Just exposed to child with- ODD...no idea what is going on...need help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by luvty, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. luvty

    luvty Luvty

    My husband and I took in our 16 year old cousin 4 months ago after he was removed from his fathers custody due to abuse. We had heard stories about his ODD but never saw it ourselves. Everything has been going fine until yesterday. We have grounded him before without much reaction from him. Last night, he was 45 minutes late for curfew and we had specifically asked him to come home an hour earlier than usual. We gave him one day grounding for not being home when we asked and one more for breaking curfew. We got the reponse of "Whatever" which never happens. Today he snuck out of the backdoor after school with my father in law home. When I tried to talk to him he now says he does not care what we say and he is not staying in the house all weekend.

    He went to his room and I was hoping he was cooling off because something just did not feel right about the situation. He came out about 15 minutes later and flipped out, yelling at me. He went back in his room and I tried talking to him, but all he kept saying was that we wants to go back to his Dad's. There is a court order that his father cannot have contact with him. He is saying he is going to leave our house tonight and go over there and is also saying he is going to take the bus to his mom in WI.

    At this point, I am scared. I do not know what to do. All I know is that he has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. He is not on any medication and has not been in counseling in at least 5 years. We have been trying to get him counseling but his father refuses to allow us.

    How do we help him? He is hurting so bad, and now it seems he is reacting in anger. I do not know that much about the ODD. Any suggestions would be helpful.

    Thank You
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    First off, welcome. You've found a safe place to land. I suspect the honeymoon is over at your home. Pick up a copy of The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Second, I would be on the phone with a lawyer about the father having medical rights, that's just asinine if he isn't allowed contact. Third, the bad news is that you are in a serious race against time since your cousin is 16, he is gaining rights at an alarming rate even if he isn't mature enough to handle them. Chances are he can lock you out of medical information and refuse medication even if it is clearly indicated.
  3. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    hi and welcome!
    First off, at the very least you have found this group which is incredibly supportive, helpful and insitive!
    My 13 yr old has ODD and we have had several nights like the one you describe. She likes to break things when she gets to that oint. She usually calms down by the next day but it is very draining and scary. Has he ever done this at your home before? Is medication an option?
    The only thing I have found to work with mine is speaking to her in a VERY calm tone of voice and not adding fuel to the fire. Did you confront him as soon as he came home with anger? Sometimes that sets them off even more. How is he doing today? Sorry for all the questions but it may help for our understanding of the situation. I'm glad you found us and please keep us posted. I know how hard it is! Draining!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You're not alone!!!!
  4. lynnp

    lynnp New Member

    Hang in there. I hope that you will not be subjected to violence but whatever you do, make it clear from the very beginning that you will involve the police if he becomes violent or threatens you, then do it. It needs to be crystal CLEAR to him. My son has been violent but is not on medication and no one can really identify a diagnosis. A trip to the ER by police seemed to really clarify our position. You have found a wonderful place.

    I am becoming an expert and saying what I need to say then walking away. Do not engage! It's incredibly hard work, read the Explosive Child and come here every day!
  5. luvty

    luvty Luvty

    Thank You everyone for your support. It seams as though we made it through the storm. To answer the questions from Daralex, this was the first time that he has done it at our home. He seemed fine when he first arrived home, until we added the extra day grounding for leaving the house, that's when he exploded.

    On Saturday, he woke up like nothing had ever happened. I aked him if he was feeling better and he said he was. Later in the day he apologized for what he had said and done and said it would never happen again. He explained that one of his Dad's "friends" called him and told him everything bad that was happening to his Dad was his fault. It made him very angry, and he did not know how to handle it. We reassured him that it was not his fault.

    At this point, we are working very hard to obtain the correct paperwork in order to make all medical decisions for him so that we can get him into counseling. Unfortunaley, even if everything goes smoothly (I know...funny) it will take at least a month.

    We hope that this does not happen again, but we are sure it will. At least know we have been through it once and I am learning about it and will be better educated for the next time.
  6. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It is a very good sign that he was able to calm down and apologize and that he realized his behavior was out of line. So many of our kids are not able to do that. Hang in there, you are doing the right thing by looking for help now. Your cousin is very lucky to have you in his life.

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member


    I think you have a valuable lesson here for all of you.

    I would be sure you all understand that the best way to handle the anger is to have some time alone to sort it all out and then discuss it the next day when the initial anger has subsided a bit. So many times I have tried to force a reason or explanation and it always spirals in the wrong direction. It can be a life long tool he can use in may aspects of his life.