Oppositional Defiant Disorder and a chronic pain medical diagnosis

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by meggy1, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. meggy1

    meggy1 Guest

    Help!!!! I have a daughter who is now 12 and has been described as "strong willed" since she was about 4. She is a middle child that has tested her father and myself to our limits too many times. She tries to use her medical condition as a way to get what she wants and when that doesn't help she goes into her rages, defying what she is told to do and gets nasty. All my friends and neighbors (whose kids are all younger than mine) believe she is just a normal kids testing the waters. I've already raised one child and while we had the "normal" childhood behavior I never felt the need to just escape as I do with my daughter. Looking for someplace that I can go to vent when things get to be just too much around here and I escapte to my room to hide and cry.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Both ODD and chronic pain are descriptive labels rather than specific conditions. For example, both husband & I have chronic pain, but the physical conditions underlying this are different for each of us

    ODD is a rotten label to give a kid. It is not very helpful (other than perhaps a tool to get added support in the school system). It implies that the child is choosing to be difficult out of sheer cussedness. Generally, however, ODD is what you get in a child as a response to discipline methods which are counter-productive FOR THAT CHILD. A strong-willed kid is more likely to develop ODD< because often discipline methods revolve around trying to be tougher and firmer than the kid; the parent tries to be more strong-willed than the child, and in doing so is actually modelling how to be oppositional. When you have a strong-willed child who learns best by imitation, you have a recipe for ODD.

    But it doesn't have to be like that. There are ways of backing off from trying to apply your own control, and instead using the child's own stubbornness to turn it into self-control. Become the supporter and facilitator for the child instead of the resistive force.

    A book that helped a lot of us is The Explosive Child by Ross Greene. Grab a copy (library perhaps) and read it. There is also a sticky about this book in Early Childhood to give you a bit of an idea.

    When you can, do a sig for yourself to give us a bit of background every time you post. Keep it anonymous (that's why we use abbreviations) so you can feel free to vent here whenever you visit, without fear of whoever you're venting about (school, family, friends, health professionals) tracking you here by name.

    Welcome. Sorry you need us, but you are now among friends.

  3. ShanDiann

    ShanDiann Guest

    Just wanted to add my welcome. I am new here myself, but it is nice to be among people who understand!!!
  4. meggy1

    meggy1 Guest

    Thanks everyone for the warm welcome:D
    Thanks also for the information on the book, I will definately have to read that one. I agree that labeling kids is more damaging than helpfull which is why we have just changed therapists. Her new one is currently focusing on ways difficult child can relax/calm herself down when she gets so angry. Her plan is to then work with the family so we can all learn how to handle difficult child's outburst should they happen. One of her previous therapists did give me the great advice to stop "fighting" with her. That when she has one of her episodes to tell her that her behaviour is not acceptable that we can talk when she has calmed herself down and finished her punishment (usually ten minutes in a chair not being able to talk which is what she LOVES to do). When she gets really bad and won't listen to reason and continues to want to fight I normally lock myself in my bedroom until she has calmed herself down. Hoping our new therapist can help the entire family find a way to live "normally". :D
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I had a daughter with ODD and I now have a daughter with chronic pain. My advice is to work on finding the cause of her chronic pain. Working on my daughter's headache hasn't brought headache relief but it has eliminated her emotional reactivity and raging.

    My older daughter's ODD was caused by gluten and casein intolerance. We actually discovered this looking for the cause of my younger daughter's stomach problems. Anyway, eliminating gluten and casein has turned her into a easy child.

    I believe there was a study done that linked reflux to celiac disease. If you haven't had your daughter tested for that, it would be a good place to start. Even if the test is negative, gluten could still be the problem. No one in my family tested positive but we all feel better on the gluten free diet.

    I was always feeling "stressed" before I went on the girlfriend diet. Looking back, I think I was OCDish. That has gone away for me now.

    My mom's reflux went away on the girlfriend diet.

    So, I have experience in my family with the gluten free diet eliminating all of your daughter's symptoms except the IC. My younger daughter still has that, even girlfriend.

    I think there are even studies showing some people with migraines will improve on the girlfriend diet.

    It's not an easy fix at first, but if it works, it is worth it.
  6. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member


    I agree finding relief from pain is important . I like the approaches of the therapist to try and give her skills to relax and calm herself - a working with approach. I would try and get help from the therapist in implementing the collaborative problem solving approach - Ross Greene - the explosive child - it is important to read the latest editions of his books

    here are some videos showing how the approach works - it is a process not a technique . I would forget about punishment and create a comfort corner where she can calm down - calming down and taking a step back is a positive skill and in my humble opinion not a good idea to give it an association with punishment .

    I recommend - older sisters, mentors , buddy-tutors to have fun time with your daughter

    I hope this helps

  7. meggy1

    meggy1 Guest

    Thanks Hope and Allen. Both gave great ideas. While it is hard to get away from the idea of not "disciplining" a behavioural problem especially when I have a younger daughter that normal discipline does work, I definately agree a new approach is needed. Going out today to get the book and also look into a gluten free diet.
  8. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    A word of caution on gluten free diets - get her tested first. A girlfriend diet can be detrimental when it is not warranted because it is lacking in certain vitamins and minerals.
  9. meggy1

    meggy1 Guest

    Thanks. She has an appointment with a doctor from Childrens Hospital on Monday so I'll ask him about it.
  10. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    A girlfriend diet can be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals, if not done properly, just like the typical American diet can be. Bread and flour is enriched with vitamins while girlfriend flour might not be. Taking a vitamin pill does the same thing.

    We are girlfriend by eliminating all of the bread, pasta, etc. that really doesn't have much nutritional value beyond its enrichment. Eliminating processed foods and eating rice, meats, vegetables, fruits, and dairy products that are naturally girlfriend should not result in deficiencies and I would guess is more nutritional than a gluten filled diet. I am sure my eating habits are much better now, than they were before.

    Going dairy free does present some challenges to nutrition. Still, I believe if milk turns my kid into a difficult child, that is a sign that it is not good for her.

    Ask the doctor at the hospital about it, but be aware that when I mention it, I get the eyeroll from doctors. It doesn't mean it doesn't work.

    It may not work for you, but you won't know if you don't look into it.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010