Is this ODD? Losing my mind

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Elleseven, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. Elleseven

    Elleseven New Member

    My 12-year-old son argues with me about EVERYTHING. He is now saying that he wants to not go to college and live in a van. I told him fine, that is his decision when he is 18. He kept on with it because he wanted me to argue with him. I told him at this point when he is 12 there is no reason for me to argue about something like that...he kept on and on and on. It really bothers my 9 year old daughter and she cries because my son and I end up in debates/arguments almost every day and they are lasting for hours sometimes.

    When he was about 1 or 2 years old, he would have a complete meltdown if I moved a picture or rearranged any furniture in the house. Every time we needed to go somewhere he would have a complete tantrum because he did not want to change what he was doing. I had to force him to go to the store, or anywhere I needed to go, with him kicking and screaming. He had a complete breakdown when he was 2 and I got my hair cut.

    He told me last night that I never take them on any family trips. I said I had taken them to the beach several times in the last 6 months or so. He said, "well it wasn't fun. You never take us on any fun family trips." He has a friend who lives about a mile and a half from us. He wants to walk there but it is a busy road and then down a wooded road so i told him he ahs to let me take him. He argued and argued and cried because I wouldn't let him walk there. He got me to buy him pants at the beginning of the year from PacSun and now he refuses to wear them. he cries every single time he gets his hair just trimmed. He always, always says something is wrong with whatever I cook. One day he likes a certain food, the next day he hates it and I should know that he hates it.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome. I'm glad you found us.

    Have you ever had your son evaluated?
    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?
    Any sensory issues (for example, sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures)?
    Any developmental or speech delays?
    Any mental health issues or substance abuse in the family tree?

    You should be aware that ODD is not a helpful diagnosis. ODD typically describes a set of behaviors for which there is an underlying cause. When the underlying cause is identified and diagnosed, the oppositional behaviors generally improve.

    You might want to pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. It has helped many of us here parent our extra-challenging children.

    Again, welcome.
  3. Elleseven

    Elleseven New Member

    Thanks for your reply - No I haven't had him evaluated yet but I am really thinking I need to. He has always done well in school, even being AG at one point, but this year is doing badly, failed PE and seems to be proud of it. He has always gotten in trouble for talking in class or annoying the teacher. Most recently he and a couple of friends purposely antagonized their teacher by tapping a rhythm on different things all together but in different parts of the room. He had to sit in the hall and the teacher called me. No subtance abuse in the family tree but many people think that his father and uncle and grandfather are narcissistic.... his cousins have been diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and post traumatic stress disorder. My daughter, his sister, is a very easy child and is suffering because of the constant arguing of her brother with me and with her. He also does not like animals or pets and when there is nothing else to argue about he will badger me to get rid of our puppy. And the badgering/arguing goes on and on and on and on until the whole family is upset about nothing. I am divorced from his dad and his dad has always been very hard to get along with, very cold and callus type of person.

    Lately the arguing with my son has gotten so out of hand, I don't know how to deal with it.

  4. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    What you describe is familiar to me. My difficult child always has hated transitions and gotten very anxious about them. I remember when he was little it was such a battle to get him to take a bath; then when he got in the tub he never wanted to get out! It sounds like your son may have some anxiety issues also.

    Welcome and hang in there.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would get this child to a neuropsychologist STAT. He sounds like he could have a very high functioing form of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) called Aspergers or at least a mimicker of the disorder, and you won't know if you don't get a complete evaluation. How are his social skills at school? Can he look people in the eye? Does he use big words and sound more like a professor than a kid? Does he still have trouble with transitions? Does he have narrow, obsessive interests yet is very bright?

    Something is "off" and ODD isn't very useful. It is caused by other disorders that need attention...often the ODD will go away. For now, I'd get that appointment (there are waiting lists for NeuroPsychs as they are very good) and I would NOT argue with him. Let him prattle on and on and ignore the urge to argue back, especially if it is upsetting your daughter.

    My son has Aspergers and while he is not one to argue he had the same issues as yours when he was little. Also, he dislikes our dogs. His reason, however, isn't because he HATES dogs, but because he can't stand the loud barking and the way they feel. My son has sensory issues and I'm wondering if yours does too. Does he get overly bothered over certain textures, does he have aversions to certain foods, smells? Does he or did he ever cover his ears because he thought things were too loud (even sometimes when they weren't)? Is he very literal? Does he like computers a lot or videogames too much (like over-the-top even for his age)?

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.
  6. Elleseven

    Elleseven New Member

    He has friends at school and is popular but usually only likes two or three people and doesn't like the rest, even though they like him. He does look down when he talks to people, almost coming off as being obstinate, and the thing that has always bothered me is that he DOES NOT HUG. He will let me hug him, and he will lean into me when I hug him, but his arms hang by his side. He has always done this, has never hugged anyone in return, including me. When he was a baby he would make me put him in his crib to go to sleep. I could rock him a while but then he would point to his bed (once he was old enough to do so). He was so intelligent that he was communicating verbally with me at age 1 - 15 months old, telling me which playground he wanted to go to (we called it the blue park, the red park, etc.) People would think I was crazy when I told them that, then they would hear him themselves and be completely shocked. It was like having this little genius inside a baby's body. He does use long words and as a young child would insist that I read scientific books to him more so than children's books, like animal classifications, reptilian and crocodilian books, etc. He tries to downplay his intelligence and vocabulary now because he doesn't want to appear nerdy, but it is still there.

  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd get him evaluated.

    Find a neuropsychologist.

    Good luck :tongue: