Wanting advice on how to deal with a child with depression & ODD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by crazy4nature, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. crazy4nature

    crazy4nature Guest

    Hello parents, I am new here and haven't found anything specific about oppositional defiance disorder and how I can keep my sanity. My son will be turning 7 this Sunday and has yet to be technically diagnosed. My son had gone through some rough changes in his life( moving 5 times, changing schools 2 times, losing his father in a car accident and 3 pets have also died) He is a very sensitive young man, but now had become extremely angry, impulsive, defiant and disrespectful to say the least. We have been shuffled to a community day school where he has only gotten worse in misbehaving and foul language. we have also been shuffled through 3 different counseling agencies due to money and insurance reasons. Everyday the school (that was originally supposed to be 'the best thing for him' now is saying 'we are not sure this school is right for your son' ) is calling me, wanting a meeting or for me to pick him up. i feel my patience with the school system failing and need an uplifting. Day to day challenges are really taking a toll on our small family, especially me (mom) What to do ????
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Sorry you're having such problems, but glad you found us.

    I just noticed that you haven;t had any replies yet. Unfortunately, it's midnight here and I have to get to bed, I've had an exhausting day. But now I've posted, I will find this thread again and post in more detail in the morning (my time).

    A couple of things for you to go on with in the meantime -

    1) Read other threads, especially ones which look like your situation.

    2) ODD rarely travels alone. It's not a helpful label, it can be misleading because it implies the child is being deliberately a pain. ANd generally, they are not. There is usually a pre-existing underlying disorder which, when you begin to work on it, can result in an improvement in the ODD.

    3) Read "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. Search for references to it, on this site and elsewhere. On this site you can get some good information from the sticky in Early Childhood.

    It doesn't have to be so difficult. It can be easier. I'm sure others will be along soon and give you some help. And I will be back. I have a lot more for you.

  3. idohope

    idohope Member

    Hi and welcome to the board. What a lot of challenges you and your little one have had to face.

    I am sure if you have been reading posts you have seen the recommendation for the book "The Exploive Child" by Ross Green. This might be a good start for you.

    Is the school that he is at a public school? Does he have an IEP there? Did the counseling agencies provide a therapist that worked with you or your son? You indicate that he is not diagnosed. It would be helpful to know more of what happened when you worked with the counseling agencies.

    I am sure that others will be along with more advice. I hope you find this board to be a support for you
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member


    how are you? stressed i'm sure :) my oldest was diagnosis with odd going back several mos. ago. she is 17 though and odd is a rough diagnosis because as marg said it doesn't come alone. and i think me personally can say ok i know i was an odd kid growing up or rather teen.

    with that being said, what type of testing or evaluations have you had done up till now? I would do as other's suggested yet to deal with-your immediate issue that being the school........... i think if i were you id' put it on paper what it is i want for him in that school. his behaviors that have been seen in the school and what you deal with-at home, and call the school and request a team meeting or parent mtg. is there at 504 or iep in place with-this school yet? sounds like there is.

    i always find it best to get all the teacher's involved with-your child in the same room so that everyone can talk, get on same page, and understand what needs to happen. goals should be put in place. even if their in 3 mos. we'd like to see your child not become verbally aggressive in bldg. or with-teachers and than a plan to make that happen. weekly therapy in school, a touchpoint or place for him to go to when he gets overloaded with it all.

    i'd say start there at least with-school as a step one sort of thing. as far as at home what types of stuff have you tried that hasnt' worked so far?? opppositional kids are rough, and i'Tourette's Syndrome challening and i find alot of times you have to pick and chose your battles to some extent. to lessen the stress on you and to also try to find moments where you can just let certain behaviors just roll. your not going to be able to challenge all of it at the same time i know i've been there also.

    i had my oldest run away on me one day 4 times lol. wasnt' funny at the time yet i look back and laugh now. totally diff situation due to her age, yet i had a plan in my head on how id' deal with-it did the best i could to remove emotions from it (sooo not easy when its' our own kids) and i finally broke her. like a wild horse she was and still can be.

    (((Hugs))) i know it isnt' easy, yet this is a great place to be, alot of helpful ppl, insighful parents that really know there stuff and a great place to just vent away.

  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    OK, getting back to you now.

    It seems you already realise your son needs a diagnosis, as a matter of priority. He also needs some level of assessment. to work out his strengths and weaknesses. Whtever is wrong, is hampering his development.

    Like all of us, he is a combination of his nature and his nurture. By this I mean, there appears to be something that is part of his basic personality, something he has had since infancy. Plus there are the environmental factors greatly complicating matters. The death of his father can have a huge impact. I remember when my older kids were in long day care full-time, and I got to know the stories of all the other kids. We'd all known one another since our kids were born. Where a kid was raised by a single parent (because the other parent left, or was never around, from before the child's birth) the child as stable, well-behaved, doing OK. Where a parent left suddenly (marriage split or in one case, Daddy went out for his morning jog and never came home) little ones as young as 12 months old, changed their behaviour. The girl whose father died - she was 2 years old plus had already had a lot of support and contact with her father's first wife and kids. That first family stayed very much involved a a friendly support, and both families meshed well. But despite everything being done right, this little girl was a problem for a while. Even the director of the child care centre - her daughter was there, a classmate of difficult child 1's. Her parents had an amicable split but the little girl still had problems dealing with the changes.

    Never underestimate the problems a child can have.

    Now, those were "normal" kids. I stayed in touch long enough to see them do well in their later schooling. I would often drop in on the centre years later to chat to the staff, so I was hearing all the news.

    But if your child has problems, then the child is generally the first to know something is wrong. And like all kids, they internalise it. "It's all my fault. I'm a bad person."

    Sometimes the child will get angry and resentful, because even when they try to do the right thing (and it is not always recognised, because these kids can be hamfisted in how they go about things) they seem set up for failure.

    Example - difficult child 3, at school, was the weird kid. He got called some nasty names. But when he called a kid the same name, I got note home form the teacher telling me I had to stop HGFG3 calling kids nasty names. I told the teacher, "take a note of the name difficult child 3 called that kid. It included the word 'retard' along with another word that kids these days use to mean, 'strange' but which used to be used as a major insulting word to homosexuals. You know we never use words like that around difficult child 3. So the only place he will have heard those words, is directed towards him to begin with. If you want him to not use those words, you need to protect him from hearing those words, while he is in your care. And it was in your care that he had those words directed at him."

    Bullying can do a lot of harm. ANd not all the bullying comes from the kids. If you have a child who is highly reactive, has a short fuse and is constantly being picked on (because it is such fun when they explode, plus the teacher gets distracted and the other kids get to not have to work so hard) then your kid will be a target. The more tense your child is (and such situations increase tension) then the shorter the fuse. Vicious circle.

    There are ways to help your child feel better about himself. A diagnosis can help a lot.

    If you can, you will get the best result fastest, by getting a neuropsychologist assessment. This will need referrals, and the system may be subtly different where you are, depending on your insurance. Shop round, ask around.

    With a formal diagnosis, yo can ask for support in a more formal way. This then sets rules in place that the school MUST follow. Life should begin to get a bit easier, at least as far as school is concerned. Unfortunately, although it should fix things, it is generally not enough. But any improvement, especially some clout when you need it, has to be better than what you have now.

    When you get a chance, do a sig for yourself so we an understand more about you. It saves you having to give us all the details each time you post. You only put in the details you want, so you are in control of the process. But don't use your real names, that way if you need to vent about people or places, you can do it without any repercussions!

    Ask any questions specifically, we'll see if we can help. I have a few suggestions, but would need more information.

    I mentioned difficult child 3 - if you look at my sig, you will see that in our family, the presenting problems are ADHD and autism (in various forms - Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) is the umbrella term). If you think it is worth checking out, go to www.childbrain.com and look for their Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) questionnaire. You can't use it to diagnose, but you can print out the results (even if he scores normal) and show the doctor so he can see the areas of concern for you.

  6. Jena

    Jena New Member


    i was just thinking grief counseling is good also. the support groups can always get pricey, kids his own age that have experienced great loss etc. yet sometimes brother's and sisters can be a great resource and help. mentoring also, a male figure that can maybe help him get some of his feelings out.

    i have to be honest i read through quick and had to re read your post. i'm sorry for your loss as well. your going through a hard time also isn't helping matters either.

  7. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member

    hi crazyfornature,


    I was just thinking your little guy could be depressed, and as Jena mentioned, grieving. I live with three males and I am very familiar with male depression. A depressed male can look very much like ODD (I'm not a fan of ODD as a stand-alone diagnosis; I think it's a composite of many symptoms that are hard to sort out, especially so young).

    I'm not trying to diagnose your son -- just adding another perspective to think about.

    My condolences also for your many losses. Does your son talk about the loss of his dad? And of his pets?

    Does he see the counselor at school? I have to say I think it's cruel that they are calling you all the time to pick him up instead of helping you try to sort him out.

    How can you keep your sanity?? Take care of yourself. You have your own grieving to do. Is there a grief therapist available to you, as Jena suggested? If not, there is a lot of internet support for those who must grieve. I recently had some big-time grief work to do, probably the biggest of my life, not because of bereavement, but because of issues with my kids and mental illness. It was so overwhelming I had to google "grief" and see what was up. It helped me a lot to learn about the grieving process.

    Best of luck -- keep posting.