Introduction - I'm new

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by allhaileris, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    Hi all! I have not have the chance to get through the huge amount of helpful posts, but hopefully when I have some uninterrupted time at home (ha!) I'll get to do it. Right now I just browse at lunch at work. And yes, I'll find the time soon to add a siggy.

    I have a 6 year old daughter who has ODD. We've had her evaluated a couple times and they rulled out ADHD, ADD, etc at that time. I have been using a modified Feingold diet with Eris, mostly no food dye. It drives her crazy! No milk, I keep trying to keep apple juice away but it sneaks in. She had a speech delay, but I think she's pretty much caught up. She's gone through 2.5 years of speech therapy and seems to speak like other kids her age finally, although I know she still has issues getting her thoughts out when she's frustrated. In K she had 90 min of individual therapy a week for speech and fine motor skills. We have her in an alternative school that has mandatory volunteer hours, so last year there was generally 2 parents in the class with the teacher so the ratio was no more than 7:1. I figured a school like that would be best for her behavior issues.

    My husband is a SAHD and is having a horrible time dealing with her, especially over summer break. In the past couple months her ODD has gotten worse and she's the queen of talking back, running away, covering her ears, yelling, lying, etc. It's horrible and both of them have said they don't love the other anymore to me. I am fairly positive that my husband's parenting is aggrivating it, but I can't control them when I'm at work. He is too strict with many things, her moving annoys him horribly. It seems all he does it yell at her and I keep telling him that is working against him.

    She's a little better with me, but apparently I'm the good cop. One thing that actually has worked for me lately is I told her that a blue dot appears on her forehead when she lies and it goes away as soon as she's done. It helps me let her know I know she's lying withough coming right out and saying she's bad. I just have to tap on my forehead and she knows.

    We've been having issues getting her to sleep, started melatonin and it seems to be working well. We didn't give it to her last night and she actually went to bed without a tantrum (even with the no story punishment for her before dinner behavior). The past couple weeks she had gotten into a little habit of 1-2 hour tantrums before bed.

    She also seems to go into super whiny/defiant stage around 6pm every night. And she acts worse when husband and I are both home, but acts better when only one of us is there. What's with that?

    I know husband keeps her inside too much, but he gets frustrated with her and embarrased in public. I think that getting her out and keeping her active is an important step in keeping her from blowing up. Does anybody have thoughts on this? I see his side but also tell him to move on and deal with it and it'll get better. And she NEVER wears herself out with activity. She can keep going all day long and always has been like that.

    Okay, I gotta get back to work. I could write all day about the issues we have with her but these are the big issues right now. I have put a book on hold at the library called "the explosive child" as recommended here somewhere. I hope it helps (I got the DVD too since I know husband won't read it).

  2. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Sandy and welcome!

    You've found a great place, full of support and information.

    First off, a few questions:

    1) Who did your daughter's evaluation? GP, Paediatrician, psychiatrist, Neuro?
    Did they give you a reason to rule out ADD/ADHD?

    2) How was your daughter's early development? You mention a speech delay. Did she have any other issues such as sensitivity to sounds or smells, aversions to certain food textures, etc.?

    3) When she's behaving badly, have you noticed a pattern? For example, is the transition from one activity to the next (e.g. leaving school, from playtime to dinner time) a struggle?

    ODD rarely stands alone and is often the symptom of an underlying issue that hasn't been properly identified yet. ADD/ADHD is also one of the first diagnoses many of our children receive, because many conditions present with lookalike symptoms.

    I see you've put The Explosive Child on hold at the library. Many of the board members have found it to be incredibly helpful. Some other board members have had success with Love and Logic (I think the website is

    If your daughter shows any signs of Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) (Sensory Integration Disorder), such as sensitivity to light, sounds, textures...trouble with clothing labels, sock seams, hair needing to be done a certain way, etc., then you might also want to look at The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz.

    You've found a soft place to land.

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome.
    What kind of professional diagnosed your child?
    Do you know that ODD rarely stands alone?
    With that speech delay (even though she is catching up) I would want her tested for high functioning autism, not ADHD. My son has it and it is hard to diagnose and, regardless, needs special interventions. Often these kids get the wrong label of ODD. Is she sensitive to textures, foods, sounds, transitions? Does she have trouble socializing APPROPRIATELY? This doesn't mean she's not friendly--she may be VERY friendly. But does she know how to have a give-and-take meaningful conversation with children her own age? Does she have a good imagination and play normally with toys?
    I see red flags for more than ODD and more than ADHD. I would want to take her to a neuropsychologist. Their evaluations are far more intensive than just therapists, and I think you would do your child a service to set up such an evaluation. Here is a short, online test (that can be very accurate) that can let you know if your daughter is at high risk to have a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) problem:

    Welcome again :)
  4. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    1. The person who did the orignal "suggestive" diagnosis was a friend, then her pediatrician. We took her to a therapist for a year who agreed, and during that time took her to a psychiatrist for an evaluation who ruled that out (but, he was not a good psychiatric, he suggested giving her candy to get her to go along with the evaluation - not a good idea for a food dye sensitive kid). I really dont' think she has ADHD as she can actually sit still for quite a while if she wants to, can concentrate if she wants to, etc.

    2. If anything she's sensitive seeking. Doesn't cry a lot when she falls, does daring things that thrill her, doesn't care if shoes are on backwards. She was actually a really good baby up until about age 2. Always has been good at independent play. So not clingy. Is not adverse to weird foods (will eat sushi, broccoli and many foods I won't eat because I don't like the texture).

    3. The only pattern I have noticed is the 6pm thing and the bedtime thing. I'll really have to watch for other triggers. I do try to give her warnings before I change the activity (ie "5 minutes until bed" or "after you do x we'll do y".)

    The thoughts of some form of autism comes up from time to time, but she really only shows two signs, but does it often. The not looking in your eye when talking (which I do too) and lining things up. She's really social though.
  5. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    You wrote this: "With that speech delay (even though she is catching up) I would want her tested for high functioning autism, not ADHD. My son has it and it is hard to diagnose and, regardless, needs special interventions. Often these kids get the wrong label of ODD. Is she sensitive to textures, foods, sounds, transitions? Does she have trouble socializing APPROPRIATELY? This doesn't mean she's not friendly--she may be VERY friendly. But does she know how to have a give-and-take meaningful conversation with children her own age? Does she have a good imagination and play normally with toys?"
    (sorry, in a hurry to quote correctly)

    You wrote this as I was responding to Trinities post and I mentioned it as well. She does seem to have appropriate social functions...I think. She has a hard time doing the same thing as everybody and will often be the last. So say the teacher says do 10 jumping jacks, she lags and ends up doing 5 after everybody else has done their 10.
    She has a wonderful imagination and does play appropriately with most of her toys. They just have to be spread out all over her room!
  6. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I did the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) test and she got a score of 31 which said NO.
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Just wanted to add my welcome. :flowers:

    Also wanted to mention that anxiety can look a lot like ADHD. Do you think you are seeing any anxiety?
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sometimes hypo-sensitivity is a pointer as well as hyper-sensitivity. The key is sensory issues that are different than the norm.

    A lot of people with sensory issues have trouble interpreting the sensory signals correctly. Sometimes this results in being overly sensitive, sometimes not as sensitive as the average person.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) really is a spectrum. There are so many factors to consider, and your daughter may have some traits to a great degree, some mildly, and others not at all.

    (Just a few examples. My Little easy child is a very social boy and doesn't show any inappropriateness in this area. But he stims a lot, chews and mouths things. difficult child is wildly inappropriate socially, but has no food texture issues outside the norm. I have serious trouble with eye contact, I stimulant a lot, but other sensory things fall within the normal range...and my boys and I all on the spectrum somewhere)

    Hope you're able to pinpoint your daughter's issues so that you can get the right sorts of interventions for her.

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2008
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Sandy, welcome.
    Definitely, The Explosive Child will help both you and your husband.
    She's an out-of-the box kid, and can't be treated with-traditional parenting methods. Try to explain to him that just because it's not traditional doesn't mean she'll get away with-murder. She will still be held responsible for her actions, just in a diff way.
    You'll learn how to prioritize things when you read the book.
    How does he feel about more testing?
  10. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    G'day and welcome. I'm coming in late to this, it's my first computer access for a week.

    I also was thinking along the high-functioning autism line. Even if she's borderline or scoring "no", I'd keep an open mind. As easy child 2/difficult child 2 has grown, she has fitted more and more into the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) category.

    The "very friendly" kid - that's easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3. As toddlers they would have happily gone home with a total stranger. They didn't seem to discriminate between strangers and family - everybody was there to play with and talk to.

    Language delay - it's the history of language delay that is the hallmark, even if language is later on within the normal range. A really detailed speech assessment can still fall within normal levels but you can discern splinter skills in speech areas as well as in other psychometric test results, and these splinter findings point directly to problems these kids are having in brain development and general ability coping. They also can point to areas which these kids find very frustrating. difficult child 3 has scored in the normal range for speech for years now, often in the superior range.But he has splinter areas of lower achievement, where he still needs help. He is very literal, appears to have no understanding of subtlety and still has to work hard to identify with someone else's point of view. He can seem perfectly normal, but when you really know him and work with him, and especially if he is tested, he scored moderate on the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) scale.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 at age 6 was believed to be a normal but very bright child. Problems didn't really begin to be obvious for a few more years. Yet when we look back, we can see the early signs.

    You and your husband have the beginning of some big problems. I do wonder if the ODD presentation is possibly almost entirely due to the different ways of managing this child. You both need to be on the same page, it is vital. If she is a very bright child, and especially if there is something possibly wrong along the lines of ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or something else, then any problems such as different handling methods will greatly amplify the difficulties you are having.

    You say your husband is probably being the strict disciplinarian. This is a valid parenting style and many of us can say, "It worked with me, my parents were strict and I turned out fine." (although that is really no recommendation - "my parents used to whip us with an old belt, and I turned out fine" is no guarantee for any method),

    But strict, old-fashioned parenting is almost the opposite of what some kids need. I gave a list - bright kids; kids with ADHD or other difficulties. For various reasons, they do worse with strict controlling type of handling.

    That doesn't mean you go the other way entirely towards overly loose, unstructured, unchaperoned anarchy. There is a better way. A MUCH better way.

    You will find it in "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. If you go to the Early Childhood forum you will find a locked thread at the top of the page, dealing with adapting this book for younger children. It's a method which works amazingly for so many of us. It is also logical.

    At first it can seem counter-intuitive, but it actually short-circuits a lot of the problems and can get you faster to the ultimate goal of the parent - independent self-discipline in the child.

    Your husband sounds tired and frustrated, and also perhaps afraid inside that he is just no good at this parenting caper. He has a difficult child and is struggling with her. He can feel himself losing the battle - and he is right. Soon he will lose the war. She is getting older, smarter, more cunning and learning to be determined as well as sneaky. She sounds very frustrated and already in the bad habit of arguing and using every trick in the book to get her own way. I like your method of the spot on the forehead, but that will soon stop working. The first time she tells the truth and you call her a liar, she will see through the story.

    You need to get your husband to go to this website. He won't be the only bloke, by any means. And from my own experience, this can only help your relationship and your communication. My husband began lurking here very early on after I found this site, and would read what I was posting. Along the way he would get a better understanding of my vies on certain things, even though we both thought we were already communicating perfectly well. We found we were understanding one another even better.
    Then he began posting in his own right - he is "Marg's Man". He doesn't post often but he reads every day.

    Another thing that helped - I summarised the book and also talked it over with him. This helped me understand it even better, too.

    Early problems - you need to avoid the good cop, bad cop scenario but if one of you changes to Explosive Child methods and the other does not, then the stricter parent can find even greater resistance and will see the situation as getting worse, when it in reality is not.

    For this to work, you both need to sit down (away from the child) and decide on your methods, your tactics and what behaviours go into what 'basket'. You both must agree. It would also help to keep a diary on her behaviour, listing good things as well as bad.

    Your daughter could well be bored, from not being out of the house enough. I understand his concerns and fear that he will not be in sufficient control - he needs to find a compromise. Keeping her away from larger numbers of other people and kids is a good option. One other playmate only at a time is a good rule - for now. Go somewhere, but always have an escape plan. For example, if you go to the mall (and many would not, so don't be hard on him if he says it just doesn't work) then be prepared to immediately walk out and go home if she isn't able to behave.

    If there is ANY chance she is Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in any way, then shouting at her is achieving exactly zilch. If anything, it could be making her worse. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids model their behaviour toward others on how they themselves are treated. I can look back and see a great example from easy child 2/difficult child 2, when she was 3.
    I was busy talking on the telephone and kept having to say to her, "Be quiet, don't interrupt, I'm on the phone!"
    She asked me for a glass of juice. I was distracted and poured milk. Her response - she pounded her tiny fist on the bench and said, "I said I wanted juice!"
    The fist pounding - husband used to do it when he wanted quiet and the attention of the other kids. The tone of voice - it was exactly the tone of someone chastising a naughty child. She had picked it up as used on her,and was now using it herself because we had clearly shown her that this was the appropriate way to communicate. This is a common finding in high-functioning autism, although I know others will chime in and say it is found in other conditions too. But I know autism, and I see this often in not only my Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids, but in their classmates and friends with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).

    Even if your daughter has nothing wrong with her other than a high IQ, reading the book and following the guidelines can only help. You read the book, adapt what you want, and make sure that ALL those dealing with her are consistently using the same methods.

    Your giving her time to change tasks - that is very important. It is also showing her respect. Once you show respect to her, she will use that as a model and will begin to use it on you.You may need to remind her to speak politely, but again, you need to use your judgement. When the time is right, that will be a Basket B behaviour.

    Don't overload the baskets. The hardest thing for your husband will be letting go of behaviour problems that are not currently on the agenda (Basket C - leave these issues for now).
    It's also important to keep in mind what your long-term goals are, and to make sure they are goals for HER and not for you. For example, a parent whose task it is to mind the child and keep her occupied - cannot ignore the child and sit and watch daytime soaps on TV. If the child then tugs at your sleeve and asks to to come and play, or otherwise tries your patience, you have to stop and think - am I only wanting the child to play quietly, so I can enjoy my soapie in peace? How am I helping the child by doing this?

    But if you work with the child, work as a team, play together almost to a schedule, then you will get more out of the interaction as well as teach the child a great deal about teamwork, about cooperative play, about community.

    Trying to imagine how it all seems from the child's point of view is a worthwhile exercise. She's not being naughty just to make your life a misery. She's got good reasons for everything she does - good reasons for HER. Finding out what those are and trying to find other ways to meet her needs, can turn around some big problems.

    I hope this helps.

  11. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    You realize, of course, that you told your daughter a lie in order to try to stop her from lying, don't you? Not only is there a certain irony in that, the current thinking based on research indicates that the best way to keep a child from lying is for the adults around him to not lie.

    An interesting article about lying, who does it and how much:
  12. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I would like to add my welcome to the board, sounds like you have your hands full.
  13. allhaileris

    allhaileris Crumbling Family Rock

    I really appreciate your feedback Marg. I think you hit a lot of what is going on right on the nail. And I agree she's picked up a lot of husband's agressive tones with her and is just immitating it.

    So how do I get one of those neuoropsych evaluation things? Who do I request it of? What's the process?

    The book came into the library so I'll go pick it up tonight. Hopefully it won't take me too long to get through it, and hopefully I can get husband to read some or all of it.

  14. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I can't help you with how to get such an evaluation, except to suggest you talk to your doctor about it, or ask others on the board. It's one of those things that is different for us in Australia.

    I wonder how husband would feel if he realised that far from disrespecting him, she is actually using him as a role model and patterning her behaviour on his example?

    Sometimes we have to stop and listen to ourselves and how we interact with our kids. Then stop and listen to how other adults interact with our kids, then think again about how we interact with other adults. How, for example, would you interact with another adult who lived under the same roof as you? Almost certainly, you wouldn't talk to them the way you talk to your kids - so why talk to your kids that way? Familiarity and a position of authority can so easily be misused and it serves no useful purpose. We can actually achieve far more by using the "adult flatmate" tone in our communication. Sounds weird, but when you take note and then try it, you can see some surprising effects.

  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    ForA neuropsychologist evaluation you will need to find a neuropsychologist. usually they are at major children's hospitals or university hospitals. I really think seeing a developmental pediatrician might help. Our dev pediatrician had a group of professionals evaluage my difficult child - this is standard in HIS practice, but not in all. You have to call around and ask - then ask if you need referral from pediatrician or not.

    I think a GOOD allergist might help - the natural forum will be able to help you find one I think. Esp with the food sensitivities, getting that all tested and sorted out will help. And that is one thing that CAN be grown out of, or so we are told.

    The thrill seeking is another side of sensory integration disorder or other sensory issues. Read The Out of Sync Child, and then get The Out of Sync Child Has Fun. The "fun" book has a LOT of activities to help with all sorts of sensory issues.

    An evaluation by a qualified Occupational Therapist is in order for the sensory issues.

    ODD is usually helped when you find the other disorders and treat those. I think if you work to straighten out the sensitivities to food and dyes and also work with an Occupational Therapist (OT) on the sensory stuff, you will get a LOT of answers and ways to help. Do NOT rely on the school Occupational Therapist (OT) to diagnose things. They ONLY look for what is impacting the child's education - NOT the other stuff going on. You NEED a private Occupational Therapist (OT) to get all the things looked at because there is a lot of other stuff you can do, and the school Occupational Therapist (OT) simply won't look for things that will impact home life. Especially ask about brushing therapy. You learn to do it at home and it helps the brain and body be in sync. It MUST be taught by an Occupational Therapist (OT), because you can really mess things up if you don't do it properly.

    Glad you are here, sorry you need us, but WELCOME! We are happy to have you join us! :flowers: