Reply To: 9 year old ODD is getting the best of me

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New to all of this. I have scanned through most responses to this initial post.
My son is 11. We have been struggling with him for the better part of his life, with nothing remotely resembling settling concrete to go on. Over a year ago we had him tested with a result of anxiety and depression. We then moved across country, and it took at least five months to get in to be seen at a children’s behavioral health center in Tucson. This was January.

We have had willful defiance, meltdowns of epic proportions over seemingly minor things, and these meltdowns would cause our son to spiral the rest of the day with one mistake after another. My husband lamented how he hated coming home. Fast forward to present day, we are dealing with combative and argumentative behavior; sudden and unreasonable fears of swallowing toothpaste, dirt, or putting sunscreen on a scab to name a few. In June he- my husband is convinced it was intentional- got a small amount of athlete’s foot powder in his mouth and went into terror mode about wanting us to call poison control. We tried unsuccessfully to tell him he was okay, all the while asking how it got to his mouth. He could not tell us. This escalated into yelling and physical removal of son to his room, my husband shouting at him, asking what was wrong with him, telling him we cannot help him if he doesn’t tell us how it happened. The evening ended with a hole in the wall of our new home, my husband storming off and driving away, my 9-year-old crying and scared, and me to pick up the mess. I called Poison Control because my 11 y-o would not stop panicking. My husband says I gave into his attention seeking behavior.

Ever since that time, my husband has lost total hope and faith our son will be productive in the world, convinced he will hurt someone some day because he will be mad.

Our son cannot lose at anything; he has to be right all the time; he is all output and talks about himself without room for anyone else to share. He asks us a question and then interrupts our answer; he tries to find flaws in every little thing we stay. He does not follow directions, and he always worries about what his brother is doing or the last time he performed a task that I am asking the 11 y/o to do.

Psychologist and psychiatrist- possible ODD, but since he does not exhibit behaviors at school, nothing definitive is ever said. Working with supplements right now. Son is tired of taking them and tries to sneak taking them in order to fake please us. He calls our bluff on consequences; he lies about thoroughly cleaning himself in the shower.

We live over an hour from the clinic and see either one no sooner than every four or five weeks. Next week I am getting him tested on the Autism spec.

My husband hates his life; he is convinced our son is making our lives miserable on purpose to get attention. He is unwilling to accept alternatives to yelling and screaming at our son when he refuses to do something. We are unable to get anything narrowed down as yet and have no instruction as parents with respect to developing a plan.

I have read the Greene book about Explosive Child; also a book called Oppositional Defiance (forgot author) who advocates systematic removal of all things from an ODD child to enforce reciprocity. Husband thinks notion presented by Greene’s book is bull. It has taken many fights to get him to agree to read just one book so we can compare notes and come up with a plan of our own. There is no way my husband will follow anything from Greene’s book.