October 16, 2017 at 3:26 pm #65591
I have a 9 yo son who has ADHD and in the last 6 months has shown major signs of ODD…Our latest incident was me telling him to make sure he put all his baseball stuff back in the bag after he was practicing at home and BAM he took off walking down the street yelling at me..I was like what did I do …so after about 30 min of watching him walk both ways down our street I told him I would call the police to pick him up because it wasn’t safe ..If I ran after him he would just run farther and faster..then when I got him inside he proceeded to tell me over and over that I am a bad mom…I asked him to tell me what a bad mom is and he said that one time you asked me to give the tv remote to you and you asked me to hand you your phone …according to him I make him do everything by asking him to hand me those two things …then I explained to him what a bad mom is he didn’t care so I left and he slammed doors all night coming in and out of his room.
We have started therapy but its hard not to laugh because she wants me to reward him if he keeps the temper under control or does what I ask but the thing is this kid does not care if he does not get the reward ..he seriously does not care about anything lately ..no ipad time …whatever..no lego’s whatever…no baseball fine ..and then when he doesn’t get what he asked for that is an hour or more argument and him unleashing on me and his grandma ..I am an emotional wreck I cant figure out what is gonna help him …I have read the books recommended.. I have tried to put things in to place but I cant even have a conversation with him without him losing it or even focusing on me …I fully felt I had mastered and got under control the ADHD but this ODD is honestly making me feel hopeless for help…any other parents dealing with this …Oh and PS school is also a complete nightmare with him basically sitting there and refusing to do work ..so homework is always a chore every night
October 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm #65622
I feel your pain and wish I had the answer. Is your child on medication? Sending you lots of love and hugs tonight!
October 19, 2017 at 9:43 pm #65917
I feel for you. I’m a special Ed teacher. I teach a 3 3/4 self contained class. I don’t have any children but I know the age group. From what I’ve noticed it seems that 4th grade or 9 years old is the year kids start really being defiant with authority figures i.e. teachers, parents etc. It seems universal whether it’s a boy or girl, general ed or special Ed race, class etc. All kids seem to get rebellious at that age. Rolling eyes and saying oh my God!! for asking them to do anything. If your child has ODD I’m sure it’s really frustrating. Maybe taking away things like cell phone for periods of time? Idk but if positive reinforcement isn’t working maybe you should try punishment instead of reward. It’s like why shld he behave nothing bad will happen he won’t get a reward but he won’t get punished either so why not misbehave. If he gets some sort of punishment he may want to avoid that outcome again.
October 20, 2017 at 2:25 pm #66012
Hi, I’m in the same boat with a highly charged odd, fire type combined adhd,anxiety, dyspraxic child with tons of disorders and hearing impairment heading into preteen age. I tell mine to back down when she gets very explosive, I walk out of her room when she is too abusive and I literally have to walk backwards away from her when she gets so aggressive and almost severely punches me in the back. I’m following this because our counselor is trying logical brain type of activities and she’s not doing it or participating. Yoga reaches her most of the time with lion breaths. I’ve tried zones of regulations which both ot and counselor use. Successful most of the time with visual aids. I’m also using books on anger/temper tantrums and character counts. I now have a social type of worker coming in. Because I’m a Parent she sees all the time and her teacher, I am a threat to her. She is usually 4 different ages and rages in one hour. Literally. I’m reading some great books on odd and adhd to gain better insight into her mind and behaviors. Hang in there. It’s so rough and very few people get it unless they experience the aggression or explosion. My advice: go with your gut/instinct on how to stay safe or resolve problem. Change counseling centers. We changed 4 times till we found one that works for her and us as a family unit. continue here on add site and child mind or understood .Com, gain info and insight, and try to reach out to others as I do. I pray alot and try to find that one family or friends that accept her as she is and then I too can gain support. Which I get from my church and bible class and some friends in the same boat. Hang in there! Hugs!
October 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm #66046
My 14 year old daughter ( who is ADHD, an ODD) is no longer aggressive physically. That stopped when we took her off the vyvanse. The biphention works really well for her. But is is verbally aggressive. She calls me every name in the book swears at me all the time. An i have tried every thing to get her to stop an she wont. So ive basically accepted that that is who is is right now. I dont know ehat else to do. I’d be lying if i didnt say her words didnt hurt. Being called the b word or being told to f off by my child really hurts. An my son who is 11 an us ADD is starting to get angry now. He was so laid back an easy going. I dont know if he is just testing the limits. Plus he is getting to that age where his hormones are kicking in as well. Its a lonely road sometimes. It can really make you feel isolated.
October 17, 2017 at 2:22 am #65624
I almost lost my s#&t with my 9YO daughter this evening & came to this site hoping for insight or answers. Clearly I’m not alone, but I wish it wasn’t so painful… big hugs to you! #ODDbegone!
October 17, 2017 at 9:40 am #65636
Have you read Ross Greene’s The Explosive Child, or his new book, Raising Human Beings? Both outline how to manage ODD and inflexibility and intensity effectively. There is hope.
You can also listen to a free replay of a webinar he did with ADDitude on ODD here:
He is very much on the same page that rewards don’t work for kids with ODD (and many other challenging conditions), and punishments don’t either. His website has lots of free resources as well at http://livesinthebalance.org.
Here’s more on ODD as well:
There was a fairly recent study that showed stimulant medication coupled with Risperdal was the most effective treatment for ADHD and ODD in kids.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
October 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm #65699
He is on Concerta and Prozac..we are reviewing the meds right now..I have read the explosive child I have read articles..websites..etc etc..I cant even get him to sit and look at me long enough to discuss things with him..My main concern right now is trying to keep him in school because he basically does nothing except act up in school and refuse the work..Its been a rough 5 months
October 18, 2017 at 2:49 pm #65796
It could be the Prozac. When my son was given Prozac for anxiety (in addition to his Concerta), our whole world turned on it’s axis. My sweet kind kid was aggressive and violent. Doctor said it couldn’t be the Prozac because he was on half the lowest dose. Husband said he was just being manipulative with violence and wasn’t Prozac. Doc added mood med to try to help because we were dangerously close to needing to call police or ambulance during rages. That made it worse. Husband said if I didn’t punish and make him stop behaving like that he was leaving, and he packed his bags. It was devastating. After a couple weeks, doc tried increasing to see if that helped, and the obsessive suicidal ideation kicked in. Then he finally agreed we had to stop Prozac. Took nearly a month off it (after being on it a month) to return to his normal, but he did. IT WAS THE PROZAC. It’s a rare side effect, but it does happen.
Something to consider…
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
October 19, 2017 at 10:00 pm #65926
What does work for kids with ODD? If rewards and punishments don’t work. Im curious. As for ADD I have that and have my entire life. I have like every symptom of adult ADD. I think with regards to ADD at least we coddle kids to much. There was someone on here asking about colleges that have accommodations and modifcations for college students with ADD for their 20 year old son. I mean at some point they have to modify their behavior instead of the world changing for them. Realistically the world (jobs,colleges,adult relationships) are going to expect them to behave like the adults they are. These kids need to learn coping skills.
November 26, 2017 at 11:02 am #68964
What does work is Collaborative Problem Solving — working with your child instead of dictating in an authoritarian relationship. Showing empathy and validating their feelings. Recognizing that your child isn’t giving you a hard time, your child is having a hard time. Roos Greene’s books, The Explosive Child and Raising Human Beings, detail this approach.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
October 19, 2017 at 11:01 am #65839
My DS is also 9 and has ADHD and ODD. When reviewing our options with our pediatrician he mentioned that some options (in our case stimulants) can cause aggression. He recommended the generic form of Intuniv ER to relieve the ADHD symptoms without causing even more aggression. If I were you, I would review the medications he is taking. I have also read The Explosive Child, which helps somewhat, but if the medication is causing aggression, I’m afraid you won’t get very far. Kids with ODD have no fear of consequences. It’s a constant struggle. We still have moments when I see the ODD, but it is farther and farther between and MUCH, MUCH more manageable as a parent. This year his teacher actually enjoys having him in class. Last year, I met with the Principal more times than I have in my entire life!!! Good luck Mama! Know that you’re not alone and you’re doing what you can!
October 19, 2017 at 4:35 pm #65879
My 9yr old son behavior is no where near close to any of you ladies stories. My son would walk out of class, be disrespectful and have a tantrum. I had finally gave in to giving him a IEP just so that he can have a one to one. He still hasn’t received one but he have his moments. But I feel your pain. Please look into it if your son or daughter needs it.
October 19, 2017 at 5:24 pm #65891
I agree that it could very well be the medication. My son took intunive for a couple of months and he changed and not in a good way. When I mentioned it to the Doctor he didn’t tthink that was the problem but I took him off oof it anyway. It didn’t take long for him to get back to normal. When I researched it, other p parents had similar experienced.
October 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm #65892
I have an almost 10yo boy. He as, among other things, ADHD and ODD. He was diagnosed young, he was 4 when I had him diagnosed, as I myself am ADD and know that there can be a genetic predisposition.
In my experience with him and other children with other MH issues, I have come to the conclusion that the more you know what theyre thinking, feeling, and going through (mine is all personal experience based) the more you understand how your child needs, and wants to be treated/approached.
For me, I have found that with his ODD, its all about RESPECT! If you approach my son in a confrontational, condescending and or adult – child manor, you will get nothing but a fight. However if you approach him on his level, with the respect you would show another adult, he will give you the same and its smooth sailing.
Of course he still gets mad. Of course he has a hair-trigger temper, and anything can make him mad, the way it is approached at home and at school is very logical, as these are basically logical kids, once you get them calm. We all approach him and remind him that he needs to leave the situation. Then we discuss with him what he is mad about in a firm, but nonconfrontational tone, and with the words that has him reflect on what upset him, did he handle the situation properly? And we then ask him to take his time, take a walk inside the school (he used to have an escort but now he doesnt need it) then return to class, and apologize to those he faught with, and finally, depending on what happened, he is given an “Avis” which has him write out what he did, why, what the other person would have felt, what he should have done instead, what he will do to fix the situation or make up for it, and how the other person may feel after that. Then the teacher, principal sign it, and it comes home to me to sign. (The whole school has to do an “Avis” when they do something wrong)
Please understand, this took years to get to this point! It took years of talking to a blank stare, years of holding him to calm down, like it or not, years of helping him identify his feelings and why he feels that way. Years of seeing him attempt to go toe to toe with adults 3 times his size and not givina second thought to it. It took years of explaining to him what the medication is for, what ADHD and ODD is. And I have always told him, the medication does not make you good, it only helps you focus your brain on one or two things at a time so you can pay attention in school. I have also told him that he is a good kid, not an ADHD and or ODD kid. He just happens to have these things and that means he just needs to find his own way of doimg things. That means it may get bumpy at times but I’ll always be there to help him and in the end, he will be stronger then everyone else, because he had to learn to learn his own way.
October 19, 2017 at 5:48 pm #65895
I totally and completely get it. I can give you some suggestions, but by no means do I have it down. First, someone else mentioned the Prozac and I feel that it is really something to look into further. My understanding is that Prozac should not be given to kids (it can cause suicidal thoughts and worsen the initial symptoms). This is what I was told by our pediatrician. If you can, maybe discuss with your son’s pediatrician?
My 9 year old daughter gets very angry and defiant too. Anything can set her off: Chores, dinner, air molecules, anything! One thing that has helped a bit is giving her Concerta ER early, first thing in the morning. I give it time to start working before she gets to school. I stay away from her (I know avoidance isn’t a long term answer, but it works for now and keeps me from jumping off a building). Her mornings have gotten better. A typical morning ended with both of us yelling. Hateful things just pour out of her mouth and no amount of pre-set consequences or additional punishments would work. When she’s in that state, SHE DOES NOT CARE. Sounds like your son is the same.
Afternoons, after school, were a nightmare as well. After I had a crying meltdown on the phone with the pediatrician, she suggested that perhaps it was the rebound effect from the meds wearing off. She finally prescribed a low dose of Ritalin to try and stabilize the evenings(for my daughter, not me :-)). This has also provided some relief from the rage, frustration and terrible mood swings that would have her sobbing for hours. I’m not saying she does everything I ask her cheerfully, but it’s manageable now. She has a bit more control and there is just enough of the sane and logical kid in there that she can somewhat control the outbursts. Sometimes she can actually stop the episode in its tracks and that is a huge occasion for both of us! She’s also able to focus on her homework more and I’d say when she takes her afternoon dose, her homework complaints are more tolerable and similar to those of a non-ADHD kid.
You mentioned threatening to call the police when he runs off and hear me out, but I think that’s a good idea! First of all, safety is the most important thing to consider and when they go off, it can be dangerous. We have to make the choices for our kids if they are not going to make good ones themselves. Also, if he knows you’re not bluffing, the thought of having the police come may be enough of an adrenaline rush (for lack of a better term) that he snaps out of it. I think that once they get into that full fledged defiant, ragey mindset, there has to be something dramatic to snap them out of it. When I lose it and yell is usually when my daughter comes back to earth and returns to the loving, sweet kid I know and love. Meanwhile, I hate myself for exploding and often question my own worth as a mother. Other than the safety aspect, the PCIT (Parent/CHild Interaction) therapist told me not to engage and stay calm (Hahaha, right). I ask her to go to her room and come out when she’s calmed down and if she refuses, I will be the one to walk away and ignore her until she calms down. She hates not having an audience. She will typically escalate a bit (or a lot) and then come back down. If I engage, she still goes through her “episode” but now I’m upset and on the verge of a breakdown as well.
You aren’t alone! Please keep us posted and if you find something that works, please let us know!!
October 19, 2017 at 5:58 pm #65896
I should also add that the type of school and children that attend your childs school does make a difference.
While I only have anecdotal evidence, the smaller, more affluent the school, the more resources they have and the calmer, more inclusive school you will find. These types of schools tend to have clientele that come from a stable home life, and so their stability is really of value to children who live with a brain of chaos.
For example, many public schools in the inner city are over full, and have more children coming from unstable homes. They are coming to school to learn to survive. They have no extra budget to help with the one on one. They may get the extra money for the extra hire, however this hire may be spread around, or they may use the money for something else. The bigger the school the more children that need the help, the higher the chances that your child could get overlooked. Be present in your childs school, work with the teacher and principal, come up with the ways that will work for your child to get them motivated, get an IPP, (individual plan) which has the goals of what to work on for the education side but also for the behaviours and such. It also has the diagnosis and what works and what doesnt work. When you have a meeting over the IPP you would want to have all the teachers present so everyone is on the same page. Communicate with the teacher by email daily to start, then work down to a couple times a week. Pick up your child atleast once a week just check in with the teacher about how the weeks going, and if there is anything that needs to be worked on.
I know teachers are busy, but a good teacher appreciates a parent who is willing to work with them to help their child succeed.
October 19, 2017 at 9:06 pm #65909
1, He’s winning, you’re losing. Get *yourself* a therapist and find out why you’re allowing a NINE-year-old to dominate you. 2, Get him a new therapist who will get him new meds that will bring him down into a more normal behavior pattern. 3, Take control of your family. Set boundaries without apology and enforce them. Deprive him, confine him, spank him, whatever works to make him behave and to allow you to regain control and sanity. 4, This is much, much more, and worse, than simply AD/HD. You need a specialist. Most doctors know next to nothing about these issues. Find a certified, qualified specialist who can help you.
October 19, 2017 at 10:29 pm #65933
This is not about a parenting style, please don’t add to this mama’s stress. If you have personal experience with this I would appreciate your perspective, but otherwise, the purpose of this thread is to offer support, not criticism for what we’re trying to do that’s not working.
October 19, 2017 at 9:22 pm #65911
First, let me preface this by saying: I am not your physician and this is not a treatment plan: however, This is what I do for a living. I treat children psychiatrically. In MY professional opinion, ODD, is a bs diagnosis- what you are describing sounds like bipolar disorder. HOw long has he been taking Prozac, what dosage and who is prescribing. If it’s anyone other than a psychiatric treater, then I recommend seeing a psych provider, as soon as you can. Someone mentioned Prozac- Prozac can be ‘activating’. ESPECIALLY if someone has bipolar disorder. It can put someone into a manic episode, which may be what is going on here.
Check out the above link to show the similarities between Bipolar disorder and ADHD.
What else is going on in the home… Kids are not created in a vacuum. ADHD doesnt account for everything. I agree with the therapist-praise when something goes right… we often remark on what goes wrong-but rarely what is right… It takes conscious effort to remember to remark on the littlest “easy” moments. I have a 10 yr old and I say things (when I remember) like “thanks for brushing your teeth without a fight”… acknowledging what is good. To me, it sounds like your boy is just plain irritable. And honestly, it’s likely not his fault. I’d make an appointment with an appropriate treater ASAP. Does he sleep? Sleep is very important. Essentially, he feels powerless.. hence the power struggles…
poor kid and poor mom… hope it gets better soon.
October 19, 2017 at 9:25 pm #65913
Please seek out psychiatric providers when possible. Pediatricians are limited in their scope of practice and can sometimes do more harm than good.
October 19, 2017 at 9:31 pm #65914
October 19, 2017 at 9:39 pm #65916
Came across this article. Not sure whether it will help, but it might be worth reading.
October 19, 2017 at 10:41 pm #65937
I like how this article identifies the problem of anxiety. With ADHD, Anxiety, ODD, and many other diagnosis, the inability to self regulate your emotions means that your reaction can only be fight or flight. For me, anxiety attacks still send my heart racing, my blood pumping, when in a challenging situation even when I know that I’m fine! When I know that I’ve got this presentation, or this important meeting. My body still gets disregulated. Sensory diets can help with this, as well as using the ALERT system or, working on identifying how a child’s “engine” is running. Please see my post in the comments below.
October 19, 2017 at 9:43 pm #65918
My son, at 9, was incredibly ODD and explosive. Nothing worked. I tried everything from Ross Greene’s kind, reasonable, evidence-based approach to (I am ashamed to admit) spanking. We were desperate for necessary life activities to happen and had a child who refused to do anything he didn’t want to do, no matter how small or necessary (attend school, brush his teeth EVER, not play video games 100% of the time, etc.).
Everything changed once he got on the right medications. Suddenly, Ross Greene’s approach worked well. We could talk, reasons, problem-solve, and provide meaningful rewards our son responded to. At almost 13, he’s a straight-A student who did a whole math program over the summer to earn his iphone, does his daily homework and reads for an additional 45 minutes after school every day. Just 3 years ago, this was a kid who refused to even attend school at all and had to be put on psychiatric inpatient after making a suicidal gesture after I wouldn’t buy him a Minecraft thing he’d discovered 20 minutes prior!
In your shoes, I would keep working on the medication angle. You don’t say whether the ODD has worsened with Prozac or Concerta, but those are definitely possible culprits if it has. Every medication affects everyone differently, so don’t give up. The overwhelming majority of people find some medication support. It provides the base on which good parenting can happen. But providing good parenting with a child who’s completely emotionally dysregulated and has little executive function is like trying to build a beautiful home on quicksand.
I would also try Russell Barkley’s book, Your Defiant Child. He argues that kids with ADHD need IMMEDIATE rewards and punishments, because their condition makes them unable to respond to other incentives. I’m not the kind of person who thinks we should manipulate children into behaving through carrots and sticks– rather than persuading them through reasoning and compromise and discussion–but Barkley has convinced me that ADHD kids will develop ODD, like mine did, if they don’t have that kind of conditioning. He has a whole program that a good ADHD therapist should be able to help you implement.
You’re in a tough spot. Unless your child is a heartless person with no empathy or love, then this is all pretty distressing for him too. He’s surely getting plenty of really bad feelings as a consequence of his behavior and negative messages every day. Like Ross Greene says, kids who can do better, do better. Deep down, your son wants to please you and be a boy who everyone likes and is proud of. He just can’t get it together to do that right now. His brain isn’t working right for him.
Having sustained compassion for a kid who’s this challenging is hard — I know from experience! But Russell Barkley’s ADHD videos on Youtube are a good place to start before your copy of Your Defiant Child arrives, you find a therapist who can work the book with you, and you get your son on some medications that help him better regulate himself. I never thought my son would turn around, as we were trying everything and failing everything, so please keep hope and keep trying.
October 19, 2017 at 9:52 pm #65919
My daughter is almost 15. She has ADHA, ODD an social anxiesty. When she was 4 an my son (who is ADD as is my husband) was 1 she started cutting the screen in our house an running away. My husbands job left me pretty much on my own. So i would have to chasce my daughter an i litterly mean running after.iI would have to leave my son in his stroller on the side walk to run as fast as i could to catch her. This continued for a very long time. We bought locks for the doors that you couldnt open with out a key. We would put screws in the windows so you couldnt open them more then an inch. I had a friend on the police force. I had him come to the house in his squad car in full uniform to talk to her when she was about ten. Didnt help. Rewards didnt help. She didnt care if we took things away from her. One time she was gone for two hours. I spent two hours looking for her while my father in law stayed with my son. At this point she was only on meds for her ADHD. But im here to tell you she did grow out of that. I had the same problem with asking her to do things. She is getting better. But now she has the teenage attitude an its driving me nuts. But she is a little more compliant. It does get better with time. So hang in there. It does get better as far as that goes. But the teenage attitude is hard to deal with. An her emotions are always extreme.
October 19, 2017 at 10:00 pm #65925
Is he taking a stimulant medication for the ADHD? Stimulants can increase aggression and agitation, especially in the come down phases. Sometimes stimulants work great and then it’s like a light switch is flipped and the stimulant create more problems. I’ve seen this in prepubescent boys, especially. I also find the constant praise exhausting.
October 19, 2017 at 10:37 pm #65935
No she is on biphention. Which is way better the the vyvanse she was on. That one left her very angry after wards. The vyvanse would leave her system so quickly she would become very angry. The biphention leaves her system so gradually that she doesnt get like that any more.
October 19, 2017 at 10:10 pm #65929
PANDAS is associated with OCD. not ODD
October 19, 2017 at 10:17 pm #65930
You are in my prayers it’s such a helpless feeling but you are helping yourself and your son by talking and reaching out for help. I don’t think it’s a good time to argue when in the middle of an episode. We had to call the police once when our son wouldn’t get in our van at the beach – I was the bad mom who had the nerve to go home earlier – and he went running away like that. When the policeman came it knocked some sense into him and we had the report for more medical help. Keep your chin up. You are doing your best
October 19, 2017 at 10:23 pm #65931
I am a pediatric Occupational Therapy Asstant in an out patient therapt clinic, ADHD parent of teen daughters with ADHD, ASD and CAPD, and I relate well to your struggles from watching my brother’s behaviors as I grew up, as a parent, and now as a therapist.
There is an answer, but it needs to be designed by a therapist specifically for your child. Psych counseling is important, but sensory diets and training on identifying and and managing his emotions is what he needs before rewards will work. Who cares if you don’t get your ipad in 2 hours, if your body( his body) is a mess right now, it doesn’t matter.
Now, I know what people say. My kid already gets OT in school, or doesn’t qualify in school. Ive been there too. School only qualifies/ treats things that directly impact his ability to receive an education, which right now in many places does not include sensory diets, self regulation training or coping strategies. I would encourage you to see what outpatient services might be available to you in your area for Occupational Therapy, and see what they can do to help. I live in mid/state NC. Not sure what might be available to you, but when I get clients like your son,like my daughter, I wonder why we are always told that if they dont need services at school, the only thing we could do was change their medicine or parenting style. Good luck, and please look into these things that I’ve mentioned.
- This reply was modified 11 months ago by Kailet. Reason: Mispelling
October 19, 2017 at 10:38 pm #65936
I too feel your pain. My son began ODD at 10. He’s 16 now. Rewards, punishments, changes in medication and no improvement. I have a theory and great concern that early childhood immunizations cocktails engineered by pharmaceutical companies were specifically designed to keep them in business and destroy families. Too many of our children are taking their drugs. Class Action Lawsuit is what’s needed.
October 19, 2017 at 10:52 pm #65939
Without getting into a discussion on whether or not that is a cause if these “disorders” it is important to find a solution that works with what we are dealing with now. Know that you are not alone and you just need to find the right professionals to help your child. It will be a combination of things and people that works and the most important thing to have for your child, and yourself, is compassion, and patience. Start every day as a new day. Good luck AJSD.
October 19, 2017 at 10:44 pm #65938
I totally agree with ADHDmama’s recommendation of Ross Greene’s collaborative and proactive problem solving approach explained in his two books: The Explosive Child and Raising Human Beings. My daughter and I are working with a therapist that is helping us learn this method and apply it at home. I do not believe that the “tough love” or punitive approach works with these kids. It didn’t work with mine. It just pissed her off further and drove a deeper wedge between us. I may have won some battles but I was losing the war! They need buy-in. And by using the Collaborative Problem Solving approach proactively, you are able to solve problems and also strengthen lagging and weak social and emotional skills in the child. Go to his website: livesintheblanance.org and watch some of the videos. The best part about this approach is it is not based on any kind of diagnosis. So it doesn’t matter if your child is ODD or bipolar or ADHD or whatever. It is just an effective way to solve problems and bring more peace into your home. However, there is a 2 steps forward and 2 steps back process…. there will be ups and downs and I think it will take years. I wish I knew about this when my daughter was 3! But my daughter is 10 and I believe it is never too late. I am working to solve problems (and as a result, behaviors) more effectively and nurture and restore our relationship for a lifetime. I also realized that I had to own my part of the way I interacted with her and I had to change things about me, too. It takes 2 to tango.
My heart truly goes out to you. You must feel very exasperated and discouraged for sure! I hope you will check out Ross Greene’s website and books. If they resonate with you, then you might even seek out a therapist who is knowledgeable about collaborative problem solving and can help train both you and your son. Another book that I think is really really good is Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson.
I wish you the very best. Try not to beat yourself up. (I need to take my own advice, too, in that!) And DON’T GIVE UP! Your son is worth your effort.
October 19, 2017 at 10:56 pm #65940
Same story here. I’ve been using essential oils for a few weeks. At PTC the teacher said whatever you’re doing keep doing it. They are from Butterfly Express. I use victory on his big toe and give him minerals every morning. My son also takes Ritalin. It hasn’t fixed everything but had helped.
- This reply was modified 11 months ago by newjliebes.
October 19, 2017 at 10:58 pm #65942
This Ross Green approach is new to me, but sounds like something I will check into, some things we do a lot in our clinic. Another approach is the Floortime approach designed by Dr. Stanley Greenspan. It is commonly recommended for Autism but is adaptable with many other diagnoses.
Blessings to all you mamas who won’t give up on your kids!
October 20, 2017 at 12:54 am #65948
To the frusterated mom; theres an old saying that sometimes needs to be the cornerstone in our lives as mothers to maintain peace in the home & our own sanity-it is “To pick & choose our own battles”. I myself have ADHD and have 7 children that also have ADHD, quite a few of my kids have ODD as well. If we learn to accept our children where they’re at at that very moment in time it can make a world of difference. Your son might know he has to clean up after himself & might even do his job almost always but if you happen to catch him in a state of mind where he is focused on something else, your reminder can mean major melt down & the world is over..so maybe its ok to do tht chore for him that 1 time or show him the mess later for him to see. Rewards work if they are absolutely in the moment on the fly. Something so insanely simple as a chocolate candy or a mint, a treat that your child likes can make him see the immediate benefits so tht he will clean up when you ask. Its good to have rules & routines but also to know that we might have to make quick adaptations to maintain peace in the home and our own sanity. I wish you all the best.
October 20, 2017 at 9:01 am #65960
I completely understand. I have a 13 y o daughter who’s ADHD and ODD. I basically need a bullet proof vest in the mornings to deal with her.
After trying every approach in the book and counselors, doctors and everything else, things are not on an upswing. She has major sleep issues and getting
her to school just about requires an act of God. Look for support everywhere you can, and try to always always always keep in mind your child’s strengths.
I still can’t grasp how difficult my daughters life is dealing with all her challenges. I’m 51 so I’ve had some years to look at the big picture. Since you’re on
this site looking for help, I’m pretty sure you’ll find a solution. Just give it time. And say the serenity prayer a lot!
Just like Kailet says–Blessings to all you mamas who won’t give up on your kids. Stay strong, no matter how difficult things seem.
October 20, 2017 at 9:23 am #65962
Ya mornings can be really tough. I use meletonin to help my daughter sleep at night. It works well. An i hear you about the bulet proof vest. She know what to say to push my buttons. I struggle to understand her because i dont have ADHD. My husband an son are ADD. So i really feel like an outsider alot of the time. I struggle to understand her way of thinking an feeling an what she is going through because i’ve never been there.
October 20, 2017 at 10:14 am #65963
I went through this with my son when he was in the 4th grade. At the time he was taking Concerta and Prozac. The doctor and I both thought it was just his symptoms worsening and put him on Abilify. When it was all said and done it was the Concerta causing the problem. He is 12 now, no symptoms of ODD and he is taking Prozac for anxiety and Focalin for ADD. You might want to consider stopping the Concerta. Vyvanse works really well for ADHD and ODD. He took that for several years but developed stomach problems because of it. I am also a nurse of 17 years.
October 20, 2017 at 11:31 am #65982
I have so been there. You are not alone!
We are working with a therapist to help us cope, and provide us with strategies. Our son, also 9, takes adderall. When he flies into ODD, I call it what it is: a tantrum. I tell him, you are having a tantrum. When you are ready to be respectful and calm, we can talk about what has upset you.
It didn’t start working overnight. it has been a year or more of work: praising the good behavior, ignoring the bad, one small incremental victory at a time. In the worst of it, I felt like I had no love left for my child–which just hurt so much. It really helped for me to understand (from our therapist) that his bad behavior, his tantrums, were calls for help. I had to look really hard to find things to love/praise. But that positive feedback built on itself and slowly restored the balance to more positive, fewer ODD/tantrum days.
Hang in there. One day at a time.
October 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm #65989
I also felt the strategies our therapist were giving us were laughable at the beginning. We also were told to ignore the negative behaviors, praise even small positive behaviors and develop a household routine that was so routine my son would know what to expect each and every day. Every experience is different, but in ours, the therapist said my son craved ANY type of attention – negative or positive didn’t matter to him.
I felt downright dingy praising a child for getting through a shopping trip without crying or getting through 30 minutes of class without having an outburst. I got more than a few dirty looks when I would ignore negative behaviors in public. I felt each of those silent judgments and more than a few times would be crying in my car on the way home.
But day by day it did get better. Working with the physicians and therapists to find proper medications and continuing with therapies did yield positive results. Eventually, I was able to start praising bigger and bigger accomplishments and the negative behaviors become less and less frequent. Not to say he’s a perfect child now, but I can see how hard he works to control his outbursts and I am so proud of him.
Hang in there. It’s a long journey, but its so worth it and in the end can be so rewarding!
October 20, 2017 at 12:09 pm #65986
I agree with kidzpsychapn. Children with Bipolar Disorder are often diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at first. My child was diagnosed in 2nd grade but was not diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until 6th grade after he had to be hospitalized because his emotions were completely out of his control. Both Stimulants and Antidepressants, can increase Bipolar symptoms. My son had to be taken off of his ADHD medication until the Dr’s were able to stabilize his mood, then after time we were able to reintroduce a low dose of Focalin XR to treat his ADHD. Everyone reacts to medications differently, but we could not use Concerta or Vyvyvanse, they both made him irritable and aggressive. I suggest reading The Bipolar Child by Demitri Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos, as well as What Works for Bipolar Kids by Mani Pavuluri, MD, PhD.
October 20, 2017 at 1:40 pm #65990
Sounds like my 7 year old son. He doesn’t have any actual diagnoses yet because the therapist has been reluctant to label him but has said he does show signs of ADHD. But ever since he was about 4, he’s been very aggressive including physical aggression. Lately, I swear he’s exhibiting a lot of ODD traits & its out of control. He is very impulsive, angry, irritable, argumentative, he throws tantrums, refuses to follow rules, blames dad & I & tells us we are horrible parents, he has threatened to kill me or says he should die, he screams, yells, & makes constant noise, he has trouble concentrating on the tasks at hand, doesn’t listen when talked to & will rudely interrupt you, has memory issues, very rigid with shifting from one task or place to another. I told the therapist he beats on me & tries to do harm to me whenever hes upset & he’s upset about EVERYTHING! From dad & I making requests of him, to power struggles over food & eating, to losing his belongings & cant find them, to he wants everyone else to do things for him instead of him doing things for himself. Don’t get me started on school & homework. The school has requested multiple meetings because he is being very disruptive. He doesn’t get work done at school so he has homework just about every night in which he adamantly refuses to complete & proceeds to rip it up. They have a behavior rewards system but it means nothing to him & he could care less. His dad & I try to impose consequences & rewards at home but nothing has worked & he starts thinking he gets rewards for every little thing. Unfortunately, he can’t be medicated because he has a rare medical problem. He has been having hypoglycemic episodes since he was 3 & they have gotten worse & worse. Now we are getting ready to have genetic testing because they think he has Glycogen Storage Disease. He’s been a very picky eater after a long struggle with chronic tonsillitis as a toddler & he just doesn’t eat very much but mixed with possible ADHD, he cant tolerate sitting to eat…he’s gotta go play because to him there is never enough time in a day to play or watch movies or video games. They are afraid if they medicate, he really won’t have any appetite & it will further his blood sugar dropping. So I’ve been reading lots of books looking for help & new techniques to deal with the yelling, hitting, refusal to do what he’s suppose to etc.. but so far, I feel pretty helpless! The family therapist has had us doing behavior modification techniques, we’ve gone through about 3 different timeout routines & are trying another called task based grounding which I have very little confidence in. My personal doctors suggested Dr. Ross Greenes The Explosive Child so I got it this week but Im not sure that will do much either. I just am not sure what to do & Im tired of being beat on & Im worried the private school he attends will kick him out. This is super frustrating!!
October 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm #66013
I feel ya on the food issues. Our doctor suggested protein shakes or shakes like Ensure. He also suggested added as much healthy fat as possible to his food. Extra real butter, or full fat milk and to try and get him to eat the protein first. My son and I were both super excited at his last appointment when he gained 5.1 pounds in 6 months!!! We’ve never had that type of growth before!
December 27, 2017 at 8:31 pm #71622
Its been a long road at 3 yr old of psychiatric care to present my 10 yr old cannot take stimulants nor straterra. His behavior ranges from one extreme to another daily even with current meds. Ive managed to move to Austin Tx in order to have access to more mental health services. Lost family and friends along the way and have added zoloft plus wellbutrin to help me manage with tons of stress depression and anxiety. Iam looking for RTC placement this cannot wait any longer …
burnt out n frayed due to his intent to harm his friends chihuahua dog. This is severe insomnia adhd with odd. ….
If the general public experienced the caotic life we live maybe help and services would come sooner rather than ignorance in our path.
October 23, 2017 at 10:43 am #66155
I am a parent of 3 children that are DX w/ ADHD, parent educator for 16 years, and myself suffer w/ ADHD. My children and others I work w/ have ODD as well. I will always swear by praise for positive reinforcement at times you even have to catch positive behaviors (behavior identification- be specific on your praise) in the process. Ignoring anything that is not harmful to themselves, others or property, continuing w/negative consequences consistently and for short periods of times so that there is more opportunity for them to succeed at having the object/ privilege, make sure consequences are set and relate to the behavior-ie take the door they are slamming or make them clean it (won’t clean it then lose it or no privilege until done). CONSISTANCY w/ no mater what you so- I recommended posting a few rules (no hurting others) which include what not to do, (use a positive coping skill identified such as self time out then discuss issue) what to do and the consequences that follow (loss of privilege vs keeping privilege). There attitude that they don’t care is a bluff as far I see it, hang in there w/ your consequences. Also remember kids w/ ADHD are not considering consequences when they exhibit behaviors.Say some thing completely off the wall during a tantrum- I left the cat on the refrigerator at work- This nonsense can reset the brain (I just learned this). You are Mom and if you have concerns about meds, if on meds, then advocate for a change. Meds are trial and error and you never know how a person will react as well as docs don’t either. FORGIVE yourself. Tell yourself everyday that you are amazing which is better than perfect. Try checking out Gray Matter Matters- about the brain and completely different info than anything out there.
October 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm #66219
I haven’t managed to read all the posts so apologies if I am repeating what others have said. I had terrible trouble with my son at about the same age agressive behaviour, arguing black is white just for the sake of it. He is now 12 and much calmer and pleasant. It’s difficult to know what made the difference but he now says that he didn’t feel loved or cared for and he didn’t feel as though he was listened to. I found it helped and still helps to go overboard with praise and reassurance. I tell him how much I love him and what a proud Mum i am. I pick on characteristics that i can praise ” your hugs make me happy”, ” you have a lovely smile”, “the dog adores you he doesn’t greet me like that” Ok so i stretch the truth sometimes but it was all about raising self esteem. Special time when we did stuff just the two of us together helps but I found I had to tell him that this was our special time and not just a routine job that i had to do “i love walking home from school with you it gives us time to chat without being interupted” I sit and watch his Tv choice with him, he didn’t want me to learn about his computer games, it was too complicated to teach me but he is happy with me nodding and giving affirmation when he is talking at me about them. His certificates are proudly displayed on the fridge so that family and friends can comment on them. Others such as teachers and other adults giving positive feedback is really, really helpful too.
Keeping a diary identifying what happened before an incident eg environment, activity what happened during it and afterwards can help identify if there is a pattern to behaviours and triggers. It might also help you to recognise a meltdown brewing. I hadn’t realised how sensitive my child was to sensory experiences such as noise and crowds so i’d take him to carnivals and celebrations etc which I now know he hates before I thought he was just ruining things.
Giving additional responsibilities helped such as feeding the dog that he get lots of positive feed back from helped as well as giving closed choices ie what would you like, this? or the other? bath or shower? pasta or potatos? go to bed or clean the kitchen? which makes him feel more in control of his life.
I also ensure that he knows that I am listening to him and giving his problems my careful consideration. Sometimes I can’t make things better but just listening and acknowledging how frustrating, challenging things can be diffuses the situation. I also tell him when things don’t go right for me and what strategies I use as otherwise he just assumes that everything went well for me.
Obviously I was shocked when I learnt that he felt unloved etc. I was working really hard to get support in school for him and meet his needs at home. We have always had plenty of cuddles, he was always my velcro baby I couldn’t put him down and I have always played with him and read stories but he needs +++++ reassurance.
I hope my experience is of some help, and just remember we lash out at the people we love most.
- This reply was modified 11 months ago by lizslocombe1.
October 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm #66282
Oh TY so much everyone for all the replies ..Its scary to know I am not the only one cause my heart goes out to anyone dealing and living with this …we love our children so hard I think that’s the reason why it affects us so much..Ok so he was diagnosed at 6 officially but they saw it happening at 5 for the ADHD at that time no anger issues were involved just impulsive actions..K/1/2 grades were bad then poof 3rd grade came and it was wonderful..not perfect but good for him …at this time he is on Concerta 36mg and .5mg of Prozac every other day.. the teacher is positive and motivating for him …then 4th grade came and BAM nothing has been the same we have noticed the teacher now is very FAST on her teaching style which doesn’t work for him and that has been a big issue …For anyone that asks I am a single mom he sees his dad about once a month due to his work schedule they aren’t close and his Dad feels his problems are either due to me or him just being a boy so I choose to keep him out of it..We have lived in the same place since he was born so he has stability I live with my mom so he has a good home base..I make a good living so we don’t struggle..We have a huge family that loves him like crazy and have just learned to live with the ADHD ..I have tried essential oils…I have read a good amount of books on explosive children and ADHD..On the Prozac after talking to the Dr we might be changing to a lighter form of prozac and maybe giving him a booster of Ritalin around noon so he can get thru school and homework …he takes Melatonin at night to sleep and the Concerta after he eats in the morning..I have had a behavioral specialist since he was 5 that moved into a psychiatrist when he was about 7-8 and we are on our 3rd therapist..we also have a plain old pediatrician…We have an IEP in place at his school which is a award winning public school which he gets great help with after I wrote a nice letter to the director of special education in the district…I am the squeaky wheel ..So that’s just a run down on why I feel so defeated some days …NOT everyday just some days cause I feel like where else do I go from here who else can help me …what do we do next..But you guys have been so great with all your suggestions I am trying alot of them and we will see what happens…..BIG HUGS TO EVERYONE….. and if after reading this you see somewhere else I can work on please feel free to post on it
October 24, 2017 at 4:32 pm #66390
I am so sorry for your pain and struggle – I went through almost exactly the same things…mine are young adults now, and the problem is marginally better. This spectrum as a strong genetic background, exacerbated by biological and environmental factors. Here are things which help: 1) Having an understanding and deeply invested helpful second parent or adult who you can tag-team with (it is miserable doing it alone); (2) Firm yet positive discipline – it is so easy to lose our cool and scream, yell, cry but as I have learnt – it does not help. The child/young adult with ODD/ADHD is struggling much more than us. Treating them as te problem exacerbates the situation- getting them to understand you are on their team as equal partners does help (3) As a family, have soothing daily rituals and habits- for example, listening to soothing classical music, divine chants, doing yoga together, a few minutes of meditation upon arising, praying together, taking hikes together, taking a walk at the beach, enjoying nature together, playing chess (yes I know it is practically impossible to get them interested in such things!) (4) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or Neurofeedback (with well trained practitioners) in addition to the specific meds prescribed- the meds alone rarely appear to work; (5) Additional adult family members or helpful friends who can be mentors to the affected child/young adult; (6) Besides standard meds, I looked up the literature and found herbal therapies such as Bacopa monnieri, Centenella asiatica, Phyllanthus emblica, Valerian etc which are known for ages to help enhance neural circuitry, attention, focus, reduce stress etc. (7) Making sure the child gets enough physical aerobic exercise – a brisk walk, karate, run or biking with the family is amazing. (8) If you can afford to have a pet- a loving dog is a great boon (9) Keeping the kid busy with interesting activities (art/crafts/drama/music/painting/ Legos/gardening, clay-modeling etc); (9) Lots of “I love you”, and “let’s write down all the ways you are just AMAZING!”; (10) having the child identify when and why anger rises up within, and how to let you know- in other words- the anger or the ‘bad’ behavior is separated from the identity of the child.
Like I said- I am still fighting the war – just know that you are not alone, and there is a huge army of us fighting this awful disease which has affected our poor children.
November 20, 2017 at 2:23 pm #68707
My son is 12yrs old and your story sounds just like what I am dealing with right now. I am at witts end. I don’t know what to do to help him or myself. I am beyond frustrated, angry, sad, depressed and feel defeated by his ADHD/ODD 🙁 He is on 60mg of Vyvanse, 3mg of Gyfanisine in the am and then 1 mg Gyfanasine in the afternoon. His outbursts are crazy, he talks back to family and the teachers at school. It’s just too much.
November 22, 2017 at 11:07 am #68849
It’s so hard when you feel like NOTHING works. When you’ve tried every therapy, read every book, and you’re ready to give up. I even asked my son’s dr about adding a small dose of Risperidone, because I’ve read that it can help with the ODD, but he says that it can cause male breast tissue. Talk about busting a mama’s bubble!I was pinning my hopes on that being our saving grace! This is so, so hard, but I’m just so very grateful to know that I’m not on this journey alone.
December 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm #69710
i dont know if this is any help to you but my son went through a stage of utter defiance and i was really really worried it was ODD. what helped was talking to him about it, why we need to follow instruction and cooperate and then when he didnt and it ended it badly i spoke about how awful the outcome was, how bad it made us both feel. then i told him he needed to starve the defiance, it was greedy and loved to be fed and that each time he was defiant it got biger and stronger and would end up creating a lot of trouble for him. so after a week or two of chatting like this i told him we were now going to act – tpo do something about it, i wanted him first to notice how often he was defiant so we began counting each time, then after a few days i told him each time he was defiant there would be a consequence, say for example going to bed five minutes earlier or doing a chore, the chores worked better because bedtime can seem a long way off and therefore has less impact. then after another few days i gave him a plastic bracelet and ‘sold’ the idea of a new regime to change things, by this point we were both pretty miserable and he could see how often he was doing it (he could only see this when he was calm!). the bracelet was divided into two with a pen or marker and i put paperclips on it, if he was defiant he would get a warning, then if he did it again i moved the paperclip from one side of the bracelet to the other – i thought the visual of seeing the paperclip crossing the marked line worked well and it helped him to see that he too was ‘crossing the line’ with his behaviors. he hated this system, and so did i, but it did help a lot. he got the warning so it wasnt too punitive at the start and each paperclip moved was a pre agreed copnsequence, he complained a lot, he voiced his opinion on my crappy idea and the stupid bracelet, but it did help. i praised over time as less paperclips moved and things changed but slowly!it took a while to set it up, explain it, get him to notice his defiance and how crap it made us feel and i kept reminding him to stay clam when he felt like doing the opposite to what i asked him to do etc but we got there
i have to say though that what also helped was the school dealt with him in a fairer manner and am sure some of the defiance was just fustration and wanting to rebel against things that were happening in school, and i understand how he felt because there were some unfair things going on and so when finally i got some things changed in school that too helped as he was so defiant in school also
July 6, 2018 at 8:57 am #87653
I feel some relief having found this site, I will have to read it while the kids sleep as that is the only time I have. I am raising my grandchildren and 2 of them have mental health issues. I am struggling and its a long story, the 8 year old is Bipolar, PTSD, ADHD, ODD, RAD, encropresis, and developmental delays. Life with him is hell. The 10 year old has failure to thrive and will be getting a feeding tube soon, weighs 50 pounds, refuses to eat, has PTSD, ADHS, and ODD. I need help, I feel like the school is my enemy, always reporting us to DCS, the psychiatrist doesn’t seem to understand the stress the family is under, the daily pooping and peeing in his pants, the screaming, swearing, yelling, threats. I video tape most things to keep me safe. I am at wits end.
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