new and need some advice!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by melbear04, May 21, 2011.

  1. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    My son is going to be 6 in a few weeks. He has adhd...we are still trying to find something that works...the dr is also throwing around the possibiltiy of ODD. He is completely out of control...the tantrums and screaming and throwing things when things don't go exactly the way he wants is almost to much for me. I know he does not like the behavior he is doing becuase after a tantrum he will curl up and cry for a good 20 minutes. I am at a loss as to what to do. he is in kindergarten and had 10 referrals this year. there was talk about holding him back on behavoir alone, until they got his testing scores back a couple weeks ago where he scored 2nd grade level on everything but one subject and the subject he scored a 4th grade level. We were just at the dr yesterday and they are upping his medicine for the next month to try to get him through the rest of the school year since he can only be on ritalin till he turns 6 and then we can try some other things... My son has also had a lot of changes in the last couple of months his dad got divorced and got a new girlfriend and moved and now he doesn't get to see the step mom or his step brother and sister like he used to...but his dads new girlfriend also has 2 kids that have been thrown into his life... I just don't know what i should do. I feel so bad for him having to deal with all of this . every night i go to bed crying wondering what i could do differently about what he is dealing with... I know i can't do anything about his dads behavoir but as farr his adhd and possible odd i feel like i should be able to do more then I am...
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Melbear,

    I'm glad you found us but sorry you needed to. Sometimes it's a little slow around here on the weekend but others will be along soon!

    I actually had a long reply typed out but somehow lost it! Has your difficult child always had behavior issues or just since his dad divorced? Has he been evaluated by a neuropsychologist or a child psychiatrist? They often have some really good insight and there may be more than just ADHD and ODD going on.

    One book that many of us find helpful is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene.
  3. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    Thanks for the reply...he has not seen anyone but his family dr....he has always had behavoir issues just gotten,worse with the divorce
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi and welcome

    you have found a great place, sorry you had to yet as it was mentioned glad you did! :)

    my stepson has adhd or add they arent' sure lol. diagnosis's always fly about. we have had some real challenges with him as of late the past few days. what we do here to try to help him cope, small things are........

    we always give him a schedule/routine in place when we have him (he doesnt' live here ft;wish he did!)
    we also always give him a heads up prior to a new transition
    we do not escalate situations with him
    if he is blowing up we let him blow yet try to escort him to a calm zone usually his room.
    after he's de escalated we always talk about the event ways he could of coped with it; etc.
    make a sheet of "coping skills for him" ie..... when i'm mad i should (punch my pillow, listen to my music, etc.)

    my stepson enjoys listening to books on audio it helps calm him. we also give him magnesium supplements when we have him and we keep the sugar to a minimal.

    i think as far as therapists are concerned a cbt person would be beneficial and help him in facing his frustrations and teaching him skills to cope thru them better. i wish my stepson had entered into therapy prior to his current age of almost 12 when now we're seeing some real problems with him.

    the upper hand that you have is your son's age. its' great you are so caring and a strong advocate for him, getting the ball rolling now will only help him so very much in years to come. as far as dad goes, yes your right we can't control it. sheesh how id' love to control my exh with my child. yet he'll have to learn in life how to cope with changes, and therapy is a good start. also does he have any accomodations in school yet, what grade again is he??

    as far as the odd diagnosis.....i personally dont' feel like odd is much of a diagnosis. i know i can be odd at times lol
    sorry that was long. welcome again, don't feel alone you def. arent'! others will follow :)
  5. wintak

    wintak New Member

    Just out of curiosity, has he been tested for GT? Is it possible he's bored out of his mind in kindy?
    I would get him to a more qualified dr, than a family dr.

    Mine is 8 and I have to say, he still acts like what you're describing, although he holds it together in school and lets loose on me at home.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As always, I recommend a neuropsychologist. A family doctor is not a well-educated diagnostician. it is possible the diagnosis. is wrong. ADHD/ODD is often a first diagnosis that morphs as the child gets older. No point in medicating him until you are sure the diagnosis. is as least close.

    Can he perform in school as well as he tests?
  7. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    No he does not perform as well in school....he is really defiant there too
  8. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    no he has not been tested for GT
  9. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    he is in kindergarten and we try to keep him on a schedule when i have him as much as possible.. but i work a swing shift and he has no schedule at his dads...he also has no accomidations at school!
  10. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Please read "The Explosive Child". Also, please consider the Feingold Diet (simple version, is feed him ONLY fresh fruits and veggies, rice, beans, plain meat (no marinades/preservatives/coatings), 100% juice, water -- avoid ALL wheat, barley, rye, gluten, milk, dairy, soy, corn, nuts, food dyes/artifical anything, fish and shellfish). Be VERY VERY strict (you may need to lock up your food while you try this). Stick with it for 4 weeks, he may be worse in the first 7-10 days but you should see improvement after that. Then you can do the 'challenges' to see which food is causing the problem.

    My son went from a nightmare at school and a problem at home to getting As on his behavior chart and becoming a joy to be around. It was a combination of the right medications, changes in how we parented and how teachers taught, maturity and a strict girlfriend diet.
  11. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    Thanks for the advice....i really apprieciate it....the diet will be really hard for us to try....becuase I work swing shift....but if it works im willing to try anything
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    ODD around here is definitely the "odd-man-out" diagnosis - as in, it describes a behavior problem, but says nothing about the cause(s) or potential fix(es). So, we tend to push that one to the bottom of the stack.

    ADHD alone would not normally be sufficient to produce the behaviors you are reporting... especially when the problems are both at school AND at home. (some kids hold it together at school, and then explode at home... in which case, the probability is higher that the problem is school)

    Biggest thing is, at least the family doctor recognizes that there are issues. Time to get referrals. Someone else listed neuropsychologist. Some other options are Pediatric Psychiatrist (M.D. with training in behavior and mental health issues), or PhD in Psychology, or a behavioral clinic (staffed with multiple specialties). None of these will cover ALL the bases either - but should get you much closer on the next round of diagnoses...

    Kids can be both brilliant, and learning disabled, at the same time. Any chance of a learning disability? (dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc.) These can make school a total pain for the kid - he feels smart, but comes across dumb, and the other kids jump on that REALLY fast.

    Is he clumsy? if so, in general? or just gross motor skills? (think team sports, bike-riding, swimming) or just fine motor skills? (tieing shoes, printing, eating with fork and spoon, etc.) If there are motor skills issues, then you'll need whatever specialists can help with that (up here, there aren't any... we have to push buttons all over the place to get various specialties to do their bits and then convince someone else to join the dots!). Generally, this gets missed unless its part of a bigger package (for example, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or CP would come with an expectation of some motor skills issues) - but CAN EXIST ALONE. Motor skills issues in school age kids are underdiagnosed and very under-accommodated - and extremely damaging to the kids self-image.

    And then... even IF it were just ADHD (not the highest probability, by the sounds of things, but...) there's enough chaos in his life that it would be hard for a non-difficult child kid to manage... but the problems seem to pre-date the latest developments, so these are complications rather than the source of the problem. Your swing-shift pattern may not be the ideal situation, because you can't keep every day the same. But please know that this will NOT be the root cause, either - just potentially a complicating factor.

    You need as complete a diagnosis as you can get - you won't get it all, even on this next pass - problems come in layers, so we can only deal with what is currently on the surface, and then see what else shows up. So, welcome to the process - it does get better (usually, eventually)
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I love you guys. I really want to post on this thread but it is so late, I'm so tired. I'll post tomorrow. But in the meantime - you've all said pretty much what I was going to say. I do have a few ideas, though. This kid sounds like he's got a lot going on, if I was him, I'd be feeling pretty angry and oppositional too. In fact, when I remember what I used to be like in Kindergarten... I was lucky, I wasn't bored. I was also in a small class, with one other very bright kid to bounce off.

    Welcome. I'll pop in tomorrow when hopefully my brain will be back on line!

  14. melbear04

    melbear04 New Member

    Thank yoy everyone for all the advice....its so harx to find people who understand.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, I'm awake now!

    Is there any way you can maintain some contact with his former stepmother? It might ease some of his transition problems. We had problems with difficult child 3, because he attached to his sisters' boyfriends. Especially with easy child, who he connected very closely with, he often acted as if she was his mother and not me. So her first boyfriend was a problem for us - difficult child 3 was a toddler, and jealous! Over the next few months difficult child 3 learned to really like the boy, got very close to him. Then a couple of years later, easy child & her boyfriend split up. It was difficult for difficult child 3 who said, "Does that mean we're not friends with him any more?"
    Then easy child and her boyfriend got back together again, for a year. We mended fences. Then they split up again. It was very difficult for difficult child 3, he was very confused. it didn't help that easy child was absolutely miserable, and we kept getting tearful phone calls from the boyfriend.

    Our story has a happy ending - easy child & the boyfriend are now married, he is SIL1. And he is very close to difficult child 3, sees him as the brother he desperately craves. Because easy child is close to difficult child 3, so is SIL1. But whenever we have 'lost' someone to our family (such as easy child 2/difficult child 2's first boyfriend who is still good friends with difficult child 1) it has been a source of confusion for difficult child 3. So I can understand that for a little boy who was close to some people who he lived with, to lose contact completely is for him as if they had died traumatically. Kids tend to internalise things so he probably also feels like it is his fault somehow.

    He feels remorse - because he, like pretty much all kids, wants to be good. But he just can't do it. There are too many other factors getting in the way for him.

    A kid who is ODD is generally a kid who (for various reasons) is choosing, almost automatically by a programmed reflex, to do/say the opposite of what is asked of him. I don't see that here. But I do see a kid who feels powerless, who has certain needs he can't properly articulate, and who is scared, angry and upset. Just because he is bright, doesn't mean he can understand at a superior level in all areas.

    Some suggestions - read up on "Explosive Child". Check out the sticky in Early Childhood.

    Keep up his intellectual stimulation. Challenge him, but not to the point of frustration. Boost his self-esteem and keep his mind occupied. It really helped for us when we did this with easy child, easy child 2/difficult child 2 and difficult child 3.

    Try for a neuropsychologist assessment as soon as you can arrange one. Avoid getting it done through the school, because they tend to only skim the surface and miss the really important information. It costs more to have it done privately, but is is worth it. It is an investment in your child's future. An option is to get any results from a school assessment and pass them on to a neuropsychologist, who can do more testing as an adjunct and interpret the lot in one. It's not as satisfactory, but kid should not do the same assessments within two years, so sometimes you haven't got a lot of choice. It is a way around that problem, though.

    Again - welcome. There are others here in similar situations to you. Others of us have been there already.

    Consider us the trailblazers! The trouble is, the darned undergrowth grows back so fast! Time to blaze the trail again!