I think my child may have ODD. not sure what to do

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Justfour, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Ever since she was a toddler my now 13 year old has been very defiant. On the odd list of symptoms, when I first looked at it she was ten, she basically has everyone. She can be good as gold away from home or rather when other people are around like grandparents or my friends. Behind closed doors, completely different. When she goes off on one there is no reasoning with, I've tried every technique I can think off eg. Ignoring, positive praise, banning favorite items etc. she can be so lovely and sensitive at times, then within two minutes she is at the other end of the scale. She has told me she wants to stick a knife in my chest, then turned around and said, I don't know why I say these things, I want to be good. Her reactions to me saying she can't have or do something is like its the first time I've ever said no! Then big tantrum that will go on and on and if I ignore her she's horrible to her little sister to get a reaction. Sometimes I feel like I hate her which is so wrong but it's so difficult when most of the time she is like this.
    Im not sure where to go from here, I've just started the road of assessment for aspergers with her younger sister as she has a whole other set of problems, thankfully not bad behaviour, and I'm worried if I seek a diagnosis for her sister the doctors are gonna think there's something wrong with me!
    Really unsure what to do but I'm a single mum and sometimes feel so down and lonely doing all this by myself.
    N.B. I have an older daughter who has a different father and she was and is a perfectly well balanced neurotipical
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Seek a diagnosis. This isn't about you. It's about your daughter. in my opinion an evaluation should have been done a long time ago.

    ODD is not a really solid diagnosis. Usually something, NOT BAD PARENTING, is causing the defiant behavior. If you give us more details on your child, we may be able to help ya a bit more.

    I recommend a neuropsychologist. I think they rock in the diagnostic dept. and they know better than to blame parents for childhood disorders.

    Welcome to the board, but so sorry you have to be here.
  3. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Thanks for replying. As far as her background goes, she was a great baby, didn't talk properly till 3, understood very well then caught up with her peers.
    I left her father when she was nearly two. I think he may have problems himself as he was very much the same, a lovely generous man then cruel and aggressive for no apparent reason. He once went on anti depressants and was really fine while on them. The girls go out with him once a week. This has been regular since the split bar twice when he disappeared for no reason for about three months.
    from the age of two I could say eg. Watch that wall, it wet with paint don't touch it. Shw would have to touch it. And so it began. School has never been a problem up until this last quarter. She has become defiant and uncooperative there now and strangely not so bad at home.
    She often has thoughts of family, who are well but maybe older members, dying, then getting upset.
    She is the middle girl of three, oldest 23 and youngest 11. She has never been one much for cuddles unless upset and I'm always available for cuddles if she wants. Sometimes I'll give her a hug and I might be pushed away or held onto like a life line. When she is raging she will say I love her younger sister more because she always has cuddles, but her sister is the other extreme and very clingy.
    the only possible trauma I can think of is when they were 3 and 1 years old, I left them with their father overnight and he got drunk. I don't think he was physically abusive (def no marks) but at one point left them on their own for maybe half an hour and she bit her baby sisters face quite severely. I never blamed her for that and made sure she knew it wasn't her fault. They have never stayed overnight since.
    she has low self esteem, any boy gives her attention and she's in love etc. so much so the latest big incident was a boy she was talking to on BBM asked for a private photo and she took one and sent it to him, he then preceded to send it on and everyone she knows in school and locally knows about it or has seen it. She is devastated. I did everything I could to make things better even changing schools in sept cos everyone there knew about it. Made no difference to how she behaves towards me.
    Her and her sister almost can't be in the same room as her sister continually annoys her just being herself (poss Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) ) which is met with physical aggression. She will not hit anyone outside of home though, even if they hither. She has never attempted to hit me but she knows im as big as her and stronger, not sure if thats why. She had one good friend who moved and now four weeks into the summer hols she has not met up with one friend. I'm not sure why as she only behaves this way to me and my eldest, I think.
    they have had a pretty stable upbringing, only two moves, only my daughter or grandparents babysitting.
    their father isn't brilliant but not deliberately cruel either just not great parenting skills. He will say, oh next week then not do it eg. Trip to cinema. Gives her almost everything she wants for an easy life.
    she broke her arm age 6 and since then whenever she has a fall if it's bad enough will complain and cry so much I take her to a and e to get checked out, never anything wrong. This has calmed down a bit as she has got older.
    problem left some stuff out but that's all I can think of for now. Any ideas would be great! Thanks
  4. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Just to add.....
    when she kicks off she can sometimes be quite calm about it, she will quite calmly say I wish you would die, usually goes into a description of how she wants me to die. I never react to this or any form of 'bullying' ie. your ugly, your fat etc. funnily enough I'm neither but it's all said for effect. She will say I'm an alcoholic because I may go out with friends and have a drink maybe once a month, if that. Never have alcohol at home.
    When I try ignoring her she will follow me round the house being abusive. Even if I get mad (which I know doesn't help but I'm no saint) she will still goad me! She just does not care about consequences at that moment in time. Afterwards she will say I'm being unfair if she has a punishment, just doesn't get that she was totally out of order sometimes.
  5. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    She sounds exactly like my son in so many ways!!!!!
    All I can say is this: We started of with ODD....then the psychiatrist changed it to Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified or slight Aspergers....
    He has been put on antidepressants, with slight effect.
    The biggest "diagnosis" currently with my son is that he struggles with mood regulation and impulse control! He also has some sensory sensitivities that also contribute to poor problemsolving skills and poor planning! Oh and also causing irritation when being hugged...He might sometimes seek ferm hugs...Gets irritated by brother pushing or touching him!
    He struggles with auditory processing too, this can lead to many misunderstandings!
    You mentioned your husband did well on SSRI, and disappaired for long time....Is there
    any possibility that he might be bipolar? Because bipolar manifest differently in kids.....I would not throw away a possible Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and or anxiety/depression diagnosis with your daughter? I do think she could maybe greatly bennifit from therapeutic interventions! It wouldnt reflect badly on your parenting, it would just confirm genetic inherritance if both daughters have issues! :)
    I know this is a very confusing and tiredsome road...and very lonely, but with these great people on this forum you might find some energy and strength to carry on!
    Ps....does your daughter ever struggle with transition situations? For example....having tantrums, crying, irritation exct....without apparent reason, then later you realize maybe its because school is starting, or holiday is starting, exct?
    And does she have social anxiety or poor social skills...like messing up her relationships with friends, because she behaves or say inappropriate things?
  6. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Hi lovelyboy, thanks for replying.
    Pits hard to know if she may have social anxiety as if I ask, why aren't you friends with X anymore, it is always their fault, so very hard to know what happened but from what I've read about it I wouldn't say that she hasnt but who knows? I have started wondering about Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but she is nothing like her sister in that sense, I've known for years her sister was different and quirky just didn't realize it could be a disorder till the last couple of years!
    The only time she cries etc is she may have had a hard day at school, she will come home and at some point cause a row so she gets told off, cries then I ask what's really wrong and she will say something which has upset her in the day.
    ive looked at bipolar and she doesn't seem to have the highs and lows described, she sleeps well, yes mood swings but not the same sort of symptoms I read about. I would say she doesn't know how to regulate her mood. Sometimes it seems like if everything is going well, she will deliberately spoil things. Like she has a self destruct button, again, just like her father.
    Pour cat had kittens and we found homes for all of them, we have kept one but the night before the last one was going, she took it up to bed, cuddling it crying etc. then the next day. I may be being harsh here but it's like she wanted to feel bad about the kitten going, wanted to make herself worse by cuddling it all night and day. Maybe that example is me being too logical, I'm a love what can have don't worry aboutvwhatnyou can't! :) she does love animals. So again any ideas great fully received
  7. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    With my difficult child 1, it was obvious that something was "off" but it took a long time to figure out what it was. difficult child 2 was a lot harder and it only became MORE obvious when he hit puberty. That's when things got a little worse and I was able to see the signs clearly. My boys are NOTHING alike. They are both on the spectrum but difficult child 2 has a much milder form of it. Have you ever heard the phrase "When you've met one person with Autism, you've met ONE person with Autism." It's a spectrum for a reason and I highly suspect your daughter might have it. With the kitten situation, ti doubt she did it to make herself miserable. You're right, that's too logical and to be honest a little too "out there" to me. It does sound to me like she may very well be on the spectrum just not the same "place" as her sister. You might want to research the various "types" of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  8. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Hi tedo. I would never have considered her being on the spectrum but with her sister probably being on it I suppose there is a chance she may be too. When you say you suspect my daughter may be on it, what of her behaviours stand out to you? I'm still new to all this so would be good to get your ideas, thanks
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    When you say no, she CAN'T push the idea aside. She HAS to do whatever idea popped into her head and you saying no raises the anxiety because she HAS to do it.

    Early language delays are typical and higher-functioning kids sometimes have higher receptive language skills. difficult child 1 did.

    Any kind of touch HAS to be in her control. That is very typical. difficult child 1 is like that. He only accepts hugs from me and only when HE initiates it. He wrestles around with his brother but only if HE initiates it otherwise he has a meltdown.

    This is actually an error in reading social cues.

    She might have problems identifying feelings and not KNOW how she's "supposed" to react. She also gets very attached to things (animals) and to her feels like a death (strong feelings) when they were given away. For difficult child 1, anmals are a comfort for him and a calming influence.

    Those are the things that stuck out to me, probably because one of my kids displays the same behavior to some extent.
  10. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    That's certainly very interesting tedo. Would you say a checklist of behaviours taken to the GP would be a good idea. That's what I did with my youngest.
    Have just spent about two hours calmly ignoring her best efforts to wind me up! She is bored And apparently I should be doing something about that! This is common behaviour.
    Thanks for pointing those things out as I would never have looked at them like that.
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Personally, I would never have a General Practitioner (family doctor) diagnose anything but physical ailments. You really should find a good child psychologist or psychiatrist to do the actual diagnosing. If you can find a checklist (I know people here have mentioned one you can do online & print but can't remember where it is) it might be helpful to them. They will also have forms for you and the school to fill out to actually do the diagnosing (at least they SHOULD).

    Today, can you give her a "project" to do that isn't too overwhelming and involving something she likes? That's what I usually do when difficult child 1 is bored. Yes, I am the one that has to come up with something sometimes and it sometimes even means me doing something with him. It's usually better than the alternative, which is further frustration and an eventual meltdown.

    Just out of curiosity, where on the planet are you located? Keep it general but it might help others steer you in the right direction if we have an idea of where you live.
  12. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    I have to see the GP first as they will refer if they think there is enough concern. I think the only way to go straight psychologist is to go private. Being a single mum I can't afford that route. I wish! Much quicker.
    im in wales in uk. So hopefully someone in the area might see this and maybe have some suggestions other than GP?
    Phill try engaging her in something. Usually though if it doesn't involve me taking her out and spending money she's not interested. I'll try and sit down with her to do something which I know I should do more but between the two of them I'm so drained some days! I will try though! :)
  13. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Sorry, going on, looking at it from an Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) point of view she has lots of obsession. For a couple of months it might be a band. Wants her room done out in their stuff, meet them, talks a lot about them. Then it will be something else like favorite team. Then wants all the same things again. Obviously I don't re decorate with each obsession! Lol :)
  14. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Justfour, I am also a single mom of two kids though mine are twin boys and I've known for some time that difficult child 1 was on the spectrum but it wasn't until puberty and things got worse with difficult child 2 that the thought even crossed my mind. You're doing just fine and it usually does take an "outsider" to see what's right in front of your face. difficult child 1 has "recycling" obsessions. He vascillates between fishing, horses, soccer, working with wood, and video games. Each of them go in spurts but those are his TRUE obsessions.

    Do you have a good relationship with the GP? Enough that you can say something like "she's starting to act somewhat like her sister and I know research shows that if you have one child with Autism, there's a greater risk for siblings to also have some form of it. Please refer us to ___________________ so we can find out for sure?" Here, at least where I'm at, I can simply go into our family doctor and literally tell them I want to see whatever specialist and they make the referral without even asking why. Too bad your system doesn't work that way.

    Stick around. This site is awesome and, as one single mom to another, you'll never be alone and EVERYONE here will keep you strong ..... and sane. I honestly don't think I would have kept my sanity this long if it hadn't been for this place. Everyone here has become family to me ..... even though I've only SEEN 4-5 of them (during a group Skype session) and actually done things with 2 of them.
  15. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Thanks so much tedo, I have literally no one I know who has kids on the spectrum etc. as much as my friends and family can sympathize, they have no real clue what I'm living with especially as with both girls they behave the way you would expect 'normal' children who have had a reasonably I won't say strict but I have boundaries and expectations with follow through, upbringing. At home then they let loose ( not 24/7)
    looking forward to getting involved :)
  16. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Letting loose at home is fairly normal for difficult children... They put SO much effort in to trying to hold it together in public that when they get home, they have nothing left to cope with... so YOU get the worst of it. Plus, they know you will love them anyway, the rest of the world maybe not, so it's "safe" at home.
  17. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Yeah, I get that and if it's gonna happen better at home than in the supermarket! :)
  18. jennifer615

    jennifer615 New Member

    Wow, if your daughter was 9, I would say that she and my son were separated at birth lol. My son is just like that too (but he's never threatened to stab me). I too have tried all the things you have, but nothing works. difficult child also can be very sweet and loving when it's just him and me, but when I say no to him, he throws a tantrum, gets extremely sarcastic and disrespectful. The other day we were going out and difficult child was being naughty. We were at the bus stop and I had had enough and told him we were going home. He tried to run away. I grabbed him by the wrist to pull him home with me, and he screamed out "stranger!". My son too is horrible to his little brother. I think he is somewhat jealous of him because he's so sweet and a beautiful looking boy. My youngest also annoys difficult child just by being a typical 5 year old, singing away and humming to himself and making 5 year old comments. difficult child is always putting him down, saying how stupid he is, and often hits and slaps him. I'm always jumping in between them.

    I'm in a very similar situation as you. I am also a single mother, I separated from my husband in December. I have a 17 year old daughter from my first marriage who is no trouble at all. The two boys are from my most recent ex-husband.

    My son has just been diagnosed with ODD. I think you need to get her diagnosed. Doctors are not supposed to be judgmental and I doubt they would blame you. Having this diagnosis in alot of way is a relief, as I never knew what was wrong with him. He was diagnosed with ADHD at 5, but like your daughter, was very defiant and challenging before he turned 2 and I knew he had ADHD.

    Why don't you read my thread "9 year old just diagnosed with ODD". There is alot of brilliant advice there. Our situations are very similar, aren't they. Anyway, best of luck.
  19. Justfour

    Justfour New Member

    Maybe they are spiritual twins! :) I have decided that I will have a chat with the dr when my youngest goes for her assessment, from reading 'your explosive child' she definitely has issues as she is just like the children described in there. ( would be a good book for you if you haven't already discovered it).
    sounds to me like we are leading parallel lives! As I also have an older child with different dad. Hopefully the appointment won't be far away and we can get some answers, I'm pretty sure her father is the has the same issues she has and he has pushed away almost everyone in his life due to it. I really don't want that for my girl.
    thanks for sharing your story with me, nice to know there's lots of people going through the same thing (although nice to know maybe isn't a good phrase! Poor us! Lol).

    Ill go read your thread, need all the help I can get! Thank you :)