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Parents of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, come share your experiences with me

(8 Posts)
StudentMadwife Mon 08-Sep-08 22:46:32

My sons behaviour problems have been getting progressively worse the last 12 months. Have now reached the end of my patience and am taking him to dr tommorrow for a professional opinion.

Id like to hear how you get by on a "normal" week, what sort of incidents do you encounter? what about outside the home? at school/nursery?

Im not trying to self diagnose him, simply trying to gauge where his behaviour is-inside or outside the normal range for his age- 4.6 years


magso Tue 09-Sep-08 09:39:16

Hi! You do not give any details of the behaviour you are dealing with, but from your title I imagine noncompliance and defiance may be on the list!
I am replying because I remember that stage of trying to sort out why my child was unlike others, and feel for you! I have no expertise - just a mum! ( My son has ASD,ADHD and LD and is now nearly 9 - but in those early days I wondered quite erronously if he was heading for ODD! It helps to understand why he behaves the way he does) Its a bit of a chicken and egg situation with behaviour management - some techniques work better than others depending on the underlying reasons for the challenging behaviour. It is also very important to have some relaxing time away from the challenges!!
You are going to your GP so if you are seriously worried that there is something different about your child, you could ask for a referral to a developmental paediatrician.
It could be a long wait for this appointment so in the meantime some thoughts.
Is the challenging behaviour just at home, or just at school or in all settings? Are school concerned and if so what are their concerns? Any sn running in the family? Anything that could have upset your child ( house move, new school, etc)? Has his hearing and vision been checked? Can he cope well with changes to his routine?
I found it helpful to keep a behaviour diary to try and see if there was a pattern ( hunger, dehydration,tiredness, food reactions, after school, bedtime, etc).
Behaviour management - I do not feel an expert on this !! (Ds autism means he has particularly challenging behaviour much is still beyond his control so I have limited advise to pass on!)
Personally I attended a WebsterStratton course (based on the book 'The incredible years 3-8) before ds ASD Dx! Ds needs a very rigid structure to his day and immediate consequenses and rewards. We work on one thing at a time, have simple basic rules give a simple reminder of the consequence of an action and immediatly follow through! We tolerate the less important things (we can work on smaller things later - ie throwing socks!)
Do you have particular areas of difficuty/ flashpoints?
Gosh what along post! Hope things go well at the GPS!

knat Tue 09-Sep-08 15:29:45

interested to see what happens here. my dd is 4.11 and is asd, adhd and possible odd. She has terrible problems with non compliancea nd defiance. This is in school and out of. Consequences don't seem tomake much difference to her and it does make life very difficult. Hope you get on okay.

bonkerz Tue 09-Sep-08 18:11:32

HI, My DS is 8 and has a DX of ODD and has just been diagnosed ASD too. The ODD DX came about 5 months ago.
DS is very rigid in routine, he is also very aggressive. He hates losing or any type of conflict. If told off he will answer back or simply lash out. He understnads there are rules but completely overlooks the fact they apply to him too. Games with rules are a big no no, its either his rules or no rules and if you attempt to enforce rules it develops into severe melt downs and aggression. At school he was alot worse than he was at home and was excluded from 2 MS schools due to the aggression. At home his behaviour is more controlled although far from perfect.
We use a few strategies which do help. We use a timer for warning him of things that will happen, need to be done etc. We use a white board with routine on and also food menu etc so he knows what is expected and in what order (he cannot tell the time).
Could tell you alot more but not sure what you want to know!
For me the DX of ODD made more sense then ADHD for my son. I think ODD sufferers are more aggressive for 'no reason' IYKWIM than ADHD sufferers.

StudentMadwife Thu 11-Sep-08 01:03:06

ok, this is going to be long...

From the start

The first seed of worry was planted when ds1 was approx 13months, I remember walking into the living room to be confronted with a perfectly straight line of toys cars spanning about 6m long, it shocked me initially as Id never seen children of that age do something like that but just thought "ok" and didnt think any more of the activity.

When ds1 was 20 months, ds2 was born. ds1 handled this extrememly badly, he would suddenly hit out at ds2 whenever I would hold him of b/f him and we had to lock(by the way of a sellotaped stairgate!) ds2 away to prevent him sustaining multiple injuries.
The fist year after ds2 was born I felt like ds2 was neglected in some ways because I couldnt give him the time because all my energy and attention was on ds1.

Throughout his 2/3rd years his behaviour started becoming more challenging but I just thought terrible 2's/3's etc

I guess its been since just before his 4th birthday that things have got terrible. We had an incident at the supermarket with the esculator( one second he was stood beside us at the till,SECONDS later he was hanging off the outer side of the esculator, clinging to the hand belt and heading towards a pillar about 40ft up, that would of knocked him clean off) he escaped serious injury by seconds.
At the time I was in shock, but now these impulsive, dangerous situations are a common and frequent part of our life. Its exhausting.

Ok, Ive rambled on, ill sum up what the problems are here-

*No thought behind his actions
*Extremely Impulsive
*Abscondes if front door accidently left unlocked
* finds it v hard to listen
* wont/cant?? act on what hes being asked/told etc
*loses temper almost constly throughout the day
*argues constantly
*deliberately and constantly does things to annoy others-this takes many forms from touch/violence/sounds+"parroting"
*incessant talking
*will not own up/lies, even when it could only of been him
*gets frustrated and angry over tiny things
*is consistantly spiteful/vindictive
*swears and uses innappropriate phrases/words
*doens't understand the broundries of socially acceptable behaviour eg going out to play naked/in pants

Thats what I can think of right now, but oviously isnt the whole picture.
We have tried every parenting trick in the book, they work with ds2, but not with ds1.
Its got to the point now where we rarely go out because its so stressful.

I felt I had to take him to the drs now because hes showing no stopping of these problems and they seem to be getting worse rather than subsiding- I can barely restrain him now when he is violent or lashing out, nevermind when hes even bigger/stronger. Nursery have had the same problems and now he has just started school and it worries me that he might bully at school or become isolated because hes too much in their face and most children find him a bit much/OTT

Anyhow, we went to the drs and she has referred him the the paed and now we just have to sit tight and wait.....

I like the idea of a behaviour diary, Ill start doing that tommorrow

bonkerz- he sounds exactly like ds1,funny anough too we have just tried using a timer too, with some success

magso Thu 11-Sep-08 09:08:14

Hi again! Well done for getting the process started. Your ds sounds very like my son at 4 (except we had constant noises instead of chatter!).
I found the difficulties were everywhere ( and became worse on starting school)so it could be overwhelming. And yes normal discipline methods don't work! Reduce as many problems as possible (front door and precious items locked, sidestep the avoidable battles, ignore the tolerable) I found it helpful to decide on a few ( say 2-3)narrow areas of behaviour at a time, for instance 'no hitting others' and decide on an immediate consequence (eg time out). There must be no mercy on this- if he hits he gets the consequence. Stay very calm. If he does not accept the consequence (likely), do not argue. (If he really has trouble thinking before he hits you may need to allow a warning ie if you do that again x will happen to help him learn to control impulses - warnings are very useful but may not be appropriate for aggresion) It gets worse before it gets better. For other behaviours harnessing his need to win may be useful ie using timer to help motivate dressing. Rewards centred around his desires can be helpful. Sorry have to rush now ! Will be back later.

StudentMadwife Tue 23-Sep-08 23:38:46

Just to update, we've now had our choose and book form through and rang up to book but all 4 choices had nothing so was told to ring back after the first week in october to see if we have moved up the no-slot list....all a bit disheartening, but at least the ball is now rolling in the right directionsmile

He has now started full days at school and like you say magso the behaviour has escalated, but now instead of all day Im only having to cope with it morning/afternoon/wkends, which is making life much more managable although the behaviour seems more intense because its compounded into shorter periods!

I dread the playground because Im worried about how hes behaving in school and how other parents view him.
Although he absconded last week, with just his trousers on and I spent 40 minutes looking for him and trying to get him home, anougher mum from school was there and I felt so embarrassed and dreading monday.

To my suprise she came over to talk to me and suggested he came to play with her children,I felt really releived because we tend to get shunned as a family unit when people see his behaviour and people back off or make comments inadvertly implying your not controlling your son/your a cr*p parent etc and it really does get you down and break your confidence as a parent to pieces.

Ive spoken to uni and am not going back till 2010 which is going to give me more time and critically more energy(Im only in my early twenties and feel like im 35 most days!!)to try and get some solution/help for him.

magso Wed 24-Sep-08 09:04:50

You have achieved a lot in a few weeks!
Sorry your appointment is still waiting but at least you are on the list!
It is lovely another mother has included your son, as having friends for the playground and collection can help. Its really helpful to get the support of other parents! I used to dread collection - the teacher calling you in to moan - other childrens comments as they walk past ('thats the naughty boy that scratched me') followed often by wild behaviour and public meltdowns from ds who had tried to bottle it all up till safetly with Mum (Gee thanksgrin)!
The mums of energetic impulsive boys who also have to have 'chats with the teacher' may be good ones to get to know!
It is very early days for school yet, so it may take a while to put stratagies in place to support your son.

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