thread: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

  1. #1
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2010
    Gold Coast

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    Tell me everything you know about ODD and ADD. Does anyone here have a child who suffers with this? We're at our wits ends. We've tried every conceivable solution and nothing works. Nothing. We can't cope anymore.

    DS1 has always been a high maintenance/intense child. But it's just getting worse. His kindy had me sign a form to request a support worker who can just focus on him and him only as he's so difficult to manage. I feel terrible dropping him off and unleashing his fury on the teachers but I couldn't cope without those three days of semi-peace (just DS2 and I). His support teacher has suggested I have him assessed for autism. He's not autistic. I think she's projecting her own experience with her 9y.o daughter onto him, as he doesn't show many of the classic signs, and the ones you could put down to that..... well, they can also be very normal for a child of his nature.

    I took him to the GP this afternoon and requested a referral to see a paed, to have him properly assessed for a mood/behaviour disorder, or mental illness. My 3 year old. I feel like I could just curl up in a ball and die right now. DP is struggling terribly. He can hardly look at DS1. Doesn't want to play, has no patience. He pretty much feels like I do. I don't know where I find the strength to carry on and continue to parent. I just do I suppose.

    The doctor suggested Oppositional Defiant Disorder. I'd toyed with this idea myself. The thing that bothers me, is that this diagnosis seems pretty useless. I know he's defiant. BUT WHY? What is causing this? What can I do to help him myself?

    I'm considering melatonin to help him sleep. Anyone who's familiar with my parenting adventures so far knows all too well how poor DS1's sleep is. It's been that way since birth. I am going INSANE. I'm depressed and just completely over it. The paed will most likely recommend medication. I'm open to this. In fact, I'm welcoming of it at this point. Anything to restore order. I can't handle another day of screaming, kicking, punching, headbutting the floor, shoving his brother, yelling 'AH! AH! AH! AH!' in my face if I try to ignore his outburst..... I'm out. I'm done. I don't know what to do.

    What do I do? Has anyone had experience in this area? What kind of specialists can help us?

    Why us? Why my child? Just f****** why? I hate my life right now. I don't even want to admit it but that's how I feel. It's just constant punishment. I don't know why everything has to be so hard. There's no light at the end of the tunnel, it's just ongoing horrible behaviour that I can't keep at bay no matter what.

    I was keeping a food diary, but that didn't help. I had a sticker reward chart, that was pointless. I've been calm. I've yelled. I've smacked. I've put him in his room for 5-10 minutes so I could scream into a pillow. I've talked to him about his behaviour. I've explained how upset it makes us all. I've showed him the consequences of bad behaviour by taking toys/other valuable experiences/treats away from him. Early bedtime. Late bedtime. No bedtime. Sleeping in our bed, in a bed next to ours, in his own bed in his room, in his own room with his baby brother.

    I just want to run away, but at the same time I can't bear the thought of being away from my kids. And the guilt I feel for the stronger bond I have with DS2 is killing me.

    Somebody please tell me I'm not alone in this.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Jul 2008
    a slice of paridise, victoria

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    A special needs child is hard bloody work. I have no real advice but lots of

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2009

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    I suspect my nephew has ODD. He's hard work, hard for my sister, hard for family members and hard for the teacher first day of kindergarten last week and has already been in timeout for kicking and punching teachers. He does not deal with things not going his way at all.

    I have no real advice except to rally In anyone that can help to give you a break, I've used melatonin before there is one available at health food shops or a stronger one via prescription. Both of these were pretty ineffective for my little foster boy. He did however respond very well to catapress.

    Sending big big hugs your way. Your doing an amazing job!!

  4. #4
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Apr 2009

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    My eldest has ODD. Very difficult to cope with sometimes especially as she has the aggression with it and I think less girls seem to have it too so it was much harder to get a diagnosis. It wasn't until I took her to emergency after a suicide threat that we actually got somewhere (years ago now)

    I cant reply yet as I am running out to door to work.

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Member

    Dec 2008
    Brisbane, QLD

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    Oh honey gentle hugs. Good luck with the pead.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    My son has autism but we dealt with a lot of the same hard work stuff in the beginning- head banging, screaming, hitting, aggressive behaviour etc etc. It is VERY hard. I know

    Going on to GAPS was a lifesaver. Food makes a world of difference. You wont be able to see it with a food diary It's a massive combination of foods and they are affecting things all the time. The diet will fix sleep and the aggressive behaviour.

    As for help from therapists, the best help for us was our OT. She had a strong psychology angle and we were essentially doing play therapy. We have now moved and we see a psychologist for the same help. They have been a lifeline. We go weekly and I can say "so this week things have been tough and there is more hitting" etc and they give me strategies and work with him in that session. Those tools help us get by and then next week we go in and I can say "actually, our biggest issue I need help with now is...".

    Good luck. There is hope and light and sunshine. Things will get better.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2009

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    Big big hugs. Hang in there.

    If it were me, and I know it's not me and it's easy to give answers from afar, I would be looking at food issues as a start.

    Google fed up sue dengate and read some of her stories.

    Hope today is a good day xo

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2007

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    My eldest has ODD, we had a support worker for kinder, who only went one day a week to the school, and then we had a session out of school. She was and still can be violent and throw and hit things wich makes it hard on the family.

    What worked for us was using picture cards that we would put up together the night before with what was happening the next day, so she knew what was coming, the biggest thing I found with ODD is they want to do things their way, so by using the cards she knew what we needed to do and could process it her way. We also set up a feeling clock, so when she was feeling frustrated etc, she would turn the Pinter to the sad face and we new that meant she needed time to herself, a smily face she would join in things, but sometimes at a distance and a straight mouthed face meant I need to calm down but but might need adult help to do so.

    It's been a hard road to go and now in her teenage years we hit a really rough spot last year with her behaviour and mental state that she now see a councilor and psychologist to help her work through her feelings etc.

    Her teachers in early primary school also used picture cards so she knew what they day would hold. We used her feelings clock at school too so she could regulate her own time out from everyone, and her kindly teacher set up a quiet area just for her.

    Getting help is the first step though.

  9. #9
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Apr 2006
    Winter is coming

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    I have lived your life and it sucks. I know what it is like to have the high maintenance child who won't sleep at night and tantrums for hours every single day. Then there was a new baby thrown in the mix and that one didn't sleep during the day and my nights were spent alternating between the two of them with very little time for my own sleep. It was a living hell and I am just realising the extent of the fallout of it all. There is no way you can function as an effective parent when you are so desperate for sleep and the kids are so hard to deal with during the day and you are doing it all alone day after day, night after night with no time out.

    I have also been doing a lot of reading on the effects of poor sleep on children and (surprise, surprise) children that sleep better have more easygoing natures while the children that don't sleep have emotional and cognitive effects and more behavioural issues. That doesn't seem like rocket science but there is very little in the way of research into the effects of insufficient sleep in infants and the follow through effects. I am sure you know that if only the sleep could improve that everything else might follow on - if he wasn't as tired his behaviour might be better, if you weren't so tired you might have some patience to deal with it calmly and consistently. Not saying there isn't something else going on, because there probably is, just that lack of sleep doesn't help anything at all. I have heard good things about tart cherry juice although I haven't tried it myself.

    I am always around if you want to talk, even if you just need to vent to someone who has been there (and come out the other side - it will get better xx).

  10. #10

    Jun 2010
    District Twelve

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    My DD has ADD and Tourettes. Two of her (half) brothers lived with me and her father fulltime for five years. One had ADHD and ODD, the other had ADHD and Tourettes. Her other (half) brother lived with his maternal grandmother. He had ODD, ADHD and Aspergers (apparently - He lived a few states away, so I did not have much personal experience with him). It's a tough, tough road. One of my ex-stepsons required a specialist education setting, along with lots of external support (CAMHS, psychs, etc). We found diet made no difference (we followed Sue Dengate). It put a lot of strain on our family unit, so I will say that it is really, really important to try to be on the same page as your DP (or should I say, it is important to be on the same page as each other).

    My ex and I separated over 10 years ago now and I don't see my ex-stepsons but I know they still have mental health issues

    My DD takes low dose Ritalin and occasionally uses melatonin (prescription grade) to help with sleep. Her issues aren't behavioural though.

    One thing that might be useful to watch (if you haven't already seen it, is 'Kids on Speed?' which was a three part series that recently aired on ABC1. It followed four families with children with ADHD/ODD, etc. I highly recommend it.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Dec 2010
    The zoo

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    to you. I can understand how hard this is for you.

    I'm sorry I have no personal experience but I secon N2L's recommendation of Kids on Speed. It is on iView. There was a little boy on there with sleep issues.

  12. #12
    2014 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2010
    Gold Coast

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    N2L - We did actually watch kids on speed......... it made us very sad because we could relate to it very much, just with a smaller child.

    Archetim - Yes, the sleep issues have always amplified everything for sure. I agree that if sleep was better, everything else would be more manageable.

    Sweetpea - I really like the idea of the feelings clock and the picture cards. I know he can express himself using the clock as we have a picture book we read together and when we get to the children making expressions, he copies them all when I prompt him by saying 'sad face' 'cranky face' and so on. This might help.

    Today has thankfully been a better day. I decided to keep him home with me as I just couldn't face the teachers and pretend like I've got it all together. I don't. I didn't even have it half together this morning. I could barely speak to him or interact at all. Then something amazing happened around lunchtime, after his usual morning of defiance, tantrums and being pushy with his baby brother. I made myself a sandwich, and he came over and said 'some?' I asked him if he wanted some. He nodded yes, and climbed up to sit with me. I wasn't terribly excited at this point as he does this ALL THE TIME, but then won't open his mouth, touch the food, or even put it to his lips. This time? He ate a whole sandwich. My whole sandwich....

    I don't know what triggered his sudden interest in actual food that isn't crackers or plain popcorn etc. Back later, crying baby.

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2007

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    With the picture cards of what we where doing for the day, I had an arrow she could move as we/she completed things, like breakfast, getting dressed etc, if there was a time nothing was planned eg just time at home I had a picture of our house and she would choose a few things she thought she might do then and out that next to it, so when that time came she would choose one or two depending on how long we had with nothing really planned, it meant she was incontrol of what she was doing to a point. Even now at nearly 14 I sometimes need to say you have either choice a or b and that's it, she then makes the choice. This is even when it comes to consequences for things, eg last year she got into some trouble and we gave her a choice of consequence, give up her mobile for a fortnight and give up her pocket money for a month, or not go away with her friend (was a two day trip to Sydney, shopping etc). She choose to give up her mobile and pocket money. But it meant we didn't end up with arguments as she chose her consequence fromthe two we gave her.

    When she was younger it was about reward for good behaviour and time out for negative behaviour. The good behaviour was a star chart broken up into small time slots, so a silver star for each time slot a gold star for every 5 silver stars and once she reached 5 gold a treat, which could be time on the wii, watching extra tv, once she goe to 5O gold she could choose a special toy. The time slots was broken down to morning before school, morning at school, middle of day at school, afternoon at school, after school and evening (dinner time till bed) so more manageable and her teacher had a chart she stamped for the three slots at school that, my dd brought home each day and she got to then stick the silver stickers onto the sticker chart to show how she went, this starts when she was in kindergarten (first year of primary in the act ) and continued into year one as well. by year two we went with star for morning, star for school, star for after school and star for evening, so the time period got bigger as she learnt to cope better.

    For her it was always important and still is that she had her safe spot, she could go to when she needed to be away from everyone else.

    Hope all this helps you, it's not easy but can get better.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2008
    Perth, WA

    Re: Oppositional Defiant Disorder/ ADD

    Hugs, hugs and more hugs. I just wanted to let you know that I think you're amazing. Truly amazing. And that you don't need to pretend like you've got it all together for the sake of his teachers. You said they're providing support for your DS in the classroom, but what support do you get at home? Can you access some home help? What do you do to recharge? When is your time out/break time? What help are you getting for YOU? You're dealing with so much...

    I definitely agree that diet is worth pursuing - might take awhile, but it's worth the effort.

    As for your original question, ODD is often present with other disorders such as ADHD, Autism, CD etc So there may be multiple issues to address.