Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mere, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. mere

    mere New Member

    Hello everyone,
    It is my first time on this site so bear with me. My difficult child 7 year old son was diagnosed with ODD. He has seen 5 different docs/therapist, and I feel like it was all a waste of time and $$. Its as though the docs don't talk to my child only to me and my partner. He is sent into the waiting room every session. I have come to the point where I am in search of a new doctor. I am a person that has in the pass been very able to handle any and everything. Recently, my son's behaviors have sent me over the edge. I find myself exploding even about the littlest things. What options are there to treat ODD? He is such an intelligent boy, academically he is in the top of his class, but his behavior is one day great, then terrible for the next week. He is so defiant towards me, walks all over me, he is very disrespectful towards others and I am out of ideas. So he comes home from school today and tells us the girls at school were making fun of his parents because we're gay. Just another issue to endure. My partner goes to confront the girls parents and the father basically said he would talk to his daughter but also said that my son is awful, he needs help and then proceeded to say my son is the next Timothy McVeigh!! The whole neighborhood thinks we are awful parents and that is the furthest from the truth. I don't know where to turn I'm ready for a nervous breakdown. Any help would be appreciated:sad-very:
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    glad you found your way to our site. You will find that we've been there, done that.

    First and foremost, your son needs to be seen by another doctor. I know you don't want to hear that, but five docs and a diagnosis of ODD alone just doesn't cut it. Your son needs a full evaliatiom like a multidisciplinary evaluation or an evaluation by a pediatric nueropdoc. At the very, very least, one of those five docs should have given you some behavior mods and/or suggestions for school.

    It's difficult to put your trust in another doctor when you such lousy history. But until you really know what you are dealing with, there will be no peace.

    Couple questions. You say he walks all over you. What about your partner? Have you two been together long enough that he sees her as an authority figure? Is there a bio dad in the picture? Are you consistant with your expectations and your consequences with you son? In other words, do you allow him to beat you down and then give in, or do you say what you mean and follow through? That's a biggie with difficult children. What about at school - is he in trouble all the time? Does he have any close friends? Has the school recommended testing for your son because of disciplinary issues?

    Your son is very young and there is tons of hope for you. My son was a little older than yours when we hit absolute rock bottom and I thought there was no rising sun. But he's now in 8th grade and is a different kid. It's a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of doctor appointments, behavior mod, therapy, trying medications, and on and on. But it can turn around. You have to be stronger than you have ever imagined!

    More folks will be along soon to share their opinions and lend their support. Welcome to our little corner of the world!

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, mere. Sorry you have to be here, but a big welcome.

    Have you ever had him assessed by a neuropsychologist? Many of us think NeuroPsychs do the best evaluations. ODD is rarely a stand alone diagnosis and is normally caused by something else, not yet caught. Therapists aren't very good diagnosticians nor are pediatricians when it comes to problems that may be caused by psychiatric or neurological problems.

    Do you have any psychiatric or substance abuse issues on either side of your son's family tree? Genes matter. Disorders are passed along even if biol. dad doesn't see his son or never saw his son.

    How was his early development? Does he know how to socialize appropriately with his peers? Is he "quirky?" Any obsessive interests? Does he play normally with toys? Can he have a normal give-and-take conversation?

    You ever think of putting him into a "Big Brothers" program so that he can have a significant male in his life?

    Welcome again :) Others will come along.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    It sounds to me that you could be right about the doctor.

    As for the dad of those kids - at least he was honest about his feelings. You do need to know how people feel, it is better than to have people say one thing to your face and the nasty stuff to each other behind your back. But it does hurt.

    If your relationship is a same-sex one, then it still doesn't excuse the behaviour of kids at school (if they really did say this - are you sure it's not just your son finding a way to say what HE feels about your relationship?)

    If your relationship is NOT a same-sex one, then again, it was inappropriate for anyone to use it to hassle your son (again, if this is what happened).

    As far as people on this site are concerned, you wouldn't be the only same-sex couple and the main concern here is the kids, not the rest of the family dynamic. The trouble is, ANY variation from what some people consider to be acceptable, often gets the blame inappropriately.

    If you are certain that your son wouldn't have made it up, then I ask you to think - WHY are you so certain? Because if you feel you can be so sure, then I would be thinking that your son needs to be assessed for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form. An inability to lie convincingly is a common finding in Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). Not tat they can't lie, but generally they're so bad at it that they get caught. Eventually they learn that truth is much easier, less complicated.

    ODD rarely exists on its own. Of course, it is a label that is handed out based on parental information rather than observation of the child. Increasingly I believe that a lot of ODD labels are handed out when all that is needed is to look a bit deeper into the possibility of an underlying disorder.

    So, a couple of references for you - get your hands on "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Whatever the problem with your son, this book gives you a different way of looking at him which can lead to a more effective, and easier, way of handling him.

    And second - go to and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can't use it officially to dignose but you can print out the result and show it to a COMPETENT doctor. A number of clues in your post make me think that Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is certainly worth checking out. And I know from my own experience just how difficult and apparently rude and insolent a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) child can be.

    If I am right, and this IS a case of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in some form (Asperger's, autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified) then he's not choosing to be rude or insolent. He just doesn't know any better, despite all the careful teaching. These kids may know intelelctually, but cna't put it into practice.

    Example - difficult child 3 judges everybody else in the world, and I mean EVERYBODY, as if they have exactly the same brain and capabilities as him. Even as if they have access to the same information, the same thoughts, the same experiences. He will talk to a six month old baby in the same way he would talk to a classmate or talk to a teacher. Or anybody he meets, whether he knows them or not. He also has partial face blindness, which is far less obvious than you might think, and also far more common. He recognises people from their voices. With some Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids who also have face blindness (aka prosopagnosia), they avoid eye contact because it distracts them from listening to someone's voice for clues to their identity. difficult child 3 doesn't avoid eye contact, he's always made good eye contact evan as a baby. He's also very outgoing, not at all withdrawn (athough he has become more withdrawn as he gets older, he is realising that he needs to take his time getting to know people and also give them time to get used to him).

    A classic equality response (as I call them) will seem VERY disrespectful. But if you react and pounce on the child for disrespect, it will trigger a very bad reaction because to the child, he is not being disrespectful at all, he is simply treating you the way you have treated him. So you can see that with such a child, if you handle him with a classic "Because I said so, that's why," you are setting yourself up to receive the same stuff back from him.

    Your manner to him models how he will behave back to you. The smarter kids will modify this to give different people different responses according Occupational Therapist (OT) how that person treats him. So if he has a teacher who is kind and gentle with him, he will be kind and gentle to that teacher (mostly). But if there is someone in his life who is scolding or harsh with him, that is how he will respond to that person.

    An example from my own family - easy child 2/difficult child 2 when she was about 2 or 3 years old. She asked me for a drink of juice but in my opinion she had already had enough, and I felt she should have water instead. Her reaction was to stand there with her hands on her hips and say loudly, "I told you I wanted JUICE! What's the matter with you? Why don't you pay attention!?"

    OK, some people might think it's funny in a 2 year old. Maybe the first time. But she got very difficult, raising her was harrowing.

    Welcome to the site. Sorry you need us but glad we're here.

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Marg ;), sadly, in the US a gay relationship would cause harassment at school. She needs to go to the principal to see if he can do anything, but this is just one thing that in the US is not yet as widely accepted as elsewhere. I find it sad, but I do believe her on that issue.

    Hey, have a good day!
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    surely it would still be considered discriminatory? especially since picking on the kid for parental choices is totally unfair...

    Here it would be a human rights issue, covered under global anti-discrimination legislation. Yes, kids would say mean things, but action could be taken because it is wrong.

    I mean - it really shouldn't matter. It's nobody's business, a kid might seem to have two mothers because he lives with a mother and an aunt. Sexual preference and orientation is not the kid's 'fault' in any way. Kids will be kids, parents will say things they shouldn't in front of their kids (who then will use it as a weapon, especially against a kid they find scary). I know it happens. It happens here too. But it can be fought on numerous fronts. The school has a legal responsibility to keep kids safe.

    I have an obvious physical disability. Local kids have tried to hassle me because of it but my response generally is, "It's OK, I know I walk funny. I noticed it long ago, what took you so long?" I confront what they say and then after examining it, I make it clear that the topic is dismissed as irrelevant.
    The troubles come when people try to link difficult child 3's autism, to my physical disability. In people's minds, there has to be a connection (even if one doesn't exist). Some teachers even said, "I supposed his autism happened becausee of your disability?"

    The only way to deal with that sort of potentially damaging misinformation, is with direct confrontation and clarification. I don't go into details, I just point out that my disability is my business and happened long before difficult child 3 was born. Any focus on me or my problem, is misdirection and a distraction from the genuine help my child needs.

    Getting to the point, in other words. "Whatever you think of me, forget it when you deal with my child."

    People are human. Unfortunately.

  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Nothing to add, but wanted to welcome you to the board.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I don't know how it would be handled here, Marg. My guess is there would be no great big assembley telling students this is a humans rights issue. Many people are very opposed to gays, and I really don't know how it would be handled. I think it would be extremely hard for any gay couple to send a child to OUR school district. I don't know how they are treated elsewhere, but it would not be well received here. It would not be treated the same, at least not in our district, as if somebody said something about one's skin color or religion. That's why I believe her son. I agree that it's a human rights issue, but, hey, I'm but a peon in a big country.
  9. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    My daughter was around that age when I found out about ODD. I felt such relief when I read about it and it described her so well. I thought I had finally found what was wrong with her. Unfortunately, while it describes behaviour, it doesn't really tell what to do about it.

    We were going to a therapist at the time also. The therapist would talk to my daughter by herself but I don't feel that it really did any good. A 7 year old difficult child is not really going to be able to look at their behaviour and make changes on their own, in my humble opinion. The real change would have to be from the parent's side or medications. The therapist helped me cope with difficult child but not much changed overall.

    On the bright side, we did figure out what the real problem was. My daughter has food intolerances to gluten and dairy. When she eliminated those foods from her diet (every trace), she is a different child. A pleasure to be around, even, at age 13.

    She had been taking an a/d at the highest dose and we were looking at adding an antipsychotic to get her behaviour and violent tendencies under control. Once she changed her diet, she was able to get off from all medications. She's been doing this diet for 3 1/2 years now.

    I have found that I feel much better just by giving up gluten. I can have milk without noticing anything. If you try this, your son might not have to give up both.

    Welcome to the board. You will get a lot of good ideas and support here.
  10. TPaul

    TPaul Idecor8

    Dear Mere,
    Wanted to welcome you and your partner to our board here. You will find a great group of people here ready to listen, help and encourage you as you both face the challenge of reasing a difficult child.I have found the group here to not be judgemental or look down on others for anything what so ever. They are a great group of people. We have a wide and diverse group of people here with a wealth of experience and knowledge.

    As many have stated, get him to a better doctor as soon as you can. When a difficult child is started with help early it seems that they can be better helped in some areas. Arm yourself with knowledge to the best of your abiblity. Read as much as you can about dealing with children who have a challenge.

    You and your partner are not alone, we know the frustrations and trials that a difficult child can be. Hope that you can make yourself at home and gain encouragement, strength and knowledge that will help you with the challenge of raising a difficult child.

    Welcome again,
  11. lizanne2

    lizanne2 New Member

    Just a quick welcome to you and your family. I echo lots that was said. Do somr reading. There is hope. Bias exists and is awful.

    I am at work now so I must run. Keep coming back. This group has a lot to share.
  12. nodramamama

    nodramamama New Member

    OUCH! Not fun to get feedback like that from another parent! I agree with others that you should keep looking for a doctor who you can work with. My family is a lesbian-headed-blended-menagerie and the most important thing is to just wince and shake it off and know that you're being a great parent...and if your son could be doing something differently, he would! So take a deep breath and keep finding out more! Many hugs to are not alone!;)

    by the way - I'm a newbie too...and I have NO IDEA about how to add info about my difficult children, etc. Help?
  13. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    I feel your pain...It is horrible to hear another parent disparage your child. We were in the same position with our difficult child last year and it drove me to the brink of collapse. People simply don't understand until they are in the same position.

    You definitely need a different doctor. Has your son been evaluated by a neuropsychologist? That seems like a good place to start over, if you haven't done that already.

    I assume from your son's age that he is in first or second grade. Have his problems gotten worse since school resumed this year?

    Good luck.
  14. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    it would be great if you could start your own thread so your introduction doesn't get lost here in this thread! Click on User CP on the top left corner of the page, then scroll down to Settings and Options. You can make your signature there. Welcome to you too!

  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A good point on a number of levels. Here in sydney, Australia, there is a research team working specifically on any link between dietary sensitivities and autism. They have found in about 30% of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) cases, that there is an underlying food sensitivity which, if managed, makes the child much nicer to be around. It's not a cure for the autism, of course, but a child with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) who also has food sensitivity problems will be finding it much more difficult to cope.

    In our case with difficult child 3, we were unable to find a food sensitivity which was causing any of his problems. It also was a long-drawn-out process and it had to be done under the careful supervision of dietician and pediaitrician both experienced in this. Mistakes happen, the child eats something he shouldn't while he's still supposed to be on the elimination phase and the clock gets re-set again. I had difficult child 3 very compliant, he was checking all the labels on his food, but occasionally something would slip through, often due to manufacturers not labelling things properly.

    I also vouch for the amazing difference it can make, if you have a child with a food sensitivity problem. It happened very obviously, with easy child when she was an infant.
    With easy child, my first darling treasure, I took all precautions for her health. I had also attended a medical seminar where the doctor claimed that some children had problems with lack of Vitamin C - in these children, when their bodies were put under stress (with the immune system, as in catching a virus or being imunised) their bodies' need for Vitamin C would dramatically increase. In some kids, he found that this sudden demand for Vitamin C caused what he called acute infantile scurvy, which if untreated, could look like SIDS (and was often diagnosed as such). The initial phase of this was some sort of cerebral irritability which would progress rapidly to coma. So he began treating these kids with a Vitamin C infusion, and the rate of SIDS deaths in his hospital dropped to almost zero. He also stressed that you shouldn't bother with Vitamin C in liquid form, since it degrades too rapidly (sometimes in a matter of hours or days). There was a hospital near him which took up his advice but they didn't have a drop in SIDS deaths, so he went over to talk to them - and found that they were mixing up a Vitamin C drink a week or more ahead, and giving the kids this. He showed them with his test sticks, that the measurable Vitamin C in their drink was negligible.

    While I wasn't thinking in terms of constant prevention of this SIDS-like condition, I was working on the hypothesis that if I took extra Vitamin C while breastfeeding my baby, then she would be better able to handle immunological stress.

    So I took a powdered form of Vitamin C (very sour!) mixed in with my orange juice.

    Then one day I ran out of orange juice. No way could I take the stuff in water, I needed something to kill the sour taste, so t the back of the cupboard I found a commercial powdered, orange-flavoured Vitamin C drink. So I mixed that up, added my powdered white Vitamin C stuff and drank it.

    Within a day, easy child had turned from an easy, placid baby to a screaming horror. She screamed all the time. And it wasn't the scream of a baby in pain, or a baby who was hungry. This was an angry sound. It took me another day to stop drinking the commercial orange-coloured drink (the only source of additives in my diet) and another two days for it to wash out of my body (and breast milk) and therefore out of the baby's. Her irritability faded.

    I checked out the commercial stuff for additives and found two artificial colours - tartrazine (102), and sunset yellow (110).

    No problems with easy child for months, I kept my diet healthy and additive-free. I went back to work, she began in a child care centre. Then when she was about 7 months old and had just started on solids (again, all natural, home-cooked) she developed thrush. It wasn't just in her mouth, it was right through and causing nappy rash, so the doctor prescribed oral infant drops of an antifungal. It was described as cherry flavoured, but it was bright yellow in colour. Now, commercial medications often MUST have specific colours because they are on record and used to identify the drug should it ever be found unlabelled. That was what I was told, when I complained to the manufacturer about colouring something designed for a baby to take.

    So back to the baby with thrush - I gave her the medicine. Within an hour she was screaming in rage. Again, a perfect, easy-going but very active baby was now constantly raging. It was weird. It was extreme. I stopped giving her the thrush treatment and went back to the doctor - I'm not sure in which order, but he did witness the raging baby. He scratched his head, finally said, "the only form of the anti-fungal available that doesn't have this particular colour in it, is the adult treatment. It's a spearmint-flavoured lozenge. You'll have to grind it up and feed it to her with her baby cereal."

    So I did. Sure, she carried on as if I was trying to poison her, but I only had to fight to get the medications into her, not fight her all day every day. She was now only an angry baby while she took her medications, for the five minutes or so it took me to get it into her. I suspect she hated the taste and the texture.

    We had identified the culprit - for easy child, the problem was tartrazine. Additive 102. The behavioural change in her was remarkable.

    Over the years we avoided giving her tartrazine but as she reached her teens and began going to parties at friends' houses, she began testing herself and found her tolerance to it had increased. This was not an allergic reaction, it was a sensitivity reaction. It's not mediated through the immune system, it's more direct.

    Now she's an adult she doesn't seem to have this problem. Maybe it's dose-related, and the small baby who only weighed 10 Kg couldn't tolerate the dose, where a woman who weighs 90 Kg doesn't have a problem.

    But it is something to consider in all this.

    With Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) and food sensitivity, I repeat - the Sydney research team found about 30% of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) kids had a food sensitivity which was clouding things and making their behaviour or some other symptom, much worse. But difficult child 3 is in the 70% for whom diet is making no difference. He has an allergy to a particular artificial colour (red, this time) but it's a known problem and we're finding it's not used in most foods these days. And all it does is give him urticaria.

    This is another reason for keeping a diary. When there are problems, you often can't see the wood for the trees. It's later on when you read back over the diary, mybe weeks later, maye only days later, that it clicks for you. or for someone else reading the diary (maybe a teacher, maybe a doctor).

    We used the diary as a communication book, we found it made a big difference to how the teacher coped at school. And if the teacher is coping, the child has a better chance. If the teacher is not coping, chances are this will cause big problems in the child's behaviour. Maybe not at school, but certainly at home. The kid has to break out somewhere...

    Let us know how you get on.