ODD and SEVERE Aggressiveness

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jan71, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Jan71

    Jan71 Guest

    I love this forum, and I would be on it more often, were it not for the chaos in my home.

    My 7yo difficult child son, has been home with me since school let out. My hubby works during the day. He has ADHD and ODD and is presently taking Concerta (36 mg.), a switch from Focalin XR last week. He is completely out of control at times every day. He typically does the opposite of whatever I would like for him to do. Sometimes, this is quite senseless. For example, this morning, we went to pick strawberries, and he refused to stay in the row to which we were assigned. He would pick strawberries from any other row but the one that we were supposed to be using. To make a long story short, because I could not get him to come around to following directions, after explaining why we needed to stay in that row, we were nearly asked to leave the strawberry patch!! We can't even do a small enjoyable thing together. The ODD is SO hard to live with.

    Anyway, as the day continues, difficult child goes on his scooter down the road with his older, 14yo brother and my nephew. He refused to move over to the side of the road when a car was coming, as he was told to do by his older brother!! My 14 yo tried to physically make him get to the side of the road, and difficult child hits and scratches him. I tried to intervene and get him to come back home safely, and he raises his fist to me and screams and yells and continues, to my horror, scooter right on by, even further toward the highway. He ignores my pleas for him to move to the side of the road. My sister, who is bigger than me, manages to catch him, and drag him kicking and screaming, scratching and hitting and throwing gravel at her, back into our house, up the stairs, and into his room. He is enraged and completely unreasonable. He will not calm down. He throws things all over his room. He raised the phone at me, and threatened to whip it at my head.

    This happens in some form every single day. Two days ago, he threw a large pail at me in the driveway, stomped on my feet, and beat me as hard as he could with his fists because I told him "no" to something he wanted. I have bruises and scratches all over. I also have a severe hearing sensitivity and loud tinnitus, of which difficult child is aware, and so he screams as loudly as possible to hurt me. These screaming fits can set my hearing back for weeks or months. It could even cause permanent damage. :sad-very:

    If anyone were to witness my difficult child's behavior, they would think he was the most sassy, terrible, naughty, disobedient, aggressive, angry, defiant, and undisciplined child on the planet.

    He did better at school while on his medication, but since school let out, he's been off the deep end with bad behavior at home. I can't control him physically. He weighs 50 pounds now, and when he's hitting, I refuse to get into it physically with him in any way. I don't really know what to do. I am finding that he's too old to manage physically with these problems. He refuses to go to summer school in the mornings, which is supposed to be fun. He chose to sit in the car with me this week one day for the four hours summer school was in session, rather than go into the building.

    Others in my family have suggested a good hard spanking or slap to the mouth, etc. We have used time outs and are more recently trying to implement Dr. Greene's methods from the Explosive Child book. They help somewhat so far, but in the safety situation I just mentioned (scooter episode), it didn't work at all.

    We've had difficult child evaluated at the children's hopsital (multi-disciplinary), and he was diagnosed with severe ADHD and apraxia of speech. He also has ODD, however, they did not believe he has a mood disorder or any autistic issues.

    We obviously need help. Where do I go from here? Who can I tell that my 7yo is abusive toward me? What am I doing wrong? How can I stop his aggressiveness? It seems to be his new pattern for the summer. I'm not sure, but he seems to be meaner and more aggressive on his medication than off of it. What about respite care or in-home services? I'm so burned out.

    My sister says he's just choosing to be naughty and knows what he is doing; that he is just pushing the limits over the top. I know she thinks we're not firm enough with disciplining him. It stings when family will not acknowledge the disorder.

    Is there any help for ODD?:mad:

  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Jan,
    I wish I could say that you had the most obnoxious, loud, rude, ill-behaved kid on the planet--but we're a close 2nd. And lots of people here are runners up! That's why we're here.
    I feel for you.
    I've even found myself thinking, "Fine. Get run over. See if I care," a split second b4 I yank my difficult child's arm to pull him out of harm's way.
    by the way, don't listen to your sister. That's the only advice I have today. I'm worn out.
    Take care.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Jan, I'm sorry if you've gone through the history of your difficult child before, but I have a few questions that I hope will help us help you.

    What made the MDE folks rule out Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)? Apraxia of speech, ADHD-like symptoms and oppositional behaviors frequently accompany Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

    Are things better, worse or about the same since he started Concerta?

    How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?

    Any developmental delays?

    Has he been evaluated for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects?

    Any substance abuse or mental health issues in his family tree?

    I hope we can point you in the right direction for help.
  4. Jan71

    Jan71 Guest

    Terry. Thanks, and I understand being worn out, that's for sure. I don't know why it bothers me so much what my sister thinks. I guess it's bad enough having a child with a disruptive behavior disorder, but to then be blamed for it, just frosts the cake, you know?

    smallworld, I'm not sure exactly why the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) was ruled out. I believe it was because of his understanding of social cues, interaction, eye contact, and absence of repetitive behaviors/interests, etc. The apraxia of speech problem is not the type of speech disorder seen in autistic children either. However, he is VERY inflexible in a lot of situations and apparently easily overstimulated and overwhelmed with things.

    Since he started Concerta, it seems that he is definitely less hyperactive in school. His teacher said he did much better after starting medication. However, I think he seems more agitated and agressive and just plain mean when he's on the Concerta. It seems to make him focus more on everything, including things he wants and will not take no for an answer of.

    We held him back in kindergarten due to his apraxia of speech and emotional immaturity. This year (the second time around) he performed very well in kindergarten, and his teacher said he is very bright. As his speech improves, he seems to be doing better with friends. He is shy and has difficulty entering groups. He can also be quite bossy, which is not a good thing.

    Developmentally, he is not delayed in any other way. However, he does still wet the bed (and his pants) quite frequently. I'm not sure if the wet pants are on purpose because he just can't stop what he's doing long enough to use the bathroom, or if it is a physical problem. He also has heavy duty night sweats. He was tested for blood sugar and bladder infection problems, but had negative results.

    We adopted difficult child at birth, and we do not have any information about his boyfriend. His BM smoked through half of her pregnancy, until she realized she was expecting. Then she quit. According to her, she did not drink or take other drugs during her pregnancy. The BM has stated that she believes she has ADHD. We're not aware of any other mental health problems in his bio family history.

  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Jan, it seems to me that you haven't gotten to the bottom of what's going on with your difficult child, and a new evaluation is in order. Sometimes evaluators just don't get it right, and you have to go on to a new professional.

    ODD rarely stands alone. It is typically fueled by an underlying disorder like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), etc. When the underlying disorder is identified and treated, the oppositional behaviors generally subside.

    ADHD stimulants like Concerta can exacerbate pre-exisiting anxiety and cause depression. They can also wreak havoc with the moods of children with bipolar disorder. The hyperfocus you describe makes me think Concerta is making your difficult child more anxious.

    I don't believe this is a matter of your difficult child choosing to misbehave. Because his behavior is dangerous to self and others, it's extremely important that you locate a professional who can help you figure out what's going on with your difficult child. Have you considered a partial hospitalization program or an inpatient stay to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment?
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Agree with smallmom 100%. I think you should get a neuropsychologist evaluation. I would not stand for hearing that there is no chance of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) or a mood disorder in this child if he were mine. There are too many symptoms.
  7. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    oh sweetie, my 1st ? is do they have the right diagnosis>? I know ADHD medications made my bi-polar difficult child II off the wall. I am wondering if a mood stabilizer would be a better fit? Have you gone through a neurologist? I am in the process of deciding wether or not to put difficult child II on lithium, because he is still very distorted in his thinking. Prayers going out to you for some peace and quiet.