Newbie Looking for Support & Encourgement

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by deereid, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. deereid

    deereid Guest

    First, I want to say how honored I am to have found this site. I have been praying for people who have "been there and done that" so that I can get the best possible advice as I help my difficult child and PCs cope.

    My difficult child is 11, soon to be 12. He was evaluated and diagnosis with pediatric bipolar about 4 yrs ago. Now, he was not diagnosis with ODD, but I see all the sure signs of it based on the research that I have done as well as reading through many of the members posts on this site. He is defiant, challenges authority, refuses to do work in school, albeit he can do the work with no problem (we have seen him literally not do school work for about 1 week, then catch up on all the missied work within an hour---this kid is amazing!!). He often speaks negatively, enjoys annoying others, and will ignore you in a minute. He hates to be told what to do, and loves to argue. Most often he will engage others in a battle of wills and intelligence. He talks to himself often...don't think he hears voices, but we are keeping a watch for this. He goes from extreme highs and talkativeness to really bad lows and depressive states. His mind is always racing and thinking. He can be really mean and careless, as well as forgetful. Then, there are days where he is so loving, caring and giving until I think I have two different children.

    My goal is to help my difficult child so that he can be productive and have a good life, in spite his conditions. Also, I am trying to seek ways to help my PCs, the hubby and myself, not to mention my difficult child's teahers cope with our difficult child ;)

    I know that I need to get him re-evaluation and, I want to cofirm the ODD. I am having a chalelnge finding a child psychaitrist (the school setup the other evaluation so that I can get his IEP, but I want someone that has not subjectivity towards what the schools require, but more what will help my son). I am also having an issue with finding a therapist. Most are family, and I've yet to find one that handles emotional/mood disorders in children. Would love to hear any suggestions on how to find the right specialist, or any alternatives. I live in South NJ, by the way.

    Next dillema is the concept of medications. I do not want to make a mistake in this choice. I've read a lot about trial and error until we find the right dosage and the common side effects, which all scare the hell out of me. I don't want to make his condition worse by giving him the wrong medications, or causing other issues to be activated/aggraveted. However, I don't want to see him suffer any longer either and I want him to get the best help he can.

    I feel extremely blessed as he is not a severe case. It can be frustrating, and its a challeng at times, but overall, he has been managable. But, we are hitting puberty and I want to make sure that his ODD does not become CD, or to at least help him avoid issues with addiction and delinquency due to his condition.

    Please forgive me if I am babeling. Its just so much going on in my own mind and so many emotions that I am sifting through myself.

    All thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    Do you have a local Children's Hopital? You can try calling there for a therapist, psychiatrist or neuropsychologist.

    One thing I learned here for sure is you have to get the BiPolar (BP) under control before addressing any attention issues. No stimulants until the BiPolar (BP) medications are settled. I belive most times a mood stabilizer is tried first. Others will have more info on that.
  3. FlipFlops

    FlipFlops Guest

    My son was diagnosis BiPolar (BP)/adhd at age 5. I fought the medications but he kept getting supsended in kindergarten and I gave in. I was shocked with their diagnosis, I just knew it was ODD. 5+ years, close to 15 different medications and three trips to juvie later, I am even more convinced it is ODD. medications never did anything. I recently took him off all medications no shocker, he is the exact same. ODD alone doesn't respond to medications from what I understand after countless hours of research. We are trying to find a school to place him in now. For some medications can work wonders though. I'm not trying to say medications are a waste. I guess I just wanted to say they may not be the magic bullet we all want so desperately. ODD is treated with behavior management mostly. I wish you the best though.
  4. deereid

    deereid Guest

    Thank you so much for your suggestion and responding. The closest children's hospital is CHOP in Philly. So, I will look into that.

    Yeah, I have read that we must deal with the BiPolar (BP) first and then ODD. I really see how that 2nd evaluation is going to be very important.

    Can I ask for specific evaluations based on what I am seeing, and what teacher's are reporting?
  5. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Howdy neighbor! I'm in NY (5 boros). Robert Wood Johnson is fantastic for neuropsychologist work. I don't know how far south you are, but I believe CentraState also does them. A neuropsychologist will do a lot of testing - who knows, he could be on the autistic spectrum - a lot of kids do "self talking" to help them work through something - sometimes it's a little scary because as parents we automatically go to "oh no! Not something else!!!"

    Welcome to the crowd - it's a great group of people who are always there for you!

  6. deereid

    deereid Guest

    OMIGOSH, Beth...yes, he talks to himself to figure stuff out. It drived my easy child 1 and husband bonkers. I just let him roll with it because I think it helps him process. We did get a diagnosis for Asbergers too...that is so interesting! However, I figured with BiPolar (BP) in the fam, that is likely the more accurate of the two...but, I guess he could very well have both, huh? Poor guy...BiPolar (BP), Asp, and ODD...geez, he got the raw deal of the genes! LOL. I will check out the site you provided and Robert Johnson! Thank you for the input.

    PurpleJosie, you know, I've been trying to get my son into a special school that would meet his needs, but I was told that my board of ed must approve it and so far at evey IEP they decline my request. I am trying to figure out what is the best way to challenge this because I think the other school would be much better for him.

    As strange as it is a great feeling to talk to others who understand! I've been so depressed myself because no one else gets the situation.

    Thank you all so much!!! I could really cry.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome to the board.

    Im long out of the school issue game so I will leave that up to parents still dealing with that. I can say that the right medications, if needed, can be a lifesaver. I take a boatload but Im not sitting in the corner drooling. It took a little while to get my medications correct but it was well worth the effort.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there :D and welcome.
    ODD is a big part of a symptom of bipolar. Most of us here feel it's not a useful diagnose itself. There is no treatment for it. THe best you can do is get the big picture (bipolar) under control and the ODD should get much better or even go away.

    Did your child have a normal early development or was he late on things like talking and relating to same age peers and playing strangely with toys? How does he relate to his same age peers now? Does he make good, solid eye contact with strangers?

    Welcome again!!!
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Your son has quite a few symptoms in common with my difficult child. Mine is NOT bipolar, but has Asperger's. ODD is just a few more letters to add to the diagnosis. It is pretty useless to treat the ODD if the child is not stable. Quite a few people here have seen ODD issues just disappear once the child is stabilized.

    Read "The Bipolar Child" by Dmitri Papalous and his wife. They have the basic medication protocol described in the book. It really is important to start with mood stabilizers if they think he is bipolar. He may even need TWO mood stabilizers before he can handle any other medications. Many times atypical antipsychotics like riperdal are used with the mood stabilizers if the child is aggressive.

    The talking to himself is something my own child did nonstop until he was about 8. He began talking when he opened his eyes (at the latest!) and stopped talking midword as he fell asleep. It drove us all nuts. Many nights I would wake up thinking I heard a noise and it was Wiz, fast asleep chattering to himself!

    I know it is a blow to need the support and info you will find here. I hope you find lots of help, and that you feel free to ignore help that isn't right for your situation and family.

    I do want to recommend 3 other books.

    The Explosive Child by Ross Greene is a wonderful tool. Fairly easy to read and easy to implement. It can be adjusted to your family. There is another book by the same author that just came out and is supposed to be wonderful.

    The Out Of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz is not as easy to read, but has been invaluable for us. It is about Sensory Integration Disorder. Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) is when the brain can't properly handle the input from the senses. This book describes how to help by providing an appropriate sensory diet (regime of activities and sensory experiences to fit what the child needs). Often our kids already tell us what they need in sensory ways. It turns out my kid WAS trying to tell me something when he sat upside down on the couch. (LOL, but true).

    You will need a private Occupational Therapist to see if your child has Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), and to help you set up the right therapies. Often the best therapy is brushing therapy and joint compression. You MUST be taught by an Occupational Therapist (OT) to do this. Once taught you can do it, but don't try on your own. Schools have Occupational Therapist (OT)'s, but they ONLY evaluate for how things affect academics. So a private evaluation is a must.

    Kranowitz also has a book packed with activities and ways to do them on the cheap! It is called The Out of Sync Child has Fun.

    Enough info to throw at you all at once! Welcome, and I hope to see you around!
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, I was going to ask about Aspegers or Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). My son talks to himself too--it's common for kids on the spectrum. Is he getting any interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? If not, in my opinion he is missing out on a big chunk of the help he needs and a big reason why he acts the way he does is due to the Aspergers. in my opinion again it's probably more Aspie behavior than ODD. I would take him to a neuropsychologist. Aspies are always being misdiagnosed with stuff like bipolar and ADHD and ODD.
  11. FlipFlops

    FlipFlops Guest

    As far as special schools and the board having to approve it, my son had gotten to a point where they could not contain him in the building or control physical aggression. The placement was still an ordeal though. He had gotten out of the psychiatric hospital and I took him to school. I had not withdrawn him and according to the rules, they have to have an ard to change placement. When we got there they said they weren't going to take him, but that someone would come out an hour or two a day or whatever and teach him at home. All I could think to myself was h*ll no. I can't have him home with me! He was already a violent kid, that's why they didn't want him back. We went home and husband started calling numbers in the higher levels of the district. Later that day we got a call for an ard the next day to place him in the special school. There was also only two weeks left of school. Before we got this placement he had already been in adaptive behavior classes on regular campuses though.
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey! I'd get the neuropsychologist done before I moved him. I took my 10 yr old out when he was 6 and put him in different programs. Since he's an aspie, he ended up picking up all of the "less than desireable" behaviors from a lot of the other kids. Turns out that he should never have been allowed into the other schools because their programs were designed for "emotionally disturbed children". He was considered ODD, but in reality it was anxiety that was causing his "posturing" and trying to sound tough.

    If it is in fact Aspergers and not bipolar (which, because of difficult child 1's behavior they were really considering - but once they figured out he's basically shall we say "testy" all the time and doesn't show high's and low's they ruled it out) putting him in with kids not on the spectrum could increase his behavioral problems. Just a thought!

    You might want to check into the following website:

    They have a bunch of links to non-profits in New Jersey as well as government links for a variety of services. Scroll down and you'll see the ARC of New Jersey - their an advocacy group that may be able to help you with educational issues.

    Keep plodding away, and keep posting here - I've learned so much in such a short time - these people are amazing!

  13. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    First I have two Aspies, who the schools keep on saying ODD and really it's not. Sure they have ODD behavior, but the Neuro Phys doctor we go to who does Cog Therapy explained it like this.

    An Aspie child CAN show ODD behaviors, but the trick is too dig deeper and find out what the trigger was, and then that will point back to the Aspergers.

    Makes alot of sense to me!

    Another thing, I am not Aspergers, (well at least don't think) but do have quite a few traits. I talk to myself ALL the time! LOL. It's always been a big joke between me and my husband. My Father (who is dead now but I believe was also an Aspie) did the same thing. I just always thought it was behavior I learned, but I do it when I am really really stressed. I also pace. (I have an anxiety disorder). When I talked to my doctor he said this is due to anxiety.

    Anyway, I agree, treat the Aspergers and you will probably see much less ODD. Thats what were trying to do now.
  14. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Hi and welcome.

    My Daughter has BiPolar (BP) and had the ODD diagnosis. It was taken away due to the fact that her psychiatrist felt that opposition is always a part of BiPolar (BP) and truly can not be a separate diagnosis.
    Once you stabilize the child most of the oppositional reactions will go away.

    Almost all of our kids diagnosis have a Oppositional aspect to them. There are a small number of special needs kids who are not oppositional when unstable, I would suppose?

    I also suppose someone could just purely be ODD? Haven't see it yet but possible?

    My daughter's ODD symptoms were cut by 75% once she started an AP.
    I myself take medications, almost the same as Janet, I am also not in a corner drooling! LOL

    Both of my Daughter's talk to themselves.