Introduction by WhattodoWhattodo

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SRL, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I haev just signed up here and I am kind of lost as to where to get help.
    My recently turned 5 year old has been diagnosed with ODD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and she is oppositional and defiant to the max many days;. I was looking at gettinf the book The Explosive Child, but i just read your post in the sticky thread at the top about the book not usually being the place to start. I need info and suggestions to help with that "knee jerk reaction to authority" as you called it. That describes her so well.
    Where do I start? I basically know what ODD is, what the symptoms are, and that we need a behavior plan to help here, but I can not seem to find ideas and suggestions as to how to start. We have therapy appts, but due to the lack of staff the local places have hired, we are 6-8 weeks out on each appointment, and I don't feel that I've got a handle ( or any idea what so ever) on where and how to start.
    Any suggestions as to how to get the most out of this site, and where to start for help and guidance?
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member


    I love you name "WhattodoWhattodo". I think many of us have thought that same thought as our children come up with something new.

    Are you saying that you only get to see the therapist every 6 - 8 weeks? That doesn't sound like enough.

    Where did you get the ODD diagnosis? What testing/evaluations have you had done?

    Someone will be on very shortly to give suggestions on getting tests/evaluations to better determine what is going on with your child medically.

    I would still get that book and start reading. We start with the first tool we can get our hands on. Remember that as you work with the behaviors, you need to continue looking for the right diagnosis.

    Is there a specific behavior you are struggling with now? This board can give lots of suggestions to get through some daily challenges.

    One thing to remember, always stay calm. Do not show frustration. Don't let your child see that she has touched an emotion button. That means if she says, "I hate you. I don't want you to be my mommy." Don't let her know that this bothers you and breaks your heart. Kids do not really mean what their words say. They are themselves angry and frustrated and are lashing out. I find that trying to keep them and yourself focused on the issue at hand you can stay away from these emotional struggles.

    Many times, the issue at hand is how the child is feeling not the actual situation. So, if you can't put something in words, try talking to her about how she feels. "You seem so frustrated right now. What is going on?"

    Hope to hear from you soon.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    ODD rarely stands alone. I would start with a new and complete evaluation.
    Was his development on target? Any psychiatric problems on either side of the family tree (both sides?). Substance abuse?
    Welcome aboard.
  4. whattodowhattodo

    whattodowhattodo New Member

    I was not thinking that SRL would post that, so a bit more about us to fill in the holes. I have depression diagnosis, medications daily. Started as post pardom, still here 5 years later. Hubby fairly normal, no diagnosis, younger daughter, 2 1/2 who is speech delayed and sees state birth to 3 speech therapist.
    We initially thought she might have ADHD, but we did the forms and went to see the therapist. Her scores were way above clinical range on ODD. She was borderline ADHD, but below clinical, so they told us to put tp put that on the back burner and reassess in 6-12 months for ADHD We had to se a follow up appointment to set a behavior plan, and the next appointment was about 6-7 weeks out. I know it should be sooner, and I think we should go as a family, and her alone, but they are pretty booked.
    The psycologist diagnosed her with ODD, and with all that I have read in the last few weeks, she totally fits the bill. Basically her teacher, my husband and I each filled out forms, and we had an hour long appointment.

    I would love to get started on a behavior plan and helping her, I just have no idea where to start. I requested about 5-10 books about parenting the ODD child, and how to help them.

    There are 8 characteristic of ODD and I see 6-7 of them on a daily basis.
    the main struggle for me right now is her defiance of authority, and arguementitiveness with any adult who tells her what to do.
    I have tried ignoring her, telling her that's the way it is, rewarding her for good behavior, 1 2 3 magic and much more. I try to stay consistant and calm, but with depression and me being a bit controling I don't always manage that.

    "the issue at hand is how the child is feeling not the actual situation" is what you wrote and I so agree. She will be soo upset or defiant or argumentative, all about not being able to get her shirt on right the first time, or that we have to stop at a store on the way home, or her sister ( 2 1/2 years) walking within 5 feet of her.

    I don't know whether to get super strict on her, which I know will cause her to rebel more, but maybe she'll come around after she give up being defiant, or to ignore it all and pretend like she's not all upset and whatnot, or how to start with her. No therapy appointment til the end of the month....oh so long....

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion you will find the same characteristics in other disorders. Psychologists are not the best diagnosticians. ODD is prominent in ADHD, high functioning autism, early onset bipolar, etc. It rarely stands alone. If you are sure you feel this is all that is going on, then good luck and glad you posted.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    :) ".... me being a bit controlling ....." :)

    I often find myself saying, "I don't have time to deal with this!" I think I tend to be a bit controlling at times also. Seems like our kids have all the time in the world to hold their own and we have no time to follow through. We have to be able to stop everything and let them know that no matter how long it takes, we want them to be able to follow directions.

    I don't think super strict is the answer but neither is ignoring and hoping it will go away on its own. Some creative discipline in between just for her will work - problem is we just don't know yet what that is.

    Continue to be consistent and calm. Try to be one step ahead of her and find creative ways to keep her positive. She may get overwhelmed easily so lots of transitional warnings. Approach everything in a positive manner. "We are going to the store for a moment. Would you like me to get you a snack when we stop? Is there anything you need from the store?"

    Bring little toys in the car that are just for the car and waiting rooms. I don't know if this will work for a 5 year old but you can try, "I need to stop at the store. Would you like to play with this while we go in?" Maybe getting her a small play purse so she can feel grown up going into a store, "We need to stop at the store. Do you have your purse? Can you carry some coins in your purse in case I need change?" Then ask her for change when you start to pay.

    When my easy child was young, she got to have a ride as we were leaving the store if she behaved. Not as many places have rides anymore though.

    I hope this makes sense. Think outside the box and give her a positive way to look at everything.

    When the shirt won't go on, blame the shirt. Instead of asking, "Are you having trouble with that?" or "Can I help?" put it on the shirt, "Oh my that shirt just will not be good today. Let's give it a short time out. How about one minute? You can read this book (or I will read you a quick story) while we wait for the shirt to calm down." Then try again. Make a game of it - talk to the shirt while she puts it on. "O.K. shirt, are you ready for the day? It will be a great day and you will be glad you came with." Walk her through getting the shirt on, have her stand in front of a mirror and tell the shirt about what she will be doing today.

    I know, I get a bit silly, but I do what it takes to stay positive. I suppose this is more for the younger crowd (2 - 3 yr olds). Those 5 year olds get too smart to think shirts misbehave. But I hope this gives you an idea of what I am thinking about. Whatever it takes to defuse the situation without making her feel she can't do it. 5 year olds are all about doing things on their own even if it doesn't work out. Add ODD and wow, you have your hands full!
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Sorry you didn't intend for that initial contact to be public. It read like a typical introductory post so I just assumed it was an intro that landed in the wrong place, as is often the case. The best way to get the most out of the site is to listen to what parents who have been in your shoes before have experienced, and then sift through it to see what's applicable to you. I'd also suggest visiting the archives and reading through other threads, as there's usually a lot of info there.

    I would still read the book. What I meant by the statement was that collaborative problem solving is the end goal in what you would want to achieve, not something that's going to happen overnight. At the beginning--especially when the child is young--the parent will be taking many of the steps to help the child avoid meltdown. As time goes on and the child develops in a more non-threatening to his/her sense of authority environment, the hope is that they can do more participating in rationalization and problem solving and less melting down. Think of it as a process.

    I also agree with the Midwestmom that it's likely you don't have all the diagnositic answers at this point. ODD is rarely a standalone in a child that has grown up in a consistent, stable home. We suggest pediatric neuropsychologists and developmental pediatricians for younger children.

    Other than the defiant behavior, are you seeing anything else unusual in her developmental history? Did she meet her developmental milestones on time? Is she on target academically? Anything she's overly sensitive to such as light, sounds, food or clothing textures? Any quirky behaviors or unusual interests?
  8. whattodowhattodo

    whattodowhattodo New Member

    SRL, I'm cool with you posting my intro. I was just wondering where to put it a first to get started.
    Adrianne, thanks for your helpful and supportive comments as well. I was not sure if anyone would respond at first, but you and SRL have helped me already to know I am not alone, which I knew, but to have it confirmed helps. You've validated for me some of the techniques I use with her, and also given me some new ones.
    Her father and I have been together for 11 years and married for 7, and she's 5, so she's always had us both, but my husband works long shifts, and then goes hunting and fishing many weekends. I know this is hard on her, and he is cutting back on the amount of time he is gone, which is better for our family. He and I have our ups and downs, between great and contemplating divorce, and we try to keep that away from ehr, but I know she realizes we are not on the same page. We are working towards that.
    I have read that ODD rarely stands alone also, and the reason I first took her in was to be assessed for ADHD, which she is borderline, but not clinical range.
    She has always meet her developmental milestones on time, or early. Anything physical, or academic, she has been right on track and ahead. No worried there.
    She had a pretty bad case of acid reflux, and a good handfull of ear infrections. She had tubes put in a little over a year ago, and has grown out of her reflux.
    She has been strong willed, stubborn, bull headed, etc since birth. She didn't just want to be fed, she was ticked she had to "tell you" by crying. Woudn't sleep for more than 5-10 minutes during the day unless held up through 6-7 months. Slept ok at night, but woke super early, like 3-4 a.m. Thankfully that's gradually moved forward to about 6 a.m. now...whew
    She's high strung, has always seemed to be behind emotionally and socially, and fits all of the 8 ODD symptoms. I see 6-8 of those behaviors daily.
    Hates loud noises, but not over sensitive. Like fireworks and the garbage truck, just the unexpected ones, like her little sister accidentally cranking the radio volume, or someone standing near her, yelling to someone else farther away. No other issues, other than the 8 ODD symptoms.