Just How Do You Get ODD 13-yr Old To Go To School And Stay???

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by goin_crazy, May 16, 2011.

  1. goin_crazy

    goin_crazy New Member

    My supposedly ODD ADHD son has left school several times over the last two school years, mostly due to being bullied by students (and occasionally a coach). He did it 4 times without permission by simply walking out the door. We worked out a system where if he thought he couldn't handle the situation, he would call me and say that I forgot he had an appointment, and I would get him. This was just to prevent further on-campus suspension which causes even more trouble for someone who can hardly keep up with regular work and gets extra assignments (which are long) in there. I know it was a bad idea. Now any time something comes up, instead of just dealing with it, he calls me. He has done it three times in the last month. I did get him psychologist visits each time because he needed it but still, it is getting to be too much. Also, if he feels just a little badly or just can't pull himself together long enough to face the day outside the house, he wants to stay home, have me take off work and either take him to the psychologist or the doctor. Each time it is a minimum of three days. Then he cannot seem to finish his makeup work or even get all of it. His teachers have stopped communicating with me because they are tired of dealing with him. When he does any work at all, he makes A's. I know he is bored. He tested above average on IQ and was angry and resentful while testing part of the time and depressed part of the time, so he really didn't even try. Some of the time he tested at the end of 12th grade-level and other times on 4th grade level. We have talked until we are blue in the face and it does not sink in. I have no idea why he gets picked on except that middle-school boys are mean. They tell him he is small and has acne and that everyone hates him. I understand why he hates school. I had similar experiences but I had no choice and I am not as smart as he is. I plan to homeschool next year even though I work full-time because he has 2 grandmothers who will watch over him for the online part he does before I get home. In the meantime, We have to get him through 9 more school days and I don't think I can make it! Any ideas? And NO there is nothing that motivates him. Not promising him the world to just do the minimum and get through it nor punishing him by taking away the "things" he cares so much about. Please help someone!!!
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member


    Frustrated? we know... (lots of us here know!)

    Mind if I ask a few more questions?

    - what grade in school
    - any interests at all in anything
    - bullied... how long has this been going on, and what do they tend to bully him about?
    - is he good at sports? or a total klutz? (or just doesn't care?)

    Bullying can create all sorts of fall-out - and if its still going on, then that alone can be enough. But... questions first - and hopefully some of the others will be along before too long, too...
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi! I'm just wondering (now don't shoot the messenger here - lol!) - have you had him tested for learning disabilities? There's something out there called NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) - NonVerbal Learning Disorder that may be a fit for him. Very intelligent children that have been able to memorize what they hear in the classroom when the work is easy. As the work gets harder, their memory isn't able to keep up and they can't fake it as well as they used to. It quite often appears that they're very behavioral, but in fact, they're just trying to cover up the fact that they can't process the information currently being taught.

    Take a look at the above link and see if it might fit!

    Might be worth a look-see!

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if he was tested for Learning Disability (LD)'s too. I prefer neuropsychologist testing.

    Something is "off" with your son, scoring 4th grade in certain areas and 12th grade in others. Also, have you done anything about the bullying? I used to be bullied and, in this day and age, with kids sooooooooo different now, I probably would walk out of school too if I was afraid to be there or felt ridiculed or threatened. I understand bullying and the school would be held to the fire for it if this were my child. It shouldn't be happening. I think homeschooling him is a good idea!

    His anxiety is over-the-top I think he needs to be re-evaluated. in my opinion I think something else is going on besides ADHD/ODD. He seems to have good reason not to want to go to school. As for his grades, bet there is a good reason for that too.

    Keep us posted :)
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ditto and ditto -
    Should add... the ODD diagnosis is probably a red herring... as in, it is often the result of other problems, not the cause. (seems to be common with lots of kids)
    There will be something else - or multiple things - going on here.
    Some will be primary - if LDs are there, that would be primary; ADHD is primary.
    Others will be secondary - the anxiety likely is, there might be some depressive symptoms going on here too - these need to be dealt with, but you can't solve them without finding and solving the primary problems...

  6. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I agree with MWM about a neuropsychologist but when we had our neuropsychologist's done, they don't test for Learning Disability (LD)'s. I brought a bunch of difficult child 1's schoolwork with me and showed her the handwriting, spelling and weird paragraph structure, but it only allowed a generic "learning disability" to be noted within the report. That's why I suggested that you have that testing done.

  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Does anyone have some specific testing to recommend? because we don't have access to neuropsychologist, I don't know which tests are likely to be done by that professional as compared to an ed. psychiatric., for example... and our best testing was done by a Doctoral Psychologist in mental health... (go figure).
    Learning Disability (LD) testing is also vital...
  8. goin_crazy

    goin_crazy New Member

    Sorry not to have answered yesterday and I appreciate the support so quickly. We had a bad night; what's new? We don't have a neuropsychologist and the Learning Disability (LD) diagnosis was sort of generic. Basically it was more about the fact that he can't finish long written exercises and does better with keyboarding. The psychologist's office did do "Psychoeducational Testing". He score a significant weakness or possible Learning Disability (LD) in listening comprehension, essay composition, math addition, and oral language. The only one I don't think was accurate was the addition. He computes in his head. On the Bender Visual/Motor Gestalt Test, he had 4 errors putting him at developmental age of 8 years. Mostly things like copying from the board, writing papers, taking notes and anything to do with much handwriting. Working memory, concentration, mental control, processing speed, he is it the 75th percentile. He's still severly depressed and being picked on by other kids. The principal assured me today he talked to the main ones again today.

    It turns out that has been the main issue with school for over 6 months! The nonverbal thing sounds reasonable to me but still Aspergers does too. He could still be a fairly high functioning Aspergers like I believe I am. I don't doubt there is some Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in the mix but it hit home with me when I heard John Elder Robison on Doctor Radio. He was first talking about how he thought he was smiling in response to others smiling at him until he saw his reflection and realized it didn't look like other people smiling. I have had people ask me if I was OK on a regular basis after I thought I smiled. I have also been told I have a horrific look on my face when I meet people in the hallways or on the street. I try to learn from others how to act in public and how to be not so weird, but it doesn't work.

    Now I see my son doing and saying the same as me and I don't think he is mirroring me. I have gotten a lot better out of necessity. I have a job in a profession that requires me to represent my company with my peers sometimes and also speak at times. I never really know how I got through it after except that we are a society of scientists and maybe a little all off. LOL! I was blessed to find my niche. I just don't know if we collectively have the strength to get our son through school to find his.

    The principal at school refuses to believe I will not send him back next year but I feel strongly that he will thrive through home schooling; even with me working full time.

    Thank you all for your help. I am glad to know some of you don't think it's just a "boy" thing or an "ADHD" thing. I get tired of those getting the blame instead of the bullies.
  9. Peace Please

    Peace Please New Member

    Your son sounds a LOT like our difficult child, LittlePeace. Does he have an IEP at school? Little's IEP allows him to take a time-out in another classroom for a set amount of time to settle down if he gets angry. He also is allowed extra time to complete work in school. It sounds like you and your son could benefit from these types of help using an IEP. With only nine days left to his school year, I'm not sure what to suggest for this year, but I can send hugs.
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    9 days...get a note from the psychiatrist saying he has to stay home

    Why go through the trauma for 9 days??
  11. goin_crazy

    goin_crazy New Member

    Thank you. He does not have an IEP. I know it would have helped but we have had issues with the counselor all year at school. Every time we tried to get something in place, she put up roadblocks. She is also the one who turned us in to CPS for supposedly saying our son, who was well-planned and knew he was, should never have been born. She reported that we verbally abuse him when the school has it documented that he is a compulsive liar. She didn't even talk to us first. The case was dismissed but because "it wasn't really a big deal" and the caseworker had "real cases to deal with" it took 6 months from the time they questioned both children at school, came to our house to see if it was clean, the kids had their own rooms and weren't crowded, and there was plenty of food, and inteviewed us, interviewed teachers, our pediatrician, and his psychologist until they closed it.

    We are homeschooling through an online program next year. He cannot take another year of being bullied and no cooperation from the right people at school. If it ever turns out he has to go back to school, we will have something in place about the extra time, having notes copied for him, time-out's, and I would prefer he go with the Special Education kids so he gets the same teacher all day (and no coaches for teachers).

    He did better yesterday and I haven't heard that he left or anything today so maybe he's ok. I can just pray the rest of the school year!!!