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My son is always so angry. Does this sound like ODD?

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

He's 7 and just gets more and more angry.  It's to the point where I dread when he walks in the room when he gets in one of his moods.  Something like turning unexpectedly on our way somewhere can do it.  The other evening I wanted to take him to the tree lighting ceremony down the street.  I asked him if he wanted to go for a drive and see if anyone had good decorations lit up yet.  By the time we were backing out of the driveway, he was screaming at me and kicking because I told him we weren't going to get ice cream.  I can take him out to a restaurant for lunch, then spend the whole afternoon and evening listening to him scream and cry because I said we can't go out to dinner too.  Every time I do something special just to make him happy, it's not up to his standards and ends up in a blowup.  I should have taken him sooner, we didn't stay long enough, he wanted to bring a friend, it takes too long to drive home, he doesn't like the music on the radio, it's never right.

 

He kicks the wall, screaming for hours when this stuff happens.  The latest is a few presents I have wrapped and put under the tree.  For the past 2+ hours, I've been listening to a full-blown tantrum because they can't be opened now, which has progressed to cover many other subjects of discontent by now.  I agreed that one could be opened tomorrow if he finished the week without getting any behavior write-ups at school but that's not good enough.

 

His usual tantrum rants are... his life is ruined, it's all my fault, I don't care about him or take good care of him, I shouldn't waste all of our money on rent, he can't deal with this, his life is worthless, I'm no good, I should have a better job, he hates me, and on and on.  These episodes can last for hours, with writhing on the floor, the constant asking of questions that have already been answered NO, and the asking of any question to which the answer will be NO, over and over, interspersed with crying, kicking, screaming, stomping, door slamming.  It's like living in a war zone.

 

When we went camping at the beach last year, the rangers came to see what was going on when he had such a loud ridiculous screaming fit when we tried to put sunscreen on him.  He will NOT clean his room even though I've locked away almost all of his toys at this point because *I* had to pick them up again. 

 

All of that stuff people say about not having a bratty kid doesn't work on this one.  I never give in after I've said no, he does NOT get everything he wants, I can't find anything about dealing with a kid who acts like this.  He's starting to have trouble getting along with the other kids although he hasn't in the past.  He really enjoyed day care and loved going to preschool.  There was a slight lull/reduction in the tantrums and their severity for a time, but the last few months, it's escalating again.  I feel desperate and very very stressed.

 

I'm about out of time on the computer for today, I'll write more tomorrow if I have a chance.  I don't know what can be done about this but just typing this out feels good.  He has comfortable surroundings, a supportive, non-violent family, I'm at a loss.  I also have a daughter who is 19, very well adjusted, excellent student, involved in social activities, pleasant and polite.  Thank GOD!  This makes me feel like it's all my fault but I have proof it's not.  What in the world is going on with this kid?  It's awful and really taking a toll on me, I can't stand it anymore!  It seems like it might be ODD, a description of which I happened on recently and rudimentary investigation leads me to believe that may be the correct label, but helps me deal with this very little.  Thanks for reading this.

post #2 of 38
Sounds a lot like my son who as an autism spectrum diagnosis. Honestly, he doesn't fit into any box perfectly, but the ASD diagnosis works great because it means our insurance pays for him to see a great therapist. Personally, I'd be less concerned with the label for your son, and more concerned with what is going on to make him behave this way.

What is his diet like? Simply pulling dairy from my son's diet made a massive difference in his mood. Other parents have seen huge improvements on the Feingold diet which eliminates artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and some naturally occurring chemicals. Diet would be the number one thing I'd look at.

You could also try 5 htp, GABA, magnesium. Have you tried setting the expectations ahead of time...like "we are going out to lunch, the running errands, having dinner at home, time to play and then bed"....? Does it help at all?
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 

Hi.  Thanks for the reply!  You're right, I'm not looking for a label, just ways to cope/prevent/improve.  95+% of the time, my son is very sweet, funny, happy, energetic, smart, hopeful, rational, and pleasant little guy.  That's what highlights the other side of him so starkly.  These isolated and extreme incidents where he says bizarre, ugly things and loses control of his emotions.
 

Also nailed something I didn't have time to write about.  Unexpected circumstances and unmet expectations.  I realized he did not deal well with these things when he was a baby and am so used to dealing with it in prevention mode, I didn't talk about it yesterday.  In retrospect, I realize the open-ended trip to look at lights example from above is a bad idea.  I didn't want to tell him about the tree lighting because I wanted it to be a fun surprise since he complains so often that I "never do anything nice for him."  Since it didn't interrupt anything but a lazy evening at home, it didn't occur to me it could be anything but fun.  I'm sure most of this and the stuff below is because of whatever I'm doing and not doing.  It's not anything I've dealt with before and feel like nothing I know to do is the best way.  I need new tools for this kind of stuff that I never had to learn to get his sister to semi-autonomy, thus far. 

 

The church has a get-together for kids his age on Wednesday evenings and this past week they were told there would be cake and ice cream.  When I picked him up, he got very upset as soon as we got in the car because something had gone wrong with the plans and there was only cake.  The fact that he waited until he was in private with me to have a fit shows me he has some control over his actions and emotions. 

 

This past Saturday he attended 2 birthday parties.  We had to leave the 2nd a little early because he would not stop tormenting the birthday boy and wanting to butt-in with every one of his new toys as soon as he picked one up.  He's been to many parties without having this kind of jealous tantrum, which is throwback behavior to when he was 4-5.

 

I've talked to the principal several times already this school year (2nd grade) about his behavior, mostly on the bus but once in class.  I talked to him again this morning and we agreed to have a meeting including his teacher at the beginning of the year.  Hopefully we can construct something as cohesive as possible between these different environments so at least everybody's working together.  I feel bad for his teacher although I know he's not the only kid who's behavior is not always acceptable.  He's got to be one of her biggest challenges this year.  At this point I just want them to know that I'm well aware he probably stands out as far as requiring discipline and that it's something we're working on at home too.  I'm so glad the principal still remembers my daughter.

 

We do everything possible to have a regular, routinized bedtime but if he doesn't want to sleep, he won't.  Although he admits he feels bad when he doesn't get enough sleep, and bad episodes usually are connected to a night without enough sleep, he keeps himself up too late about weekly.  Sometimes he's already up when my alarm goes off in the morning.

 

There's definitely a problem with his diet, it's appalling.  When he was just shy of 2, he started refusing more and more foods that he would eat before, and has tried very few new foods since.  I'm kind of fastidious about food, have a garden to grow some of our own food, and admit I like dessert and a pizza once in a while but I scratch-cook 99% of our meals, rarely buy any packages except snacks, which I rarely eat.  Before my son came along, stuff like that would often go stale, unfinished.  So it's especially vexing and frustrating when my son won't even try a bite of anything.  At this point, he won't eat anything that's not brown and/or crunchy, like fries, various potato, cheese, and corn chips, occasionally a piece of apple or a few grapes, grilled cheese sandwich, popcorn, and shredded yellow cheese, a hot dog bun with no hot dog in it.  Hardly anything I would ever eat at all, let alone often.  Nothing will motivate this boy to even put a new food in his mouth even if he agrees it smells and looks good, and would make him feel more healthy.  He's quite slim but obviously this kind of diet is terrible and I don't know what to do about it. 

 

Many times I've told him as soon as I'm finished eating, I'll drive him to the store of his choice and buy anything he wants that's not more than $50.  On beautiful sunny summer mornings I've offered to get immediately in the car and drive to the beach for the day, including a visit to his restaurant (fries) of choice.  I though involving him in the garden would help but although he was extremely interested in the things we grew, he would try none of them.  He will pick out things at the grocery store he says he would like to try but won't try them when we get home.  I told him I will cook anything he's ever heard of that he wants to try, nope.  He refused a helicopter ride in lieu of NOT trying.  Offered to let him "drive" down a dirt road.  He won't try the potato chips that I made in desperation.  Once I offered that he could stay home from school the next day.  I know that one was ridiculous but I'm out of bribes to offer.  When he was younger, before he could even talk, many times I tried to insist that he eat something healthy but he would refuse everything, gradually arriving at this current narrow selection.  One would think that explaining that fries are made from potatoes and there are many ways to cook potatoes so since they are his favorite food he should try them cooked other ways would help but it hasn't.  Watching other kids enjoy something doesn't inspire him.  Having giant, burly men tell him they got big & strong from eating what their Mom told them to does nothing.  We know Green Eggs'N'Ham by heart...  

 

What are good websites for getting more in-depth solution suggestions than I've been able to find?  I would like to also read any recommended books on more effective ways to deal with oppositional children.  Recognizing the things I may not realize I do that can trigger these kinds of reactions would be such a helpful first step.  I'm not opposed to seeking a therapist but do not feel educated enough to engage one on this subject at this point.  I don't want to end up disagreeing with methodology or philosophy retrospectively. 

 

Thanks!

post #4 of 38

First, I strongly recommend The Explosive Child , sorry I can't remember the authors, maybe Ablom and Greene?, or post a link right now. I didn't have much use for their scripted child-rearing techniques in the back, but the first half explains the behavior of kids like ours from a totally different perspective. Briefly, it is lack of skills to cope with change of  plans, or frustration or whatever, rather than intentional misbehavior. But please read the book - I can't explain this perspective as well as they did, but it changed my (and my son's) life.

 

I  don't believe in the diagnosis of ODD. For one thing, it exists only for children, which tells me it has at least as much to do with how we treat children and expect them to respond, as it does with an innate psychological problem of the child. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, it implies intent on the part of the child. Like the kid wakes up in the morning and plans to be oppositional and defiant. Like anyone would choose to be uncooperative and miserable. The blow-ups aren't any fun for the kid either! In addition to my own kids with special needs, I work in the field of children's mental health. Believe me, I have seen lots of this kind of behavior. Never once has it looked to me like the child either chooses or enjoys having a melt-down. In my experience, no amount of discipline, rewards, consequences, or "therapeutic talk" has any impact at all. What helps is the child's frontal lobe sections of the brain developing to the stage that he can plan and control his own actions. This is the last part of the brain to mature, and is slower in some people than others. As parents, we can model and try to teach some of the lagging skills. We can try (imperfectly!) to meet our kids' need for structure and predictability. But kids mature on their own schedules, and I don't know any way to speed this process up.

 

Hang in there, Mama. I am sorry I am not able to give any concrete advice, other than to wait it out for a few yearsorngtongue.gif. Seriously, I know that is no help. But it did me a world of good to see my son's behavior as immature brain functioning, rather than willful disobedience.
 

post #5 of 38

I'm no expert but I do have a challenging 5 year old son. Not to the level you describe but definitely difficult to deal with. This is what has helped us:

 

Diet - not what you want to hear at all I know but I removed gluten and dairy. There are gluten free options that are kind of 'junky' that your ds might accept. I rebelled against the dairy free route for a long time but it has made a difference.

Sleep - until recently we used a nightly dose of melatonin. It was the only thing that helped. The dose was tiny but without it he was up for 2 hours after bedtime. Now he doesn't need it and is finally getting the amount of sleep he needs.

Simplicity - it sounds like you are trying to do a lot of nice special things for him but it's never enough. I would dial right back and try to have a very simple home routine. Maybe do baking or crafts as a 'treat'. 2 birthday parties in one day would overwhelm anyone! I would also give up on the bribes. I'm not anti bribe at all but in your case they obviously don't work and have escalated to a ridiculous degree (helicopter rides!). This is not a criticism. I know what it is to be desperate. 

Media - you didn't mention whether he has any screen time but if he does I would consider cutting it right back. It turns my DS into a monster. We only use it now when we are really desperate. 

Therapies - start asking around for recommendations. There are so many options but a naturopath might be a good place to start. Personally I think it's about finding the right person, rather than the right method. 

Positivity - DH and I recently made the conscious decision to be as positive as possible with DS. His self esteem was suffering. We now hep him with praise for anything he does right, ignore bad behaviour as much as possible and give him loads of cuddles and love. 

Exercise - this one is hard but we try to get him moving physically as much as possible. Ideally, we would walk/bike to school but that isn't possible at the moment. Nature hikes, bike rides and swimming are ideal. I challenge him to run around the playground before school and break his own record. 

 

Trust me, I know what it's like to feel like you are doing everything under the sun and nothing is helping. But when I look back, I can see that things have improved in smalls ways since we made all these changes. Unfortunately, in our case, his home behaviour is much better than his school behaviour. But that's a whole other topic!

 

Good luck

post #6 of 38
You might want to try drastically reducing sugar and eliminating artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners.

Have you noticed anything about the timing of the outbursts, like never first thing in the morning, or frequently after treats? A food and behavior diaru could identify trends, if any exist. Also, how was he as a baby? Colicy? As a toddler? Prone to crying or tantrums?
post #7 of 38

I think it just sounds like your son has problems dealing with his strong, overwhelming emotions. Personally I don't think this is usually a disciplinary issue at all. It sounds like he is very sensitive and easily gets overwhelmed by his emotions plus the stress of his own and other people's reactions to them. As a previous poster said, I would go for simplicity, no bribes, no punishments. No fussing about his food, I would just lay that issue dead for a while. Seven can be a bit of an intense age, and I would wait for a better time to gently encourage tasting things. No rewards or punishments, ever, to do with food. Saying for instance "It is good to taste new things sometimes, when you feel like it" is enough. He will eventually want to eat other foods, the best thing is very often not to engage in any "games" about food (I'm not saying that this is consciously a game for him, btw!) His awareness that you have a strong interest in his food just makes it more complicated. I would just completely reduce any unhealthy snacks so that the food he does eat, is ok, but beware that this doesn't come across as a punishment. 

Tantrums is in my opinion not a moral issue or a question of discipline. I also agree with a previous poster that ODD is a made-up diagnosis. It has to do with the inter-play between the child and the adults. 

I think the "never giving in" to a tantrum while treating it as bad behaviour can sometimes make the child feel terribly alone, not taken seriously or listened to, and unloved. I am not saying that he should "get what he wants" because of a tantrum, but a tantrum is not consciously bad behaviour either, but often an expression of despair. During a tantrum is not the time to understand and learn anything, and in my opinion the fear of tantrums on the part of grownups makes them worse. I really think there should be no punishments or judgement because of a tantrum. It is possible though, to say how you feel about it, that you think it is sad that he gets so very angry, and that it can get a bit tireing for you. But it is not his fault that he has those feelings and that he is a child who is still learning how to deal with them.

I think talking about what the matter was, in a sympathetic way, at a calm time, is better than focusing very much on the tantrum. He is trying to express something, and to get all hung up in the way he expresses it, instead of what he is trying to express, I think is unfair to a young child who hasn't learned to control their own emotions yet. It is a long process.

I think maybe you would find "The Highly Sensitive Child" useful - have you read it?

post #8 of 38

nak

i think you have gotten great advice already. 2nd the advive about greenes the explosive child, second keeping it simple and stop focusing on his diet. my ds1 cycles in and out of these phases, though he has gotten much better at self control over the years. I know it is frustrating having to go back to treating your kid like a toddler, but having invariable routines and keeping stimulation down - one activity a day! and that activity may have to be school. no way could we do 2 birthday parties in a row!  - has made life a bit poorer, but easier for us.

re the diet - can you make up a moderately healthy, if monotonous diet from the things he does eat, and just serve that to keep the peace about this issue? like Ds1 eats exactly 4 veggies, one of them cooked, sothat's what he eats day in day out. Sometimes i make a second dish of veggies just for us grownups because I am so tired of carrots, but so be it. DD will not eat any vegetable unless it comes pureed in a baby jar. So, that's what i buy. pick your battles.

before starting to eliminate foods, have you checked out reactive hypoglycemia? some kids, including DS1, go berserk simply due to low blood sugar. super regular high protein meals and snacks help. sometimes just forcing DS1 to eat a handful of nuts can restore the peace in our house. also, sleep. we do magnesium citrate, clo and a zinc supplement before bed. helps with settling down, helps with better moods in the morning.

depending on how you manage and how much it impacts his standing in school, you may want to go for a full professional eval to rule out ASD, ADHD and the need for medication. However, i'd steer clear of any professional who comes up with ODD or bipolar - that's just my opinion.

post #9 of 38

The Explosive Child is an awesome book!  A lot of what it contained was helpful for me to understand my son better.  I, too, have a "perfectly normal" adult child and a "difficult" younger one.  :)

 

Have you ever read a description of pediatric bipolar disorder?

 

Also, with all due respect...stop bribing your son to eat.  Keep only healthy food in the house.  Reserve treats for semi-rare special occasions.  Offer him 2 choices and if he chooses not to eat, it is his right to do so.  He won't starve.  Eventually he will learn to eat healthy foods (excepting major sensory issues...my friend's 16yo still gags at the smell of chicken cooking!)  Make food a non-issue and don't let it become a way for him to control you.  And yes, seriously consider trying GFCF, with the remainder of the diet being whole and unprocessed.

post #10 of 38
If he has food allergies/intolerances, he is most likely experiencing an adrenaline response to the food. He has an immediate burst of energy, making him crave the food. As adrenaline builds, so does irritability. Sleep is also difficult, due to adrenaline. I see a dairy theme among his favorite foods. He may be reacting to, and craving, dairy. Taking it away will cause his behavior to get worse, initially, due to withdrawl. If you make it through that stage, you should see improvement. I could be wrong, but if it were me, I'd try eliminating dairy.
post #11 of 38

All these women have excellent advice. I have tried many of these things with my 7 year old DS who has ADHD/Anxiety and it has helped. He still acts very similar to your son often but not nearly as badly as before and he only has the outbursts at home - nothing is good enough, everything is stupid, boring, he hates everything, etc etc. Try some of the things mentioned and the book The Explosive Child.  Good luck!

post #12 of 38

Have you looked into getting him a thorough psychiatric assessment.  I'd look into bipolar disorder as a possibility as well.  With children there aren't always the obvious highs and lows but instead a constant mood of irritability.  If you go that route please make sure you get a really thorough assessment, not some dr who will seem him for 2 hours and make a diagnosis.  Psychiatric conditions are lifelong and need to be properly managed.  I know you said you aren't looking for a label but can I ask, why not?  Would you want a "label" if your child was showing symptoms of diabetes? Or cancer?  Or epilepsy?  If your child has a psychiatric condition he needs treatment.  Withholding treatment is only setting him up for a life of problems.  I speak from experience.  I don't want a child with labels either but what is more important to me is helping my son, any way I can.  So he does have labels.  Lots of them.  Let's see, at last count: bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, ADHD: I, severe executive functioning disorder, severe memory deficit, a writing disorder, as well as some health issues - diabetes insipidus and hypothyroidism.  The last thing in the world any parent wants is to know their child has so many issues but it's a parents job to focus solely on helping their child and not worrying about what other people think. So focus on your child.  Get him help.  Because I can guarantee you, he isn't happy living like this either.

post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

Have you looked into getting him a thorough psychiatric assessment.  I'd look into bipolar disorder as a possibility as well.  With children there aren't always the obvious highs and lows but instead a constant mood of irritability.  If you go that route please make sure you get a really thorough assessment, not some dr who will seem him for 2 hours and make a diagnosis.  Psychiatric conditions are lifelong and need to be properly managed.  I know you said you aren't looking for a label but can I ask, why not?  Would you want a "label" if your child was showing symptoms of diabetes? Or cancer?  Or epilepsy?  If your child has a psychiatric condition he needs treatment.  Withholding treatment is only setting him up for a life of problems.  I speak from experience.  I don't want a child with labels either but what is more important to me is helping my son, any way I can.  So he does have labels.  Lots of them.  Let's see, at last count: bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, ADHD: I, severe executive functioning disorder, severe memory deficit, a writing disorder, as well as some health issues - diabetes insipidus and hypothyroidism.  The last thing in the world any parent wants is to know their child has so many issues but it's a parents job to focus solely on helping their child and not worrying about what other people think. So focus on your child.  Get him help.  Because I can guarantee you, he isn't happy living like this either.

I think you forgot something very important, here. Is your child happy now (with all the labels)? Has it made a positive impact? That might seem obvious to you, but when I talk with moms of kids with lots of labels, things don't seem very happy.

Also, changing diet is doing something. Yes, it may not work. But it might work, or at least help.

OP - I wish you success, no matter what you choose to do for your son!
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyMolly View Post

I think it just sounds like your son has problems dealing with his strong, overwhelming emotions. Personally I don't think this is usually a disciplinary issue at all. It sounds like he is very sensitive and easily gets overwhelmed by his emotions plus the stress of his own and other people's reactions to them.

This. Our son is almost 7 and we have had similar issues with him. He is also a beautiful, happy child 95% of the time. He is also very intense and I really think that the tantrums are his way of letting off all his stress. It's almost like he finds something completely unrelated to get angry about, just to let it all out. He does it with us in a safe environment and as he gets older they are less frequent and he gets better at controlling his anger. I now see this as just the flipside of his very sensitive nature, which also makes him a very empathetic and delightful person. DS reacts very well to us just keeping very calm and validating his feelings.

post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


I think you forgot something very important, here. Is your child happy now (with all the labels)? Has it made a positive impact? That might seem obvious to you, but when I talk with moms of kids with lots of labels, things don't seem very happy.
Also, changing diet is doing something. Yes, it may not work. But it might work, or at least help.
OP - I wish you success, no matter what you choose to do for your son!

He needs the labels in order to get help. How can he get the services he needs without the labels?  He is happy that we are constantly trying to better his life by making sure that we know what his problems are.  Of course it has had a positive impact.  How can it have a negative one when it has resulted in so much help?  For example all of his learning disabilities have resulted in an amazing team of people at his school who truly love and care about him and work with him every day to help him succeed.  This child was getting D's and F's before we found out the true extent of his learning disabilities.  Now he has accommodations and is able to truly show his intelligence, and he is very intelligent even if his learning style doesn't fit into a little box.  When he came home with his report card last week with an A+ in math I thought his face would split in two from the grin.  So yes, it's positive.  As for the bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder - yes it is positive that he is "labelled" because he gets the help he needs.  He needs medication in order to function - that is not some idealistic idea, it is a fact.  This child was not able to even participate in regular child activities and now he is making friends and going to school and functioning in the world.  Do I like that my child is on meds?  Of course not, no parent wants to medicate their child.  But sometimes they ARE necessary and in those case there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them.  And he appreciates the meds.  He will be 12 next month, and he knows how he feels when he is not on them.  He knows how hard the last few months have been as we've had to switch mood stabilizers due to a reaction to his previous one.  He doesn't like to feel that way.  He doesn't like to feel suicidal and so depressed he can't get out of bed because his brain chemistry is so out of wack.  He likes taking the meds and feeling better and being a normal child.  So yes, that is positive.  And maybe life isn't happy for ME knowing my child has labels.  But parenting isn't about YOU, it's about your child.  It is about what is best for them.  And if that means having a team of people in your life just to be able to have your child function then you do it.  If it means safely using medication to treat a serious condition then you do it.  And if it means standing up against those who think they know more about your life than you do and that your child would be better off without all the "labels" and awesome help that he gets then you do it.  Because that's what a parent does, when they are truly putting their child's needs ahead of their own.

post #16 of 38

I have an angry daughter who is 9.  She has been so unhappy for so long, but can be really happy at times.  She just gets so disappointed when things don't go her way, and she doesn't think she should have to do anything.  And if you ask her to do the slightest thing, she would get so pissed and I was just having a hard time dealing with it.  We finally took her to a psychiatrist who recommended therapy, which seems to be helping. I've been considering cutting out gluten also, because I know a family with celiac, and it made a big difference for some of them.

 

At one point she kept complaining about me not having a job, and speaking in really demeaning ways to me.  Then when I told her that her expectations were unrealistic, that my parents couldn't afford whatever it is she wanted, and I never had things like that, she started talking about how they should have had jobs, or better jobs, blaming them for being poor, etc.  She's never met my Dad and she didn't know my mom really well either.  

 

The therapist seems to think that part of the issue is just uneven parenting, limits not being strict with one parent but strict with another.  I dunno.  I am kind of a pushover because I do always feel like it should just be a situation where we all cooperate for the good of all, but that didn't work with my first when she was younger, and it didn't work when I was in retail management.  So I have had to change some of my parenting and deal with her wrath.  He asked if we felt like we were walking on eggshells around her, and I did say that was the case.  Sometimes I feel like I give her things that are treats preemptively, because I want her to be happy, I want to do nice things for her.  Really all she wants to do is play on the computer, and we're trying to be better about making her earn that as a privilege, and not allowing her to negotiate on things in the same way she has in the past. 

 

Anyway, I hope you find some answers.

post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

He needs the labels in order to get help. How can he get the services he needs without the labels?  He is happy that we are constantly trying to better his life by making sure that we know what his problems are.  Of course it has had a positive impact.  How can it have a negative one when it has resulted in so much help?  For example all of his learning disabilities have resulted in an amazing team of people at his school who truly love and care about him and work with him every day to help him succeed.  This child was getting D's and F's before we found out the true extent of his learning disabilities.  Now he has accommodations and is able to truly show his intelligence, and he is very intelligent even if his learning style doesn't fit into a little box.  When he came home with his report card last week with an A+ in math I thought his face would split in two from the grin.  So yes, it's positive.  As for the bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder - yes it is positive that he is "labelled" because he gets the help he needs.  He needs medication in order to function - that is not some idealistic idea, it is a fact.  This child was not able to even participate in regular child activities and now he is making friends and going to school and functioning in the world.  Do I like that my child is on meds?  Of course not, no parent wants to medicate their child.  But sometimes they ARE necessary and in those case there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them.  And he appreciates the meds.  He will be 12 next month, and he knows how he feels when he is not on them.  He knows how hard the last few months have been as we've had to switch mood stabilizers due to a reaction to his previous one.  He doesn't like to feel that way.  He doesn't like to feel suicidal and so depressed he can't get out of bed because his brain chemistry is so out of wack.  He likes taking the meds and feeling better and being a normal child.  So yes, that is positive.  And maybe life isn't happy for ME knowing my child has labels.  But parenting isn't about YOU, it's about your child.  It is about what is best for them.  And if that means having a team of people in your life just to be able to have your child function then you do it.  If it means safely using medication to treat a serious condition then you do it.  And if it means standing up against those who think they know more about your life than you do and that your child would be better off without all the "labels" and awesome help that he gets then you do it.  Because that's what a parent does, when they are truly putting their child's needs ahead of their own.


Every word of this post is brilliant!!!
post #18 of 38
Diet changes may help, and are free. That would delay seeking an evaluation, but only for a short time. Or you can get your child evaluated immediately. When I was faced with that decision, I made dietary changes. My son is well adjusted without side effects. It is work to make the foods he needs, rather than getting take out, but he's a teen now, and we both feel it's worth it! We are still learning, even after all these years, how to make it even better! I have learned much!

I hope all who are faced with this decision are happy with the results! Good luck!
post #19 of 38

My daughter has many issues, including oppositonal behavior.  She ended up with an ASD diagnosis from a developmental pediatrician.  If I could have that $1000 back, I would spend it on visits to a naturopathic doctor.  I find they really look at causes rather than the label and it has been the most helpful for us.  The diagnosis has been useful to us at times, but I do feel our best use of time and money has been looking into biomedical causes. 
 

post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


I think you forgot something very important, here. Is your child happy now (with all the labels)? Has it made a positive impact? That might seem obvious to you, but when I talk with moms of kids with lots of labels, things don't seem very happy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post

He needs the labels in order to get help. How can he get the services he needs without the labels?  He is happy that we are constantly trying to better his life by making sure that we know what his problems are.  Of course it has had a positive impact.  How can it have a negative one when it has resulted in so much help?  For example all of his learning disabilities have resulted in an amazing team of people at his school who truly love and care about him and work with him every day to help him succeed.  This child was getting D's and F's before we found out the true extent of his learning disabilities.  Now he has accommodations and is able to truly show his intelligence, and he is very intelligent even if his learning style doesn't fit into a little box.  When he came home with his report card last week with an A+ in math I thought his face would split in two from the grin.  So yes, it's positive.  As for the bipolar disorder and anxiety disorder - yes it is positive that he is "labelled" because he gets the help he needs.  He needs medication in order to function - that is not some idealistic idea, it is a fact.  This child was not able to even participate in regular child activities and now he is making friends and going to school and functioning in the world.  Do I like that my child is on meds?  Of course not, no parent wants to medicate their child.  But sometimes they ARE necessary and in those case there is absolutely nothing wrong with using them.  And he appreciates the meds.  He will be 12 next month, and he knows how he feels when he is not on them.  He knows how hard the last few months have been as we've had to switch mood stabilizers due to a reaction to his previous one.  He doesn't like to feel that way.  He doesn't like to feel suicidal and so depressed he can't get out of bed because his brain chemistry is so out of wack.  He likes taking the meds and feeling better and being a normal child.  So yes, that is positive.  And maybe life isn't happy for ME knowing my child has labels.  But parenting isn't about YOU, it's about your child.  It is about what is best for them.  And if that means having a team of people in your life just to be able to have your child function then you do it.  If it means safely using medication to treat a serious condition then you do it.  And if it means standing up against those who think they know more about your life than you do and that your child would be better off without all the "labels" and awesome help that he gets then you do it.  Because that's what a parent does, when they are truly putting their child's needs ahead of their own.

Yes, great post!

 

pek64, you might consider that kids may end up with lots of labels simply because they have a lot of problems, which may explain why those families are stressed!

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