ODD/ADHD - I'm out of ideas

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by alevine76, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. alevine76

    alevine76 Struggling for air

    I have a 12 year old son who has had difficulties since the age of 3. He has been in therapy for over 4 years (diagnosed at age 8) and on medications for 3 years.

    My son has been challenging to raise, to say the least, but I am to a point where I am out of ideas. I am so frustrated by his behaviors that I am stressed out all the time, I cry myself to sleep, and everynight is just another battle with him.

    He has a 504 plan at school, but it doesn't seem to do much good now that he is in middle school and at home he just won't follow any rules at all. He lies all the time to everyone and what's worse is he manipulates us to get his way. He is very intelligent, yet he is flunking his classes because he doesn't want to do the work.

    He is still in therapy, but everything the doctor tells us to try backfires. A strick set of consequences and rewards have been all that have worked for him in the past, but they don't work anymore. He doesn't care if he gets a consequence and he doesn't care if he doesn't earn a reward.

    I am out of ideas and the doctor isn't helping. I just don't know what to do anymore. I am contemplating sending him away to a military or boarding school and that breaks my heart.

    I don't know any other parents who share my issues and no one in my family understands what it is like. They all just tell me I need stronger discipline, can you believe that! My dad even tells me that I just need to beat him to keep him scared of me so he will get it together.

    Please help if you can. I would love to find a local support group or someone to talk to so I don't feel so alone in this.:wornout:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you think his diagnosis. is right?
  3. alevine76

    alevine76 Struggling for air

    I do believe the diagnosis is correct. He has remained constant in his behaviors over the years.
  4. dcwsaranac

    dcwsaranac I hear music...

    I am going to assume that your father is a great guy that just happens to be a complete jerk on this one topic. Don't beat the child.

    I'm dealing with a 6yr old ADHD/ODD, and and have dealt with older boys through foster parenting. Regrettfully, I don't have any useful advice for one your age.

    Do know this: you have found a good board with some great people on it. You are not alone.
  5. dirobb

    dirobb I am a CD addict

    You are definetly not alone. Having the same battle at home. Sorry no answers. we are trying to figure out what to do ourselves.
  6. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Good morning! You've come to the right place!

    My difficult child is also 12, been on medications and in therapy since age 4. I've decided I don't care what they call it, just help me fix it the best that I can so all of us suffer as little as possible.

    A few, very few, behavior modifications have helped in the past and he's still in therapy, but I can't really say that any of the therapy or behavior mods have helped us much. I think the best it did was help me keep the faith that there IS something wrong with him and I'm not going nutz.

    Now at age 12, things have been changing and I'm sure it has to to with hormones. I can't really say he's mouthy-er than before (that's impossible), but I think I'm at a point where I'm tolerating it less. I'm ssssooooooo tired of putting up with all the games.........tho I'm not sure it IS games. Like your child, no consequences have ever worked anymore than for the immediate issue at hand. Now that he's almost as big as I am, I want so badly to treat him more like an adult, but I just can't. It's so hard for me to look at him and expect him to ACT like a 12 year old and he just plain can't do it.

    As you will note below, difficult child is on many medications and they truly do help...some.
    There are days I don't think I can live with him anymore. Then there are days that I don't know what I'd do if he weren't here every day.

    I'm sorry you are hurting enough that you had to find us, but this is honestly a wonderful bunch of people. We support each other day in and day out. We listen, we share our problems, give our points of vew, and encourage each other to make it through another day. Glad you're here...and as you have read, you are not alone. :crazy2:

  7. SaraT

    SaraT New Member

    Um.. are our kids twins?. lol

    Sorry, couldn't help myself, I thought for sure you were discribing my difficult child, Little B. She has a high IQ, but her grades don't show it due to lack of doing work and rushing through tests.

    I don't know if you have read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene, but it does give some insight into our kids. It helped me to learn to pick my battles, and let the little stuff go.

    As for the consequence and rewards not working, ditto here. difficult child just doesn't care. Still struggling with this one myself. We did manage to get her grades up to c's or higher by offering her choir(she loves choir) only if she kept her grades up. We can still pull choir at any time if her grades slip.

    I am wondering about his social skills, and moods. Does he have social skills at his grade level, or below? Does he swing from one mood to another for no apparent reason? What medications is he taking, if any?

    Just wondering, because my difficult child was originally diagnosis'd ADHD/ODD, but we later found out it was not ODD at all, but instead mood disorder and Aspergers. Not that yours has these, but maybe there is something besides ADHD going on.(Just a thought, I am not dxing, I am not a Dr.) Has he had a full evaluation? If so how long ago?

    How long has it been since the school did an evaluation? I would look into having a new one done, and trying to get an IEP instead of the 504. There are more services and protections under an IEP. The schools evaluation will determine if he qualifies.

    Sorry for all the questions, but it will give us a better picture of your difficult child, and we can then offer better information.

    Hang in there. You are NOT alone.
  8. alevine76

    alevine76 Struggling for air

    Thank you all so much for your responses. I did read the Explosive Child and (what seems like) a million other books when he was first diagnosed. I guess it bears re-reading.

    It just feels like a second full-time job trying to keep up with him. I really liked your suggestion of just letting the small stuff go, but when I do this I feel like I am not being a good parent (i.e. teaching him the right way). Do you ever feel this way and how do you cope with your feeling of inadequacy as a parent?

    My son is on Adderral and it really helps with his impulsivity to keep him on task, but he still struggles daily. Without the medications it is so much worse!

    He constantly struggles with feeling of inadequacy and gets upset when he knows that he has hurt us again, but he just can't stop the behaviors. He does have mood swings, but they are usually revolved around his behavior (i.e. if he is in trouble or not).

    He was very much behind his peers for a long time. He is still very immature but seems to be more on target with his peers these days. Since we only have one child at home it is really difficult to gage. He had a lot of trouble making friends and building relationships but we put him in a social skills group for a year and that did wonders.

    It may be a good idea to have another evaluation at the school because his needs are so different now that he has 7 different teachers and much more responsibility for himself. His full psychiatric evaluation was done at age 8 and we had two different ones done to make sure. We feel pretty good about his diagnosis, but struggle to find a treatment plan that will work. Like you, we don't care what it's called...we just want help.

    It is so nice to find a place where people relate to what I am going through. Thank you for being here.
  9. So Tired

    So Tired Member

    Alevine, I am new to this board also, but my heart goes out to you. Others who are not dealing with it just cannot understand. They say things like "Just tell him he has to improve his grades or no phone, car, etc" Jeeze, if it were that easy don't they think that's what I'd be doing?? That may work for most kids, but sometimes just nothing works at all, or for just a short time. Alevine, mine is 18 now and all the leveage I have is letting him live here or not. I guess that was the hard part for me -- realizing I couldn't "make" him do anything. (and don't think they don't know that!)

    Please don't let others make you feel guilty! You love your child and have been trying so hard for him, otherwise you would have not found this site.

    I have found some help in the Total Transformation program. It is very expensive, but helped me see what behaviors of mine were only making the problem worse. (We used to have actual physical altercations) It was the first thing I found that seemed to describe my kid to a "T" Also, I began seeing a therapist just for me - my little 1 hour gift to myself each week. An lastly, I have a circle of girlfriends each with a difficult child of their own. In my darkest hours they have been there for me, and I for them. I hope you find that kind of community here...
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmm. Do you have mood disorders on the family tree? Any neurological problems? Consistent behavior doesn't mean he has been diagnosed right...just a thought. Do you see improvement with his treatment? Is he on ADHD stims? Do they help? You may want to do a signature like the one I have below so we can have a brief overview of the family and what is going on with your child :) (I'm an oldie here...lol...in many, many ways!)
  11. alevine76

    alevine76 Struggling for air

    Midwest Mom, we did a complete neurological work-up when we got him diagnosed and he was fine. Regarding my side of the tree, there is nothing out of the ordinary. On his bio-father's side, there may be history...but we aren't together (haven't been since he was 3 mo. old) and they aren't willing to share any negative family history with me. His original doctor met with his bio-father when doing the background work for his evaluation and feels there may be a genetic component from that side of the family, but because we don't know for sure it's hard to say. He is on ADHD medications and they help a lot with impulsivity, but not enough for him to stop the behaviors before it's too late.

    So Tired - thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I worry so much about what kind of life my son will have when he gets older if he doesn't learn proper coping skills now. We have spent so much money on specialist, etc. and it only seems to help for a few days and then we are back to square one. I used to work part-time just so I could go to school with him during the day and make sure he did his work. Boy was that exhusting! It is too a point where he needs that kind of attention again, but I just don't have the energy or patients anymore.