Child Behavior Community
14.3k Members
Avatar universal

son with ODD

My 7 yr old son has been diagnosed with ODD we go to counselling and we now have a new system in place at school. It so far is not working. He is very disruptive and has been hitting and kicking other children. I feel so lost and angry we talk about his behavior all the time. I just cant seem to get through to him. He is so over the top thinking he knows everything and he talks back and yells and carries on so much all the time. He thinks this is a joke. He is the same at home and now I am finding myself dropping back into a depression that I have not felt in a very long time. I have a borderline personality disorder and find it so difficult to stay consistant for any length of time I had a behavior-reward chart at home and now that has fallen by the way-side just like everything else I have tried. I am only on here venting because I find it helpful to do so and maybe it will help me get my focus back by writing it all down. I know what to do and how to do it but find myself failing miserably. My son suffers because of my lack of consistantcy.  thanks for listening
12 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
   I can understand your feelings.  Working with an ODD Child is extremely frustrating.  
    But you may be expecting too much too soon.  A new system at school has to have time to take effect.  Even with a normal kid, experts say it takes 3 weeks of immediate, constant reinforcement to get a change.  Neither you nor the school should expect things to happen right away.  
    And the trouble with sharp kids is that they work the system.  They have learned through trial and error that If you don't think something is working, you will move on to another method - and they win again.
    Have you talked with the counselors about your methods at home.  It may be that you are trying to do to much all at once.  The problem with a reward chart at home is that it can cover too much ground and the while the child may do some things he fails at other things and then gets no reward for what he has accomplished.  Plus, many times the reward is delayed as well as the punishment - which effectively ruins the idea of immediate consequences.  Frankly, I have never really liked this kind of a chart for kids with difficult problems.
   I also am wondering if you or his doctors have looked into ADHD?   Something like 35% of the kids with ADHD have ODD and it makes treating the ODD so much more difficult.   This is a good link that takes a look at ADHD and other disruptive disorders -
        While you didn't give a lot of his symptoms, I get the feeling that anger management is one of his major problems.  This is a very good article that not only looks (again) at Anger Overload and Anger Overload and ADHD.  But more importantly it gives treatment techniques for parents and teachers that perhaps you haven't heard about.
      The link is   -  http://www.chadd.org/Portals/0/AM/Images/Understading/AUG01AngerOverloadinChildren-DiagnosticandTreatmentIssues.pdf
       And besides all the consistency things - which are difficult to do - some things are easier and can be fun.  For example there are a series of books that are aimed at the 4 to 7 year old.   Look into buying "Cool down and work through anger" or "When I feel angry". This is part of a series of books aimed at 4 to 7 year olds and meant to be read to them at night (several times) and then practiced.  Kids do need to be taught how to deal with anger.  You do not try and use these techniques while he is screaming.  But once he stops or later on in the day - you can refer back to them or pull the books back out.
You can find them here -  http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Through-Anger-Learning-Along/dp/1575423464/ref=pd_sim_b_5
     I hope some of this helps.  The main thing is don't get down on your self.  If this was easy, I would not be writing 4000+ posts here and on the ADHD site http://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175.  ; This is very difficult to deal with and ALL parents have trouble doing so.   And it kind of sounds like you are going through this alone (?) which makes it even tougher.
   By the way, what kind of doctors are involved in the diagnosis/treatment and did they discuss ADHD?    Best wishes!
Avatar universal
He has been tested and does not score ADHD his therapist is a PHD in child  Phycology His dad is home but not very present other than to yell and scare this does not go on just in school His teacher just called me he hit a boy so hard on the hand he left welts now off to school we go in morning she is at her wits end. I just explained to him this morning before school the consequences of hitting can be very serious and criminal and now this. Doesnt seem like there is much hope for him but I am willing to try anything that could help I sure appreciate your comments there is so much complex behavior problems with this boy he refuses to sleep at night tends to take 1 or 2 hrs to go to sleep hates school lots of nights will get up and come into parent bed He is loving but there are so many things going on in his brain We also had his IQ tested and his visual was 135,verbal104 but his behavior in school prevents him from excelling in the areas of reading he is doing very well but should be in gifted So any way enough for now will try other things and will check into the books you suggested
189897 tn?1441126518
How was he tested for ADHD?
5914096 tn?1399918987
It sounds like the best way to help your child is by helping yourself first.  You can never be a very effective parent if you are always depressed.  You might want to seek psychotherapy for yourself both for your depression and your borderline personality.  Maybe medication might help.  Unless you have these conditions under proper management, consistency and parenting in general will be difficult at best.
Avatar universal
I dont know the name of the test but it was done on the computer he scored 100 on 1 test and 96 on second but that was with little interest because he wanted to play on the junglegym in the drs. office
189897 tn?1441126518
That certainly doesn't fit any of the clinical guidelines for diagnosing ADHD that I know of.  Does this doctor have much experience with ADHD.
189897 tn?1441126518
     And he may not even have ADHD, but that is not the way to test for it.
I noticed above you mentioned his sleep problems.   Sleep problems can really affect a child.  In fact in the post just below yours  ( http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Child-Behavior/Im-losing-sleep/show/2077099#post_9844436) I spent quite some time on it.    I do think that at least part of the problem is his sleep habits in that they may be making everything much worse. Check out this link - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/475305_1 - if you start reading on page 4 they give lots of good ways to help the child sleep at night.  
189897 tn?1441126518
  It would be interesting to see on the IQ test what he missed on the verbal.  Were they words he knew?  and his attention drifted off?
189897 tn?1441126518
   Trouble with a test like this, is that if he was told he could play on the junglegym after he was done - he could easily focus long enough to finish.  If this was the only thing the doctor did to determine if he has ADHD or ADD it was not sufficient to rule it out.  
      " there is no simple test (like a blood test or a short written test) to determine whether someone has ADHD.  This is true of many medical conditions (for example, there is no "test" for a simple headache, yet anyone who has had a headache knows it's real!).  Accurate diagnosis is made only by a trained clinician after an extensive evaluation.  This evaluation should include ruling out other possible causes for the symptoms involved, a thorough physical examination, and a series of interviews with the individual (child or adult) and other key persons in the individual's life (for example, parents, spouse, teachers, and others). "
(from - http://www.help4adhd.org/faq.cfm?fid=5&tid=24&varLang=en)
    The most commonly used scales are - "According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the most commonly used scales are: Parent-completed Child Behavior Checklist
    Teacher Report Form (TRF) of the Child Behavior Checklist
    Conners Parent and Teacher Rating Scales (see below)
    ADD-H: Comprehensive Teacher Rating Scale (ACTeRS)
    Barkley Home Situations Questionnaire (HSQ) (see below)
    Barkley School Situations Questionnaire (SSQ) (see below) "
   (from - http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/scales)

     Finally he may not (as I have said) have ADHD or ADD, but it would be nice to know.  Here is info on symptoms of ADHD.  See what you think.  And remember he could also have ADD which is ADHD, but without the hyperactivity.   The link is - http://www.help4adhd.org/en/treatment/guides/dsm
Avatar universal
test of variables is the computerized test that was used to rule out adhd
Avatar universal
we also did the connors teacher questionaire and the parent questionaire I have now had several meeting with the school and unfortunately have come to the realization that the teacher he has cannot be consistant with any kind of program we have implemented for him I am in hopes that moving from this area and getting him around children his own age outside of school will be a much needed help for him.
189897 tn?1441126518
   Ok, that is good to know - thank you for getting back to me.  The connors teacher questionaire and the parent questionaire are the standard and do fit the clinical criteria.  Of course, if the teacher only had the child for a month or so her results may not be as accurate.  But you are correct.  If the teacher is not consistent, his behavior at school will not change.  The sad thing is that you can talk to him till you are exhausted and it won't do any good for what happens at school.  If you can get him to learn a new way to cope with anger, anxiety, etc.  then that will work.  So don't beat yourself up for what he is doing at school.  At this age it really is more their problem to deal with.  So, if you are doing a reward chart for what happens at school - stop it.  It only sets you up for failure. Of course, changing his behavior at home could also help at school.  My very first post should be helpful with that.
    And in this forum we tend to talk a lot about kids triggers.  I wonder what is going on that makes him lash out at other kids?   Have you ever visited the school to watch him at recess?
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441126518
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments