ODD? Behavioral Specialist Therapy?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by orcaauntie, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Upon doing some research I came across ODD. My niece exhibits many of the symptoms. She isn't however defiant against ALL authority, just my Mom for the most part. Sometimes my stepfather.. but she has this special rapport with him that her defiance against him is more limited, but he may not "deal" with situations in the most effective manner. Interesting how it's that way when my mom has more effective techniques. She simply seems to hate my Mom, and explodes on her calling her horrible names and saying things her Mother- who has lost custody of her, says about my Mom. And she isn't this way ALL of the time. Mostly it occurs when she doesn't get her way, or has something (i.e. cell phone) taken away.

    I do have another post with tons of family history and background information. I will be happy to repost if anyone needs to. I tried to post a signature but it turns up blank..?

    I read on a few posts here that ODD is a useless diagnosis. Is this true? My niece is currently on Vyvanse and Intuniv for ADHD I believe. She does have many underlying emotional issues which leads to her behavior.She displays so many of the symptoms.
    Source- Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/oppositional-defiant-disorder/DS00630/DSECTION=symptoms
    My mom is seeking a behavioral specialist/counselor/psychologist and I hope one turns up soon. But, will such doctor seek to diagnose something, like ODD, which is as stated by many, a blanket diagnosis?
    Her current counselor said that my niece moving in with me- 1600 miles away from her current home may be best. She has already been removed from her mother's home due to many issues and my Mom has custody. I don't know that moving her again will do anything other than cause her more harm. Although keeping her where she is means she hangs with the same friends, and possible sneaks around to see her mother, against a no-contact court order. If the new counselor says the same then I guess we need to discuss the matter further.. Otherwise I truly think a behavioral specialist needs to work on behavioral modification. Anyone have experiences with such actually working?
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  2. Morningglory

    Morningglory New Member

    Hi there Orcaantie,

    I can only give my opinion as to why ODD is just another diagnosis that can be explained with a real diagnosis like autism or bipolar disorder / manic depression, I think I can go on and on. and sometimes? i hope no one gets upset at me for saying so.. but some kids have a lack of respect or a lack of taught respect. if someone would diagnosis your niece with ODD with no other diagnosis then I would have to say get more opinions. Any child not getting a proper diagnosis and proper care for a proper diagnosis will seem ODD.
    I would have been ODD diagnosis when I was a teenager lol, My problem was mostly lack of respect. I was a classic diagnosis of a selfish bi--h. I would have to classify ODD right along side of Bi--h, theres no cure, and no medications that can make you cute and fuzzy again.

    Does she show signs of communication problems?
    Is she showing an uncontrollable mood swing?
    Is she showing signs of depression?

    I just woke up not too long ago, Me needs more coffee before I can make much more sense. Many others will be along to ask questions and help you with Ideas.
  3. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    She definitely shows signs of communication problems. When she doesn't like what my Mom says, she gets so angry, and just calls her terrible names. Niece says she holds it in for as long as she can but then my Mom "keeps bi****ng" so she blows up. So, uncontrollable mood swings- Basically, Yes.
    I think there is a communcation issue between both of them. I am preparing to discuss this observation with my Mom today. After speaking with my Niece many times, I do think she gets hurt by some things that are said, and simply hurt by her past, and she doesn't know how to express it so she gets angry. Having your Mother essentially "abandon" you for the most part, is traumatic. Special care needs to be taken with these children and I worry that my Mom isn't communicating in the most effective ways, at all times- neither is my Niece. One thing that I KNOW hurts my Niece is being called her Mom (i.e. "OK (insert Mom's name here)" or, "You're acting like your Mom". Ok, I understand you feel that way, but NIECE doesn't need to know that. It only makes her angry, and probably act more like her Mom.. with the name calling. As I said in previous posts, the names she calls my Mom are EXACTLY what my Niece's mom calls her. It may benefit them to go to counseling together and open up about their feelings, and develop better communication.

    Then Niece turns to Facebook to post her feelings about my Mom. As of right now her Wall is filled with horrible things and horrible names toward my Mom, with people commenting on the posts, encouraging her! Since my mom restricted her access, she cannot go on to delete them. The only way she has access to FB right now is on her cell phone through text messages. Her data plan is cancelled, which she doesn't realize yet. When I was talking to her last night she just kept saying that her phone wasn't working right and that it wasn't letting her on FB. I also asked her if she would delete the posts if she had access and she said she would.. not sure if she was just saying that to appease me.

    As for depression, I am not sure... but is highly possible given the history. I will also discuss this possibility with my Mom.

    P.S. I ordered her "The Explosive Child" last night for my Mom. I will also get a copy for myself to read. I just hope she reads it with an open mind and that it helps the possible counter-productive communication issues. She has read another book that she said did no good. Not sure of the title though.
  4. Morningglory

    Morningglory New Member

    She really does need to have an evaluation done. First and for most counseling. This will get at least things rolling in the right direction. She could be bipolar Click here for symptoms and definition bipolar is also classified with manic depression. if bipolar is something your looking in to for her or she gets the diagnosis for that, watch for signs of suicide, constant talk of ending their life ( even if they are just angry). It can be a very dangerous disorder, but can be controlled if given the proper medications and counseling. low self esteem can be apart of symptoms.

    my bipolar baby has very low self esteem but also at the same time shows being egotistical. It is usually very confusing to me. violence is part of bipolar, watch close for violent behavior.

    I hope this is helping you. I'm so sorry you, your mom, and the difficult child are having issues. Help can literally be phone calls away.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm going to suggest that, due to all the moves, she could possibly (even probably) have attachment disorder. In that case, she would not do well with ANY caregiver and she seriously would need ONE who is willing to do attachment therapy with her. Kids who are moved around a lot and who lack one caregiver often if not usually have attachment problems so they lash out at the caregivers who try the hardest. Their trust was lost long ago...it is hard for them to get it back and requires intensive, expensive at times therapy.

    I can't see how a move would help her. She has already moved too much. I can't see her listening to a behaviorist's ideas either. Maybe one day she will need out-of-home treatment in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where she can still keep her current caregiver, yet get 24/7 help. No guarantees, but this child has lived a rocky road and still seems to want to know her mother (which is puzzling to some of us, but in my opinion natural) and she may not adjust well to anybody's family life anymore.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    ODD isn't so much a "useless" diagnosis as it is a "placeholder" diagnosis.
    Its very rare for ODD to be the actual baseline problem that needs to be solved (I have heard of a few...).

    Far more often, there will be multiple undiagnosed problems that are driving this person crazy.
    They can't handle it, haven't been listened to, haven't been supported - because nobody knows what is going on.
    The ODD diagnosis means... there is definitely something going on, and its serious and has to be dealt with.
    But instead of trying to "fix" the behaviors (which rarely works), you need to "find" the "real" problems and start fixing them... and the behaviors will change OR at least can be modified.

    As others have said, there could be a whole range of potential issues. Some may be developmental - like ADHD or something on the autism spectrum. Some may be mental health - depression, anxiety - or mood disorders like BiPolar (BP) or some form of attachment disorder. The approach taken with any one of these is very different from "behavior modification".

    Moving this child again... is asking for worse trouble. Stability is absolutely key to any hope of progress. For kids, a move is one of the most stressful events in life - and that statement is for well-balanced neuro-typical kids! Its much worse for difficult child kids.
  7. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    She is diagnosis with ADHD. I have asked my Mom if she has had an evaluation done (as another poster recommended). I assume she has since she's been in counseling and diagnosis with ADHD. However, she may not have. I agree that there are underlying issues that need to be fixed and one of those issues is communication. There has been a breakdown in such between her and my Mom. I hope it can be fixed. Otherwise the real problems lie with feeling abandoned/neglected by your own Mother. That is tough to "fix", if it can be done. The other problem is feeling like your little sister is the "princess".
    In speaking with my Niece last night, she told me that her old counselor left for a new job. She doesn't like her new counselor. She liked the old one. Apparently her old counselor also told her that she didn't need anymore counseling, and that she was "normal". There's another problem. She obviously needs counseling still. She needs to discuss what is bothering her with someone in order to overcome it.
    I agree that moving her again is asking for trouble. However, keeping her there is also asking for trouble. She has access to her Mom- whether by sneaking around, or through the supervised visitations, which is toxic, as well as her friends who are a bad crowd. *Rock and a hard place*.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  8. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Thanks, I will look into the link you have provided. What you describe sounds accurate. My Mom is the one who tries the hardest and tries to lay down the law... and Niece listens to none of it most of the time.
    However she hasn't been moved often. Only once. She also spent much of her time with my Mom, even when she lived with her BioMom. All three of them did.
    Thanks again for the link!
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Did your Mom hear this directly from the old counselor? Or from your niece?
    difficult child kids often manipulate the picture they paint, so that they don't have to deal with change or consequences or whatever.
    Its not impossible that the counselor would have made that statement... some are that far out in loony land... but I'd say its highly improbable.

    How many years since the ADHD diagnosis?
    We find around here that, unless the first diagnosis results in rapid and concrete steps forward, its likely not the whole story.
    (I know of ADHD kids who went from "devil" to "angel" in 24 hours... the medications were magic. It doesn't always, or even often, go that extreme... but when it does, its obvious that the diagnosis and rx are bang on!)

    ADHD symptoms can be comorbid with all sorts of other dxes... AND, ADHD symptoms can also be part of other dxes.
    Getting a new (not updated) detailed evaluation is going to be critical.
  10. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    It came from my niece, last night while I was on the telephone with her.

    At least a couple of years. I definitely think a new evaluation should be done if that is the case.
    Oh how beautiful that would be! The medications certainly helped my nephew, and Mom notices a difference when he hasn't taken his medications yet that day.

    Very true. Very good suggestion, and I do think a new evaluation is in order.
    Though- do you know what it is called? A psychological evaluation? A learning disorder evaluation? I want to be sure she gets the right type of evaluation, and relay this to my mom accurately.
    Thanks so much!
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Evaluation - I'm hoping the "US" Moms jump in - they have more experince with your system...
    But from my experience, and what I see fly by on this board, you're looking for a "comprehensive evaluation" - you need someone who can evaluate for everything from developmental issues (aspergers, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), whatever else), learning issues, auditory issues (flag, not diagnosis...), emotional issues, behavioral issues... and actually get to the bottom of each of these with appropriate dxes and treatment plans.
    Many on the board are having success with neuropsychs - we don't have that option here.

    Its going to have to be someone with broad experience, rather than a specialist in some area.
    Sometimes, it isn't one person - for example, some teaching hospitals have a child/youth behavioral clinic, which has a team approach - multiple specialists, working together.
    Whoever is involved will need extensive experience with complex cases.

    p.s. on the medications miracles... its wonderful when it happens, but it doesn't happen quite that way most of the time.
  12. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    Comprehensive sounds like it would be accurate :) And, she does have learning issues. She has terrible trouble with spelling and grammar. She has been in the resource room all along. This is going to be the first year that she doesn't have a "Special Education" teacher working with her and is in regular classrooms all day.

    neuropsychologist... great tip also. Thank you!

    And just a thought everyone: Since I am 1600 miles away, do you think me making extra effort to call her and talk with her about things going on would help? We talk but not often enough.
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Just my opinion... but this kid needs every positive attachment she can get. So, the more you can keep in touch, the better!
    I know for myself... growing up, it was two aunties who made the difference in MY life.
  14. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    I truly hope that I can make a difference in her life. I wish I could do more for her, and that I was closer. I could have her visit me more often. She was just here for two months over this summer. It sure is expensive to fly though. :)

    My mom is trying to contact the church again. My niece had a sponsor through the church that is another very positive person. She is an adult, doesn't have children but has strong positive values. I'd like to see her get together with my niece once a week or every other week, if she could make that much of a commitment. I think she needs more positive adults in her life.

    In talking with my Mom more this afternoon, it seems that the biggest negative influence right now is her best friend, and her best friends mom. Her best friend is as I've said before, a "bad seed", and her Mom is the cause. Her mom lets her do what she wants, run the house and when her kids treat her like poo, she lets them and even in a way- rewards- them for it by buying them things or taking them places. My niece sees this and part of the problems with her at home stem from it we think.. because she wishes for the same freedoms, and sees them being so mean to their Mom and thinks it is OK.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    You don't have to "be there" to be attached, connected, communicating.
    Telephone is way cheaper than wings... and you could do skype and other stuff too.
    Really, its about having "other adults" to turn to - who of course back up the general approach of Grandma and Grandpa.
    YOU are more likely to get the requests for advice than Grandma - just like any other teen - they ask "anyone but Mom!"
  16. orcaauntie

    orcaauntie New Member

    I hope so. I texted her after she got out of school today (first day back!!), and haven't heard back.

    And FYI everyone- turns out the psychologist has already diagnosis both my oldest niece and nephew with ODD. I explained to my mom that that is typically a "blanket" diagnosis like you have all said, and there are other underlying issues that need to be discovered.