New Here-Nice to be around others....


New Member
Brand new here. I "Googled" ODD yesterday and found this site after meeting my son's teacher outside while picking up my son. "We had a VERY VERY bad day today", she said. My son has always been a pretty hard child to raise, emotional, unpredictable, inflexible, etc but his problems has exploded since January. I'm overwhelmed. He was hospitalized in Jan and Feb for a total of 24 days. I was fired from my job and started a custody battle with my ex. It's all just too much. I put one foot in front of the other and just try to persevere. Having a child with mental illness is all new to me. I am so tired of people talking to me as if, I chose this for my son OR am somehow causing him to be out of control (I have a typically developing daughter without mental health problems, so I am pretty sure it's not my parenting!). Even the principal of my son's school said "This is a child who just expects to get everything he wants!! Do you allow this type of behavior at home?" After he bit and kicked his teacher and tore up the Principals office when he was sent there. He is 6, in 1st grade. I was told they were just about to call the police if I hadn't arrived when I did. (I was called to come pick him up as he was expelled). I got there within 5 minutes and could hear him yelling 20 feet outside the office.
Big rant/vent I guess. So happy to have found others like me, like US.



welcome you've come to a safe place. You are by far not alone.
HUGS welcome aboard


Michelle, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction.
Were the medications started in the hospital or before? Since medications, have things gotten better, worse or stayed about the same?
Is he seeing a child psychiatrist regularly for medication checks? Is he in therapy?
Do you feel confident in the diagnosis, or do you think something else is going on?
Any speech or developmental delays?
Any sensory issues (sensitivity to clothing, food tastes or textures, loud noises, for example)?

Again, welcome.
Welcome, Michelle!

Sorry that you had o find us, but glad you did. It is a safe and wonderful place.

Have you read the book, "the Explosive Child" by Ross Greene? If not, get your hands on a copy YESTERDAY. It is an invaluable tool in raising a difficult child. IT helps understand how our difficult children (gifts from God) think differently.

Again, welcome. Sending hugs and prayers your way!

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome. Glad you found us. You will find much support here. I'm sorry your principal had the nerve to ask such a rude question. I'm sure they are aware that he has mental health issues since he was hospitalized during the school year. He seems completely insensitive.

You have a lot on your plate right now. I hope you are able to find some time for yourself. Hugs.


Well-Known Member
Hi Michelle, here's a cup of tea. Welcome.
So sorry about your issues with-Matthew... he is quite the handful! And so sorry about the divorce and custody battle. Sigh. I'm glad you've found us. You will find, from the other notes here, that you are DEFINITELY not alone!
I love your comment here: I have a typically developing daughter without mental health problems, so I am pretty sure it's not my parenting!


New Member
This will be long and pretty convoluted...but here goes!

1. The Prozac was prescribed in the hospital. Prior to that he had no HUGE symptoms or blow-outs. diagnosis'd with anxiety, major depression, and a rule out of PTSD.(My DEX abused our son Jan 25th, hit him with a stick to get him to "behave". Prior to that we were just beginning the preliminaries for an ADHD diagnosis. 3 days after the beating my son flew out of control and was hospitalized. His behavior had never been suicidal or majorly out of control prior to this.) After hospitalization, we were referred to a Psychiatrist in our community (Hospital was fairly far away). The psychiatrist diagnosis'd ADHD, PTSD, concurred with the depression and anxiety diagnosis'd and added ODD with a rule out for Conduct Disorder. For the ADHD, he prescribed Adderal but one dose of that turned my son into a monster again, I decided to not try to get him accustomed to it and stopped after 1 dose. psychiatrist re-read my son's file and said a stimulant wasn't a good idea anyway due to VSD heart murmur and prescribed Strattera. The Strattera seems to have helped a lot with ADHD symptoms. He is 75% improved after a month on Strattera.

2. It is hard to say if since the medications things have gotten better, worse or stayed the same as his behavior was never horrible (just not typical for kids his age-still throwing "terrible two" fits at 6). His behavior is better than it was around the time of his hospitalizations but is far worse than it was prior to Jan 25.

2 a. He is seeing a psychiatrist every month. and is in therapy weekly.

3. I am not sure about the diagnosis. Absolutely ADHD (as I am) but ODD? I'm not sure. He is certainly oppositional and defiant but I am not certain it isn't bi-polar?? (No history of BiPolar (BP) in either family) Or have some obscure disorder "non-verbal processing or sensory disorder" This is all so new since January. Prior to that he was just a super emotional, inflexible child. His dad and I shared custody 50/50 and I suspect the bruises from the beating were just the physical evidence of a lot of abuse that went on. My son would always complain his dad was "mean". After the bruises, I got a restraining order and DEX hasn't had unsupervised visits since Jan. ((I should note the DEX thinks there is nothing wrong with our son that a good dose of discipline won't fix. I've been accused of "faking" my son's illness to gain sympathy in court. DEX and his girlfriend claim Matt had 0 problems or issues at their house even though there is documented issues at school starting over a year ago and also at my house. I'd ask them for help, could we get counseling, etc...and they'd just say he was "fine" and I needed to discipline more!))

4. No developmental or speech delays. In the hospital he got great tests done that would have taken the school far longer. His IQ is in the slightly above average range. However, he has always been significantly emotionally delayed. He truly behaves emotionally like a very young child. His dad and I separated when he was 3 (never married) and it is as if he's stuck there.

5. No sensory issues that jump out at you. He does often get upset though at other kids for talking at him too much. He learned in the hospital to say "I'm getting FRUSTRATED!!!" when peers overwhelm him. He seems super sensitive to kids being too close, not being quiet. He does much better with one fairly quiet peer (or a much younger child) vs a group of average 6-7 year old boys. He isn't bothered by clothing tags, temperature, textures, light or sound, though... He just seems out of sync with other kids his age. He doesn't "get" them very well and is often baffled that they didn't do as he wanted or didn't be quiet because he told them too. He will strike out physically if not helped with calming. The blaming thing on others definitely is an ODD thing...he is never wrong, it is always someone elses fault. "I hit Alex because he was mean to me!" Alex didn't want to ride scooters but wanted to play frisbee, not really mean but he was tackled and punched for not doing as he was told. (I wonder if all of this isn't just a ripple effect of child abuse??)

I'd welcome any help or ideas, suggestions. Thanks for the questions.

PS I just realized, I should probably anonymize our info and am going to change the kids' names on my signature.


I just wanted to add my welcome to the board.

Do you have an IEP in place at school? If not, or if you need help with one, you may want to post this on the Special Education board. Martie and Sheila on that board are a wealth of information.

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time.

house of cards

New Member
Adding my welcome, you sure sound like you have been through alot. I totally understand the frustration of the ignorant judgements of others, on a silver lining side, I do think it has taught me to be less judgemental. Hope things come together for you and your difficult child. One thing that I do think is very helpful is to keep a journal of behavior while noting any medication changes, ect. After awhile you can forget what medications you have even tried.


Well-Known Member
Welcome! I certainly understand people suggesting you need to be harder on your child and discipline more. I heard that alot from Dex. Until she lived with him, that is. I am sure there is a sense of I should or could have done things differently - I am easy to put the blame on. But, I have big shoulders and can take it. It really does not bother me anymore. You have to let these things go as you have bigger things to worry about.

Sounds like your child has always been emotionally delayed and the abuse just sent him further back in emotions. My difficult child says her dad is mean, too. But, he does not abuse her. Children tend to compare mom and dad and expect them to be the same. Mom may be considered nice and dad mean because of a tone of voice. So, you really can not be sure about other abuse. Also, Dex and his wife always have said difficult child was fine at their house, too. She actually was. Because she could hold it together at their house for a couple days as she would be able to let it all come out when she got back to my house. She was completely different at both houses. Oh and if your difficult child is 'fine' at Dex's house - why did they have to beat him? Sounds like they may be exagerating just how well behaved he is there.

Since your difficult child has more behavioral problems at school. I would for sure consider a problem with the lighting there. Flourescent lighting can make some people spiral out of control. You mentioned sensory integration disorder (Sensory Integration Disorder (SID)) but why do you think that if you can not find sensory things? Do you think he just gets to frustrated with kids?


New Member
Busywend, in answer to your question:Why did I mention Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) if I haven't noticed any sensory issues? Just last week there was a short piece on the evening news about an Occupational Therapist at a local hospital that is making great strides with kids with Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). She has some sort of "sensory room" where she does therapy. One of the highlighted patients was a little boy of 7 years old that had many of my son's "symptoms" (behavioral issues, poor academic progress, inflexible, poor peer relationships). The Occupational Therapist (OT) and the news caster didn't mention any sensory issues as far as being what you would think of as sensory sensitive. The little guys was said to have Sensory Integration Disorder (SID). I am clueless and truly grasping at straws. I really don't care what he has, what it is called but am exploring all avenues to get him help. I'm not sure who asked me how I felt about the dianoses but I am really looking at anything and everything.

I am a rational person and while I am exploring I plan on keeping things the same in his life, keeping him on the medications that don't seem to be causing him more problems, sticking with the same psychiatrist and therapist.

Someone else asked about whether or not my son has an IEP. I pushed and pushed and finally got the ball rolling with him being evaluated. The hospitalization really helped as he then qualified as having a medical dianosis. He is classified as (I can't remember the term) qualifying under Emotional Behavioral. Our first IEP meeting was 3 weeks ago, there is only one week of school left, so his Special Education starts officially in September when he is beginning the 1st grade for the 2nd time.

Thanks for everyone's great questions and interest!!


I may be way off base here, but I don't think they can expel a child that is on an IEP when the behavior is a manifestation of the illness. Did you mean your child was suspended or expelled? Do you have a behavior plan in place with the IEP? I don't have any experience with that as my child doesn't have behavior issues at school (she saves it all for me, aren't I lucky?), but there are several members who are very familiar with this.

I'm all for knocking on as many doors as it takes. Even if your son doesn't have Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), this Occupational Therapist (OT) may point you in the direction of the right people. You never know which door you open is going to lead you to where you need to be.


New Member
The expulsion was on his first day back after the first hospitalization. He was discharged too soon and ended up back in the hospital only 1 week later and then stayed another 9 days. It was prior to the IEP. Most of all of his BIG issues started in January. I've been pushing for an evaluation since he started Kindergarten. Only after the aggression and property distruction coupled with two hospitalizations and finally a diagnosis or two would they agreed to evaluate. (I sound bitter!) The evaluation was in March and the initial IEP meeting was in May with the final IEP being last week or the week before.

They called it an expulsion but it was really a 3 day suspension. Expelled to me means "gone for good" but in school district speak it is apparently something all together. I did ask as sweet as pie if there was anything I could do to help get the ball rolling on the Special Education process when talking with the teacher/school counselor. I then asked if a letter from my attorney to the district would help speed the process up. The evaluation was then started the next week.