Introduction and Questions about ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by techteacher, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. techteacher

    techteacher New Member

    Ok.. I'm new here, so not year familiar with all the terminology or abbreviations. I'll start off by saying I'm the mother to a 5 year old with moderate physical disabilities and a umm high needs 3 yr old. My 3 yr old, who just turned 3 last week has been a challenge from birth. As a newborn he had colic. He was intolerant to my breast milk, even after eliminating milk & other things from my diet, and several types of milk. Eventually we'd moved to hydroslate formula and thought things were better. He was sleeping 1 hr stretches at 4 months old instead of 30 min stretches at a time, but was having constant ear infections. After bringing him to the pediatrician over and over at 15 months she referred us to an ENT and on his 2nd birthday he had tubes placed bilaterally. The ear infections stopped. Developmentally he had hit all milestones early if not on time, other than verbal. He was delayed in his speech and entered into our states Early Intervention program at almost 2 years. He received speech therapy 1x/month as well as an Early Inverntionalist who worked with him on developmental skills 1x/week. Which I know is not excessive as my other child has Occupational Therapist (OT), PT, and ST once a week, but he was responding well. He began to blast off in his speech skills after the tubes were placed. And by 2.5 was no longer delayed. But around the same time I requested a behavior evaluation by our Early Intervention agency. I was told that the results of the tests did not show any behavioral disorder and that the other thing the administrator was concerned about was that he was overly shy and did not warm up to them. So basically I felt like I was told I was crazy and sent on my way. The issues that caused me to request this evaulation were constant tantruming. I had never been a spanking parent and always believed in time out, but for this child time out meant that you had to physically hold him in the place you wanted him to time out in. And that he was tantruming & screaming like a wild animal the entire time. No lesson was learned. No thought given to the action, actually not thought was given to anything but punching hitting and screaming to get free from the time out situation. He has never been a good sleeper and doesn't sleep more than 3 or 4 hrs at night but seems to wake refreshed and ready to take on the day every day. He constantly pushing and fights with his older brother, which is about his size currently. and he will stand in my face and scream at the top of his lungs "NO I'M NOT DOING THAT!!! YOU DO IT!!" when asked nicely to pick up toys or eat his food. As a baby he was slightly overweight and ate everything. But since about 2 yrs old he has become extremely picky and will scream fight and hurt himself to get out of the dinner situation. Anyhow I had him evaluated by the school district prior to his 3rd birthday and was told that other than extreme shy-ness and power struggles with mom there was no behavioral issues. I really don't know where to turn from here. I feel like where ever I take him for evaluation I am told just to try to beef up my parenting skills or just accept him is high needs. I have recently been doing a lot of research and he seems to him the ODD criteria and I guess I'm going to start with the psychiatrist at the local children's hospital. Just wanted to test the water and see how other parents have dealt with this situation.

    Mom to 2 beautiful boys
    DS#1 5yrs old with physical disabilities
    DS#2- 3yrs old about to start preschool
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi techteacher, I'm glad you found us.

    I seriously could have written your post except mine had tubes at 4 1/2 months of age and showed precocious academic skills. Ugh--I don't think I got a full night sleep until that kid was 6.

    What I would like to see you do is have him seen by a developmental pediatrician. Sometimes issues like borderline high functioning Autism can cause the sorts of things you are seeing, but frequently it will slip under the radar of the pediatrician and teachers. I wouldn't trust this to the school district to determine. You'll probably have to push your doctor becuase they often just want to refer to a therapist for behavioral help or a psychiatric for medications, but be insistent that something doesn't seem right to you and you want a full evaluation.

    Are you familiar with Sensory Integration Dysfunction? In hindsight we realized that a lot of the early sleep and eating problems were due to this. Below is a link and if that rings a bell you'll want to pick up a copy of the book The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz.

    Since nothing is working anyway for now I'd suggest taking a low key approach to discipline. Just keep him and others safe until you determine what is (or isn't) going on. Check out the thread at the top of this board on the book The Explosive Child. I'd also recommend the following books for you:
    What Your Explosive Child Is Trying to Tell You: Discovering the Pathway from Symptoms to Solutions by Dr. Douglas Riley

    The Explosive Child by Ross Greene

    Hang in there. It's tough being a mommy to one of these difficult little darlin's.
  3. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter was like yours with the time outs and was diagnosis'ed with ODD. It turned out that her problem was with food allergies to gluten and milk. When she went on the gluten free/dairy free diet, she turned into a typical kid. Since your son has a history of food intolerances, I would recommend trying that to see if it helps.

    We have found that the behaviour will return with the slightest trace of gluten or milk, so if you try it, make sure you are very strict with it at first any way. If it works, you can experiment to see how much he can tolerate.

    It is a good idea to get a professional evaluation, but this is something you could try while you wait for the appointment.
  4. techteacher

    techteacher New Member

    Thank you for the suggestion. I started reading the explosive child at the end of the school year last year, but left it in my desk. The first couple chapters seemed to describe older children & there is definately in the way you would handle older children vs a 3 year old. But I will pick up the other book this weekend.

    The gluten & milk intolerance is def something I will check into as well. Because he has had a history of intolerance, my husband has some undiagnosed issue with processing meat, and his son from another marriage has Celiacs. I will start experimenting with that this week.

    Our pedi seems to think there is no problem, because he can be well behaved in her office, but has also had his share of blow outs in there as well. She says its typical 2 yr old, he just turned 3 last week, behavior. What direction would I go to see a developmental pedi? Would I ask my pedi for a referral? I definately do not trust the Early Intervention or the School districts evaluation, because honestly they both had something at stake and the evaluation tools were not very comprehensive or extensive. I'm trying to get him in to something we have here called the child study center that deals with developmental disabilities and related behavioral and emotional problems but that too requires a script from our pedi, who believes there is no issue.

    Thank you for all the info this forum provides. This support is invaluable to me at this point since I'm starting to feel like it must be me or my parenting style or some inadequacy. Yet I have another child who has never had any issues like this at all. So it just makes me confused.

    Mom to 2 beautiful boys
    DS#1 5yrs old with physical disabilities
    DS#2- 3yrs old about to start preschool
  5. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Be sure to check out the thread at the top of the board about adapting The Explosive Child to younger children.

    Often you'll need a referal for a developmental pediatrician but sometimes not. I'd start by googling Children's Hospitals in your region and seeing if there's a behavioral and developmental pediatrician on staff. You could try calling directly.

    I don't know what your situation is with your pediatrician in regards to insurance, options, etc. but if mine refused to listen to me when I brought concerns like this to him, he'd be my former pediatrician. When mom has a gut feeling that something might be different about a child, it needs to checked out.
  6. SarahO

    SarahO New Member

    Wow, that sounds so much like my DS!! He's 4 and we're in the midst of:

    a) psychological assessment, and
    b) developmental pediatrician

    Our family doctor got us the referral to b). Early intervention gave us a list of qualified psychologists for a).

    I'd love to compare notes as we go through this since our boys sound so alike. I really, really hope that the answer in our case doesn't involve dietary changes...quite a challenge to get a child that will only eat about 5 foods to change their diet!!

    Sorry I'm not much help as this is all new to me, but wanted to let you know that you're not alone!