Son with ADHD/ODD need to talk

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by stiggysgirl, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. stiggysgirl

    stiggysgirl Stiggysgirl

    My son is 8 yrs old and everyday is a battle. I don't have anyone I can talk to about the things that happen so I thought I would try this board. Hoping that being you all are going through it too you would understand. Its so hard we spent 5yrs of fertility treatments to get my son and the day I held him in my arms was the most wonderful day of my life. And of course I never expected that 8 yrs later I would be struggling the way I am. Its even harder because my husbands job has him working out of town so he is only home on the weekends. So in a way its like being a single parent and my son gives me the brunt of all his explosions. And its hard because its like walking on eggshells with him because he can go from being sweet and lovable to explosive. And each minute of the day he is home from school with me we battle about everything getting up in the morning. Doing homework and so on. And he is so smart but his grades at school don't reflect that I guess that is the ADHD. Every minute of the day he has to be doing something he can't sit still he has to always be busy. Its just so hard at times when it seems like all I ever get is an argument to everything I ask. I know parenting wasn't suppose to be easy but I didn't think it was suppose to be this hard. Anyway I just need to talk. Thanks for listening.
  2. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    I do not have any great advice but I would like to say u r not alone
    Hugs Rabbit
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there. It can be slow weekends, but people will come along. I have a few questions that can help us help you. First of all, you may want to do a signature like the one I did below.

    1/Did your son ever have a complete evaluation, especially by a neuropsychologist? They are great diagnosticians. Hypernness can be a lot more than ADHD.

    2/Are there any mood disorders or substance abuse on either side of your family tree? Any other psychiatric disorders or people who may be undiagnosed?

    3/How was his early development? Did he have any delays--speak late, make poor eye contact with strangers, did he cuddle well, does he know how to socialize with his peers in appropriate ways? Does he have any obsessive interests, or sensitivities to food, touch, smell etc. On the other hand, did he speak very early, does he sound like a "Little Professor" and and does he monologue at people rather than speak in a conversational way?

    Welcome again!
  4. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Welcome to the board. Sorry you had to find us but you will like it here. You said you are looking for people who understand? You've definately found it! Weekends are a little slow around here but people will come by with welcome and advice.

    As a newbie here, you may want to check out the FAQ page. We kind of have our own little language around here and there is a post there that will clue you in to the dialect. Also, making a signature like the one I have at the bottom of my post will help us to keep your information straight. You can do this in User CP.

    Again, welcome! This truly is a soft place to land!
  5. Feeling Helpless

    Feeling Helpless Oldie but Goodie

    Hi! I am pretty new here as well. I have a 7 year old difficult child who has ADHD/Mood disorder. How long has he been doing these things? You definitely have found the right place. Everyone here has issues they are trying to work through. Some good days and a lot of bad days but at least people here do understand. Welcome and hugs to you.
  6. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi StiggysGirl, Welcome. Here's a cup of tea and some warm fuzzy slippers.

    I understand what you're going through. You've come to the right place.

    Is your son better behaved at school or at home? Does he have any siblings? Is he adopted? Do you have pets?

    Sorry for so many questions. If you could go to User CP and fill out the profile section it would be very helpful.

    Glad you found us but sorry you had to.
  7. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    Wanted to say hi and welcome! I'm also new to the boards and have found the people here to be fabulous and full of info and advice.
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
  8. stiggysgirl

    stiggysgirl Stiggysgirl

    Ok hopefully I can answer some of your questions. And thank you all for welcoming me. DS was offically diagnosed with ADHD and ODD 1 yr ago but have been dealing with his moods since he was born bascially. He was a difficult baby. He developed normally. He had a severe case of colic when he was a baby and did not sleep through the night until he was 3 yrs old. He would scream for hours at a time when he was new born because of the colic and the only way I could get him to stop was to run the vacumn clean or a hand held mixer next to his crib. By the time he was 4 yrs old he became very abusive to me and our pets and I didn't know what to do. The doctor kept telling me just keep up with the time outs. He finally referred me to a psychologist. She was a morone. She did nothing for him but make his anxiety worse. He was anxiety about school to the point of being sick at times. Last year was the worst due to a bully in his class. So we stopped going to her because she was not helping the anxiety and not addressing the issue of him hitting me. Now we are going to another psychiatrist to try again for more tests for another set of diagnosis due to when the doctor put him on a medication it brought out a whole new bundle of issues that the doctor said a 7 yr old should not be doing. Like having an obsession with fire so all the lighters I had in the house to light candles had to go. And all the sharp knives had to go out of his reach because he also because obsessed with using sharp objects. So the doctor go very nervous. Because DS always takes his moods out on me. So we was real worried that because he get physical theses new symptoms would become harmful. So he took him off the medication and told me to take him to this psychiatrist to have further diagnotic testing done. I sit and cry at times because I just don't understand what is happening to my baby. He is an only child and I guess I thank God for that I don't know what would happen if there were more. As for other family memebers my husband has 2 newfews that have ADHD and are very distructive both been in jail and are only 20 and 21 but were in jail at 18 and 19. My side of the family I have 2 cousins with bipolar disease. I worry at times he has that because of the mood swings. Someone asks if he talks like a professor yes he is very verbal and very very smart but just isn't able to apply it at school due to not being able to stay focused long enough. He does seem to act better at school then at home at this point. So far he has not gotten in any trouble at school. Hopefully I was able to answer everyones questions so you all can offer advise. But thank you all for the support that is really what I am looking for. He goes back to the psychiatrist on Nov. 6th. This place says that I have a whole team working for us and that if I ever feel unsafe that I can talk to any of them even the secretary. I told husband that and he said DS has never been unsafe well there have been a few times that I have but I don't always tell husband everything I figure its hard enough on him being out of town. So I thank you for listening to me.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Stiggygirl, you said, "He would scream for hours at a time when he was new born because of the colic and the only way I could get him to stop was to run the vacumn clean or a hand held mixer next to his crib."

    That's not colic.

    Babies cry for a lot of reasons and too often, well-meaning observers tell us to not let it upset us, it's just colic.

    When a baby has colic, they are in pain. The cry is high-pitched, almost sharp and the baby LOOKS in pain. They draw their legs up to their tummy and are tense as well.

    I was told with all my babies, that they had colic. However, I could "cure" colic in my boys by feeding them, often feeding them far more than I was supposed to. With difficult child 3, I had a nursing clinic involved who stopped me from feeding him because the test-weigh said he had taken about 50 mls in the first 5 minutes on one side, which was already more than he should have had. But he was used to getting 20 minutes from each side from me and then coming back an hour later for another full feed. I spent a week doing things the way the clinic said and frankly, the symptoms were VERY similar to colic, because my baby was in pain, from hunger. Then I relented and fed him as much as he wanted. He took half a feed then slept out of exhaustion. Then woke and fed even more, until he fell asleep again.

    So if experts had got it so wrong, chances are you've been labouring under misapprehensions all this time.

    difficult child 1 was a "colicky baby" but looking back I'm sure it was more. HE WOULD settle if he was held facing the ground lying along my arms, my arm against his tummy. If anyone else was holding him they had to hold him facing away from them, and I had to make sure he couldn't see me or hear me or he would cry for me.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 would refuse to sleep, would sit and scream in rage at being put to bed. She would sit there, rocking with exhaustion, eyes closed, falling asleep even sitting up screaming. Then she would fall over, her head would hit the pillow and she would wake and begin screaming again.

    Only difficult child 3 had language delay. All the others either talked normally or early.

    Moods - difficult child 1 gets very depressed especially if life gets too difficult for him. Bullying made both boys very depressed as well as anxious. But when talking about their favourite topic they get agitated, excited, almost 'high' from the joy of it. easy child 2/difficult child 2 also has mood swings, often seeming manic, but can shift to apparent despair and a sense of being persecuted, in minutes. She can talk herself into hysterics.

    They have been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) in various forms. All are exceptionally bright, with some sub-scores in IQ tests being off the scale. Yet with the boys, they each 'failed' their first IQ test. None of them has done as well at school as they should be able to, although with support all have shown some extent of what they are capable of.

    A person with bipolar has mood swings from very high to very low. But there can be many reasons for ANY person to have mood swings. The thing with bipolar, is the mood swings are innate and not directly and completely due to the environment. In Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), the mood swings are much more related to the environment but because this is from the point of view of the person with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), we can't always see what it is that is upsetting them/making them happy.

    Some suggestions:

    1) Get a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. There is some good discussion of this in Early Childhood in the stickies. This book helps a lot, especially with ODD presentations. It requires a different approach, counter-intuitive, but whatever the underlying problem, this is worth trying.

    2) Go check out and look for their online Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. It's not diagnostic but you can print the results and take them to a specialist for their opinion. At least it will give the expert some idea of the ares that concern you.

    3) Get a referral to a neuropsychologist for a thorough evaluation. It may confirm what you've been told, or it may change direction. At worst, it will give you more insight into what is going on.

    Others will be along with ideas and suggestions.


  10. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I would add to the others that Bipolar can look very different in children than in adults. So, do not compare him to others in the family as they are today, but when they were children.

    I am sure you are pleased he does not act out in school. Mine did not either until 7th grade - then there was no holding her back! So, be prepared to get him supports at school if that time comes. Read up on the Special Education 101 section of the board.
  11. maril

    maril New Member

    Welcome! Lots of good info from other posters and things to think about. Good luck at the upcoming appointment and hope you find this to be a better route than the dead end you hit with the psychologist! It may take time to pinpoint the source of your son's struggles and workable solutions to the same; in the mean time, I understand that it can be very difficult for all involved. I can relate -- my difficult child, 17, ADHD/ODD and our family have been through a lot over many years.

    Anyway, if need be, take advantage of the offer to contact the psychiatrist's staff while you wait for November 6 to arrive. Also, I understand that you feel uncomfortable telling husband everything, since he is out of town and you don't want to upset him, but he may have suggestions that will help and, in my humble opinion, he needs to know what is happening. Do you have a close relative or friend, who may be there to give a hand and stay with your son when you might need a time out? I say this only because, at times, all parents need time away to rethink and regroup. ;)

    Hugs to you. Keep us posted. :peaceful:
  12. stiggysgirl

    stiggysgirl Stiggysgirl

    Thank you all for welcoming me and giving your advise.

    Just to Margurite wanted to follow up with you about the colic thing. He would sleep alot if I held him also so he did cuddle alot as a child. As for being hungry he probably was alot as a newborn as he was unable to keep his formula down he would launch it across the room at times. It was awful. And unless he was being held to sleep or had the vacumn or mixer going he would scream. And no doctor could tell me why except colic. And being a new mom I had no idea that I should question that diagnosis. Who knew that 8 yrs later it would have turned into everything it is now.

    I want to thank everyone for your advise and for listening to me.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I loved being a mother but was disappointed to have, as my first, a baby who just wanted to jump out of my arms to explore the world. My next baby, difficult child 1, was cuddly. He was difficult but did best when I held him. However, with all three of my older kids I had to go back to full-time work when they were 12 weeks old. difficult child 1 did OK but quickly bonded to one particular carer even though they tried to avoid this at the child care centre.

    easy child 2/difficult child 2 would cuddle with anyone. No problems with her, plus she was cute so got lots of cuddles in childcare. She was also adventurous like her sister.

    By the time I had difficult child 3, I was at home full time. I spent my time with difficult child 3, I slept when he slept. And I thoroughly enjoyed cuddling him to sleep. I did it all the time, often cuddling him through an entire sleep. People said I was making a rod for my own back but I found it forced me to rest then too, which I needed. It was my choice and it didn't do him any harm. Or me. And it didn't last anyway. Apart from that time I tried to follow the clinic's advice, I gave difficult child 3 what I thought he wanted and we got on fine. At about three months old he seemed to learn what to do - if I was standing by his cot at bedtime, holding him, he would try to roll out of my arms to get into bed. Once there he tucked his nose in and very determinedly went to sleep.

    difficult child 3 is VERY stubborn and whenever anyone tries to push him in a direction before he's ready, they discover he's very high on the Richter scale of stubbornness. By modifying our approach we now have a child who wants to please us, who isn't suspicious of our motives and automatically opposing us (as was happening - in his mind what we wanted = something he hated). Now when we ask him to do something, he generally listens to our reasons. We do have to ensure the reasons become his reasons too which can take time, but each success makes the next step easier.

    There is so much more - read the book, post here, talk to us, talk to your husband when he's home, maybe get him to read these posts too and see what he thinks.

  14. spyrose

    spyrose New Member

    Hello, I am new to this board. I also have an ADD/ODD son - he is 14 and a handful. Even though he isn't a "bad" kid, he has no fear of anyone and will argue with anyone about anything. He has been on Focalin (max dose) for about a year now, but I can tell it may need to get changed soon. Without the medications he is impossible to be around. He is always angry, loses his temper over every little thing, lies, gets sneaky, loses everything (clothes, shoes, homework, Ipods)... the medications help a little controlling the ODD, but not fully. I know teens are moody anyways, but this is more than that. We have tried two therapists - the first one didn't help at all - she seemed to empower him (this was before he was diagnosed or on medications), the second one seemed bent on it being a "family" problem and would have group sessions instead of talking to him alone. He seemed to enjoy alone time with the therapists so he could complain about us. Once the therapist mentioned that he may need some social skill training, he refused to talk to him anymore. He only has one friend - and that goes day by day. He prefers to find ways around doing things instead of just doing them and getting it over with (homework). He's given out personal info online, used filty language on IM's, had his cell phone taken away and yet he never seems to learn from his mistakes. He's been difficult his whole life, but when he got to 6th grade things really went downhill. He refuses to use checklists or even try to adapt to his ADD - he says he wants a cure, not to have to adapt. We take things away and he just says he doesn't care. I have lost all patience with him and he knows how to push the buttons. I am not sure where to go next -- I think he needs to see a therapist to get some social skills training -- he has NO respect for anyone and thinks that he is the only person who is right. If you catch him doing something - it is never his fault - usually he turns it back on you. He's getting older and not growing out of this as I thought he might as he matured, so I am at a loss where to go next. He is ripping the family apart and I can't deal with this for another 4 years or so until he's had enough of our "unreasonable" rules and moves out. Any advise???
  15. Pookybear66

    Pookybear66 New Member

    Stiggy-I wanted to say you are not alone. My boy is almost 9 and the same way. He is okay at school but when he comes home he lets loose with the defiance. He pretty much does not do anything unless its HIS idea. He hates school and homework. He has a learning problem with reading that has been diagnosis'd but so far nothing else. We are in the process of getting him a full evaluation. I am reading the book by Ross Greene that has been recommended here. I do agree that it is helpful and gives you a different perspective.

    I also have a husband who works odd hours. It is shift work so many a wkend I am by myself. Hang in there till Nov 6th. Hopefully the full evaluation will have better answers.
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Spyrose, welcome. When you can, do a sig for yourself to give us an idea of the family situation you're dealing with (it saves explaining every time) and begin a thread in your own right. You will get more specific help that way.

    Welcome - sorry you need us, glad we're here for you. It makes out own problems easier to bear if they can help someone else.

    We often recommend the book "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Some discussion on this in the Early Childhood forum, even though your child is older, same age as mine. Read around the site, go read other threads and see what you can glean from them. Much of what you're dealing with is very familiar to many of us.

    There are other good books too - "Love and Logic" for example, is another I often see recommended.

    This can be better, without exhausting yourself.


  17. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I just want to welcome you to the board. You have been give a lot of information and advice. I just wanted to offer a suggestion. Keep a diary of difficult child's rages and calm moments. Do your best to identify a trigger. Write down the words he says, how long the outbursts last, what eventually calms him, etc. It's a great resource when visiting with the doctor. Many times we can forget the details when at the docs.

    The other issue is your husband. Don't keep information from him. He may eventually not agree with a treatment method because he does not believe it is warranted. He should know the whole story. The diary will help there too.

    Glad you joined us!

  18. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Bingo! and you will learn to take it in stride, Mom, and you will let the IEP team help you and you will learn from parenting classes earlier and not later and you will hire a sitter and get your husband to commit to the program in writing.
    Mommmy cam...why let others wonder how to help you...take a video with you. Or send it ahead. When you start talking to the folks who advise you give them much to work through.
    AFter you get the IQ tests and you haave the evidenced ability in black and white you can puursue the help to your learner. If he is a fast learner then 3/4 of your battle will be getting him working up to a pace that he is thinking at...the next 1/4 will be the hours you spend to get the enrichments he will need to stay interested and not bored in school.
    savy with the diagnostic issues you are dealing with.
    You are going to be exhausted beyond your wildest imagination with the ADHD so
    why not do it right and be firm and get the best results....right?
    I hope you enjoy this site. Tons of advise and not all of it aplies but all of it is from the hearts of those who are bone weiry with similar and differant situations. What more could you want?
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.
    I think he should see a neuropsychologist. By a longshot, they do the most intensive testing, usually lasting 6-10 hours and covering every area so you have a really good idea of what is wrong. I'm a layperson, but your son does have both signs of Aspergers syndrome and a mood disorder. I would want to have it all sorted out. My experience is that NeuroPsychs are far better at testing than even Psychiatrists (with the MD) who would be my second recommendation. I think there is way more going on than ADHD, and probably your nephews who are in jail had more going on too. Is your son very rigid in his thinking? Very "black and white?" Does he have any obsessive interets? Trouble changing from one activity to another (or did he ever have that problem?) How are his social skills with his peers? Does he know how to have a give-and-talk conversation or does he either monologue or give short answers: "Yes." "No." "I don't know."
    You don't want your son's life to turn out that way, and there is hope. I'd schedule a neuropsychologist appointment.
    Welcome to the board :)
  20. 627666

    627666 New Member

    Spyrose, welcome to the board! I, too, am a newbie and have already made some wonderful connections with parents just like us. I am even having coffee with one member, who happens to live about 10 miles from me and with a very similar story as mine! There is always hope!

    Your son sounds very similar to my son, who will turn 12 next week. After many years of doing "all the right things" ("the best" therapists, psychiatrists, wilderness programs, private schools, etc.) we are still struggling day to day. It seems all experts agree my son has ADHD with ODD and the medications are pushing him into CD like behaviors. We are currently weaning him off of Vyvanse and Lexapro (an anti-depressant I really did not want to try!) and slowly introducing Tenex. Eventually he will only be on Tenex, which was originally used to treat hypertension but is now apparently used to treat Aggressive Impulsive ADHD, a new term for me. This way he is getting help for the impulsive behaviors and thoughts, which they think is causing so many of his problems. The doctors seem to think a different class of medications is a good idea and we certainly agree. It may be worth looking into with your son.

    I have to ask, how is the family surviving? How is your marriage doing? I am really struggling with this. I am on my 2nd marriage (difficult child's Dad and I married way too young) and my husband has been wonderful through this journey, as he has known my son since he was almost 4, but he is weary and ready to give up I am afraid. My son visited us yesterday (he has been staying with his grandparents for a week to give our home a break) and my husband was pretty awful to him. My son could not do anything right and even told me he felt his step-dad did not want him here. I have always feared one day I would have to pick bt my husband and my child and I fear the time is coming. I believe as Moms we must stick by our flesh and blood, even if it means the failure of yet another marriage. This thought is very painful, of course, but we have to be advocates for our children. I find many times the dads are so punitive and stubborn regardig the labels and the advice from doctors, they believe strict (hands on) force is all that is needed. That just doesn't work with these kids. Does anyone else feel this way? How do you choose bt your difficult child and your spouse, who has been on this journey with you for so long?

    My advice is always to pray about your situation. God has to have more planned for our children than this. We have to be patient day to day and wait for His guidance, even when it is gruelling and exhausting. Maybe we are supposed to be learning some big lesson in patience. I don't know. They say God only gives us what we can handle. I just wish he didn't have so much confidence in me. Ha ha.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone, especially those of us who do not have our difficult child's with us today. Hang in there! ;)