RE: ODD Child - Situation Degrading....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Paul, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. Paul

    Paul New Member

    I first posted about our ODD difficult child #2 a while back

    We took your advice and spoke with his physician. The physician agreed that that counselor should not have made the diagnosis, and we are getting him into a neuro-psychiatric.

    Issue #1 - difficult child 2's appointment won't even be made for up to 4 to 6 months due to heavy backlog.

    Issue #2 - difficult child 2's behavior has gotten at least 1,000,000X worse now...

    Problem #1 - difficult child 2 is not taking his Clonodine - he is purposefully not taking it and lying stating that he did take it. Even when we do give it to him, sometimes he makes a fast switcherooo. I know that it is widely agreed by this really great community, by ourselves, and by the family physician that yes, chances are ODD is a secondary disorder to the primary disorder, but we are not to change his medicine routine until he sees the neuro-psychiatric.

    Problem #2 - difficult child 2 is lying almost multiple times daily about even the most mundane and smallest things.

    Problem #3 - difficult child 2 is consistently and daily disrespecting and disobeying his mother.

    Problem #4 - Any sort of punishment or attempts to handle the situations involving difficult child 2 do NOT work - the only punishment that seems to calm him down temporarily is a spanking when he completely flys off the handle - ignoring it, grounding him, taking away computer / console games, nothing works because when the grounding is lifted it is right back to the way it was.

    Problem #5 - difficult child 2 is constantly belligerent now, especially about going to church services with the family.

    Problem #6 - difficult child 2 is now even making rude and uncalled for comments to and in front of other adults! He is 10 years old for pete's sake and he is insulting even his soon-to-be new grandparents!

    Problem #7 - difficult child 2 is finding every way possible to annoy EVERYONE - for example, intentionally turning up the television to a high volume when others are in the room, intentionally not rinsing his dishes and putting them in the sink, intentionally not letting us know where he is going when he is playing with his friends, etc..

    Problem #8 - Every time we attempt to circumnavigate his 'annoyances', he always finds another way to get at everyone.

    THE WEIRD THING - At school he is honor roll, and is in no way a disciplinary problem!!! We do not have a dysfunctional home in any way except with difficult child 2 and the turmoil he is causing!

    We are really at our wits end with difficult child 2 - we no longer have any sort of control over the situation and no control of difficult child 2 - and we cannot wait 4-6 months - we need help, desperately.

    We love you all here for your wisdom and your responses earlier on, and we really could use some advice this time...


  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Paul, welcome back. I'm sorry it's going to take 4 to 6 months for the neuropsychologist evaluation, but the good ones tend to book far in advance. You might want to ask the neuropsychologist to put you on a cancellation list and be prepared to move quickly if you are called for an earlier appointment.

    In the meantime, have you read The Explosive Child? And have you considered finding a counselor or therapist who can help you work together as a family? I'm concerned that you're using spanking as a discipline tool because to my way of thinking all spanking teaches a child is "might is right." Not exactly a lesson you want to impart on a defiant difficult child.

    About the medications, what do you mean he's "making a fast switcheroo"? Are you watching him take his medications each and every time? If not, you should be because most 10-year-olds are not responsible enough to dose themselves. If he refuses, can you make his world stop -- no going anywhere or doing anything -- until he complies? Or can you find a pleasant activity to do -- reading a book or taking a walk together -- once he has taken his medications? Have you asked him why he doesn't want to take them? Do they make him feel weird in any way? We told our son that he didn't have a choice about taking medications, but we would always listen to him about how the medications made him feel. In this way, we were able to win his cooperation.

    If he's intentionally being rude to adults, can you remove him from the situation? And if he doesn't tell you where he's going, can you limit his playdates or require his friends to come to your house?

    Can you drop certain expectations for now (at least until you figure out his diagnosis and proper interventions), such as requiring him to attend church and rinsing his dishes? When my kids are not stable, these kinds of expectations go by the wayside. When they are more stable, the expectations ratchet up.

    Just throwing a lot of ideas out there -- hope you find something helpful to put to use. Good luck.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hi, Paul. Welcome back. Sorry to hear that things have gotten worse but it is good that you have taken steps forward to get a
    neuro/psychiatric done. Why is there such a long wait for scheduling?
    I know sometimes insurance coverage requires delays but it really
    does seem like your son is pushing the issues rather drastically
    and that is an indication that help is needed sooner than later,
    in my humble opinion. Truthfully I would find a way to go "out of network" if necessary to get resolution faster. My fear would be that new
    patterns of behavior may become entrenched.

    Meanwhile, did you all read the recommended Explosive Child book?
    Many of our CD members swear by that book and feel it saved their
    family sanity. Personally I have not had the issues you have until this last (8th) child. The commonality is in the fact that
    he directs his anger and insults to me, like your boy does his Mom. Believe is not because I am a fragile vulnerable
    thing, lol. After 48 years parenting and the same number of years in the work place I am not intimidated. on the other hand, he is the only one of the kids who ever has challenged me. Interesting.
    His psychiatrist believes that difficult child takes his anger out on me because I am the one he trusts most so it is "safe". No matter what the reason it is discombobulating and I send my sympathy to your wife.

    I've got to hit the hay but wanted you to know that almost always
    somebody around here is awake and welcoming. Tonight it is me.
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Hi Paul,

    You sound tired. I don't blame you. I looked back at your other post and because of difficult child's history (I'm in no way a doctor) wanted to suggest that you google Complex PTSD (this is different from regular PTSD) and see if you relate to it at all.

    That said, this is what I would do.

    First, does he have a psychiatrist? He doesn't have to wait to see the psychiatrist (psychiatrist) until after the neuropsychologist. But, once you get the neuropsychologist evaluation and report you'll want to share those with the psychiatrist. I'm not a good one to ask about the medications issue because I've had trouble with that one myself, but a lot of members here make their children's world come to a screeching halt until medications are taken. Nothing is done until then.

    Second, have you gotten The Explosive Child?

    Then, if he won't rinse his dishes and put them in the sink, he gets disposable plates and utensils. I gave up that battle with my difficult child and did that. Ironically, she didn't like feeling different from the rest of the family and she started rinsing her dishes.

    If he won't let you know where he is, he doesn't get to go anywhere.

    If he intentionally annoys family members, he doesn't get to participate in family events - or only gets to participate for a short time, designated before hand. Is it possible that the stimulation is just too much? Maybe if he knows before hand that he will only participate for 30 minutes then can have a quiet place to go with books or computer games or whatever 'his thing' is, he can maintain better. Or just have the quiet place lined up and if he's feeling overwhelmed or if you see him spinning out of control you can gently direct him to it.

    I don't know, but from what I read I saw a lot of things that seemed to be very impulsive and either he can't stop it by himself or he doesn't know how. Are you able to redirect him at all? Another member here uses a 'do-over'. She'll ask her children if they want to try their answer again.

    Just a few thoughts....
  5. Paul

    Paul New Member

    Wow - once again you folks have blown me out of the water. Me and my fiance are so glad we found this place!

    Secondly, right after this post, I am ordering 'The Explosive Child' and having it OVERNIGHTED.

    Let's see, lots of questions...

    "smallworld" - spanking is a total last resort and occurs few and far between - this is only when he goes completely out of control when logic, patience, and all other thoughtful methods have lost - and he is screaming, physically beating on himself, and roaring ands creaming out of control. Sometimes with all the fluster in the home of everyone doing their own thing, or early in the morning when we may still be asleep it is difficult to monitor him taking his medication. We question whether difficult child 2 has been taking them in school because we have not heard from the school nurse for refills for his mid-day dose - I am now thinking that since you mentioned it, we should place a call to the school and ask what is going on with that. We will both make sure he is taking his medication in person from now on and make sure he shows us that he is taking it. You do make a good point to ask him how he feels about taking his medication - however I am skeptical of this because when we ask him anything it's either "I don't know" or "Because I don't want to". So no clear answer is coming out even if we do tell him that his answer is unacceptable. The dropping of chores will have to be discussed further as we have built a family of responsibility, so taking those expectations out may isolate other family members. But hey, we can always just try it right?

    "DDD" - We do not know why there is such a long wait other than what we were told which was "There is a backlog". We will look into this further, and it's good to hear from you again!

    "wyntersgrace" - Thank you for your suggestions, we are willing to try anything at this point. I even saw some family activities at Cranium's website that helps turn daily activities into something family-oriented and fun.

    Alot of info to assimilate at 2:30 AM LOL. I think I have left some questions unanswered, I will get back to them tomorrow with a fresh noggin to be sure I am being as clear as possible.

    Talk to you all soon, oh, and Happy Holidays to All!

  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Originally Posted By: Paul
    The dropping of chores will have to be discussed further as we have built a family of responsibility, so taking those expectations out may isolate other family members.

    Look at it this way. If you had a child in a wheelchair would you expect him to run the vacuum? difficult child 2 has a disability and as of this moment you don't know what it is so you really have no way of gauging his current limitations. Once you get the evaluations done and have a better handle on his current abilities, you'll have a starting point. Then, with therapeutic interventions you can build from that.

    Actually, 4-6 months for an appointment with a neuropsychologist isn't unusual. There's a lot more demand than there is supply in that field. I would try to get on a cancellation list.

    Also, when he says, 'I don't know' he may really not know - or at least not have the insight nor the words to articulate it. My difficult child has strong language skills, she is gifted in vocabulary, but she has very few feelings words. She also does not make the connection between the physical and the mental/emotional. For example, when her anxiety kicks up so do her physical complaints, but until recently you absolutely could not convince her that they are related. A lot of our kids just don't automatically make these connections that you and I take for granted and they have to be taught. So, for example, instead of asking her if she is anxious/nervous - which would illicit an 'I don't know' answer - I ask her if her tummy hurts, if her head hurts, if she's feeling sick and what she's been thinking about, if she's been worried about anything.

    So, instead of asking him open-ended questions like, 'How do you feel about taking your medication?' which he may not know how to answer, ask him things that are concrete such as, 'After you take your medication do you have an upset stomach [or a headache or a dry mouth or whatever]?' Or 'Do you worry about what people will think because you take medication?' Have you talked to him about why he needs medication and what it's supposed to help with? Have you had a conversation about how some people, like diabetics, need to take medication?
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Hi, it really sounds like you are at your wit's end. I would be too. Lots of others have given great advice.

    I would suggest an Occupational Therapy evaluation. Often our kids have sensory issues along with other problems. We find that providing the right kind of sensory input makes our children (esp the youngest) able to handle things. Without the Occupational Therapist (OT), he just can't cope and ends up screaming and crying and totally anxiety ridden.

    There is a book by Carol Kranowitz called The Out of Sync Child. It explains sensory integration disorder very well. She also has a book called The Out of Sync Child Has Fun which is packed with do-able activities to help kids with sensory problems.

    Sending hugs, and I hope you can get in to a Child Psychiatrist or developemental pediatrican also.

  8. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    Hi Paul,

    I am a Male too! not many of us here....

    I am on my way to pick up my Son ofr his First home visit in almost 5 months... so rushing here

    I will come back and add more later... you Son is Starting out JUST LIKE Mine did..

    Only one thing I wanted to say... in my humble opinion

    I have done tons of research on medications and talking to Different Dr's

    Why in the world is he on Clonodine (SP) Only? That maks NO Sense
  9. wakeupcall

    wakeupcall Well-Known Member

    Wow, Paul, you sound like you're at your wits end. Been there done that. My difficult child is now twelve and we've sure had a ride for twelve years, so I know exactly where you are coming from.

    First, take a deeeeep breath and try to relax a little. This parenting an exceptional child is not for the faint-hearted. After all this time, the thing that helps me the most is to repeat to myself....he has a disability. It's so difficult because with the disability of our children, it can't be seen. All it feels like is that they are being intentionally difficult. Being the mother here, I know what it feels like to be the brunt of most of the actions. I've cried buckets of tears, run away, started myself on medications, etc. WE are human, too. That being said.......we still have to contend with our children.

    First, although I did it, too, spanking only makes the issue at hand escalate. At 12 my difficult child responds best when I stop talking to him completely. Do NOT engage in his mouthy actions. I found out my difficult child was literally feeding off my comebacks and loved it that he was getting my goat! Right this minute his mouth has gotten on overload (I imagine it's anxiety over the holiday) and it's working for me to remove a present from under the tree for DISRESPECT! Boy, did that ever STOP it. Now each day he's disrespectful a present is removed and he must earn it back with good behavior (no way he gets is back that day). Funny, the only chores I ask of difficult child is good behavior. I think that's very hard for him to accomplish. I've even let go of the "make your bed", "take out the trash", etc. Yes, I pick my battles. I will do almost anything to have some peace in this house. It's HARD and you have many more years to go.
  10. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat


    You got some GREAT advice from some great warrior moms here. Stick around and get to know our new friend David. You guys may have dad tips that need be shared between eachother; things that might never occur to us gals.

    Hang in there, and we will be here to lean on along the way.
  11. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Paul, sorry things have gotten worse. But glad you have the appointments. The right diagnosis can make a big difference.
    Good advice. Nothing to add. been there done that, know how frustrating and draining this can be.
    Good Luck. Happy Holiday's. Hope things settle down a bit.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I haven't read all of this but I'm sure you've gotten lots of good advice. Someone might have already suggested this, but if I were in your shoes, I would call around and get a quick appointment. with a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist- tell them you can't wait a long time and please squeeze you in. Let them do an evaluation and medication adjustment. You can still get the neuropsychologist evaluation done as scheduled, but this will hasten a review of medications and potential causes.

    I agree with everyone else, something else is going on here, whether it's PTSD, ADHD or bipolar, or whatever, needs to be revealed. Also, I agree that when he says he doesn't know why, what, etc., he very well could be telling the truth.

    How does he act if you take him somewhere and spend time together doing "high energy" activities that he enjoys? Is he acting defiant and disrespectful during those activities? Just curious...

    Keep us posted!!
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Also, it's important to let whomever is prescribing medications to know if this got worse after he started taking whatever medications he's on. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but I've overlooked reaction to medications as a cause of worsening behavior a couple of times- it's much more obvious after the fact!!