Newbie, and at my wits end

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by CHEZ, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. CHEZ

    CHEZ New Member

    Hi there my name is Cheryl. I am from Kent in the UK.

    My son Simon is nearly 8 and has ADHD and ODD. He is taking Equasym XL 30mg for the ADHD. They tried Palytherpay with him for the ODD as they thought it was down to depression, but alas he didnt come across liek that during the play therapy.

    The trouble is i think the ODD is getting worse, and i have tried everything. A few days ago on a bit of paper he wrote "Lets kill mummy with a baseball bat" Then i was in the kitchen after telling him off and i heard him say...i hate her i'm gonna kill her. He was remorsefull when he saw me in tears, bt i just really dont know how to help him deal with his anger and be a happy little boy.

    Any suggestions??
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Cheryl. Sorry you had to come here, but hopefully we can try to help.

    First thing that hit me was, ADHD/ODD is usually something else and if he is being treated with stimulants (I don't know what the medications he are taking are called in the US), then if he has a mood disorder, he could be getting worse rather than better by these medications.

    Most of us know very little about the UK health system so who diagnoses childhood disorders? How old is your son?.Would you like to give us a better rundown about what is going on with your son? I would say that saying he wants to kill you is more mood disorderish than ADHD/ODDish, but different countries diagnose different disorders. Do you have NeuroPsychs there? How was his early development? Is he violent? Does he have the ability to make and keep friends? Do they ever diagnose and treat childhood bipolar in the UK?

  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi and Welcome!! I am so happy to meet you, but also sorry you need to be here.

    The Equasym XL is called methylphenidate or Ritalin, and the XL means extended life, or long acting. We have a couple of members from the UK and other countries, but most members are in the US. medications are named differently here, so I included that so we can jump that little barrier right away.

    It sounds like a lot more is going on with your son that is currently diagnosed (diagnosed) or being treated. Sadly, our Gifts from God (difficult children) are almost always given the ADHD label at first. ODD is often included, but rather useless. Many times the ADHD behavior is either misdiagnosed or part of a much different problem. Psychiatric problems often are given the wrong diagnosis and it takes having the child mature and be re-evaluated with the new behaviors that show up to find the right diagnosis.

    ODD is not a helpful diagnosis. It describes a set of behaviors and usually refers to rather normal behaviors that are taken to extremes as only a true difficult child can do it. The ODD diagnosis does NOT give ANY insight as to why the child is acting that way. Rather like saying "X has a head ache and threw up" without going any further to figure out if it is a this or that problem. ODD simply does not give any info on how to get help for the child.

    OFTEN if the underlying behavior is found and treated the ODD goes away. A child with bipolar often stops ODD things when medications are working and their moods are stable. My difficult child has Asperger's Syndrome and when his symptoms for that are properly controlled (using medications and many other things) then he is not ODD. There are lots of people who can tell you that their child has something and when properly treated the ODD goes away.

    That is why we push for testing is that it is one way to figure out what the real issue is. Here in the USA we have neuropsychologist who have extra training in how the brain effects behavior. Some are good and some are not. Good ones do upto 12 hours of tests over several days. Bad ones do only minor testing and they can't really help much. Developmental pediatricians and child and adolescent psychiatrists (psychiatrists) are other specialties that can help. I personally recommend dev peds because we had a great experience with ours.

    Sorry to write you a book. I hope we can get to know you and your family better! It helps us keep things straight when we are talking to someone if you have a signature (at the bottom of each post). If you click on the User CP tab at the top left side of the page you can then select signature and create your own. Do not give too much info - and not full names, last names, addresses, or pics. This is for the safety of you and your family. This is a public forum, so take precautions accordingly.

  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sus, your post is great, but I don't think they acknowledge childhood bipolar in the UK and almost always give stimulants at first. That's why I asked. I know that in the US, they'd probably be taking a good hard look at early onset BiPolar (BP). And stimulants can make that so much worse.
  5. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Cheryl,
    So glad you found us but sorry you needed to. You have definitely found a safe place to land where you will find much support. Mwm asked some good questions that will help us be able to offer more suggestions. Do know that you are not alone! Again, welcome!
  6. Leigh

    Leigh New Member

    Hi Cheryl

    I have a eight year old son with ADHD and ODD. We see a therapist right now every two months or sooner if needed. My son is on 36mg of Concerta for the ADHD and 10mg Prozac for the (ODD) his anxiety, mood and finally 0.25mg Risperidone twice a day. But at first he was on something totally different. When he started Medicine it took 6 months or more to get the right medicine and dose. If you can find a therapist that specialize in Children's disorders and you and your son are comfortable that is a good start. It will take some time hang in there, we are here to back you up.

  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the site!

    Glad you found us. I hope we can help.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Cheryl, welcome.
    Thanks for the info, SusieStar. Now I don't have to look it up!

    I agree with-others here, Cheryl, that you will probably try lots of medications b4 you hit on the right one. And his diagnosis is a stepping stone, not a real diagnosis.

    One thing we did when my difficult child was drawing scary pics of his sister and scribbling all over them and stabbing them with-a pen, and also saying he wanted to kill me and how he hated me, was to sit down and tell him that he was not allowed to say "kill" or "hate" in our house.
    We explained that he could say he was very, very angry. But he could not say, "Kill." It was simply against the rules.
    We took him to a therapist and the dr repeated the whole thing. (Kids tend to respect outside authority figures way more than Mom and Dad!) It took over a yr but it worked.
    We told him when he was calm (trying to talk sense into a raging child is just beating your head against a wall). He, of course, tried to come up with-exceptions, such as, "What if I say, 'Jesus was killed on the cross? Do I get grounded?"
    Anyway, doing that really changed things because for a while there, I was really afraid of him. Leaving things out--even the dowel from a closet can become a weapon--makes you think twice about "childproofing." ;)

    Once I was able to stand my ground and not show fear, it changed things a lot. (It took therapy and role playing on my part to get to that point.) I had to call his bluff several times and boy, were my armpits sweaty!

    The times he did hit me were when I jumped into the foray. I would continue to argue with-him and the whole thing would escalate. I have learned not to do that any more.
    Not arguing doesn't mean giving in. It means saying "No," or "Do your chores in the next 15 min.," and walking away.
    Some days I've literally walked out of the house and out into the yard, with-him following me, harping and haranguing. It was everything I could do not to respond. It takes lots and lots of practice.

    I would suggest a support group locally, and also, this board is great! One of the nice things is that someone is usually up late at night (especially on the toddler forums, boy, do I remember those days!) and you're never alone, even with-the time change.
    Lots of advice and experience here.

    One bit of advice I can give you, is that I noticed you wrote, "Then i was in the kitchen after telling him off" and then he wanted to kill you.
    How about, if instead of telling him off, you change gears and simply make a rule that he cannot do XYZ (whatever he was doing that prompted you to tell him off) and the next time he does it, a certain privilege goes away. Then calmly follow through. No yelling. No telling off.
    Sure, he'll go ballistic. You'll have to repeat the whole thing several times. But he will eventually get the message. BE CONSISTENT.
    These kids of ours take everything to the nth degree; everything is exaggerated to them. If they are mad at you, they want to kill you. If they are happy, they are so happy, you completely forget anything that has happened in the past and want to give them the world. It's like they take possession of our minds (not to mention our hearts).


    Oh, and just because your child didn't overtly display depressive behaviors during plaly therapy doesn't mean he's not depressed. Children manifest depression very differently than adults. FWIW.

    Glad you joined us!
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  9. Leigh

    Leigh New Member

    Terry has some great points, Children with ODD have to get their way and by saying things like I am going to kill you, gets your attention and he know that it is getting to you. My son's therapist says DO NOT ARGUE with him, say what you got to say and walk away. My son is the best deal maker ever. Give him two choices and if he does not do either he needs to go in time out. My son goes in time out in my laundry room because there is nothing to see and do. He hates it!!!! I do not start the timer until he stops throwing a fit and screaming. Some days that can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. These type of children are so HARD HEADED. It is a test of wills and the parent has to win every time!!

    Good Luck. I hope this helps a little.