Hi I'm new, 6 y/o son has severe ODD (? CD)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Last ♡ Hope, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    Title says it all. Been seeing doctors since he was 3 trying to figure out what was wrong. At first no one wanted to believe me, boys will be boys, after all. @.@ Well he's in kindergarten now, kicked out of regular school just before Christmas, now attends a sort of 'alternative elementary' school, and just today got OSS. He's been inpatient at a psychiatric hospital 6 times in the last two years. Nothing helps. I am just at a loss... I have three other children (two older, one younger) who are perfectly normal and I feel like living with him is just robbing everyone of the happy family we could have... ::bawl::

    That's all for now, I guess. Just needed to vent a little bit.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Last Hope,
    Glad you found us but sorry things are so rough! A lot of times when you first join we have questions for you so we can be of more help.

    What types of doctors have seen him? Does he have a diagnosis? What do the doctors at the psychiatric hospital (psychiatric hospital) say?

    My difficult child was also very young when he started having trouble. Fortunately for us we never got the boys will be boys thing.

    I can so understand feeling like nothing is helping no matter what you do. It's been a long haul with my difficult child. He has been hospitalized many times and tried a variety of medications before we found something that helps. He is still a difficult child and always will be but he is doing better.

    As for feeling robbed of the happy family those are normal thoughts. I do know that our difficult children can affect others in the family. We started having easy child/difficult child see a therapist when she turned 11 just to help her deal with her brother.

    Again, I'm really glad you found us and we're a really supportive group. Sending gentle hugs your way.
  3. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    He sees a pediatric psychiatrist and a therapist. His current diagnoses are: ODD, ADHD impulsive type, Mood Disorder not otherwise specified. The psychs at the hospital think it may be a personality disorder (his bio father was an extremely belligerent, though undiagnosed, CD. DS hasn't been around him since he was too tiny to recall, so the likeness is doubtlessly inherited). The general consensus is that he needs to be in residential care, but the facility here requires the public school system to help fund it and they are dragging their feet to the point of ridiculousness. It took him doing something drastic just to get him into the special school he's in now, and yet even *they* are at a loss...

    The thing is, he is like two entirely different people within one body! He is so cuddly and loving and sweet and charming at times, but when he's bad - and you never know where or when it will happen - it looks like demonic possession. And emotionally, living like this, as his mother who loves him dearly, I am exhausted. Just exhausted. I seriously feel like I'm becoming depressed...
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Has anything been suggested for ways to help him and the family? Was he ever allergy tested to see if it's linked to something he eats or in the environment? Has he been evaluated for underlying disorders? Have you gotten him an IEP or started the process?
  5. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    Not a lot has been suggested for family help, respite care, which I have yet to apply for (have the app just scared because I don't know where he'd go... I don't love the idea of pawning him off on strangers). So far the only break we get is when he's in the hospital. He had RAST allergy testing done back when he was 2 and it didn't really show much of anything. No one has evaluated him for underlying disorders, I inquired about having an MRI done just to see if there was something structurally amiss, but the psychiatric dismissed that saying there's nothing about him that would give them any reason to suspect anything an MRI would reveal. Outside of that, I wouldn't even know where to start... feel free to advise me, I just feel lost. He is on an IEP but I didn't know anything about anything and I feel like the school just steamrolled me. It is NOT a good IEP for him and I am trying to get an advocate for us to hopefully change that...
  6. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    When the docs dismiss your concerns - find a new doctor ASAP. Push for neuropsychologist evaluations and tell them you need them for "educational planning" (seems a lot of insurance companies will accept that). I have no idea what RAST is, but I can tell you that most of us here see ODD as a symptom of something underlying, and when you dig that out and handle it, things get better. Also grab Ross Greene's The Explosive Child (and others remember a few other titles that get recommended often here). You can even buy the Kindle version and get the free Kindle easy child app if you can't find it at your library or don't want to wait.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Any doctor that thinks a six year old needs to be in residential treatment is in my opinion a dangerous professional. in my opinion he is incompetent..you can not diagnose a persoanlity disorder in such a young child and i assume this doctor never did any evaluations.

    I'd take him to a neuropsychologist and start fresh. There must be some way to help him and this professional has already given up.
  8. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    Every professional seems to be giving up! A therapist I saw quite awhile ago when I wasn't getting any help for him and trying to deal with his violence and protect my other children from him all alone, suggested residential care for him. Fast forward to a year and a half ago, his OWN therapist feels strongly he needs to be in residential care. In fact, due to the nature of his last assault on his older brother, she will have to report any further incidences as he represents a threat to our safety. Since that last incident, his psychiatric AND the hospital psychiatric have begun to discuss residential care. He is very big and strong for his age and, as I said, while he now goes to a school for, er, difficult children, even THIS school cannot handle him. It seems everyone is at a loss. I must have the absolute worst-case-scenario. I'm scared to even anonymously admit the full extent of his actions...

    So what would a neuropsychologist evaluation entail, and what information can be gleaned from this? Has anyone ever had one and had it revolutionize the course of their treatment??
  9. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    But does the fact that his bio-father was the *exact* same way not hint at it being an inherited condition? Especially since he has not been raised around it, yet still manifests all the same behaviors and rationales? I am seriously terrified to live with him if we can't get this handled and he just keeps getting older and stronger... I can't even pick him up anymore, he's almost my size already. When he flips, I have three other kids and myself to protect. I would love to think just eliminating all processed foods and anything with artificial color/flavor would solve everything, but this seems so far beyond that... :[
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Hereditary or not, you need to have him evaluated further. A neuropsychologist does several hours of extensive testing and determines more specifics that a psychiatrist's paper testing does. I think it would be very helpful and it has made a huge difference in the treatment of some of our difficult children. It usually steers everyone in the right direction. Even if it is hereditary does not mean it can't be treated (not cured) and dealt with more effectively for all involved. I agree that you need to keep your family safe. Do what you need to do to ensure that but don't give up on difficult child yet. Respite is a good thing. It is temporary and is meant to give you and your other children a break even just for a little while. They usually find a respite that can handle the behaviors. Definitely give it a shot.

    I know how hard it is to "pawn him off on strangers". It is very scary but you're not "pawning", they sign up for this kind of thing. As for strangers, sometimes that is a good thing. If it makes you feel better, ask to meet the respite provider before ever sending your son there. The first time he goes there, maybe ask if you can spend some time "observing".

    Keep asking questions and don't stop just because some doctor says so. If you're not ready to give up, then don't. You are his mother and it is your choice. Passing you the rhino skin.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Can you explain a little more about what leads up to the "demonic possession"? Does your son just suddenly change, for no apparent reason and out of nowhere, as it were, or is that a pattern of "triggers" that leads up to his explosions? How does the time split between his being fine and his being unmanageable and/or violent - what percentages? And do you yourself feel that he can be managed at home, with support/help?
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has he tried to hurt his siblings or animals? Play with fire? Pee and poop all over the place? Trying to get a feel for the extent of the dynamics here. It's hard when we don't know. My friend had a foster child who tried to choke another foster child...the child had bruises around her neck for over a week. She was only four. So I know that sometimes it is not manageable, but we know so little...
  13. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Hi Last Hope, and welcome.

    First off, I'm going to remind you that none of us are professionals and we can only offer you our suggestions based on our experiences. We bring our particular biases, based on those experiences, to the board. None of us have *the* answer, so take what you can use and skip the rest. ;)

    Having said that, I'm going to very respectfully disagree with- Midwest Mom re: her opinion on a psychiatrist who recommends Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a 6-year-old. Six admits by the age of 6 to me indicates some very serious problems. I absolutely agree that personality disorders are not officially diagnosed in kids under 18, and I do question the usefulness of even bringing up the possibility in such a young kiddo (teens are a different story). Definitely, the family tree may is going to play into things - genetics can be a bear.

    So... first things first. I think it's very important that you get a safety plan in place at home. For example, when my kid started really going off the rails around age 7-8, the plan was that I would move oldest to an unoccupied room (he's a quadriplegic), tell my youngest son to get my daughter and go lock themselves in my room, where I had a TV and toys for them, and I would deal with- thank you. Now, my youngest son was 4 at the time, and my daughter 1 - unfortunately, they had enough experience with- thank you's raging that they were more than willing to cooperate with- the safety plan. I'd restrain/contain thank you (was trained in restraints by his therapist) until he calmed or until it became apparent that it was time to call 911 for transport to local ER.

    You need to lock up medications, cleansers, poisons, and sharp instruments. Remove items that can be used as weapons - heavy lamps, heavy toys (Matchbox cars *sting* when launched by a raging kid). Go over your house with an eye toward safety.

    You need to get that application for respite in, like yesterday. You are not pawning your kid off on strangers. This is a marathon, and you absolutely *must* take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. I totally understand getting a break while he's hospitalized, but I guarantee you, it's not enough. You need to have time and space to breathe. Even if it's just a couple hours a month. Just as important, your other kids need a break from the chaos as well. Hindsight being 20/20, it's very very easy to lose sight of how all-consuming our difficult children can be for the entire family.

    Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement is an individual decision, different for every family. I would never advocate for or against it to any given parent. I know it's the hardest decision we've ever made, and one I fought for a couple of years. I can't say that Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement "helped" my son, but without a doubt, it saved my other kids (and me) from his abuse. You will know if/when it's time.

    I think finding a good advocate to help tune up the IEP is an excellent idea, especially if Residential Treatment Center (RTC) funding has to come thru the school and you think it might ever be a possible option for you. Wrightslaw.com has some excellent info for parents just learning about IDEA. Our Special Education forum and archives also have some good info.

    How was his early development? Any delays, or any advanced development? I'm guessing his behaviors are severely impacting his K experience, but does he seem to be getting academic concepts in school? I agree that possibly a second professional opinion might be helpful - neuropsychologist or a certified child & adolescent psychiatrist. Do you think any of his medications have made an impact on his behaviors?

    Anyway - again, welcome and I'm glad you found us.
  14. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I know it sounds incredible and it might not be the case for your son, but my daughter's ODD was caused by gluten and casein (milk) intolerance.

    If that is your son's problem, you wouldn't notice after eating that he was worse, probably, because gluten and milk are in pretty much everything processed.

    My daughter was violent and I was thinking she would have to go to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I actually called around to see what was out there for her, but we weren't quite ready to do it.

    My younger daughter had stomach problems which we discovered was due to gluten and milk. This led to us testing the rest of the family. We were all positive also. Putting my older daughter on the girlfriend/CF diet was a miracle and turned her into a regular kid. We were able to wean her off her medications and we could parent her like the books say we should.

    She's now a teen and cheats on her diet some and turns back into the difficult child she was. Luckily, she recognizes this and controls herself better now than she did and gets herself back on the diet.

    From my google "research", RAST testing tests for IgE antibodies to foods. There are other antibodies that can be tested. The test we used tested for IgA antibodies but only to gluten, casein, soy, and eggs. We also did another test for IgG antibodies for my younger daughter for more foods. I don't think that one was very accurate since it said wheat was not a problem for her and there is no doubt that it is.

    I think the best way to determine a food allergy is to eliminate suspicious foods and see what happens. You do have to remove all traces of it or it might not work. I needed the test for me to be motivated enough to do it, though. What convinced me, though, were the results. The test is not mainstream medicine and would be easy to dismiss if I didn't notice improvement.

    It could be genetic and that his father also has gluten intolerance causing his problems. 4 generations in my family have it.

    I know this sounds outrageous and I would never have believed it myself, if I hadn't seen it for myself.
  15. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Welcome, and gentle hugs.

    Sue was right when she said this is a marathon. You must take breaks. Respite care is so you don't go off the rails yourself. The people who do it aren't just any strangers. They're trained (some more, some less).

    If I had known only 3 years ago what I know now, from being here and asking questions (and believe me, asking questions here will get you toward more questions for the doctors, which will help you find out what's going on and what to do)... So many things would be different. But this place has saved my sanity and probably my life.

    How old are your other children?

    Where an IEP is concerned - you may have been steamrolled the first time, but remember - your son has rights under IDEA - and you are his parent, and you know what works/doesn't work/is best for him.

    If he is at an alt school, and they don't seem to be able to handle him, what's their plan? They have an obligation, so they must have some idea what to do. If you contact your state's Department of Education, they should be able to help you find an advocate.

    More hugs... And the Legos hurt, too, when thrown.
  16. dynasty6

    dynasty6 New Member

    I truly feel your pain. I myself have a step son diagnosed with Conduct disorder, it like living in a mad world half of the time and the other half as long as you give in and give him what he wants and let him go on about his day with no distraction everything is perfectly fine, but don't dare try to inforce some type of struction into the routine that he wants. My son was also kicked out of Kindergarten and also attended alternative schools one right after the other once school presumed the following years up until this year. He does perfectly fine in the structured environment they have placed him in with his new school but it is katie bar the door once he gets home and his world turns upside down, I like you feel for my other children because there is so much craziness when he starts his rants. We to have been seeing a therapist for some years, we haven't went inpatient yet but I do foresee it in the future. Good Luck to you and if at anytime I can be of help to you feel free to let me know, or to just share stories and vent from time to time I'll be more than happy to listen. Believe me I know your stress levels and concerns I'm there with you and am at a loss for words when it comes to my little one at this point and he's only 9 years old.
  17. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    Okay, thank you so much for all your replies!!! I have so much to say I don't even know where to start, I have never been in the company of people with similar difficult children before, sad to say, but OMG WHAT A RELIEF!!!

    Some background: I was hospitalized at 16 weeks gestation for pneumonia, received influenza vaccine at that time. As I had delivered a stillborn son prior I was at higher risk and did have frequent ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy. He was born at 37.5 weeks gestation via cesarean following a failed induction. He weight 8 lbs 3 oz. He was jaundiced, but his bili levels were low enough that he did not require bili lights. He had hiccups constantly and was a very screamy baby in the hospital, but I attributed his agitation to the shock of delivery. He came home approx. 3 days later, still screamy, awake every 1.5 hours at night, typical newborn stuff (but he did scream more than my others...). Exclusively breastfed, began solids at 8 months, whole foods, avocado first. His sleep never improved beyond 2 hour stretches at night, he was the hardest baby to appease by day. Seemed late to smile, but he wasn't really. He started smiling around 7 weeks, later than my other kids but not "late" developmentally. He just seemed grumpier. All physical milestones were within normal limits. I went back to nursing school when he was 18 months old and he started daycare. From that point on life became hell. He had near constant ear infections, which always resulted in profuse vomiting. He had so many antibiotics that he eventually developed C-diff. Finally he got tubes placed, and then he started talking (almost 2). Still not sleeping more than two hours at a time, we had a sleep study done prior to getting his tonsils and adenoids out. I don't remember the exact results, but basically he had an irregular REM-cycle. Then later he needed a second round of tubes. He was physically aggressive in daycare from day one, but he started out as a toddler in a room full of crawling babies because they didn't have room in the toddler room right then. I assumed he just "seemed" rougher because of the age difference. I did work-study at the campus daycare he attended and it hurt my heart to hear him being scolded time and time again from that room. He hit, he bit, he choked the other babies. Finally the teacher had had enough and they moved him up with older kids, he seemed to do a little better at first. After awhile those teachers were frustrated, too. He hit other kids, bit them, threw and smashed toys at them, never napped or even laid down at nap time. At home his temper grew and grew, while his sleep never improved, against every fiber of my being, I tried just ignoring him at night but he'd scream for hours and hours, throw up and keep screaming. My two older kids were in tears come morning because no one could sleep and everyone struggled to function during the day because of it. I kept this up for a week, and then caved. I was just exhausted, we all were. I really thought if he could just sleep his temper would improve. He was so mean. He used to choke me and with hate just burning in his eyes snarl "I'm gonna kill you in your FACE mom!" - this is where my mom first pointed out that he seemed possessed, because WHERE does a 3 year old come up with that??? He also began to really, reeeeally fixate on blood and gore violence, guns, knives, etc. We don't watch tv at all and we don't watch movies of that nature - the worst movies we have are Harry Potter (the older ones), Ninja Turtles, etc. I remember driving and watching in the rear view mirror as he crouched sniper-style in his car seat and pretended to shoot people on the sidewalk with his fingers as his 'gun'. The sickest feeling just washed over me. That is around the time I started taking seeking out psychiatric help for him. First our pediatrician referred us to a play therapist which was utterly worthless and accomplished nothing. He did recommend melatonin for sleep, and that did help a little. His rages grew right along with his little body, bigger, stronger. His daycare called me to leave work and come get him more and more often. Finally the director said that basically he seemed like a sociopath. He struck with fists or hard objects/toys, choked, shoved and brutalized his peers so frequently, often seemingly for sport or pleasure, whichever, and never, ever showed remorse. She was going to kick him out but I burst into tears and begged her not to - this was his 3rd daycare in as many years and I was running out of options. When I pled with the pediatrician this time he had him admitted to the psychiatric hospital. Thus began the cycle of stronger and stronger medications and hospitalizations, all to no avail. He is very big/tall for his age and quite strong, he's torn a door from its hinges, chased his older brother with a knife, took said knife out of the trash where I threw it, hid it to use again (I caught on and he did give it to me), smashed his older brother in the face with his toy laptop on a roadtrip out in the middle of nowhere causing blood to gush out everywhere and then completely came unglued raging full force as we're all trapped in the van with him speeding trying to get back to civilization without anyone else getting hurt when he decided to to open the sliding van door on his side. It's just craziness. Insanity. And I don't want to do it anymore. Most of the time. And then there's this other side of him, so sweet and loving and affectionate. He loves us, I know he does, very much. And we love him. But we don't like him very much.
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. I can see now why they are talking about Residential Treatment Center (RTC), although I've never heard of one that young being placed in one. It could be good respite. The choking bit and knife part are pretty scary!

    I wish I could help more. All I can offer is empathy...hang in there.
  19. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    I know that was really long, I'm sorry. I think we are getting an advocate, so that's good news. Right now he hasn't had outside recess for weeks, which is really awful for him. They don't feel he's safe to have out on the playground, so he has to go sit in detention while the other kids play. I don't think that's right. I think he needs a personal EA, someone with him on a one-to-one basis. The alt. school gave him OSS for punching his teacher again, so today he had to go to an OSS-school (for lack of a better word). Anyways, surprise, surprise, he got kicked out of there and I had to come pick him up early. Apparently none of the "experts" around here actually know ANYthing about dealing with difficult children. Everyone's answer is "send him home to mom". Great. Thanks. In my wildest dreams I never imagined a kindergartner could get himself in so. much. trouble.

    My other kids are 16 (daughter), 10 (son) and 1 (son) and the three of them combined on their absolute worst days are nothing compared to him on his easiest day and I swear I am not exaggerating. I have even considered foster care, except that I love him too much to give up so completely just yet...

    Also, I did call our pediatrician and spoke to his nurse asking for a referral for a neuropsychologist evaluation, I haven't heard back from him yet so hopefully tomorrow...
  20. Last ♡ Hope

    Last ♡ Hope New Member

    This afternoon since he's been home he's been more or less fine. He's been helpful and friendly and as I've typed this all out he's snuggled up sweetly beside me watching a Pokemon movie and occasionally asking me questions about marine animals, lol. I've gotten no less than 5 hugs and a dozen kisses since I picked him up.

    His drastic mood/personality shifts make it very, VERY hard to feel any one way about him or the situation, which is why one minute residential care seems ideal and the next, unthinkable. I almost feel like it's making ME crazy...

    Tomorrow morning he's going back into the hospital. Right now I'm sad about it. An hour from now it might seem like too long a wait. :crazy2: