Hi, I'm new here - stumbled upon the website by searching oppositional defiance disorder and messageboard. We have a psychiatric appointment set up for our difficult child in 11 days, and a counseling appointment set up in 12 days (can you tell I am counting down??). Just a little background - our difficult child is not biologically mine. He is my fiance's son and is ten years old. We have full physical and legal custody, and we raise him together as parents. Wedding to take place when we've saved enough money for a damn good party. Bio-mom is a relapsing addict, has very limited visitation, mostly phone contact, but even that is erratic. She's currently been MIA for a few months - relapsed again. We highly suspect that difficult child has ADHD as well as ODD. Both of us are exhausted. We periodically switch up the disciplinarian role because neither of us can take it for any length of time. We both love difficult child VERY much, but neither of us likes difficult child much right now. In the past, difficult child has: -refused to stay in his room when told -when the door was blocked, he jumped out the window and ran off - poor FI had to CHASE him to bring him back (multiple times) -when put in a room with no window, put a hole in the door with a pole taken from the closet -threatened us with calling CPS (to which we said "go ahead!") -etc., etc., etc. Most recently: -smart kid, but failing class -refuses to do in-class work -refuses to copy down notes -argues with the teacher -argues with us, constantly -periodically refuses to do everyday tasks such as brushing his teeth, packing his lunch, cleaning his room -makes paper airplanes in class and gets up and talks to other students while teacher is trying to teach -called his classmate a racial slur -willfully disobeys directions -blames others for his mistakes Are there any techniques that you all use to get through to your difficult child? Our difficult child absolutely refuses to believe that he is not right, and will argue until the sun goes down (even when you can PROVE that he is wrong!). For example, we tried to talk to him about calling his classmate a racial slur (she told him to stop talking, he told her that she was a Mexican immigrant and to go back home to Mexico). The boy is 1/4 Mexican himself! He argued that he was born here. We asked him if he thought that made him better than her. "No, but she was mean to me first." You shouldn't have been talking in the first place! And it goes on. Finally just had to tell him NOT to say things like that. He just doesn't think that he is wrong. We spent 2.5 hours in a parent-teacher conference yesterday. The teacher specifically told difficult child to stay back after class, and he ran off anyways. FI had to hunt him down. The poor teacher spent that time telling him the same things we keep trying to tell him, and attempting to get him to participate in a behavioral contract. TWO AND A HALF HOURS and she couldn't coax sufficient answers out of him to draw it up. He just refused to participate. I know that, at his heart, he is a good kid. He is so smart - is an excellent writer and a very good artist. It is just reaching a point where FI and I are putting in so much effort, and we aren't seeing ANY effort from him. We have worked very hard to have a nice house in a good neighborhood. difficult child has access to everything a kid could ever want (if he would JUST get off of grounding!), and yet he complains and complains about living with us because we set RULES. And having him lash out at us (he says some nasty things when he is angry) is very painful. If anyone has any brilliant suggestions, I am all ears. FI and I have troubleshooted and problem-solved our brains out. I'm hoping we can get some answers and some help from the psychiatric and counseling sessions, but I'm not hanging my hopes on them (ok, maybe a little...). Thanks.