Suspect ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tamolt, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. tamolt

    tamolt New Member

    I am a single mom of two - daughter 21 and although living at home, working full time and a successful nurse. Son almost 17 who I suspect may have ODD. All his life school has been a nightmare. Although he is extrememly intelligent, in the school environment he has a problem with authority. Now in HS and a junior the occassional write up by a teacher has become a daily event. He was tested for ADD at a very young age and all the test was, was his father and I answering a list of questions. 30 mins later the doctor said no, he was just a typical boy in a classroom with a teacher who expected perfection. So we let it go. 6 years ago his father passed away after years of a illness. At home my son seems "normal", "typical" - respectful, polite, funny. At school he turns into this person I don't even know - cussing, literally refusing to do what he is told, he lies, skips, gives up and goes to sleep. I don't know this child. Now I am afraid I have missed all the signs and now that I have him starting counseling I fear that I am too late for any improvement. I am hoping someone out there can just give some encouragement and a ray of hope. I have read that ODD is a subsympton (I guess that is the description) of something else like ADD and although it is possible he has something like that I really don't see it. But I definitly see the characteristics of ODD - if you go on what the teachers say.

    I am so desparate and hoping for a happy ending. The stress of constant calls from teachers is about to send me over the edge.
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! You have found a great place for support. If he hasn't been evaluated since a very young age I would get a new evaluation by a child psychiatrist and a neuropsychologist.

    I'm sorry things are so stressful. Be sure you are taking good care of yourself through all of this. Hugs.
  3. Sunlight

    Sunlight Active Member

    I think counseling is great. perhaps he is still mourning the loss of his father?
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member


    Sorry for the loss of your husband.

    When did the school issues start? Right after your husband passed away? Or more recently?
  5. tamolt

    tamolt New Member

    The issues started on the first day of kindergarten. He always had problems with behaving in school - especially if the teacher was young and female. Years when he had "seasoned" teachers or males were easier. I just assumed that some new teachers didn't know how to handle "boys" and in fact several male teachers over the years actually said that. Since his behavior was good, normal at home and everywhere else I thought things were typical and he was just going to be a little harder to handle with school. In middle school things seemed to get worse OR maybe it was just teachers tolerance was less. And since he started HS the calls from school are constant. I moved him to a better school in our area in hopes that a more challenging curriculum would improve his behavior (many times I heard we think he is just bored and that is why he aggravates everyone) and even though he seems to love school I think for the social aspect he doesnt even attempt homework or studying and he could be a an A student with minimum work.

    We started seeing someone about a week ago and will go weekly. I am not sure if I want them to tell me this is what is wrong or if I want them to say he is just normal so :censored2: it up - either answer may be more than I can handle. I guess I am so desparate I am willing to medicate him just to keep him in class without being disruptive. But then again if something really is wrong I would like him to have a handle on it before he enters the adult world. The only positive note is that for some reason he is the model employee. He works for a restuarant and in less than a year has learned several positions from training new people to reviewing orders before they go out. His work environment seems to be perfect for him.
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Just wanted to welcome you.....and say I understand. I have a 17 year old as well, and it is tough.

    in my opinion, I would not medicate him at this point. He is way too old to start on the medication merry - go - around that a lot of us have been on since our difficult children were little. You just never know if a medication is going to make things worse, and in my humble opinion it is just too much of a gamble when your son is as old as he is - and has problems only in one area of his life. I suspect grief is a major component of all of this, and perhaps feeling like he does not "belong" at school with his peers since he no longer has a father? Medication cannot take that away, only counseling, mentoring, and guidance.

    If his problems are only at school, I would let natural consequences fall into place. The school can enforce and motivate any way they see fit. Perhaps a school meeting is in place? Your new counselor should be able to help with that. But you should not be called everyday, and you can work with the school counselor to make your son more accountable for his actions, rather than making you accountable.

    As far as the ODD diagnosis, usually a child with this diagnosis shows it in many facets of his life, not just one area. Furthermore, given the loss of his dad, I think any counselor is going to be hard pressed to make any diagnosis besides depression at this point. Usually you cannot make a true ODD or ADD diagnosis when there have been major life traumas presented.

    Glad you found us! We are always here to listen! Sorry things are so tough right now, it will get better!
  7. Chele

    Chele New Member


    Welcome, we are here for you. I am new too. Just learning how all these wonderful people help each other.
    Its never to late, talk to him, let natural consequences fall on him, if he misbehaves he will get suspended or get lower grades. Keeps reading about ADD and ODD, they are so alike but ODD is a bit more intense. I believe that you would see the signs at home too. I know we sure have. OUR son, difficult child, has affected our whole home environment. Go to the library, get lots of books, talk to counselors, doctors anyone with experience.

    I think you might consider getting him drug tested. I didn't have any physical symptoms that I saw with our son but the school behavior and money is what clued me in last year. I never thought it was possible for MY SON, but it really changed him. He was 16 last year now will be 18 in three months.

    Keep posting and reading, good luck,