Reply To: It's time for me to send my odd teen away.. Help!

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Penny Williams

It sounds like the may need an updated neuropsych evaluation. It’s important to get to the root of the behavior, no matter what the diagnosis — that’s the ONLY way to change behavior.

If you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to read Ross Greene’s “The Explosive Child.” Not only does he offer deep understanding of defiant and angry behavior, but he outlines a parenting approach that works for kids and families with these challenges.

I feel about 80% of behavior is a result of the way we parent, and changing the way we parent. We can’t change our kids’ brains or who they are, but we can parent with more flexibility, empathy, and compassion, and those traits are magical.

You may need to consider Autism Spectrum Disorder as a possibility. I am seeing so many kids and teens who have been identified as having mood disorders and ODD that are actually on the autism spectrum (my own kid included). The literal and rigid thinking common with autism can explain oppositional and angry behavior. That, coupled with no one understanding them and what they’re going though, can create explosive behavior.

For that matter, anxiety can as well. Anxiety isn’t just fear behavior. It’s very often lashing out, anger and refusal.

I know this didn’t answer your question about therapeutic schools. The one I know of personally is SOAR NC and it’s PHENOMENAL for kids with ADHD and/or LDs. It is very expensive, of course, but they do have a scholarship program.

Time for Plan B? 10 Tips for Dealing with an Explosive Child

Professional Guidelines for Diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder

Q: Should I Have My Child Evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorder?

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism