**UPDATE** Pg. 2 HELP! ADHD coupled with ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Anna1345, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Hi all! I am new here and have recently found your site! Thank goodness I did! I am a warrior mom to 3 children, Michael, Jax & Kazi. Michael is 11 and is my severely ADHD child. We have been dealing with this since about Kindergarten but didn't medicate until 2nd grade. We have always coupled it with diet & behavioral modifications even while medicating.

    He is in 6th grade this year (always going to private school) and it is very quickly spiraling down. It started with a teacher who (not in so many words) gave up on him in week two. Wants nothing to do with him as a student and does literally everything in her power to crush his spirit. Although I fully admit he is no angel, I know it is not just Michael because I have been talking with other parents and she does this with other kids too.

    So on to our (husband & my) issues. His ODD has really been coming into play recently. We do the typical, praise for compliance, consistency, positive motivation, etc. But it just seems like it is still getting very very bad. husband -- active duty marine -- often wants to pull the DI instructor stuff and whip him into shape. It is really hard for him to NOT be so upset and for us to NOT feel like total failures. Especially when "everything we do is wrong" when it comes to the opinions of my side of the family. We are just at our whits end and don't know where else to turn. I am hoping this will be a place we can come to for advice, help, support, and ideas.
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Welcome Anna, I'm glad that you found our forum. For your family's privacy we ask that you remove the pictures of your children from your signature.

    The book that we recommend all new parents read is called "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene (see Amazon link at the right). It has given help to many of us and may be helpful to your husband in seeing how much flexibility these kids need.

    Some questions-
    -What type of specialist diagnosed your son with ADHD and ODD?
    -Is there any history of mental health or developmental issues in the family?
    -Beyond hyperactivity and defiance (which I'm assuming since you mentioned ODD) has there been anything significant or unusual in your son's developmental history?
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I just wanted to welcome you! Please if you don't mind tell us a little about your family... who diagnosed your son, any family history of issues? Anything, addiction, mental illness, other issues -ADHD members?
    What medications is he on? Does he have school support?

    I have just a short moment... I am in the middle of school refusal and medication nightmare myself... the fun never stops!!!

    I wanted to welcome you to our happy and loving family!!!
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    SRL- beat me to the punch with some questions... sorry to repeat them!!! LOL

    Welcome anyway!!! The Book she suggests is very good...
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Anna,
    I've found that the military approach doesn't work with-my difficult child. Especially at this age. At a certain age, you have to learn to outsmart them rather than beat them, although believe me, I've wanted to do the latter many times!
    I agree ... read The Explosive Child.
    More than anything, you have to be consistent.
    Have you stripped your son's room yet?
    What sorts of things do you do for praise and motivation, or for punishment?
    I, too, am curious as to what medications he's on, and what he's like on and off of them.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome Anna,

    Glad you found us. Shame on that teacher for crushing your son's spirit! Is it possible to have a classroom change? I'm sorry your side of the family isn't more supportive-it can be very frustrating when family doesn't get it!

    You will find much support here-this place can be a real life saver!
  7. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Just wanted to add my welcome. :gingerbread:
  8. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Hi all! Sorry it has taken so long to get back. Not sure why but I didn't any notif's for this. Okay let's see.... Haven't read the Explosive Child yet, but I will.

    -What type of specialist diagnosed your son with ADHD and ODD? He was diagnosis by a child psychologist

    -Is there any history of mental health or developmental issues in the family?no hx of developmental stuff, but his bio dad (who has never been in the picture) we are sure is Bi Polar -- my mother is a psychologist and that is strictly her observance, not anything that is officially diagnosis as far as I know.

    -Beyond hyperactivity and defiance (which I'm assuming since you mentioned ODD) has there been anything significant or unusual in your son's developmental history? Nothing significant in his developmental hx. Totally age appropriatefor growth and development

    M has been on Concerta since 2nd grade. Took me a long to to medicate. I don't really like it and I am kind of crunchy. We first tried behavioral modifications. Then we coupled that with the Feingold diet -- which I found really really helped. Now we couple those with the concerta and I am sure it helps us keep the lowest dose possible.

    We have been taking him to a councilor, but really I do believe 90% of his anger is based in a few significant things:

    1. he is 11 and hitting puberty like nothing I have ever experienced

    2. He is miserable at school because we all know that what happens in reality is not exactly how these kids perceive it. He *FEELS* like the whole world is against him -- the teachers the principle and the students. No where else in his life does he feel this, but only at school.

    3. Being military, moving a lot and lack of ability to adjust is not always a good combination, though he normally fares pretty well. However THIS particular duty station is SO FAR from my family that it is really really hard on him. This has been the first holidays, birthdays, etc, we have not celebrated all together with my neice and nephews and everyone. So that is tough.

    Innately M is a great kid, very loving and kind. We NEVER had these ODD problems until this year, this teacher. He has ALWAYS gone to private school (only 1 6th grade class so switching is not an option). HE has no desire to be in public school per his words. In fact his teacher last year was MUCH more difficult in respect to the quantity and quality of work she required of the kids. AND she was VERY VERY strict. However the kids NEVER doubted that she felt they were important and had value. Here they do doubt it. I know we are not the only ones who have had these issues. I have started talking to other parents and I know M isn't the only one. It is just terrible.

    I am one of those parents who never believes that her child is just a perfect little angel and what could the teachers possibly be talking about. No I don't play that. I also believe that if you are not helping, then you need to get out of my way because you are apart of the problem.

    Okay I have rambled on long enough. I really have enjoyed my experience here so far! It is nice to know that I am not the only one and that there are so many others out there facing what I face and with children who face what they do.

    There are times I wish I could just be HIM for a few days just so he doesn't have to be......
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Anna. Long time Warrior Mom here with little suggestions beyond how to discipline him (other than to say that whipping him into shape won't work). You may want to add a signature, like I did below. Are there any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of your child's genetic tree? Any delays as a child? Speech problems? Trouble socializing?
    I would re-evaluate him. Has he ever seen a neuropsychologist? They do the most intensive testing of any professionals and often find answers when others don't--including Psychiatrists (with the MD). ADHD with ODD is often a misdiagnoses. It can be one of many other things, but if it as treated with only stimulants and behavioral therapy, it only gets worse. If your son is getting worse, it would not surprise me if the ADHD/ODD diagnosis. is not the reason he is inattentive and acting out. Since your son is almost a teen now, I feel it is imperative to get proactive in having him evaluated completely--bad things can happen to teens with disorders.
    Other than that, I recommend buying "The Explosive Child" to hold down the fort until you get another opinion on what may be causing your child's defiant behavior. If we hadn't dug deep, we never would have found the real reason why my son was "different." I would turn a deaf ear to teachers and family who know it all. They don't know any more than you do. Good luck!
  10. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Thanks MWM, the only step we haven't taken was to a neuropsychologist. I have seriously considered it. Right ow the counciling is going well and he really only has these ODD issues at school. I know this year is a tough year for him. I am at the point where we are trucking along day by day and making progress. It is just really nice to know that I am not alone in this struggle and I can look to others for support and guidance!!!
  11. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    So I think we have gotten to a bit of the bottom of the problem. I was doing some research last night on some of the stimulant ADHD medications. Seems that concerta could probably be the culprit. Back in June of 2005 the FDA released a new Black warning label which needed to clarify the warnings already in place. This is what I found:
    and this:

    The current label suggests that Concerta may exacerbate an existing psychiatric condition. However, of the 36 reports of psychiatric side effects among Concerta users, only 6 reported a history of a psychiatric condition

    The ones I bolded are the ones we have been seeing which are also seen in ODD. SO Since Michael is not currently seeing a child psychologist (only a therapist) I had my mom call the one she works with -- mom is a licensed clinical therapist and this guy mom has worked with for years -- I completely trust him and his credentials. So this is what she emailed me after she spoke with him.

    So I called my pediatrician -- who I have been in regular contact with since this all occurred and it is great because she is an advocate for lowering doses and keeping the bare minimum necessary kind of crunchy like me -- and she is on board. So it looks like we will switch him. Hopefully this will really help! WHEW!

    Off I go to pick him up for his appointment....
  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Glad you are going to make the changes.

    Just FYI in a lot of our mood liable kiddos, even if they are ADHD, stimulants make the moodiness and emotionality worse.........regardless of what type of stimulant medication. So just keep that in the back of your head as you are changing medications and talking with doctors.
  13. Anna1345

    Anna1345 New Member

    Thanks WW, I always expect emotional stuff from him. That is kind of par for the course, but these behaviors were so drastically different. Which is what prompted me to do the research. We will do a break of medications over the Thanksgiving holiday and start the adderall on Monday. We are also going to do a re-evaluation with the Child Psychologist next month. So we shall see.