues that might be causing a problem with writing. I also asked them to test for Disorder of Written Expression but they said they have never heard of such a thing. I am helping him slowly get caught up in homework. Grades are starting to go up but maybe not enough.

    I have been trying to figure out how you guys do the signature. I know it would help but have no idea how to do it.

    Thanks again for the input. I am always open to suggestions.

  5. gamijo

    gamijo Guest

    Hi! I don't have any words of advice for you because I'm going through the same things, except my daughter acts up at home and is almost 'perfect' at school. I just found this site the other day and am loving the advice and support I'm getting. But, I just wanted to let you know you're not alone and any time you need to vent, I'm here for you. :D
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Thanks a bunch gamijo. Back at you. I am loving this site also. What are the things you're dealing with. I hope it's not a carbon copy of mine. Do you have any family or friend support?
  7. Hanging-On

    Hanging-On New Member

    I know how it feels about them walking out to avoid things. That was a real trigger for me when he was younger due to safety and feeling I'm not in control. Now that my son is 11 yrs old I've taught him To go for a bike ride or walk and then return clear headed and calmed down to do what I've asked him to do. It stops a melt down, teaches him to self moderate his emotions and get centered and then come back in. Maybe this will help you.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    With his problems with handwriting, get him assessed by an Occupational Therapist for hypermobility issues. That can cause a lot of pain and if untreated, generally leads to early onset (in teens or younger, even) osteoarthritis. Use of computer can help. With writing tasks difficult child 3 would expend the vast bulk of his mental energy on mentally calculating the least number of pen strokes needed for the answer. Once we started him using a computer to draft his responses, he was much freer to express himself, and his answers were much more complex because he could say a lot more without pain.

    BYW, it is my increasing, if anecdotal, observation that there is a strong link between hypermobile joints and high-functioning autism/Asperger's (or similar). I have not been able to confirm this, but I do keep tripping over kids who have both.

  9. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    Hi, TeDo, and welcome. Sorry you're struggling. That can be a really tough age. The difficult child-ness seems to be aggravated by hormonal changes, rapid growth, adjustment to the changing social context of adolescence, etc.

    We had to go for more frequent medication checks around that age because difficult child would "outgrow" his dosage quickly as his height and weight were increasing so rapidly. Things would seem OK one day, and then suddenly turn awful when he grew an inch and added 5-10 lbs. in a month.

    You'll find lots of good advice and caring people here. It really helps to know you're not the only one dealing with this stuff.
  10. aeroeng

    aeroeng Mom of Three

    Well, yes we all do.

    But, it infuriates me on how many professionals always pen mental health issues on the parents, (and more frequently the mother). Your the one who makes all the sacrifices, deals daily with the issues, is frequently the victim and cares more then one can imagine. Sure some training and additional strategies might help, but your parenting skills are not what is causing the troubles. When professionals point to the parents it only means they really just don't really know. Take the parenting training, but do so with a grain of salt, understanding that your parenting skills are not to blame, and although you might find something useful it might not be all that effective.
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    He uses a computer at home as well as in school when he can, which isn't always. That doesn't seem to help. It's more that he can't seem to form his ideas into written words. That's why I want him tested for DWE. Something's not getting from his brain to his hands, keyboard or not.

    Got an email again today. He needs to "make up" 10 minutes of a class because he threw his worksheet on the floor and refused to do it. As I said, he can't use the writer for premade worksheets (at least that's what the school tells me).
  12. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Speech pathology evaluation may be needed, even though this isn't to do with his speech. They deal with language issues, and communication. If he has difficulty in composing his words on paper, he may have word-finding issues or other problems subtly related to communication and organising his thoughts.

    difficult child 1 had problems like this, they were related to his inability to mentally sequence his thoughts. He couldn't hold more than one thought in his head at a time, and when we are writing an answer we often need to sequence our thoughts, more than one. What helped him was learning how to mind-map. Then the mental thought processes were on paper, and not trying to liner up in his head (and falling off the end of the queue again). Written lists, too. Never give complex instructions because he couldn't remember past the first step. Again, regular use of computer in class helped. Especially with a mind-map or a written list of what he had to do.

  13. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    :D difficult child had a great day today!!! He refused to fill out that worksheet during class and "owed" the teacher 10 min of work time after school. difficult child came out to the van after school and I reminded him that he owed Mrs. N 10 minutes but that I would wait there for him. He turned around without a word and went to Mrs. N's room. I recieved an email later saying that he had worked on the worksheet for the 10 minutes. I told him how proud I was of him. When we got home, he sat down and did the rest of his homework without an issue. The rest of that worksheet was rewriting sentences (combining 2 into 1). He dictated, I wrote and all is well. It was easy for him to combine sentences that were already there but he wouldn't write them. I did ask the school to test for tactile or sensory issues as well. They agreed to that testing. Hopefully we'll have some answers soon. He was such a joy to be around today!! I hold on to them when I can get them because we haven't had many lately.
  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Well done to both of you.

    You know, him knowing you would wait for him probably reduced his anxiety enough to accept his responsibility and go back and deal with it. They you praised him, which again made it easier for him to face the homework and deal with it. You supported him through that, but it is still his work. Job done, stress reduced, work completed, positive reinforcement all round.

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Well, heck, I came to this thread thinking OMG, there are so many issues here, I don't know what to say. But already, you've put some great interventions in place and more testing to come. Way To Go!!!
    You're on the right path.
    It's a long path, but you're on the right one.