New Here... Does this sound like ODD to you????

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by navyjen, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. navyjen

    navyjen Guest

    Hi I am new here. My DS is 12. And I feel like the last few months have been a roller coaster ride with him. I must start off by saying ds is fine at school and does well at his father's house(not much expected of him there) but at home I feel like it never stops. Today when he called me to tell me he was home from school I didnt want to answer the phone. DS was diagnosed with ADHD at 5. As a child was kicked out of several daycares for biting and behavior inability to communicate. Got an IEP in kindergarten and has done well in school ever since. But since the birth of his baby sister 17 months ago he has become another child at home. He argues about everything I tell him. He has to be right about things no one else ever can be right. If I ask him to do a chore he whines and complains which ends up in a battle because I yell at him to quite arguing which gets worse and lately has escalated into me telling him he will be punished and him asking me " You and what army." and things of the like. I can honestly say every time I ask him to do something he complains and comes up with excuses not to do it. A battle ensues and it ends up with him in his room saying he doesnt care that he lost privledges and that I better watch it cause his anger is coming out. He will be playing with a ball in the house. I ask him to quit. he doesnt. I ask him again. He ignores me and finally by the 8th or so time I have lost patience and yell at him to quit. Again he gets upset and stomps off. He has no inside voice. He laughs loudly and just generally has no regard for what I tell him. He knows it all. Recently at a pumpkin patch we were there with his sister he ran away from me I told him to come down he said no. mumbled under is breath and ran away again climbed a dirt hill which he knew I couldnt climb and sat at the top laughing saying he didnt care if he lost privledges cause now he had no reason to come down. He got irritated with his baby sister one day and pushed her face into the carpet so she wouldnt irriate him and cause him to miss his show by crying. He lies. 2 weeks ago he got locked out of the house and now 2 screens are ripped on the house and "He didnt do it." He wasnt supposed to be on the easy child last week when husband logged into it and saw his fantasy football team up and he came up with a story of how his smart friend cloned him and it was his clone.
    So how do you draw the line between normal preteen bs and ODD? What are the defining factors? I am at the end of my rope with him. I am at a loss. DOnt know what to do. I have called and left several messages for a conselor and am just waiting on one to call back!!! Is any of this familiar???????
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    First of all, welcome to the board.

    My difficult child, who is 11, sounds just like your son. Knows everything. Is always right. Never does anything wrong. Blames everyone else when he finds himself in trouble. I understand our anger and frustration. My son was diagnosed with general anxety and ODD at the end of the summer. We put him on an anxiety medication in the hopes that if we got the anxiety under control that the temper tantrum and the screaming rages would go away as well. For us it has not quite worked out that way.

    Have you had your son evaluated by a neuropsyche? They can diagnose many things that others can not. If you don't know where to find one maybe your pediatrician can direct you in the right direction.

    I hope that you are able to get help for your son, and for you.

  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Yes, this is familiar.

    You are a good mother, but your parenting methods, which are perfectly OK for most kids, are the disaster here for this kid. Not your fault. Not anybody's fault. You are not wrong, but you need to be more right for this situation.

    You say he does fine at his fathers, because not much is expected there - you are dead right. But it is also becoming a bigger part of your problem.

    IS his baby sister's arrival part of the problem? Maybe. Or maybe he is just getting that little bit closer to teenhood and its hormones, and that is coming out.

    You need to change how you handle him, and there are easier (and better) ways. Think how the school has to handle him - a lot of what you try to do at hoe, things we have been taught are a parent's prerogative - the school is not permitted to do. But they manage. You need to find out what is working for them and begin to use it too.

    We tend to think that our difficult children need a tighter rein simply because they are difficult children. Often they need a looser rein, and supported instructions instead of extremely tight controls. To begin with, you need to let go a lot. Almost everything. Let the reins go completely slack. Then slowly you pick up the slack and stop BEFORE you reach the point where he begins to fight the rein. If you get to the point where he is fighting the rein, slack off again and wait. Try again. It takes patience and calm, but the rewards are worth it. Over time as he learns to trust you the reins can tighten, but never as tight as they were before. Instead, you have to teach him to do for himself, the control you want to impose.

    Avoid blame and "fault". Instead, bring in responsibility. For example, we stopped making out kids tidy their rooms. But any of their stuff in family space - it's got to go. If their room was so bad that nobody else could get in, then the consequences are - no washing gets put away by parents. No washing gets collected by parents. No tidying happens from anyone else. The child is responsible for his own space. And when our kids broke the rules and took food into their rooms, we found the resultant ant plague was so unpleasant tat they HAD to tidy up in a rush. I didn't put the ants there. But leaving sweets lying around in the bedroom (even one dropped jellybean) was enough to make their room very unpleasant. Natural consequences. And avoid "I told you so" because with your son, that feeds into his need to always have the last word. Instead, he needs to see it for himself. It has to become "I told me so."

    Try to put requests and instructions in positive terms. I agree, throwing a ball inside is dangerous. But this is a kid who probably hears "no" and "don't" to excess, so it loses effect. Instead, say "Please take your ball game outside where it is safer." It is a positive instruction, giving him something to do, rather than something to NOT do. The outcome (should he obey) is the same for each instruction. Plus he has something to do, to continue with. If he has to stop, he needs a new activity to move to. CHanging task is often a problem in DHD as well as other disorders, and I suspect this is also a huge conflict area for you. You need to be aware - he is often not like this purely to be difficult, but because it is something very difficult for him. Again, I suspect his father is instinctively giving the boy his head on this, too, by letting him continue what he is doing until he moves on by himself. Again, you need techniques. What worked for us (computer gaming is always the big one, they hate to stop gaming and, frankly, games are designed to keep the player hooked in and wanting to continue) was asking him how much longer he needed. Or giving him plenty of time. "I need you to come eat your dinner in half an hour. Get your game to a save point, or pause it, in the next half hour. If you don't, we will eat dinner without you and your plate will go cold."
    The same applies to bath, to chores etc. With short chores, we often ask the difficult child to pause his game for long enough to get his chore done. If difficult child 3 is watching his favourite TV show, I sometimes ask him to complete a chore he can do while watching TV (such as putting away the washing up). Or I ask him to to a chore in the ad break. He feeds the chickens, and I stand at the door to call him if the ad breaks finishes sooner. He can finish the chickens next ad break. I help him not miss his show, he then gets his chore done more cheerfully knowing I will be there to call.

    Another angle you can try, is to reward him for a period of time not arguing about his chores. You have to set this up with him ahead of time, and negotiate a suitable reward system. A type of token system works well, especially if the reward is non-material. The gift of you and your time with him, spent doing something enjoyable together, is actually a gift for both of you (but don't tell him that). For us, the reward for difficult child 3 not arguing about his chores or having to be sent to his room for meltdowns for one day, was 15 minutes of me playing Mario Party with him. difficult child 3 would accumulate his minutes and on the weekends we would sit down to hours and hours of Mario Party. It is important to make the time available to cash in the reward, or it stops working.

    You have a fledgling lawyer there, so use this to your advantage. Discuss with him, don't argue. Ask his opinion. For example, when I was certain that difficult child 1 had no idea how much time each day he spent gaming, I asked him to set his own limit. "What do you think is a reasonable amount of time per day to be gaming?"
    difficult child 1, grinning, thinking he had me conned, said "Three hours."
    I said, "Done! You can spend three hours, max, playing your games. The rest of the time you find something else to do, including your schoolwork and your chores. Any other spare time, you can watch a movie, go for a walk, go for a swim, read a book."
    difficult child 1 realised very quickly that he had underestimated his gaming time. This made him realise how much time he was losing to gaming.

    If your son has any aspects of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in there, he will also tend to follow rules well. At the moment they will be the rules as he believes they should be, but he is still likely to be following some sort of rule, nevertheless. What you need is to show him that your rules are right, and should be followed. This requires you to show him how they work in his life, and work to his advantage. That will take longer.

    A book that should help with all this, is "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It has helped a lot of us with this sort of problem. But we also here have a lot of our own experiences to share with you.

    You will find what works for you. You and your child have to find your own level. But it should work out. The person who needs to change first, is YOU. Again - this is not about fault, it's about who has to start first. That is all.

    Welcome, glad you found us. This CAN work, and should work well. But it won't be all smooth sailing, and he will still have ADHD. But he will be closer on track to learning how to manage it for himself, instead of relying on you to be his keeper. You need to now work on being his facilitator and not his warder. You will be happier, and so will he. ANd this will heterodyne positively.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I personally, from reading he has a hard time communicating and he he seems literal, wonder if has Aspergers rather than ADHD. These kids have off-the-charts horrible social skills and can not adjust to change, even if it's just asking him to stop one activity and start another. They also tend to stimulant, which can be misconstrued as being defiant...making weird throat noises, smacking lips, clapping hands, stamping feet, bouncing on the furniture or tossing a ball up and down until it drives you bonkers.

    My son had no idea how loud he was speaking, but would cover his ears if somebody else spoke loud because it hurt his ears (he did this as a toddler and no longer does). He also laughs loud, sometimes even when he's in his room by himself and he obsesses over video games and the computer. Most Aspies do. And if son is told to stop watching a TV show in the middle of it, well, let's just say we've learned how to do it, but it REALLY upsets him...that's Aspie-Land.

    If I were you and this were my son I'd be looking into more than ADHD and I would not look at ODD. He is too old for that and it's kind of an unhelpful diagnosis that means "he's defiant." But it doesn't say why. If he's never seen a neuropsychologist...I recommend it. An Aspie would have a terrible time adjusting to divorce, new marriages of his parents, and new kids. They don't do well with change unless they get interventions.
    Good luck, whatever you decide to do.