I just don't know what to do anymore


New Member
Hello, this is my first post & I went looking online for help since I just don't know how to deal anymore. My son is 13, going into 8th grade. He's been diagnosed with ODD since 1st grade. He has weekly appointments with a behavioral psychologist & is not On any medications. He spent all of grade school in a behavior focused classroom. They recommend mainstreaming him for middle school, which was alright for the 1st year (6th grade). This past year he just fell apart; he was suspended too many times to count. His behavior is just complete disregard for any involvement in school; he will spend the entire day pretending to sleep or sneaking his phone to school. He is often in trouble for being disruptive in class, or saying outrageous things to get a rise out of people. He went from A's & B's last year to literally not completing a single assignment this year. He twice has been asked to leave class & had just laid down toddler temper tantrum style & the classroom had to be cleared.
At home he's generally a good kid. He certainly doesn't act like he does at school. However, he has On several occasions spent money online for video games without permission; he went into my purse & took my debit card. We had a big argument after his last happened & he barricaded himself in his room when I tried to take away his electronics. There haven't been any big changes in his life (moving, death in the family, ect).

After several IEP's the district decided to send him to a special school next year that is "full time behavior focused". I am so worried; we live in a mid sized city & this new school is on the opposite side of town - nearly an hour drive in traffic. He is not violent, but I know there will be kids there that are. I get the impression the school is more for juvenile delinquents than for kids with behavioral disability. I feel like the teachers are scared of him; he is very big for his age at 5'8" & husky.

I just don't know what I can do to help him anymore . I'm an only parent (his father walked out when my son was an infant, never to be heard from again). I can't afford a private school & home schooling isn't an option. Even the psychologist is a strain on my budget, but I make "too much money" for any kind of assistance (I make less than 2 parents with minimum wage jobs).

Sorry for the long post, I just needed to vent & I really don't know where to turn.


Well-Known Member
Is he on Medicaid?

I think he needs tobe assessed by a neuropsychologist. If they are from university clinics Medicaid is taken or it was for my friends. You dont really have a diagnosis yet. ODD is just sort of a placeholder. A psychiatrist in my opinion is next best to a neuropsychologist. But we were scared and didnt take our kid to anyone besides a plain therapist and they cant diagnose well.

My daughter acted out in school although was allowed to stay in regular peivate school. I often wonder if we did not do enough to figure out what was really wrong.I actually wish we had put her in public school as it offers more help. I would have fought behavioral school though.

She is now 33 and we still dont know for sure what is wrong. But something is and.always was. Do see if your insurance will cover somebody who can diagnose well. We made the mistake of not pursuing a diagnosis when she was still a child. Stupid us thought it would improve. It didnt.

Good luck.
Last edited:

Deni D

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
Staff member
Hi, if you are using your actual name as your user name you should change it to protect yours and your son’s privacy. Click on your user name on right towards the top, then scroll down to under where it says “Settings” and click on “Username Change” on the left.

It’s great you son did so well last year and points to him being able to handle school with the right supports.

I also believe if he hasn’t had a neuropsychological assessment he should.

He should be tested for learning disabilities too if he hasn’t.

These things should have been done through the school district, but even with an IEP some don’t unless you persist in asking them.

The out of district school placement could be a very good thing for him, in the right school. Something else a school district might not tell you is they can’t just card blanch tell you where he is going to go. You have lot’s of say in it. Luckily in this day and age you can find a list of all possible out of district schools in your area, investigate them online and come up with a list you want to consider and tell his school case worker you want to visit each one and then decide. This is a good time to get rolling with, quickly. I wouldn’t go over an hour away but a better school for him with a drive would be a better idea than a less than school closer by.

If anyone were to ask me what I didn’t do that I feel I should have for my son when he was younger I would have said he very badly needed a good male roll model. I found out later if he had been in trouble with the law or if CPS had been involved in our lives he would have been able to have county services for a male mentor. But I kept things under control enough as you are doing so I never found out about these types of services. I don’t know how you would find someone for him but I would start by asking his school case worker and his psychologist. He might qualify for free considering his father is not in his life at all.

You have been doing a lot, I can tell. You deserve a pat on the back and a great big hug.