New here, I would like to know

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mamabear01, May 8, 2009.

  1. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    If an ODD child would ever show remorse, shame or embarrassment over his behavior?

    My child is mild Aspergers, extreme Tourettes. He shows ODD behaviors, but usually you can dig deeper and see it was from the aspergers. Like over frustration ect.

    Someone is trying to tell me he is ODD. So I am just curious.

    Thank you.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    Welcome to the board.

    My son is on the spectrum and is close to Aspie level. He does show remorse, however many Aspies are VERY stoic. That doesn't mean they don't feel bad--they just don't know how to appropriately show it or verbalize it. I would consider his ODD behavior part of the Aspergers. On this board, the vast majority of us feel that ODD is sort of a useless diagnosis. It almost NEVER stands alone and is part and parcel of another, bigger diagnosis. All it means is "defiance." Duh! We know our kids are wired differently and can be defiant.

    Is he getting any interventions in school? Any therapy? A lot of Aspies don't do that well in therapy because they don't "connect" well to people, including therapists, and that makes it hard. It's best to find somebody who understands Aspergers, mild or not. Even mild Aspergers can really impair a person.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi and welcome.

    Every child is different. There is no uniform label, no uniform treatment, no "insert Tab A into Slot B" type of perfect fit to permanently fix anything. All we can do is try to find whatever we can to help as much as we can, and hope to fudge the difference. Yet we live in a world where science and engineering have made amazing advances in so many areas. This makes us feel we are entitled to perfect answers, to perfect solutions. But medical science is very inexact. We are trying to expect 100% exactness and perfection when we're trying to categorise the human body and the human mind. Very complex. There is a principle of science which states that no organism is capable of understanding anything as complex as itself (or more complex). And yet here we are, trying to fathom the human body and mind. Of course we can get SOME understanding, but when you try to generalise and apply that broadly, you're only going to get an approximation at best.

    When it comes to our own child, we don't want an approximation. We want answers from the experts. We look to them in hope, for some glimmer of understanding that we can use, to get help and turn around the appalling mess we find ourselves increasingly in. We get told different things by different people, we get confused by mixed messages, we feel we HAVE to give credence to what each expert says because, well - they're experts.

    What we forget - WE are experts, in our own children. That doesn't mean we ignore all experts, but it means we take what they tell us into account, along with our own expert understanding. We accept our place on the team, when it comes to getting answers about our own children.

    This need not be depressing news. What it means, is we have to learn to trust ourselves and to put in the effort ourselves. Get out of the expectation that someone else (knight on white charger, or "mummy") will sweep in and fix it all for us. Instead, we need to step up to the plate and become the driving force and coordinator of our child's help team.

    It can be scary to contemplate this. Under some circumstances, it is challenging, especially if you're a single parent dealing with loss of credibility due to character asassination and social stigma. It can be hard work because it requires the same degree of organisation and professional paperwork that we expect of any of our child's specialists. But put in that effort and it soon becomes second nature, and also begins to bring results.

    Those results may not be perfect, but they will be the best you can get. And it is often better than anything else any experts alone could bring.

    Being personally involved in your child's management, being the coordinator of the team, brings the personal and more accurate touch to the expert line-up of assistance. This is where the approximation that is the best we can expect from professionals who don't exactly live with our child, can be refined and modified from a torch beam to a laser beam.

    Have faith in yourself and your knowledge of your child. Use this to guide you to the best that professional help can give you, and use it all together. Value yourself and also look after yourself. If you are on a plane and the oxygen masks drop down, sensible safety instructions tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you put it on your child. If you put the oxygen mask on your child first, you run the risk of passing out from lack of oxygen before you can put your own mask on. You would then have achild who is possibly less aware of the dangers, less able to look after himself and care for himself, certainly less able to put the oxygen mask onto you. As a result, the risk to you again becomes a great risk to your child.

    So tend to your own needs, in order to better meet your child's needs.

    As far as the ODD type of behaviour - yes, we got given this label also. A teacher of difficult child 3's insisted that he had ODD and of course she was an expert - a teacher knows about these things. But I looked it up online. Yes, ODD did seem to fit except that the concept of "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" implied that the child was choosing to argue, choosing to do exactly the wrong thing out of some personal drive to be difficult. It was implied that the child had choice, and was choosing to be bad. This didn't fit MY child, there seemed to be something else driving him. But the concept of ODD as presented to me, also came with the solution of "you can solve this by punishing the bad behaviour, because if the child is choosing to do the wrong thing on purpose, then the child can be trained like a performing seal to do the right thing."

    That's why I really loathe the ODD label. It gets handed out too readily, as if it's an easy answer equipped with the obvious solution of firm discipline and handy scapegoats in over-indulgent, slack parents.

    That's not to say that ODD doesn't exist as a genuine disorder, standing alone. I'm not a psychiatrist, I won't dismiss the existence of a condition which comes with its own DSM IV criteria. However, at least as far as difficult child 3 is concerned (and in my opinion on a lot of kids we've 'met' on this site) I do feel that ODD probably doesn't exist in a lot of kids who get this label, what there is with these kids is something which resembles ODD but is in reality merely a facet of the underlying disorder which requires the same individual handlnig i was talking about before. Ironically, the firm strict handling we get lured into so often, is what can make this ODD-like presentation much much worse. We need to step back from trying to over-control our wayward child and find another, easier and more effective way.

    If what you are currently doing is not working, then why continue to do it? Sometimes you need to take a step back and look again at what you are dealing with and where you are trying to get to. Not all experts are correct, sometimes they are partly correct only. We need to gather the information, re-examine it and try to find a better solution.

    Here is a good starting point if you're told your child presents as ODD - get your hands on a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Again it's not a cure, but it can really help. It shows a different approach and often gives a clearer understanding of what is happening in the child's head. When a parent is equipped with that better understanding it can make it easier to respond more productively to your child's difficult behaviour.

    I found it made our life easier. difficult child 3 is still a handful at times, but tis is because of the underlying condition whichis why he IS different, why for him life is more challenging. He will always be more frustrated than others, always find life more difficult. But now we have a better understanding why, it means we have stopped chastising him for things he really can't control, we have stopped seeing his loud outbursts as deliberate defiance and personal insult and instead seen them as difficult child 3's responses to anxiety and frustration. We also now recognise thatfor difficult child 3, there is no difference between individuals in status - for him, any child is equal in status to any adult. He will be polite to people who are polite to him, because other people's behaviour is what he models HIS behaviour on. SO far form being difficult and defiant purely to be challenging, he is in fact desperately trying to be like everyone else. He fails at this, because his autism means he is NOT naturally good at understanding how people interact. He can observe and attempt, but he struggles with it because his brain lacks certain abilities, which he can only learnt hrough laborious tuition.

    So he wants to be like everyone else. Perhaps a teacher, a person in authority whose job it clearly is to give him an education, is who he chooses to follow as an example of how to behave. Or a parent, perhaps. Someone in authority who has been set up on a pedestal for the child to follow. Good, you would think? Not necessarily. Listen next chance you have, to how adults in this position talk to children under them. Listen to parents in the mall, to teachers in the playground. "If I've told you once I've told you a thousand times, get to your seat and get to work. I don't want to hear another word out of you until I say so." Or "OK, Simpson, why were you late to school THIS time? And don't give me any malarkey about missing the bus, I just don't believe you."
    We accept this from someone in a position of authority, but if the tables turn and the child says this back TO the same person in authority, of course it is read as "opposiotnal" and "defiant". But in reality, all the child is doing, is dishing out what he has been taught. The child is following the set example. Such achild will be genuinely surprised at getting into trouble for tis and will consider any discipline for tis behaviour, as monstrously unfair.
    A hallmark of this - when the child has been donig it from a very young age. This is the first position, not a later position. With this pattern of behaviour, the child doesn't start out as polite and well-behaved and later turn into a rude, cheeky brat. Instead, you have a child who has NEVER understood that adults and children occupy different positions on the status ladder, because such a child is literally blind to differences in status.
    An example from difficult child 3 - he was a new kid in Kindergarten. Teachers had been warned to not startle him and to give him support and warning of change. And to especially protect him from sudden loud noises. But one teacher who clearly beleived she knew better, ignored this and began ringing a handbell in the school playground, right behind difficult child 3. Being startled, he was upset and naturally (for him) felt that the teacher was doing it purely to upset him (such kids are like babies socially, in believing that everything in the world revolves around them). He turned around to the teacher and shouted at her, "EXCUUUUSE ME!" (which is how he had previously heard this teacher deal with loud students).
    The teacher, now losing face in front of a playground full of delighted students, tried to save face by saying witheringly, "No, you're supposed to excuse ME," but difficult child 3 simply turned his back on her as she was talking to him, and stalked off. He was 5 years old but that didn't matter. In his mind another individual had made a loud noise which upset him so he told this person off in exactly the same way he had heard her tell off other kids. And having done so, that was it, no more to be said (or to listen to).

    naturally, this makes such a kid seem to be very rude, very defiant and a handful. But form difficult child 3's point of view, it was all very natural, very logical.

    To try to handle tis sort of behaviour, you DO NOT try to punish it. You will get worse than nowhere, because the child will see your punishing behaviour as the way he must behave, and he will then try to punish YOU.


    So read the book, it explains it all much better than I can.

    Keep good notes (remember you have to be professional in your outlook in order to help your child). These notes can be in the form of your own diary, and tey can give you hope when you read back over them after months or years, and see how far you have come. They can also help you screen for behaviour patterns and sometimes help you quickly nip any developing prolems in the bud.

    There is so much you can do, and on this site there is a wealth of experience from a wide range of parents and caregivers. Inicluding your own.

  4. WSM

    WSM New Member

    All I can tell you is about my difficult child. The answer is no. NEVER. Sometimes he's embarassed about his image to others, he doesn't want people to know he's been arrested, and he gets upset if classmates call him nicknames because of his red hair, but it's not very deep.

    There is no remorse or shame over what he does. If he gets caught red handed in a lie, it's a shrug, "so I lied, other people are worse".

    No conscience, no shame, no remorse. It has NEVER never occurred to him to feel bad that he hurt someone. His only remorse is that if a consequence is imposed on his behavior, it inconveniences him.

    Sometimes, rarely when he knows he's about to get caught, he will cry about how he's always in trouble. But then again, it's about him, not about the wrongness of what he did or how it affects anyone else.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Yes, at least in our case.

    We had to go after our difficult child and not let up, though. One thing the therapist suggested was to take an offending item, (say, if he stole an Ipod) and place it on the kitchen table every night in front of him and make him sit there for 1/2 hr until he breaks down. He said it would take 3 wks to get him to break. (I won't go into what the item really was but it doesn't matter; this is a good project.)

    It took 2 nights.

    Now, remorse in an Aspie is often more of a manifestation of anxiety. So you may get picking, repetitive kicking, rocking or an outright explosion. But there should be something in there that says, "Error!" like in a computer.

    with-our son, we knew we had him when the tips of his ears started turning red, and he began tugging at the hair on his forehead.

    Other times, I will have a long conversation with-him when he is in a receptive mood. Which isn't often. ;) It's like there's this window that opens and if you don't check it out, you'll miss it.

    Interesting, the varied responses here.

    Keep in mind that this is a spectrum disorder.
    Last edited: May 9, 2009
  6. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    Thank you all so much for your help and advise so far. My gut says that it's more aspieness than ODD like the doctor who they (I have two aspies) have been getting cog behavior therapy for the last year.

    It just bugged me when another doctor (who he's getting testing with) so quickly stuck ODD on him within the first few hours of testing. Was he defiant? Yes, Was he out of control after an hour, yes, but thats not him normally. It seems to happen when he tests (which has been alot lately) and he does have extreme anxiety issues (as does mom lol) so I think it was the anxiety and tests that set it off because he couldn't handle so much input at once. Or because he was complaining of his hand hurting due to the writing, or hell it could of been the lighting for all we know.

    All of the testing by the way is for a qualification for an IEP which I have been fighting over for the last two years. It has to be done and I don't know what to do when we go back. Watching this behavior is very hard for me and I know he's suffereing.

    Anyway the reason I ask if they would show remorse, is when he went off into this "defiant" behavior and all I could here the doctor say was ODD, how do you parent, ect, I ended up having a panic attack right then and there. My son is very close to me and when he saw this happen he immedicatly changed his behavior back and said "it's okay it's okay mom I will finish, I promise" So then he did, but again after an hour he start up again and at least this time the doctor didn't push him and said he clearly can't take more than 2 hours of testing at a time. We will just work around this.

    But I am still bothered with this additional ODD, because after lurking a bit, reading about it, looking up the DSM 4, it clearly doesn't fit him. He doesn't argue with adults, he's not vindictive or spiteful. And the other things he might show are not often like it says so on the DSM.

    So anyway thanks, I feel much better now. LOL. I need to just listen to our regular doctor who specializes in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
  7. Leigh

    Leigh New Member

    In my case my son does feel bad after, about the things he has done. He will first lie about it and then tell the truth because he knows that he is disappointing me and my husband.

    Each child is sooo different. The screaming at me and the nasty comments (like I hate you, you ****, ONE of my favorites I hope you die). You have to wait for them to calm down on their own before you can talk to them. I make sure that I tell him how he made me feel, he always says he is sorry and truly means it. He is just so angry he goes off before thinking.
    Kids with ODD want something when and how they want it and watch out if the answer is NO. Most children will get angry but children with ODD go :cenoserd2: .

    This is a good group of people to ask anything to.

    Good luck and Welcome
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    What I hate about the easy application of the ODD tag, is that depending on the person who applies the ag, what they're really saying ISN'T "this child has a diagnosed medical condition which I am calling ODD," what they're really saying is, ":Your kid won't agree with me or do what I want, and here is the label I'm giving it."

    Which comes down to - how flexible (or inflexible) is the person applying the label?

    This again is not to say that ALL people labelling a child as ODD are doing the wrong thing; only that frankly, it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, you need to look for the underlying disorder and don't pin EVERYTHING on the ODD tag.

    As with a lot of things, if you the parent feel that the biggest issue is related to the Asperger's, chances are you are right.

    Good for you for spotting it, and make your choices accordingly.

  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just because some "professional" says he has ODD doesn't mean he does. I never paid much attention to someone telling me "ODD." To me that means "I have no idea." You know your kid better than the doctors anyway and there are no blood tests for our kids. Kids are misdiagnosed all the time. I wouldn't dwell on it and I'd go with "Mom Gut." It probably is the Aspergers.
  10. graceupongrace

    graceupongrace New Member

    ODD really describes a constellation of symptoms that present over time. It's a useful description, but it isn't the kind of diagnosis that leads you to an immediate and obvious course of treatment, like a diagnosis of pneumonia or some other illness.

    In our case, I suspected ODD because I had seen the pattern of behavior over several years. psychiatrist didn't use that description until 2+ years after beginning to treat difficult child.

    As others have said, trust your instincts and ask lots of questions.
  11. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    THank you all, I really appreciate the help in this matter. And thank you for reminding me to trust my gut. Funny how on another board I belong on regarding Aspergers, I tell that to moms all the time lol. I just can't remember to do that myself.

    by the way I had ordered The explosive child a few weeks ago and have started reading it yesterday. WOW I coudn't imagine how good and spot on it is so far.

    This doctor who said ODD so fast, is an IEE doctor and I'm hoping after we finsih up the testing she will be flexible enough to here me and my husband's side on what we think. I also hope she contacts the doctor that has been doing cog behavior therapy with them for the last year.

    Yes, it is ODD behavior, but more important we need to get the root of the problem like his frustration and attention problems ect or it will never be fixed. I am in a school district that will take that ODD and run with it and just say it's all the parents fault. They have done that before. They like to stick ED kids in a school that is in lock down every 5 min (sped teachers in other towns have told me this) and that will be worse on my kids.

    Sigh.... always gotta fight the good fight. Were there only advocates.