I've just found this forum, read the stickies, and made a signature. Please advise me if I've made a newbie error. My name is Andrea and I have been caring for my 16 yo half-brother (difficult child) for 2 years. After several incidences of running away and one declared wish to commit suicide, he has been diagnosed with ODD. Every written symptom that I have found fits him to a T. It is nice to finally find out a name for what is wrong. difficult child is lost both parents by 13, mom by suicide and our dad by cancer. Before Dad was diagnosed, he sent difficult child to live with my sister because he couldn't handle him. After the funeral, sister sent difficult child across the country to a military school because she couldn't handle him. I don't want to abandon this kid, too. We have been to many counselors. One told me after the second session that she never wants to be in a room alone with him ever again and advised me to purchase locks for our bedroom doors. Mental health services are sort of hit-and-miss here and it takes a while to get in somewhere. We currently have an appointment on July 9 for an intake for his suicide declaration a few days ago. I take his declaration seriously because in addition to his mother, his brother and his maternal uncle both died by suicide. I am a high school teacher and am strict. At first, I set rules for his continued well-being and to help him mature into a responsible citizen. Now, my only concern is safety -- both his own and that of my family. It is quickly escalating out of control. Luckily, I am off for the summer. I can sleep on opposite shifts from husband on weekends (when my husband is home) beacuse difficult child requires practically constant guard. husband works nights in a 12 hour shift, so sometimes I can get in two hours of sleep and even a shower while he is home and awake. If we don't watch him, he steals things, destroys our property, takes off, or may attempt to hurt one of us or himself. I keep a fully-charged cell phone and a can of pepper spray on me at all times. We have installed a series of motion-sensor lights around the house so that we can know if he is leaving or sneaking up behind us. I know you can hire a sitter for a small child and medically trained personnel for the sick...but what can we do if we want to get out of the house and have a teen like this? Hire an armed guard? I can not do this long term. Do any of you know of any kind of services offered to help parents get a little respite? It would be so nice to be able to take my son to a movie or for me to go out to lunch with husband or a girlfriend once in a while. We went to his PCP today and have been through the local police more times than I can count. Their answers are: corporal punishment, counseling (outpatient is all that anyone will do for us), or just turning him over to the state and putting him in foster care. We have opted to do the counseling route, but I'm not sure well be able to get him to go to regular sessions and I'm sure that medication compliance will be non-existant. husband and I have seriously considered those boot camp places where they come grab your kids in the midde of the night...though I've never actually known anyone who used them and I don't know if they would help or possibly even make the situation worse. I am open to any ideas or suggestions, even flames if you disagree with my methods.