newcomer dec 2011

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by marymoo1, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. marymoo1

    marymoo1 New Member

    Hi All

    I'm not sure if i'm in the right place or not. I'm Mary i live in Sydney Australia with my husband and almost 7yr old son. I recently took my son to the pediatrician and he advised me that our son has traits of ADHA and has ODD. After googling ODD i realised that it was my son to a "T" and had explained some behaviour at school. I'm a little overwhealmed and my husband doesn't belive that our son has ODD (he's in denile). i'm not sure what to do or where to start. the Dr has given me some advise on family groups etc which i'll start to look into in the new year.

    I was reading some of the strands on here and i'm not sure of some of the lingo (difficult child, CD, etc) i'm new to forums also. if anyone has advice of know of any assistance i can get in Sydney please let me know.

    Many thanks

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome.

    To start with the easiest question: acronyms...
    First... if you see a dotted underline below an acronym, just hoover your mouse over top, and the meaning will pop up. Try this one: ADHD
    Second... there's the forum called "Site help and resources", which has a page defining some of the other terms used around here.
    Beyond that - ask. We've all been there done that too.

    There will be others along with lots more questions and feedback.
    I'd like to start by taking your husband's side... and not buying into the ODD diagnosis too much yet.
    For many of us here on the board, ODD is either useless, misleading, or a place-holder. In my own experience, it works as a place-holder, but not as a real diagnosis. However, I have seen posts and other reliable info that there are a few kids out there for whom this diagnosis makes sense. So, I don't exactly trash it, but... I don't trust it.

    ODD defines unacceptable behavior patterns. And many kids fit those patterns.
    But... those same kids, very often, have other missed dxes. And these other dxes tell you far more than ODD ever will.
    ODD does not have anything to offer in terms of interventions (things like therapy), accommodations (such as modifications to school), or medications.
    The OTHER dxes, do.

    ODD may be a mis-diagnosis for things like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Aspergers, mental illnesses, and other things.
    It may also be the result of other missed dxes. If the child has several "hidden" challenges that are missed for long enough, the history of failure and misunderstanding can lead to all sorts of behavior issues that look like ODD... but, if you can find the missing dxes and bring in appropriate accommodations, interventions and/or medications... the ODD also goes away.

    At 7... he's young yet.
    But, he's also old enough for very detailed, very valid testing.

    Can you tell us more about your son?
    How was his early development?
    What does he struggle with?
    What works - and what doesn't - at school?
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi Mary! you are in good company. if you hold your cursor over the abbreviations that have underlines the definition will pop up. difficult child is gift from God... what we call our challenging kids. CD is conduct disorder the name of the board..... there is also a thread with the commonly used abbreviations which I always forget the link to but someone one will see this and help you get there.

    You will find that many of us here find the ODD diagnosis pretty much useless. It describes behavior as you say, but does not help with the cause at all and really lends people to think negatively about kids, like they are just choosing to be naughty. You will also find that many kids who start out with the ADHD/ODD diagnosis end up when a little older with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or bipolar or other diagnoses. There are many umbrella diagnoses that include these very behaviors but the treatment is different and helps to actually help the symptoms more effectively because you are treating the source of the issues. If you can, you may want to have a more complete evaluation done. Often pediatricians do not really have the full training needed to know all of the developmental issues that can mimic these diagnosis. NOT to say he is wrong for sure... but it is just too important to know so you can get appropriate treatments. Has he had any evaluations for sensory issues, auditory processing, motor (fine and gross and planning), communicaiton (speech, language, social), general development and ability??? We have other members here from Australia so I suspect they will pop in and help you to know the names of the appropriate folks who can do full evaluations.

    we tend to suggest Neuropsychologists (neuropsychologist evaluations) and some use developmental pediatricians, who specialize in differential diagnosis. Also occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists to do motor, sensory and communication evaluations.

    You will likely hear lots of people ask you questions and please know you only have to tell us what you are comfortable with. We dont ask to judge, but rather to help those of us who can relate be able to better offer support. The words we share are provided out of care and kindness and you only take what fits for you. Do not get overwhelmed if sometthing feels off. We are just parents like you.

    I know that it feels so hard and grief filled to hear your child has a big problem like this. It will take a while and you two will probably not do it on the same schedule. Try to encourage eachother and accept where each of you are on the journey. This can really tear a family apart. Lots of married folks here can share their tricks and pitfalls.

    Well, I will let you go, please know you are not alone. Keep checking in! HUGS, Dee
  4. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    There is a member called Marguerite who lives in Australia who may well be able to help you with this info. She hasn't been around so much lately and is probably otherwise occupied with the holidays :) Perhaps you could send her a private message.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    One of our members is from Australia. I'm sure she'll check in.

    Welcome to the board!
  6. marymoo1

    marymoo1 New Member

    Hi All

    Thanks so much for your replies, you have all given me a lot to think about and look into.

    A bit of my background for you - I have a nephew (sisters son) who has been diagnosis with ADHD at age 15 (2010). She has 3 boys and a girl and all her boys seem to be very oppositial and disruptive in one way or another. She is a single mother coping on her own but with the help of my parents. My sister's son is on medication and that seems to be helping him alot, she is only know finding out what she needs to do etc. i might pass on the link to the forum for her as i know she could do with the assistance of you all. My brothers son was diagnosis with aspergers around age 7 (now 10). So things like this must be in our blood line i guess.

    I'm not sure what to tell you about my son's early development to me it was pretty normal i guess always had alot of energy but was and still is a good kid, until he started school. He started in day care full time at the age of 5mths (i really needed to go back to work for money reasons but i hated doing it). From there he started school in 2010 at age 4 and 10mths turning 5 in the March. He was on the highest behaviour levels by mid way through the year i was thinking 'you can't get expelled in kindegarted surely". First grade was pretty much a repeat and the teachers did say he was somewhat oppositional but not ADD etc. I will take your advice and go for a second opinion. Also at the early age of around 7mths old my son was diagnosis with atopic ezcema, from there we were directed to the childrens hospital for allergy testing and the result of that was that my son was anaphylactic (eggs, nuts) but since then he's been tested each year and jsut recently Dec 2011 his testing improved which suggested that he's growing out of the allergies, praise God.

    Yesterday (new years eve) was horrible. we were going out to dinner and NYE celebrations and all i had asked was for him to shower and get ready, i had asked about 3 times then i turned the TV off as he wasnt listening and all hell broke loose, i got spat on which i promptly said to him was disgusting and direspectful and then my husband stepped in. I just feel i'm not able to control him with these outbursts, when he's like that he lashes out and tries to hit me, he picks up things to hit me with. I'm worried about when he gets older if he will hurt himself or anyone else. I am a little softer on him than my husband but it breaks my heart too. i know i need to toughen up and there are going to be hard days though.

    you asked what does he struggle with - being told what to do period, if he doesn't want to do it he wont for me but if his father steps in it gets done.
    I know that yelling and screaming at him doesn't work, nor does smacking, as he'll just hit me back.

    Thanks again for your support.

  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Mary, does he have friends? How does he do socially in school? I hope you stop looking at ODD on the internet for now. So many of us have heard that about our kids and only to later have it thrown out. It really does not help other than to say that for some reason... a reason that you have yet to fully investigate, your son is struggling right now.

    the tv/shower issue... sounds like he has a hard time going from a preferred activity to a less preferred activity. when you start recording behaviors and looking at patterns it will be much more helpful to you. If this is an issue, it may be that your son would do well with really structured schedules. Personalized ones (schools often have them on the board, but they can have a picture schedule for your son and check off each step or flip pages to the next activity to show him before the transition time etc. when kids can spend some time wrapping their heads around what will happen visually not just hru listening skills, they often do much better.

    BUT any time you start a new behavior plan, children usually INCREASE the neg. behavior first then it gets better. it is just a common behavioral principle.

    I have had many students who did well up until school time. Once the demands of school plus the transitions between environments become bigger, the child struggles more. Another idea is that if he started struggling in school fairly quickly then it is likely there is some issue going on in that kind of setting (Learning Disability (LD), motor issues, adhd, social skill issues, language processing, auditory processing, sensory, who knows.. to be determined) that has now got him so frustrated that he can't maintain in any environment. think of an adult who HATES their job. They are miserable everywhere. It is just an idea....

    Just because a dr says that there is a diagnosis does not make it so forever. All that means is that in that setting given the information you shared and without the benefit of a full evaluation by people who can help you to see if there are other developmental and learning issues, this diagnosis matches what you are describing that you see. If you get too hung up on the ODD part of this you may read things that really are saying that kids with these serious behavior issues had odd diagnosis before the new behavior diagnosis. But the fact is many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), ADHD, Bi-Polar, Learning Disability (LD), and many other diagnosis also have ODD mentioned for them at first until the real problem is sorted through. Just offering hope, I really feel you owe it to yourself and your son to look at a complete ability, skill, and physical/neurological/biochemical assessment with a neuropsychologist. I hope there is a way for you to access that through a child development clinic or childrens hospital in your area.

    OR, you can come stay with me! I'll host you while you get one done here, lol.... I am sure that would be really inexpensive, (not).

    HUGS to you.... love, Dee
  8. soapbox

    soapbox Member


    Kid starts school. World falls apart. Sounds... familiar!

    Lets see...
    ADHD plus ODD.
    ADHD - might be accurate, or might be "way" off.
    ODD - is possibly an accurate description of behavior, but... doesn't tell you anything else, except that maybe there is something more going on.

    For now, lets start with ADHD, and the complexities that can be associated with it.

    1) 50% of kids with ADHD, also have Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) - developmental coordination disorder. If they have gross motor skills, they are called "clumsy" and are bullied a LOT. If they have fine motor skills, every single school task in those early years is next to impossible. And if you can't keep up in school... you get either excluded, or bullied, and really, exclusion is just a "nicer" form of bullying. And... many kids are affected in both gross and fine motor skills. You will probably have a difficult time getting a diagnosis of Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) (or any of its other names... like developmental dyspraxia). But... a thorough Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for motor skills WILL highlight deficits - and can provide documentation for school accommodations, and can provide interventions that help. There are NO medications for Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

    2) Learning disabilities are frequently co-morbid with ADHD. I don't have direct stats, but there's lots of them - dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalcula, dysnomia, etc.

    3) 70% of kids with ADHD and one or more LDs, also have Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - auditory processing disorder. Classical Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) is where there is a significant difference between comprehension of written language and comprehension of spoken language, with spoken being much weaker. However, there are others... including the often-missed problem with "auditory figure ground" - comprehension is fine, kid does much better one-on-one, but... he just isn't getting what the teacher is saying in a classroom setting... because of the background noise. People with this problem have significant difficulties focusing on the "important" sounds and making sense of them - their filters are faulty, rather than their hearing... AND... while APDs are frequently co-morbid with ADHD, they can also look like ADHD even when it isn't present. The kid isn't paying attention... obviously, that's ADHD, right? Not necessarily.

    Oh yes. Me and my soapbox. This got long on me again.
    As you can tell from my sig... we were burnt by these.
    Something to think about, maybe?
  9. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Just wanted to say, welcome.....
  10. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

  11. marymoo1

    marymoo1 New Member

    Thank you Allan i'll look into those links..

    Thanks Dee and soapbox. i've looked into local developmental pediatricians and i am going to organise an appointment for a second opinion. i'll let you know how that goes.

    last year we did introduce a 'reward' chart etc with the reward being pocket money at the end of the week if all tasks were done. this seem to start as you say with a negative attitude but has been going well as it is also teaching him to save his money for those things he wants to buy. I will definately continue with the reward chart this year although it has slacked a bit over the holiday period.

    my son usually stays with my parents in the school holidays for a week or two which he loves (as they spoil him) but i am onto that also asking my parents to respect my rules when parenting him and not to bow to his every whim. they are slowly getting on board. he is the youngest grandchild of 11 in total.

    Apart from the NYE incident we've had a pretty good two days with him sitting still whilst we read him books and with the whole family enjoying activities together all be it video games etc, at least we are all together and nobody is getting angry. my husband is planning a bushwalk this afternoon so that will be good.

  12. marymoo1

    marymoo1 New Member

    I made enquiries yesterday with a place in Sydney (developmental clinic) they do a full day assessment of your difficult child which they said would cost me $930 and i would receive roughly $333 back from medicare. Although i believe they would off a thorough service, this is just something i really can't afford right now.

    I've rung the childrens hospital but that department isn't back until 16 Jan. I'll contact them again then.

    My husband doesn't want me to spend another cent on anything to do with 'odd' as he doesn't agree with the diagnosis. I understand his feelings but my difficult child seems somewhat more oppositinal now than ever having more outbursts then before each day (with me) there is some sort of disagreement. Am i focusing too much on it possibly i'm causing the areguments?

    We've just been at my parents the last couple of days and my difficult child is really clashing with my mother and i've taken him aside a few times and had quiet words with him to calm him down and ask him to show respect and control his language etc. My father thinks it's lack of discipline which i stopped him in his tracks and said no way he gets pulled up for basically everything i've always disciplined my child he's actually better behaved then some of my friends kids are in a public situation. He just doesn't act like a normal 6 year old, sometimes he's way beyond his years or even acts below his years. I've noticed the whole blaming others so much more now.

    Does anyone know of a good development peadiatrician in Western Sydney who i might be able to see with reasonable rates.


  13. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Did you check with their billing office? Sometimes clinics will arrange a really reasonable payment plan at no or low interest. I sometimes have to remind myself that an investment now will pay off big time in the end. If he has a crisis.... you may not have so much flexibility where to go or what it will cost. Just a thought. Of course there are times when even a small payment is just too much. I am in that place often these days.
  14. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Hi, Mary, and welcome to the board.

    Alot of people (family members, friends, parents of other kids who are PCs) who have no idea what it is like to have to parent a difficult child will always say that it's a lack of discipline. I was told that by the social worker in difficult child's elementary school. In other words: it's your fault. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM!!!!! This is not your fault in any way. It took me years to finally get that through my head. I felt like a failure for a very long time, but then someone said to me that if I was truly a failure easy child would behave the same way that difficult child does. Plus, you said that difficult child is basically a good kid.

    If husband does not want to spend any more money on getting difficult child tested what does he think needs to be done?
  15. marymoo1

    marymoo1 New Member

    Thanks guys.... difficult child has been at my parents for the last couple of weeks for the school holidays. apart from some small tifs with the other grandkids by all reports he's been well behaved and i'm told my father has him in the palm of his hand.....difficult child really loves his POPPY....speaking to difficult child on the phone at nights he is nice mannered and seems well behaved too.

    school will start back soon in a week or so lets hope he keeps it up...

    i'll be looking into some counselling/parenting information for the family etc also.
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Oh so glad for the break. Just a friendly warning, do not let this make you think ...see they are right, it is my fault... because kids honeymoon and are treated differently in grandparents homes. (in any new setting) plus it is vacation. No school stuff, no home chores etc. Real life is different.
  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi Mary. Found you.

    I'm also from Sydney.

    The link Allan posted is a good one, he was a few steps ahead of me. Basically, with a lot of these kids the discipline methods can be a factor. That doesn't mean you're a bad parent, only that what you are trying to do is not working for that child. Your parenting methods might work fine for any other kid, but one like ours - awful! Try to get "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene out of your local library. Put in a request for it if you need to. In the meantime, look for it on this site and read up on it. The book has helped us a great deal. The most important lesson - these kids often do not learn by usual discipline - instead, they learn by observing other's behaviours. So how you treat your child becomes how your child treats you. If you do the "Do it NOW!" routine with a child like this, they will also expect instant compliance from you and shout at you when you fail to meet their demands.

    There are options for you, but he does need a neuropsychologist assessment at some stage. Depending on what part of Sydney you're in, there are public hospital clinics which can help here, but the waiting list is long.

    If you're in the population centre of Sydney, Westmead is worth a try. East - POW. Central/inner city (or prepared to travel there) - Sydney Uni has Brain & Mind (or Headspace), worth a try. He may be too young for Headspace, but they can advise you. You would need to make enquiries, find out which clinic can help assess ADHD and other possible co-morbid conditions (ie he may have more than one problem) and then get a referral from the GP. You may need to do this with a Mental Health Management Plan, and Medicare has cut back on the benefits you can get with these. However, any bulk-billed help is better than none.

    Things should begin picking up this week after the holiday period, so you should be able to get some useful answers on Monday.

    Some pediatricians are brilliant with this, some are awful. Some have a revolving door approach to diagnosis, so every kid they see leaves with the same label. Your aim is to get the correct label and then the most appropriate management. Down our way I've crossed paths with good ones and bad ones. A lot of them also have rooms in the inner city, so if you can trek in to the city, you can see whoever. But the hospital system - it tends to push you into Community Health, and that can be too little and far too late. Also worth a try though, especially for someone so young. Community Health being free, it tends to be overstretched. But sometimes you van be lucky, and if a case is considered urgent enough, you can get fast-tracked.

    If you can, get your husband to lurk here or post here. My husband & I were already communicating well, we thought, but when he read my posts here he said it seemed to condense the information and it helped him really understand what was concerning me. We talked more effectively and are even more of a team now.

    I'm generally around more, I've just been a bit tied down lately with a few other issues. I'll try to stay in touch with you and this thread.

    In the meantime - read up on "Explosive Child". I'm betting it will ring your bells. I just wish I got commission on it!

  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I do agree with what Marguerite says here (and it is what I was trying to say in my answer to fightingthetide - I think that was the poster's name :)) Ordinary discipline methods do not (alas - so much easier if they did) work with my child and how I treat him is what I get back. Very much so.
  19. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The other interesting thing is that these kids will vary what they dish back, according to the different way each other person handles them. So with us, for example, because husband always tried to be the strict disciplinarian Dad, difficult child 3 really clashes with him even now that husband tries really hard to be the model of Ross Greene philosophy. Unfortunately, husband can't hold to it constantly and if caught unawares or if tired, he reverts to "Because I said so!" and shouts, which undoes all the hard work he's put in. And it is most unfair for husband, that I CAN at times shout at difficult child 3 without him saying he hates me forever.

    This does make it more difficult at times, with me trying to be peacemaker and also trying to soothe husband's hurt feelings. Sometimes there is harmony between them, but mostly there is more resentment. In vain do I explain to difficult child 3 how much alike he and his dad are.

    Ironically, difficult child 3 does tend to hold it together for mother in law even though her discipline is very inconsistent and involves teasing followed by "I was only joking." A form of parenting I have always abhorred. No wonder husband is still struggling with the right way to parent - we learn from the way we were raised, and I personally observed the latter stages of husband's upbringing and was at times horrified. Not that my mother was perfect - she used emotional blackmail with devastating effect at times. However, she was consistent, firm and in her own way, loving. Just not very demonstrative with it. I also had the privilege of observing my mother get amazing results from problem kids in our local church choir. I especially remember seeing one such "Rake's Progress" in reverse and ever after, I aspired to be like my mother. I know that if my mother were still alive, she would command the utmost love and respect from difficult child 3. mother in law, he tolerates, loves her in his own way but he is wary of her too. He knows to guard himself well when he is around her and so is able to withstand her jibes most of the time. I suspect he limits his time around her, however, to amounts that he CAN tolerate without exploding.

    Humour is the best way to defuse any situation. Also, avoiding blame where possible. Natural consequences are much easier to teach and also more logical. "You didn't come to the table when you were called so now your dinner is cold." Natural consequence. Too often when something goes wrong, we have actually taught our children to look for someone to blame. We do this as parents, partly in our attempts to teach natural consequences, but we then try to drive the lesson home hard and do a lot more damage than good. Trying to un-teach blame is difficult and time-consuming but worth it. You will also find as you embark on this, that you learn more about yourself than you feel comfortable with. I never realised how much I blame other people, until I tried to teach my kids to accept fate and move on.

    Old habits die hard. Even harder for a difficult child. And a difficult child adult - don't expect too much change, but expect to have to adapt.