New here

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Aub, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Aub

    Aub New Member

    Hello everyone! Just found this forum last night in a desperate attempt to find people who can understand my sons problems. He is 7 yrs. old and adorable...except for his behavior. School was a nightmare last year with weekly calls from the principal. He wasn't listening, wouldn't sit still, couldn't control his anger and frustration, would actively defy adults.....etc. Of course I was frustrated, worried, mad, etc. We tried the usual punishments....taking things away, grounding him, etc. Nothing seemed to work. I was about to go crazy. So at the end of May we took him to the doctor who diagnosed him with ADHD and ODD. He is now on Ritalin, which has helped with the ADHD and helped somewhat with the ODD. He had a bad day at school yesterday. Wouldn't come when the teacher asked him the principal came out to take him in. He went limp on her and was refusing to go. And then began pulling away so that she had to practically drag him in. So when they got to the door to the building, he grabbed onto the door frame and wouldn't go in. So, I got a phone call about that. So when we got home I talked to him very calmly about it and told him no tv for the night. Well, thats when he turned into a demon. Screaming at the top of his lungs, slamming doors, hitting walls, stomping feet. Kept telling me to "make him" go to his room, said he was running away etc... I just don't know what to do when he acts like that.... do I ignore it, do I hold him down until he calms down? I just dont know. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Oh, by the way he had a good day today.. YAYY!!!!
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Hello, and welcome!! What kind of dr (pediatrician, psychologist, psychiatrist, etc) diagnosed your son? I ask because it seeems to be fairly common for the first diagnosis to be adhd and odd in situations like this, and sometimes a second or third opinion is warranted. Neuropsychological testing is very helpful in getting to the root of the issues, and I like an MDE, where professionals in different fields evaluate the child together, after the test results are in. Many of us here have had different experiences in this area so our preferences might be a little different, but the real issue is that if your son has started a treatment and it isn't working or is making things worse, then you need to keep pushing for more.

    You will find many cyber-friends with great experiences to share here. HUGS to you for everything you've been going through- hang in there!

    Also, maybe I overlooked this in your post, but this testing and evaluation will help you to get an IEP for your son- it sounds like he will need one to get the supports and protection at school that he will need.
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hugs and welcome. I have a 6 year old much like your son. Makes me crazy at times, but just keep plugging along with this board as my life-boat.

  4. Aub

    Aub New Member

    Thanks so much for your comments! It was a local physciatrist (sp?) who diagnosed him. My husband and I had to fill out some papers regarding his behavior at home and his teacher and principal had to fill out papers about his behavior at school. I have definitely seen an improvement in him. But he has his bad days as well. It just breaks my heart because sometimes when he is misbehaving he will begin to cry and say, "i can't control my brain!" or "my brain won't let me stop!". and i can tell he is genuinely upset that he is acting the way he is. Does that make sense to anyone? I hope I'm just not crazy.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yes, it makes a lot of sense and no, you aren't just crazy. And neither is your little one. Our kids get frustrated sometimes because they can't make it all work the way they know they should and the way they want it to. Have you ever heard of the book The Explosive Child? It has helped many of us here. Of course, you have to adapt the techniques a little, depending on the age of your child. When I first started reading it, I thought it was "anti-discipline" or something, but then I tried their method and it really worked for my son. Mind you, things aren't perfect here by any means, but using the methods from the book has worked about 80% of the time, which is a whole lot better than the 20% success rate I had before.

    Others will come along with ideas, too. It might be a little slow right now because it is the start of a weekend and it's at the end of the summer- but, I'm sure many others will want to welcome you, too!
  6. Aub

    Aub New Member

    Yes, I've seen that book mentioned on a lot of these posts. I definitley plan on checking it out! And I will definitley be back to post on here! But for now I must call it a night as I have been up since 4 a.m.! Thanks sooooooo much!! Looking forward to chatting with everyone on here!!
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think he should have a neuropsychologist evaluation. Psychiatrists don't do the kind of testing they do and in my opinion it sounds like more than ADHD/ODD to me. A neuropsychologist doesn't just look at forms--he tests the child intensively for hours (ours was ten hours) in every possible area, giving him a good overview of the child and he can often find things that others miss. Some questions:
    Do you have any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of his family tree?
    How was his early development--speech, cuddling, eye contact with strangers, interaction with his peers, any sensitivities to light, sound, fabric, food? How does he transition from one activity to another?
    You may want to do a signature like I did below. This gives us a lot of info so that we can help you better.
    I agree that "The Explosive Child" is a good stop gap help until your child is correctly diagnosed (and so many of ours aren't) and finally stabilized. Welcome to the board :)
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    MidwestMom, I can hear what you're thinking again. I agree. It sounds so very familiar.

    Aub, a few things. I'll try to be brief.

    First - get your hands on that book. For an advance peek at how it works, check out the sticky post on Early Childhood forum.

    Second - chase up the neuropsychologist evaluation. A few things sound very much like Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) to me, but others may also see similarities with other disorders. Basically, I think the ADHD may be the tip of the iceberg, and the ODD may simply be the difficulty in disciplining a child who cannot concentrate, cannot control impulses, cannot cope with transitioning form one task to another and REALLY can't cope with being physically forced.

    Third - try to leave discipline for school issues to be handled by the school. You've got enough to do. He needs home to be a refuge from school, not to have the problems of school follow him home. It makes it too relentless for him.

    Fourth - if your discipline methods aren't working, drop them. It's worse than useless to keep trying a discipline technique which is not working, because every failure only reinforces that his bad behaviour cannot be controlled. Instead of trying to control him, try to use his own stubbornness to hep him control himself. It's easier than you think - get the book and read it, it explains how. And it should be even easier than what you are currently doing - I found my load lightened when we changed tack.

    Does he seem at all improved on ritalin? It would be good if there is something that can bring some improvement.

    Aub, you said, "It just breaks my heart because sometimes when he is misbehaving he will begin to cry and say, "i can't control my brain!" or "my brain won't let me stop!". and i can tell he is genuinely upset that he is acting the way he is."

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. It is good that he felt safe enough to share this with you. He explained himself very well.

    It may not be Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - besides, we can't diagnose here, you need a medical expert for that. But something that might help, would be to go to and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can do the test on him (you answer the questions yourself, based on what you remember about him) and the questions are even hot-linked to help you know exactly how to assess your answers so you aren't too generous or too conservative in your responses.
    You then score it, see what it says and print it out. Take the printout to the doctor, the neuropsychologist or whoever and it should help them see some of the oter things you're concerned about. Even if he scored as "no Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)", because it can STILL show you've thought about it and it can help them think in a different direction.

    At 6, it's not surprising for a kid to not get absolutely everything diagnosed in detail. Some things take time to work out. It would be understandable for a doctor to want to treat the most obvious problem first because once THAT is dealt with, it's easier to get a clearer picture of what is still left.

    Anyway, welcome to the site, we're here to help. You are where we have been. That's all.

  9. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Aub! I don't know if you have a good school district, but it sounds like the principal is really trying to help out. Have you considered an IEP with a one to one para assigned? It might help having someone there who can see that he's approaching a meltdown and redirect him before he ends up in trouble.

    Just a thought! Heckle Jeckle and Clyde are driving me nuts, so I've gotta go! Just wanted to say welcome to the crowd!

  10. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Welcome Aub!

    You are like so many, myself included, that come here with an ADD/ADHD with ODD diagnoses. Your child gets prescribed a stimulant which is somewhat helpful and then it's not so helpful. From there, things sometimes get even worse. Stims always made Son more grouchy and impulsive.

    I second the Neuropsychological Evaluation. This is a series of tests done by a psychologist with a specialty in the brain. It's grueling, but worth it. It took three days for Son to get through them and he really struggled because he's very hyper-active. For many of us how our kid's brain functions is the root of most of their issues.

    Both of my difficult children had evaluations done. The first one I found through a children's hospital through their pediatric neurology department.

    When I needed one for son, we had moved far away from where I got my daughter tested. So, we live within a reasonable distance to a teaching university hospital and I made a appointment with a pediatric neuorologist. He scheduled some tests and gave me a list of neuropsychologists he recommended. I did not use one of the hospitals neuropsychs because I would have had to wait nearly a year for an appointment. So, I went to one in private practice and was able to get in immediately.

    Request an evaluation from your school district immediately. Go for an IEP. The Special Education forum has a lot of great information on that. Those ladies are on their game. Once you put in that request, your school district has 60 days to do it. Get yourself educated on what rights you have as a parent and what your son is entitled to. My Son didn't qualifty for an IEP, but I have a 504 plan for him. You have to be the education advocate for your son. My son's school district (I also work for them) is good about helping him, but if it weren't for me advocating and requesting (I haven't had to demand, yet) he would have falling thru the cracks, I just know it.

    This website has been the single most helpful resource in my journey to raising my kids. I really shudder to think where I might be if I hadn't found it. I was so desperate, and completely wrung out emotionally, dealing with my little darlings. You don't necessarily get answers (we don't diagnose here), but lots of very understanding, and supportive, people pointing out the paths they followed. It's your choice which direction you want to take.
  11. Aub

    Aub New Member

    Thanks for the welcomes everyone! I'm still trying to figure out some of your abbreviations and how to navigate around this site! Lol!! So please bear with me as I learn. In response to nvts, yes, the principal has been very willing to work with us on his behavior. So that helps. And there are times that he can be the funniest, sweetest little thing. He loves to make people laugh! My mother in law swears he's gonna be some sort of entertainer when he grows up. Those are the times that keep me plugging on. All I want for him is to be a happy, healthy little guy with friends and family who love him. He has most of that already. The friends thing can be a little tricky. Last year he displayed so much of the ODD symptom of annoying kids that I think some of the kids don't want to be around him. That just tears me up inside. There are a few that still play with him though. And he wants to have friends so bad. When other kids play with him he loves it. Of course, all of his cousins and such love him and always play with him. I think they just accept him for who he is and are used to him. SO that makes me happy. Well, thanks again for all of your posts. I'm feeling better about the future now!
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Aub, there is a very useful thread in the FAQ/Board Help section- it should answer some of your questions. The most common abbreviation is difficult child and it means "Gift from God", meaning the child that brought us here.

    As you have noticed with yours, many- maybe all- of our kids have very special abilities. Some are uniquely talented, or highly intelligent, or above average in other ways. No matter, they can be very lovable at times and the parents here are dedicated Warrier Moms, meaning we try to educate ourselves and be advocates for our kids because most of us have learned the hard way that this gets them the best REAL help that they need.

    You're on the right track already! And, I second whomever said (sorry- I don;t remember) that this forum has been the most useful single resource. Not because they diagnose or tell you what medications will "solve" everything, because none of us can do that, but the shared experiences and emotional support has been what saved me and my son. He fusses sometimes when he thinks I'm spending too much time on here, but if he understood where he'd probably be without this forum, he would bite his tongue. LOL!
  13. ML

    ML Guest

    Nothing to add except my welcome! Glad you're here (but sorry you have to be). Hugs ML
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Aub, and welcome.

    You've already received some great advice from others.
    I too agree that it sounds like more is going on with your little one than ADHD/ODD, and that a neuropsychologist evaluation is warranted.

    So many disorders present with symptoms that are lookalikes of ADHD. And when your child is having this level of trouble, ODD behaviour often comes up as a symptom and a coping mechanism. stimulant medications may impart some level of control, but if your child doesn't have ADHD, then the stims might be making matters worse.

    You've found a great group here, full of helpful advice and support.

    In the FAQ, you will find information about how to create a signature (like the one you see at the end of many of our posts). Creating one will help us to remember your family's details, and to point you in the right direction with advice.

    Hang in there, and post often. We're here for you.

  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Aub.
    I agree, that the ODD is some kind of symptom rather than a disorder in itself, at least with-my son.
    You've gotten some good ideas here.
    Wish I could offer more.