new member here... introduction

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by oddmoose, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    my son is almost 10 years old, diagnosed with ADHD last year (after knowing for years). I believe he may have ODD too.
    We are pretty nervous around here. He has been stabbing stuff when he gets mad about having to do things like brush his teeth or take a shower. He stabbed the toothpaste tube about 20 times and then denied it for a minute. He admitted it (never usually fesses up) and said it was because he was angry. Last night he stabbed the shower curtain putting holes in it.. and denied it.

    So hubby is really concerned about the pther kids in the house. We have a toddler and a baby on the way. He is worried about him acting out on them. My son LOVES his siblings and has improved since his sister was born. She is the only one that can get him to smile.

    My son has supervised visitation with his dad on wednesday evenings and every other weekend. That house is not a great environment for him. They are very negative and argue all the time. They let my son do whatever he wants with no structure. We can't even send him in good clothes there or his clothes will be given to cousins and he comes back in some kind of salvation army clothes.
    This is the best we could do through the courts though... it has been a battle.

    I have had lots of help and support through
    I just got the book 123 magic and am starting to read it.

    Not sure if i have a question. We are at wit's end and can't see the light yet.
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Welcome, you have truly come to a place where others understand what you are going through.

    There is a lot of help available at Children's in Cinci. We lived there for 7 years and found a number of supportive and knowledgeable psychiatrists and psychologists. Sometimes it involved quite a drive.

    I know where you are at, being scared for the younger ones and feeling helpless to guide the difficult child through this. My own difficult child was hurting his sister and we had a baby on the way when we started this road.

    123magic is a good book. It doesn't necessarily work well with our kids. The Explosive Child by Ross Greene was more helpful to us, and many (if not most) of the parents here say the same thing. I also got TONS of practical, useful parenting skills from Parenting with Love and Logic. can help you see what Love and Logic is all about.

    I think all of us here started with the ADHD diagnosis and then found we were also dealing iwth other things.

    I encourage you to call Children's Hospital and make an appointment with the Psychiatry AND the psychology departments.

    Welcome, and lots of hugs,

  3. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    Children's is actually where we were going to go.

    So far, the 123 magic book hasn't said much that we haven't tried yet. It doesn't have much on his violence either. It is worth a try to read.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. I agree that most kids are first dxd. with ADHD, but it's usually not the big picture. Are there any mood disorders in the family tree on either side? Any substance abuse issues on either side? These would be red flags for something beyond ADHD. I'd be concerned about the violence. Is he on medications or has he ever been on medications? Was his early development--speech, eye contact, social skills--all normal? Hyperness can mean a lot of things and ODD is kind of a general diagnosis that almost always springs from something else. Without the right treatment things usually don't improve and, since he's getting older, you need to get him figured out. Pretty soon lots of difficult child's start self-medicating with recreational drugs and alcohol and it can get bad. I would take him to a neuropsychologist. They do intensive evaluations, above and beyond psychiatrists and other types of therapists. Good luck and welcome.
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Welcome! I'm glad you found us.

    Is your son taking any medications? If so, what medication and what dose? And have things gotten better, worse, or about the same since medications were introduced?

    ODD is rarely a stand-alone diagnosis. It generally describes a set of behaviors with an underlying cause. Without identifying the underlying cause, you can't put the appropriate interventions into place to address the oppositional behaviors. The stabbing episodes would concern me, and I agree he needs a thorough evaluation with a child psychiatrist.

    Again, welcome
  6. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    Well, my son has been on Stratterra.. which did nothing after the first 3 days.
    He was on Adderral which made him 50 times worse.
    We were going to try for Concerta this next time, but we held off a little time because he was doing better without the stuff.

    My son has been through some trying stuff with dad and step dad stuff. I think the divorce (which started when he was a year and lasted 2 years of misery and stalking, etc.... and he has supervised visitation now with his dad because of some bad events.

    He has no friends. He has the give everything away attitude (or throw away). He punishes himself even when we give him a break.

    he smiles when he is busted or gets in trouble.
    His teacher last week was worried after she confronted him in private for his repeated forgery... she said he looked at her with cold dead eyes and no remorse for his actions.

    He has been to a couple therapist/psychologists. One of them was so baffled that he was at a loss and suggested we do corporal punishment. The next one diagnosed him with ADHD and put him on medications. That doctor never addressed our concerns because my son did not bring up the subject. We asked repeatedly that they discuss issues with my son's dad, but they never got around to it and the sessions did nothing for my son except be a playtime.

    My son meets at school every thursday (his teacher says he never forgets and he gets upset if it is cancelled) for the groups for kids with step-families. i know this is a huge issue, but it is never addressed even when we pay the doctor to specifically address it.
  7. Welcome. You will find the very caring people on this board extremely helpful. I know for me I have learned so much from them on my journey. My difficult child too was stabbing things all the time. I would find stab holes in everything from kleenex boxes to cereal boxes and more. Of course he would alway deny that it wasn't him. Hmmm, the things in his room? I haven't read 123 Magic, but I saw a video on it when my difficult child was in the psychiatric hospital the first time, because that is what they used. Didn't work for us. Lately nothing has.

    I send you lots of hugs.

  8. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    Just now reading the 123 magic... not much into it yet. It all sounds familiar, but I need to read with an open mind or there is no point.

    so.. the stabbing stuff is "normal"? Did it stop? how did you handle it? (or are you pulling your hair out right now too?)

    It drives me crazy... the worse he gets, the next day he acts like nothing happened.. like he had the best day and is in great spirits... meanwhile, we are still ticked at his behavior and then upset that he is so happy. reminding him that he is in trouble does nothing except make him smile more.

    I know there is something that will help. There is something we are missing. Someone who has found a good strategy.
  9. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    Has anyone found any help in their child getting more sleep? I hear often that sleep disorders are a cause too.
    His pediatrician wants a sleep study done on him, but we haven't had the means to do it yet.

    When he goes to bed early, he is better to control.
    But we miss him and want to hang out when he is behaving.
    I am changing his bedtime to 8:00 every night. This *****, but if it helps, then fine.
    Better than 3 days of 6:30, then a day at 9:00, then chaos.
  10. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    Ha! I can't believe one of my words was censored. it wasn't even a curse word.
  11. No, I don't think it is normal, I would definitely report it when you have him evaluated. It didn't stop. He would have periods where it was more than others. Currently my difficult child is in the phsop, and before he went inpatient we had to lock up all the knives because he was hiding them.

    My difficult child would act like nothing happened too after being really off. He would smile when in trouble or when he caused turmoil. Showing no remorse. psychiatric hospital reported when he would talk about hitting his sister or whatever it was he was talking about, he showed no remorse and thought it was funny.

  12. Baffled

    Baffled New Member

    Between the stabbings and the sleep problems, I'm thinking someone needs to look into the possibility of child-onset bipolar. The first day we saw psychiatrist she suggested the book The Bipolar Child by Demitri and Janice Papolos. If you go out and get it I think you will see a lot of similarities in your child. I sure did. Mine doesn't officially have the diagnosis, but probably is. As far as sleep problems, mine has got them too. I occasionally give him Melatonin. You can find it with the vitamin and minerals in your pharmacy. I give him 1-3mg tablet and 20 minutes later he's usually asleep for the night. Check with your psychiatrist first though.
  13. Baffled

    Baffled New Member

    Oh, definitely lock up the knives or whatever he's using for the stabbings!
  14. You know with my difficult child, I suspected Bipolar long before his psychiatrist did. My difficult child's main psychiatrist does suspect it. The psychiatrist that is overseeing his care in the psychiatric hospital now has not listed it as a diagnosis, but they have just started working with him. They are still getting all of the records from the other psychiatric hospital according to the therapist I talked to yesterday. He doesn't have the official diagnosis yet, but I am most positive it is only one of the things he has.

    I would definitely explore this possibility with your difficult child's doctor. I have also read that kids can be diagnosed with ADHD, when in fact it is bipolar because some of the symptoms are the same.

  15. Baffled

    Baffled New Member

    Another reason bipolar comes to mind is because when he was on Adderall he was much worse. This is a stimulant. It could have induced mania.
  16. 'Chelle

    'Chelle Active Member

    Stopping in to say hi. :bigsmile: It doesn't sound like you're happy with the therapist/psycologists you've seen. I would wonder at their diagnosis, especially a therapist that would advise corporal punishment, which doesn't work with our kids especially. I would be seeking another opinion, which if you can get one a multidisciplinary evaluation would be good. Check out the FAQ forum on what this is. Or a neuropsychologist evaluation as Midwest Mom suggested. From reading your posts I would think something else may be going on, and a 2nd opinion wouldn't hurt.

    Sleep can be a big thing with my difficult child, can always tell when he's stayed up late and not had enough sleep. Yesterday was one, he stayed up late to finish homework, got up pretty much in a rage (he hates school as it is) slamming doors almost off the hinges, was refusing to take his book bag to school. So in the end I decided that he should just stay home and I did call him in away due to illness, but restricted him from electronics. He wasn't happy with that, but got extra sleep yesterday, went to bed close to usual time, and this morning was pretty much pleasant even though I was driving him to school. If you can keep him on a pretty even sleep schedule, bed time always the same, it works much better I find.

    I'm one who recommends "The Explosive Child" as a good book to read. It helped us quite a bit, learned how to pick my battles, how to deal with difficult child differently to get a better outcome. 123 Magic never worked for him, though it does for easy child.

    Again, welcome to the site. :flower: Hope you find the support, advice, ear to just vent to that you need.
  17. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    What does difficult child mean?
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was also thinking possible early onset bipolar. It has a huge ODD component. Or maybe also a combo of high functioning autism, which can make kids behavior very inappropriately and not have a clue how to socialize. Even factoring in a divorce and a stepparent (which half our kids have these days), the behavior in my opinion is still too extreme. All in all, I still think a neuropsychologist evaluation is the way to go as this professional is familiar with both neurological and psychiatric issues and does intensive testing. Psychiatrists often know nothing about neurological problems and bipolar can be diagnosed when it's really Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Of course, none are perfect, but we found NeuroPsychs to be the best. I am thinking that this child needs more than therapy, even good therapy, and ADHD medications didn't help him, which makes me think it is probably not ADHD. Of course, none of us are professionals, but I do think the symptoms here are serious and that the child has probably not been completely diagnosed or has been misdiagnosed. Lots of red flags here. For the record, if anyone in the family has bipolar, depression, or substance abuse, that puts the child also at high risk for mood disorders, which cause violence far more than ADHD. Also Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can cause violence in a very frustrated child, but the stabbing...that would get me moving. Lack of sleep is common in both bipolar kids and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids...anxiety can also keep a child awake, however, like ODD, anxiety rarely stands alone.
  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Hello Oddmoose,

    MidwestMom took the words right out of my mouth. I was also going to suggest the possibility of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)/autism, and recommend a neuropsychologist evaluation.

    ADHD is often a catch-all, first diagnosis, because so many other issues present with hyperactivity, defiance, inattention, etc. as symptoms, so they often look alike.

    ADHD medications help tremendously with true ADHD, so if your difficult child is not being helped by them then it is likely not ADHD but another condition with lookalike symptoms. A neuropsychologist evaluation will help you pinpoint exactly what's going on with your son so that you can get appropriate interventions and accommodations in place for him.

    My difficult child was initially diagnosed wtih ADHD many years ago, and was put on Concerta, which drastically increased his mania, anxiety and aggression. He's by no means perfect, but a change in medications (getting him off the stims and SSRIs) made a huge difference in his level of agitation, anxiety and manic behaviour.

    You've received some great advice from other posters. I just wanted to add my welcome.

  20. oddmoose

    oddmoose *pulling at straws*

    Thanks everyone. I kinda am glad we kept missing the Concerta appointment. we had a gut feeling no tto go