Living with an ADHD/ODD child

Don't be fooled...

If you are viewing this, you might be attracted by the idyllic picture of my son and me. I have to admit, we do portray a warm, loving family unit, but looks can be deceiving. We only achieve familial bliss half the time. The other half of the time is spent arguing, cajoling, manipulating, yelling, (yes yelling) slamming doors, growling...well you get the picture.

Living with my son is like living with a chameleon...always changing. Let me back up a bit. He was born May 27, 1997 at an ungodly time of the morning, having decided earlier that he really wasn't ready to make his entrance into the world, and that attitude has prevaled to this day, and most likely will for the rest of his life.

My first clue that I might be in for a bit of a challenge came after my first night in the hospital. I had opted to have my son sleep in the nursery, as I was bagged after the sixteen hours of hard labor I experienced trying to convince him to finally make his entrance. When the nurse brought him to me the next morning I asked her how he had slept and was told "...restless".

I soon discovered, after the first night I spent trying to sleep in my own bed, that "restless" didn't even come close to how he slept!

The next 3 years was a blur consisting of sleepless nights, (I considered two consecutive hours good) colic, general screaming for six hours at a time, and the usual challenges associated with raising a small person. The fact that he is turning 11 in May is a testament to not only my intestinal fortitude and success as a parent, but to my fear that if I did kill him while he slept they would have locked me up and thrown away the key!

I should add here that I am a single parent (a sad, but true statistic regarding ADHD children) and have two children. My daughter is 22, engaged to be married, works two jobs, just bought a car and seems to have a good head on her shoulders, even though she still lives with 'Mom'. I have been heard many times to say that had my son been born first, I wouldn't have a daughter! Needless to say, I stopped at two children.

At times I am exactly the same as other parents I meet...proud of my son, of being his mother, of his intelligence, abilities, etc. But that only covers part of the time. Any parent of an ADHD/ODD child will know exactly what I am saying. For those of you who don't, let me fill you in.

ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. ODD stands for Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Taken together, this means not only does the child bounce off the walls, and can't concentrate for longer than 15 minutes at a time without constant reminders, he also has an attitude the size of Mt. Everest and is not afraid to use it. Couple this with an additional diagnosis of Anxiety Disorder and some Post Traumatic Stress, and you have my son.

Now understand, that the majority of parents out there think that ADHD is a 'made up' diagnosis... that the doctors, teachers and parents of an ADHD child have simply decided that it is easier to medicate the child rather than parent/teach them. Let me tell you this is NOT the case at all.

By the time my son was halfway through kindergarten, he had already been suspended twice. Once for hitting his teacher, and once for choking another student. (This from a 5 year old) Now, a lot of parents, upon hearing this would say "I would have spanked his butt royally" or "There's no way in h*** my son would ever get away with acting like that" or something along those lines.

Well I'm here to say that I could have literally beaten my child and he would still have acted the same way. These actions have nothing to do with lack of discipline, (at least with legitimate ADHD/ODD children) and everything to do with an honest medical problem. I'm sure that somewhere there is a doctor with a list of initials after his name who can quote chapter and verse as to why these kids act like this. However...I don't speak 'doctor' and I'm pretty sure that most people don't either. (I have since found some excellent resource material that offers an explanation as to why, and have learned to speak 'doctor' quite well!)

What I do know, is that somewhere in the brain, there is an area that recognizes 'consequences'. (I have since discovered that ADHD/ODD is a frontal lobe malfunction.) What I mean by this is: "bad action = discipline (IE:spanking/time out) = hurt feelings/pain = realization not to repeat the bad action". With an ADHD/ODD child, they process only part of that equation,IE: "bad action = discipline = hurt feelings/pain". The 'realization' part doesn't apply.

Now I'm not intimating they are slow learners by any means. Most of these kids are bright, and smarter than the average bear, with a range of intelligence that reaches into the 'gifted' areas. They are fiercely loyal, loving individuals, usually with a heightened sense of right and wrong, imaginative, hyper-focused (but only on things they want to do,) have boundless energy, don't see the world or society the same way we do, (which can be a good thing as they get older,) creative, excellent hand eye co-ordination, etc. (Are you confused yet?) I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Suffice it to say that living with an ADHD/ODD child is an adventure that isn't for the faint of heart! My personal experience with my son includes school suspensions beginning in kindergarten, through and including grade 8, expulsion from a 'behavioural school' in grade 2, half days through grades 1 to 3, psychiatrists, psychologists,counselors (three separate appointments each week) doctor's appointments, specialist appointments, parenting classes, RCMP 'visits', 'Care Team' meetings, neighbourhood parent 'visits' and school parent 'visits' to list a few. (I should like to point out that some of these behaviours have subsided to a degree as my son gets older, and he is improving behaviourally. He rarely disrupts the class when he is at school, deciding now, that instead he won't do any work. One step forward, two steps back...)

I've even had a complete stranger knock on the window of my car while I was waiting for a turn arrow, so he could tell me I should speak with my child about his behaviour while my car! I was stunned! So I told this stranger that maybe he should tell my son, as I had reprimanded him until I was blue in the face, and if this man could do what I couldn't, I would eat my hat! Naturally, it didn't work!

On top of all of this comes another to support your family. If you are fortunate enough to have someone you can rely on to help with child care, that can lessen your load. However, that doesn't always happen. In my case, (and I'm sure there are others out there as well) my son's behaviour was so erratic and at times over the top, that no one could handle him for any length of time except me.

This translated to "Stay At Home Mom". I did work part time when he was preschool age, but unfortunately that didn't work out. After I became a single parent, my son's behaviour took a nose dive, to the point that it was impossible for me to work away from the home. So...what to do? I could sit on 'the system', or actively find a way to become self sufficient. I chose the latter, however, I should also say that even though I did my best to be self sufficient, I still couldn't make enough money or commit to an away from home job for several years.

To date, I have written the first of a children's adventure series (a copy of which can be found at entitled Christopher Collin and the True Okemus . I am also publishing a book dealing with life with my son, called "part-time Genius full-time Job", and manage an online community, One Small Step for Parents (link available above,) with resources, information and support for parents raising children with ADHD and its attendant disorders.

What I have written here is only a fraction of what we deal with parenting these wonderfully, charismatic (and sometimes volatile) children. The phrase "One heck of a ride!" sums up our lives as parents and teachers for these kids.

I would also like to invite other parents of ADHD/ODD children to contact me, if only to let them know they are not alone in their struggles. Hopefully this posting will raise awareness of our challenges and bring some relief to the ostracism we encounter daily.

Copyright Enelle Lamb 2008 - Please do not copy and paste this article, but feel free to post a link using this url:

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charmaine_zp 8 years ago

Wow Wow Wow. I didn't know anything about ADHD/ODD and I'm amazed by your patience. Prayers for you and your son. BTW, I love your photo. Your son is very adorable.

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you so much for your kind words. Trust me, some days I'm amazed too!

Geraldine 8 years ago

I too have an ADHD/ODD 16 year old son. His psyc. says he is borderline and wasn't even diagnosed until last summer. If you think it's bad now just wait till those hormones kick in with puberty. My son has been on all the drugs and lies awake all night rolling around in pain and nausea from the drugs. I am now trying all natural remedies and have drastically changed my grocery shopping habits. (although I can't control what he eats when away from home). He has recently begun smoking marijuana because he says it relaxes him. Grade ten has been a disaster because he can't concentrate and has missed too much time from being awake and sick all night from the drugs. Other than that he has an excellent set of morals and tries to make good choices but I am ready to rip my hair out from the stress of his teenage years and as you say, the constant pleading and dealing and yelling. I have been called every name in the book and am totally unappreciated for all I have done and sacraficed for this boy. He too has an absent father.


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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Believe me, I completely understand! My son is on Ritalin slow release at this time, with a review scheduled for sometime this month. He also takes Melatonin 3mg., to help with his sleep patterns. Something else that works (very well I might add) is Himalayan Goji juice (not the kind you get in the health food stores!) If you are interested in trying it, email me.

Val 8 years ago

This is all to familiar for me, i am married and have 3 boys, the oldest has ADHD/ODD and the middle son has many medical problems along with ADHD and the baby so far is good with nothing. I commend any mother to speak her mind and tell how life is for us with these ADHD/Odd children. Even though i am married my husband is gone quite often, over the road trucking so months on end i am basically a single mom. Everything you stated i have been through with our oldest son except suspended from school, due to being a smaller school, and they wouldn't let him get away with it! But when he comes home its a whole different story!! i would like to keep on chattin with another parent who also deals with this. Thank you for your story!!

Lynn 8 years ago

I know what you are feeling there my son has ADHA,ODD, and anxiety. Suspended 4 times this year alone in the 1st grade. my last meeting with the group of people to help place him in a better class to suite him went pretty bad, the vice principal and teacher were basically blaming all his problems in school on me while the speech teacher,social worker, and behavior coach were telling them that it was not my fault that my son has the problems it has to do with his medical condition. background on teacher and vice principal never had to deal with kids with my sons medical problems had my sons therapist actually sit down and talk to them but they did not even beleave my sons therapist about his medical condition. He tested 4th grade for his educational test high above adverage for his age. Right now he is taking concerta 27mg, Fluoxetine 20mg, and to help him sleep at night he is taking clonidine Hydrochloride .1mg. you can tell a diffrence when he is not taking his medication and when the meds ware off. To me tho he was having more of his outburst at school then at home. Teachers could not even tell a diffrence between his outburst on which ones were which. At home I have a loving family who support my son and myself for what we are going thru they help me out when ever they can. I to am a single mother and his father is not part of the picture. Who also has my sons medical problems but is not seeking help. I thank you for your story and realize there are more people out there that is going thru what I myself am going thru and am not alone. I have felt that way since my son has been confirmed with his medical condition

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I too had trouble getting my son to settle down and sleep at night. When he was 7, I discovered Melatonin, a natural sleep aid. It works very well and I don't have to worry about 'over medicating'. It is definitely worth checking out. Another resourse is a book entitled "Taking Charge of ADHD". There are a lot of interesting facts about ADHD and the school system, do's and don'ts regrding homework etc. I highly recommend it to any parent going through what I did.

Julie 8 years ago

I can't even begin to tell you how relieved reading your story made me. Not that i'm happy your having such a difficult experience but that there is someone somewhere who may know how i feel. My step-daughter has ADHD/OOD, and there are times i want to pack up grab my things and my son and walk out the front door. Even typing that makes me feel horrible. My daughter is 10 i've had her since the age of 2 and since then we have been dealing with these behaviors that baffle me. She seems to go in cycles, and it is by far the most frustrating thing. My daughter got kick out of preschool( i have to say i didn't even know that was possible) That's when i knew we had a problem. Before that i thought it was just me and the fact that i wasn't use to having a girl. I don't see some of the behaviors you described though. Generally she is really really quiet. She takes the back door for most of her stuff. Does your son have an obsession with stealing? Is that normal with this disorder. My daughter doesn't sleep, they put her on a med but it didn't help, so while we sleep she get up and sneaks around the house. Never with her things always break, ruining someone elses things. She has a huge obsession with sneaking snacks into her room and hiding them there, and nothing is off limits to her, halls vitamins if it tastes good she take its. and the more we talk to her about eating them at the table the more she steals. I worry she's going to get into something and really hurt herself or worse that i'll be sleeping and i won't know. She doesn't seem to have any conscience at all and she seems to take pleasure in annoying those around her. She kicks and hits my dogs when she thinks we are not looking. School work is almost impossible at home most nights. The most frustrating thing of all everyone just says she's so cute and babies her, letting her do whatever she likes. the teachers have even started writing for her because we talk with them about her handwritting. oh and that's just a quick summary of a few things we deal with. I feel like i'm living in a nightmare most days. I have no idea what else to do, i have big worries for her and no one seems to share our concerns. the theripist don't seem to help the meda only help for a short period during the day. Thanks for letting me know i'm not alone in this struggle. Good Luck to you and your son.

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Dear Julie, I understand your frustration all too well. You are not alone in this, trust me. My son also goes in cycles. Girls are not usually as openly oppositional at younger ages, but will become much more vocal as they get older. Yes stealing was a very big issue...neighbourhood children's toys, scooter, toy guns, whatever he decided at the time was important to him. I will add here that money literally means nothing to him...very strange, but true. He will take snacks into his room (and yes he will just go to the cupboard and take them...I have found empty cookie bags etc., in his room) and leave the garbage.You mention the teachers write for her...don't sweat that too much, if it gets her to complete her school work, then accept it. I sometimes write for my son just to get the work completed with a minimum of fighting. Something I recommend to all parents of Adhd/Odd children is the handbook "Taking Charge of ADHD" by Russell A Barkley PHD. Not only are there a number of strategies regarding school, there is a lot of good solid advice to use at home. One thing in particular is the medication. Ritalin slow release (and its no name counterpart) only medicate for approximately 6 hours, then it wears off. If you want your child to do his/her homework after the meds have worn off...good luck. However, you can safely give supplement meds of 5 or 10 mg, near the end of the slow release cycle to carry your child through, depending on their needs. This enables the child to participate in after school activities with less distractions.

TARA 8 years ago


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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Believe me....I know exactly how you feel!

cj 8 years ago

i have an eight ear old girl with adhd odd touettes and ocd, and she is so unbearable to be around i dread summer vacation her temper is horrible i fear waking her up in the morning and picking her up after school its nice to know there is other parents out there with these problems because people that have kids that don't have problems just don't understand what it is like and iv heard from family and friends that its me and not her, and to get my child diagnosed was hard i saw two drs who basicly laughed at me but then i found a great dr who actully sat and talked to me while watched her and than i got refered to the right drs , we are always going to the childrens hospital and its so crazy nobody really know what to do, right now she goes to mental health once a week but nothing is changing with her im not really sure what to do with her but i guess time will tell.

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

The one thing I would suggest is some respite care. You need a break from the daily stress in order to be able to work with your daughter. Another thing to check out would be a group called CHAD for support. You need to know there are other parents out there fighting the same battles you are.

cj  8 years ago

i was thinking about respite care that would be a great releif i do have another daughter that is two and it would be nice to have some time with her alone with out my older daughter upsetting her, i have heard of chad but i will have i hasent sure where it is i live in abbotsford b c and to my knowledge they don't have one here

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Yes, they do :) I live in Mission. Email me at and I will give you my phone number if you would like to give me a call...I might be able to get the information for you.

Bear 8 years ago

My stepson just got suspended for the second time in 3 weeks. I have no idea what to do with him. He's ADHD, ODD and Childhood depression. 3 weeks ago it was from hitting his teacher AND prinicipal and trying to run from the school. Monday he kicked his teacher. This morning he woke up and said "no school... awesome!" I got him started on his homework but I don't know what to do. My husband and his mom is working so I had to change my work schedule in order to stay home with him. When it happened last time, we took him to the doctor and they gave his mom all kinds of phone numbers to call and get him hooked up with therapy and she hasn't called ANYONE yet. It's causing strain in my relationship with my husband because I feel a lot of resentment and i don't know what to do. I'm just his step mom and there's only so much I can control. What do I do??

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Bear,The first thing I would do would be to sit down and talk to the boy's father. Someone has to be willing to take responsibility for the care and attention of your step-son. If your husband isn't willing to step up to the plate, and the mother hasn't done anything, then it's up to you. It isn't just about the fact that your life is going into a tailspin, think what all this is actually doing to the boy. If you walk away from it, his life goes in the toilet. I completely understand what you are saying about the frustration, believe me, my life for the last 7 years has been chock full of it, 24/7.

Both of you need to become familiar with this disability. Your s/son isn't acting that way just to be a menace, he can't help it. I would suggest getting ahold of Community Services to see what you can do. Also, get the phone numbers from the mother and start calling them.

crystal 8 years ago

HI. I have a son who is 9. I will try not to tell his whole life story. So far I have never got any calls from school due to bad behavior. The school expresses concerns with issues with focusing. His teacher says he is very disorganized,forgets often and seems to not be able to focus often. I know those are signs of adhd. He also has bad handwriting. His grades are pretty good,a's in spelling,social studies and science. A b in reading. The only area he really has a hard time in is math. My son seems frustrated often,cries all the time and argues... everything is an argument. I am pretty positive he has adhd and odd. He has some anxiety. I give him melatonin at night and an herbal medicine called brightspark and focus. I am so scared to take him back to a psychologist. The first one we went to said he didn't feel he had adhd,he felt he was more manipulative. I don't know if I am asking for trouble by not officially getting him diagnosed. I would like some advice from anyone that may have any. we have been lucky so far with pretty good behavior at school. I do have to push him to do everything,school work,getting him to soccer practice on time,getting him to practice his violin,completing projects,cleaning his room... especially would love to hear from anyone who is treating their adhd child with herbal medicines. please e mail me at Thanks

camille 8 years ago

reading all the comments are hitting home my 9 year old daughter has adhd maybe odd and also child depression. last year she went to a store with a friend and she stole lip gloss just because. the store manager called the police before calling me or the other parent. i got there and the other child was crying red face and all my child was just sitting there. that was really a realization something was really wrong. she is on stratera it seems to help but does any of your kids hit themselves?when things don't go her way she balls her fist and hits her head stomach and face what can i do?our days are tiring, homework is a freight i also have a 3 year old i live with my youngest ones dad we are happy most of the time but he doesn't understand how she is and he thinks that she is just like all other kids but homework is harder then it is for other kids following rules are hard too thak you for listening you all have helped me to realize i am not alone in the struggle with my daughter

JC 8 years ago

WOW! I'm not totally crazy! I love my 7 year old son more than anything in the world.....But his behaviour is unbearable. I've known for 3 years now that he's ADHD. Don't need a shrink to tell me that. He exhibits ALL the symptoms.

I've tried every child psychology method anyone has ever offered me. They all start out working wonders...Then my son will figure out the rules or parameters and totally buck the system. He finds every which way around it that the guidelines don't even cover. I pulled him out of a private montessori school only to avoid having expulsion on his record. Yeah, he threatened to cut a students hair (he was already holding the scissors), poked another student in the had with a freshly sharpened pencil, and the last straw was when he punched his teacher's aid. These incidents combined with outright disruptive and disrespectful as well as argumentative behaviour, he was going to be expelled.

He's been homeschooled by me for the past year. I thought our problems might just be that we are in each others' faces 24/7. But after reading all the postings and numerous articles, I'd have to say he's most likely ODD too. It takes everything I have just to get through each day.

I'm more of a natural healing type. He's been on DHA for 2 years. It's been a huge help. Initially, it did the trick. That's how we made it through pre-k and kindergarten. We probably would have made it through first grade too if the teacher hadn't been such a nit-pick about his handwriting. He's getting older though, and even though I upped the DHA dose and spread it out, he's still not focusing. The tantrums are getting more explosive and more often. It's scaring me. Smart as can be, just can't stop to think before he acts.

I'm afraid if I can't find a way to help him now......his future will suffer.

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Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I completely understand your dilemma. I fought tooth and nail to keep my son off "drugs" however, since being on meds, He has been easier to work with, focuses better, and is more manageable when he has a melt down. Kids like my son (and possibly yours as well) don't become 'crazed junkies' because they are taking a stimulant. The area of the brain that regulates verbal outbursts, continuous motion and emotional filtering, isn't working properly. The stimulant helps to kick start it (for as long as the meds last, which is approx. 6 hours tops) and enables my son to concentrate and maintain a calm demeanour. Without meds, we never would have made it through grade 2...or 3....or 4...

Michael 8 years ago

My son has ADHD,ODD and driving everyone up the wall.

When he was 2 years old we said that there was something wrong with him, but nobody would take any notice.

He got suspended while he was in infant school for hitting his teacher, and then the suspentions became more frequent due to his very bad behaviour. Eventually our doctor refered us to a place that deals with child issues and after some time on a waiting list we saw an American/Canadian guy that listened to what we had to say and said that our son is ADHD,ODD and put him on medication. They experimented with different combinations of medication to see which worked. The American/Canadian guy left and we ended up seing a new foreign guy that we thought got the medication just right and then he changed it again and then decided that he should come off of medication.

Just before he was finishing infants and about to go up to the junior part of the school he got expelled at 7 years of age and was out of school for nearly 2 years. In that time he had a private tutor that was provided by our school authority for 5 hours a week.

He learnt nothing and his behaviour got worse and worse and sometimes it seems that his behavior rules our house.

He's now in a special needs school that specialises in behaviour problems which they could not understand what ours and the previous schools problem was because he was so well behaved, very polite and very very bright. I told them to give it a few weeks so he gets used to the change. A few weeks later and he's back to bad behaviour again.

He had been seing a play therapist who says 'He's such a lovely little boy', and how he's so well behaved. (Yeh of coarse he is playing with toys for an hour once a week. You try living with him every day).

The play therapist has recently decided that she no longer needs to see him and they should focus on our parenting skils. Which has wound us up a little as we have 2, 11 year old girls that are fine, though are getting affected by their little brothers bad behaviour.

When we talk to people they just don't understand that living with an ADHD,ODD child is a living hell sometimes. Going out shopping is a complete nightmare when he's in one of his moods and then everyone just stairs at you with those Bad Parent looks.

For people that don't understand what we are going on about, the only way we can descibe what its like is to tell them that he's like a small version of Bruce Banner, but transforms into the Incredible Hulk for no apparent reason and the smallest of things.

Weve tried all sorts of things, but nothing works. When he's naughty we try to treat as we would with our girls and take something away from from him, but he just doesn't care.

He enrolled him into Cubs, which he really likes, but because of bad behaviour in school he hasn't been allowed to go for a couple of weeks, but he doent care.

He wasn't allowed to go to school the other day because of his behaviour was so dissruptive the day before and tried to encourage others to bring in matches and burn the school down. ( haven't a clue where he got that idea from)

I said to the school 'Well Done' he nows knows how far to push things to be sent home from school.

We are so concered about the future because as hes's getting old he's getting stronger, and when he's in one those moments he hits out at everyone with kicking, biting etc and has even harmed himself and he's 9 years old now.

So much has happened with our son so ive just mentioned a few shortaned aspects of events.

Ive been told that if we lived in the USA there is so much more support for ADHD children, but in the UK there is zero suport for us struggling parents.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author


I would suggest checking out my blog at: This site is for information about living with and raising kids with Adhd/Odd. There are several resource books and support groups listed that might help. After spending 12 years with my son, I completely understand your frustration with the behaviour, attitudes of parents and teachers, and lack of knowledge and skills in dealing with and teaching your son.

Kelly 8 years ago

I was a young single teenage mom (18yrs) when I welcomed my daughter Shyanne into the world. From the time I brought her home my life changed forever. I had a baby that never stoped screaming, never setteled and rarely slept. I had no outside help from anyone. My parents disowned me, and clearly the teenage dad was only in my life long enough to donate his seed. After surviving the first year I had wondered how any person married or not would ever consider voluntarily having any children ever. I spent most of my days crying and exhausted, and I began to feel terrible that I was not maternally bonding with my child. I had tried since the age of 19 to have my tubes tied...but obviously being young and un-married I couldn't find one gyno that'd do it.

By the time she had reached 3 years old was about the time I started to notice something was a bit "off" with her behaviour. She had been easily potty trained at the age of 2 and a half without much incedent. Suddenly in her 3rd year of life she had decided to start peeing and pooping in strange places...such as my bed in the middle of the day...or on our front door step. It made me raise an eybrow because I knew these acts were intentional. She started distroying her toys and throwing important things of her own in the garbage. This is when I first noticed her empathy toward everything. She rarely smiled unless she was caught doing something bad. I had almost felt that she was evil or demonic. We had a small kitten in the house and I would catch her hiding behind our couch strangling it within inches of its life. I got rid of the cat for it's own safety. This is the first year I sought out councelling for her. Not much was done for us, besides my tales of her behaviour...when in therapy these behaviours were absent....making me feel/look as if I was imagining them. She was charming and angelic infront of strangers. The file was closed and I was left feeling just as frustrated as before.

The next years to follow were riddled with arguments, tantrums,lying,stealing, tears and frustrations. I would routinely have a C.A.S. worker at my door thinking that I was beating or killing my child. She would have such violent tantrums and screaming fits that would last hours...that my neighbours called the police. We were forced to move a few times within those years. Shyanne's problems starting seeping into her school years as well. She was forced to repeat Senior Kindergarten and I would often get phone calls from her teaches asking me to find a way to get Shyanne to care about her school work. That was so funny to hear, because I couldn't get her to care about anything. By the time she reached grade one she stopped writing her name..lnstead she would scribble something unlegible...again, it was intentional she clearly had the ability to sign her name. But nobody could get her to do it.

When Shyanne was 7 I met a man (now my husband). Within the first month of dating him she told him that I was cheating on him with another man. After 4 months of dating him she told me he had tried to touch her inappropriately one night while tucking her into bed (completely untrue). She lies all the time!! Shortly after that my husband and I were married in a small beautiful wedding in Niagara falls. I was 4 months pregnant with my second child at that time. We returned home 4 days later to find a business card on our front door from C.A.S. saying to call them immediately. We had just moved to this house 3 weeks earlier. Well literally the honeymoon feeling was over that second. I called them and they came over to tell me that Shyanne had told "someone" that every morning I would drive her to school in my car and that I'd have a jug of juice that I'd mix alcohol in. She also told this "someone" that her new step father was beating her. I was so furious with her! The C.A.S> worker told me that I'd have to go for drug and alcohol testing and that if it came up positive I would lose my un-born at birth. She also made me consent to baby screening after the birth to make sure it didn't have any effects from my alleged "alcohol" consumtion or any other drug use. I agreed to all of it seeing as i do not and have never used drugs...and I most certainly wasn't drinking. She then interviewed Shyanne and all she could get out of Shyanne was...are you gonna put me in a foster home? the worker said no....Shyanne then asked...what do I have to say to be taken away!!! It was another manipulative game of hers...looking to upset me and her new step father! Once my drug and alcohol tests came back negative...coupled with the rediculous interview she got from Shyanne they quickly closed the file....BUT...that was not the first nor the last time I've nearly been sent to jail...publicly humiliated or defaimed because of my precious sunshine Shyanne.

After many more years of escalating violence,stealing,lying, and temper tantrums we put her in councelling again, and this time only through the aid of me video taping her while nobody was around...did we finally get our diagnosis of O.D.D. THANK HEAVENS THERE WAS AN ANSWER TO ALL MY WHY QUESTIONS!

3 years ago I welcomed my second child (another daughter) to my life. I must say that I now understand what it's like to have a bond with a child...and why a human would chose to have a child(ren). She is such a blessing in my heart and life...but I fear for her safety. Shyanne ...(now 11) has been caught hitting her and I've even caught Shyanne sexually molesting the baby. I've done all that was suggested to me as far as behaviour modification and consistent parenting. Other things such as Time outs- and logical consequence don't work on a child who doesn't care. There is no medication for O.d,d and my prayers are all I have. She's in full blown puberty right now and I really fear for my youngests safety as well as my own...she's a big girl and quite violent. I'm afraid she's showing signs of conduct disorder....but I still can't get any REAL FUNDAMENTAL help. Is there any hope for me or Shyanne?? Foster care sounds like an all to beautiful escape from the hell I've been living in over the past decade. For the love of GOD can someone help???

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 8 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I empathise with you and your situation Kelly. Having an Odd child is harder mentally than one with a physical disability. At least with a physical disability, psychologists and doctors can see there is a problem. With Odd, unless the child exhibits the violent behaviour in public, there is nothing to support the parent's pleas for help.

In your daughter's case I would definitely consider either respite care, or taking the step to have her placed within the system. There is no way to constantly monitor her behaviour, and going by her earliest response to the kitten I would be cautious about her contact with her sister.

I know those steps are the hardest ones a parent has to contemplate. I still haven't ruled that out in my case yet, but so far I have been able to handle the outbreaks. I am not obtuse in thinking this will always be the case however.

You need to contact your doctor and see if he can get a psychiatric evaluation done, also get ahold of your community services or children's services to see if there are any respite groups available. Most importantly, you need to connect with a support group to help you destress. Realizing you have little or no control over your child's behaviour can be devestating to your self confidence as a parent, and you need an outlet for your anger and frustration.

I invite you to read my blog on living with adhd/odd. I am constantly updating it with as many suggestions as I can find to help all of us, (parents of Adhd/Odd children.) The link for the blog is listed at the beginning of this hub.

Left Behind profile image

Left Behind 7 years ago from USA

I have learned so much. Thank you. God gives special children to special people. You must be an amazing person.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Left Behind,

Thank you so much for your vote of confidence. I only wish the school system was as generous.

Frederick Stalter 7 years ago

I totally understand what you are talking about. My 12 year oild Daughter not only has ADHD and ODD but she is also diognoise with OCD and Attatchment disorder as well..I have had custody of her since 04 ands every day is a learning experience for the both of us...Whjat works one day does not work the next..And it is a constant struggle each day

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I think parents with children like ours are the only ones who truly understand the challenges, heartaches, and triumphs we experience (sometimes daily.) Thank you so much for your are not alone...

God Bless

emily guerrero 7 years ago

thank you so much or sharing your story I have a 6 year old daughter with ADHD and ODD and a 7 year ols son with ADHD and bipolar. Most days I feel like I am completely alone and I am crazy. I am glad to know I am not alone especially since most people have never hear of ODD they just think of her as a bed kids with parents who don't discipline her. Again thank you

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Emily, you are most welcome my are not alone...and you are not a bad parent. To be honest, you are the exact kind to yourself, you deserve to be praised and supported for taking up such a challenging role. Never lose hope...

Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 7 years ago from Georgia USA

Gosh, this hub was great but scary too.  My son is young and I am concerned about his behavior, he will take actions to the "next level" as we call it.  For example, if a boy is dancing in the bathroom at school, my son will start climbing the urinals or sinks to dance on them.  This is one example of a thousand.  He is a wonderful child but keeping him focus is really hard.  The school and his doctor has not mentioned ADHD or ODD but after reading this, I am thinking he has some of the symptoms.  I will continue to do my research but this hub did open my eyes wider and I want to investigate to see if my son has it or just hyper (seriously, that is what I pray for). I have never heard of the ODD portion but I bookmarked this hub to continue to learn more on this subject.

Thank you again and again!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Ladybird33, It doesn't hurt to be educated. I will keep my fingers crossed for you.

Cheli 7 years ago

Thank you so much for writing this post! I am a single mother of a 5 year old boy who had AHHD ODD and he starts Kindergarten in Sept 09. He has need sent home many times from daycare for behavior. I think the only reason they have not said don't come back is because my mother used to work there and she still sunds there and shes the best teacher they have! My son sees psychiatrists (on Concerta), psychologists (because I want to help him not just over up the problem, councellors, special educators and behavior therapists. They have all been at his school and evaluate him on a regular basis. This morning I am pretty upset because Wednesday nights are "Parent Survival Night" for kids at daycare. Well I was just asked by the director NOT to bring him back and maybe I could try again in August! I simply said ok and left. BUT, I don't agree and don't believe she should say he cant come. He is not hurting anyone. Its just that he cant always just sit and watch a movie and sometimes he will make noises. Can she actually ban him from not coming there? I don't think its fair and as a single mom its the only free night I have. Help?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Cheli - Unfortunately, they have the say as to who attends and who doesn't. It isn't fair, and your son has done nothing wrong, but they feel his behaviour is disruptive, and that is the reasoning they will use, should you decide to take this matter to a higher authority.

Being that you are a single parent, and don't have any 'down time' with the supervision and attention of your son, I would suggest calling your local Community or State services to see if they have respite care. This will give you the break that you need so that you can continue to provide the quality of care your son needs.

I would also suggest that you learn as much as you can about ADHD/ODD so that you can properly advocate for your child. Your local library should have a selection of books that will help, one in particular, "Taking Charge of ADHD" by Russell Barkley. You can also check out my blog at for additional resources.

Keep your chin aren't alone.

marinealways24 profile image

marinealways24 7 years ago

Enelle Lamb Excellent Work.

I have never been diagnosed as your son has, yet I see a lot of common ground with his behavior.

If someone is speaking to me, I have to make a concentrated effort to not zone out. I am bored very easily, sometimes sub-consciously. I am very rebellious, I do not like to follow others or listen to authority.

1 thing that took my mind off of my insanity is writing and physical activity. The best physical activity that helped me out was lifting weights and martial arts. These are great releases of energy and allow the mind to be at ease.

Thank You for writing this article. I have much admiration for you. I put my mom through the same thing you are being put through, so I understand how strong you are. Thanks.

marty 7 years ago

I just found this article and I had to shake my head in agreement to all you said. I am a teacher and a parent of an ADHD 13 yo boy. I know he is ODD. I have heard the comments from many a "friend" along the lines of "My child would never get away with that". My child thinks it is funny when I spank him-

" HaHa-That didn't hurt" I love my son very much but he is very difficult to live with. Like you - if he gets his way all is fine. If he doesn't LOOK OUT !!!!!! People who don't live this way have no idea. I had a perfect stranger confront me outside a convenience store one morning after my son slammed the car door and punch the car window because he was mad. I had to chase him and I grabbed him by the hood of his Hoodie and she accused me of choking him !

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

marinealways - thank you for such wonderful comments. I enjoyed martial arts myself but I will wait for a while before enrolling my son LOL...

marty - I understand exactly what you are saying I have had to grab my son and physically remove him from a very difficult to explain to people who don't live with it 24/7.

I used to grab my son by the ear LOL...nobody could really see and it worked pretty well...not sure if I can do that now though...things only work till he gets used to them, then the effect wears off.

Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Enelle - I have friends who have children with ADHD and I know it isn't easy. I've always wished that children are not judged by one uncompromising, rigid yardstick - then there would be no labelling and maybe we would have handled children and ourselves better by being more accepting. If only children - not just our own but all of them - were loved, the world would be such a great place, wouldn't it?

Someone said up there that special children are given to special people - I second that - and it helps no doubt to have a sense of humour that keeps you afloat no matter what :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Oh yes - it's a tad twisted - but we can't all be perfect LOL. Sometimes I think that if I didn't laugh I would go nuts, and that is too short a trip to contemplate!

Thank you so much for stopping by - come back soon y'hear? lol

bala99 profile image

bala99 7 years ago from Hyderabad, Telangana, India.

This is what you do:

Condition yourself not to be frustrated or depressed. You have no reason to be! Your are giving the best of Medical and Personal attention possible. If you some how blame yourself, please stop it! You know better than that. Always think of the fun time you had with him. Laugh, smile, be positive. Have you notices that the behaviour is worst when you are in a hopless mood? Childrens sense, and do their thing.

His medication are, in general, disguised tranquilizes. Continue with them. Don't disregard the doctors advice.

You will by now know what triggers the tantrums. Take advantage of the short attention span. Divert the issue. swamp him with pleasant options. Let crisis pass by. These guy are deviously intelligent. Catching on is fast. So innovate, have several backup plans. Always be pleasant while doing this.

Let the evenings be the real fun time. Let him romp. Get him tired with physical activity. Give him a supervised long soak in the tub. Supervision is a must if medication is taken before the bath. The dinner should be high carb. Carbs are natural pacifiers.

As the carbs and medication kick in tuck him into bed. Tuck yourself in with him. Hold him tight. Talk softly to him about him. Try not to talk about the exiting stuff. As he drifts off, put on some soft music to play through out the night. The volume should be as low as possible. After some as he gets used to the music play trance music, followed by affirmation music. It helps! This music is available in most of the meditation centres.

You may have to re-organise your schedules to do all this. A small price to pay for a child at peace with itself.

karen 7 years ago

I have a 10 year old son with ADHD, SEVERE ODD and in my opinion suffers from severe DEPRESSION! After 3 long years of batteling with the proffesionals my child has finally been given a diagnosis,treatment is hopefully going to start next week at long last!!!!!!!! As parents we all no our own children and i would say don't ever be fobbed off and don't ever give up on them-from my experience they really cant control what is happening to them.Everything ive just read relates to my situation,and it is the hardest job ever but eventully there is light at the end of the tunnel!! Society unfortunately doesn't recognise that our children have an illness as it cant physically be seen like some illnesses,we as loving,caring parents do our best by are children,and eventually the "proffesionasl" will hopefully take on boared and listen to us from the start,and give our children and us parents the right and appropriate help a lot sooner!!!

Thank you so much Enelle for all your dedication and caring attitude, i have found this very useful.

ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Hi Enelle, oooh I don't even think I can start imagining what it would be like to have an ADHD/ODD child at home. But we have some cases in our preschool though and it can be pretty exhausting. I will bookmark your hub and will visit your blog. For sure, it does help to know how other parents are coping. Thanks for sharing.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

bala99 - you have a couple of good points that I intend on trying. I always have music playing at night, but didn't think to use meditation and affirmation music...thanks!

karen - I know exactly what you are saying! I'm so glad you finally got help for your son. I'm so glad you found my story helpful, thanks for reading.

ripplemaker - It's always a pleasure when you stop by - thank you so much for the compliment.

Cheeky Chick profile image

Cheeky Chick 7 years ago

Enelle, thank you for having the courage to be honest. I uderstand how difficult it can be to raise a child with these kinds of issues in a world that doesn't understand. As parents, it is easy to feel inadequate when the parenting books just don't seem to work.

My son, who turned 7 yesterday, has Sensory Integration Disorder. It has been difficult dealing with his oppositional personality, his sleep issues, and the challenge of making it through all the major transitions (i.e. crib to big boy bed, potty training, etc.). At times, I wondered if the neighbors would find me out on the front lawn, rocking, in the fetal position, grasping a bottle of Vodka. Thankfully it hasn't come to that.

I wonder if you've ever tried syntonic colored light therapy? A study I read about by Jacob Liberman looked at the effects of syntonic colored light therapy on visual-field size, memory, speed, and accuracy of eye movement in children with learning problems. He prescribed frequencies of light for 20 minutes a day, four days a week, for six weeks. The results:

Those who had received light therapy had a visual field 208 times greater than the control group, visual attention span nearly 4 times greater, and visual memory 7 times greater. The interesting part is that hyperactive kids calmed down, and the children in the experiment that were on Ritalin were able to go completely off it.

It's not easy to find, but as Sensory Integration Issues are getting more attention, you may be able to find a practitioner in your area. Check with your local Optometrists or Psychiatrists.

Best of luck to you!



Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Cheeky Chick - thanks for the tip - I will see if there are any practitioners here. Now I know what I'll be doing Monday LOL - thanks!

Dazed & Crazed 7 years ago

I have been all over the net (tirelessly & hopeless at times) hunting for clues into my oldest son's off-the-charts behavior since birth. Is there any irony in finding your site just now after I told my husband to take our 2 boys and drop them off anywhere but home because I am sick to death of the very things you described in your parenting experience. My son is a first grader and although hasn't been suspended (I am preparing for that day is coming, along with jailtime probably, military school, etc.). He lies and steals (just petty s*** but enuf to be a cause for concern), and just this week got called to the office for throwing food in the lunchroom and encouraging others to join in. He has an IEP for EBD at school, we've counseled til we're blue in the face, and feel like we've used every disciplinary measure known to man from timeouts, spankings, no privileges, early bed, only to name a few. We sought a nutritionist/herbalist for a natural supplementation approach to altering behaviors without much change. We are concerned about the short and long-term side effects of starting a kid on drugs, even if they are prescription. Perhaps some valium for myself might be a better option!

It's such a relief to know there is another parent who knows exactly what is going through my heart and mind. The first thing I thought is the same thing I think of us when I look in the mirror. Cute kid but that is one tired mom -- physically, mentally & emotionally! I get it, truly I do. Thanks for your site. We'll be skipping Halloween tonight as loads of candy just spells bigger trouble and more of it.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Dazed & Crazed - I hear you! Also, some of the comments submitted to this posting might give you a couple of different avenues to pursue. I am currently looking into the Light Therapy, and am starting my son on Niacin & Vit C. Couldn't hurt lol.

Keep your chin up - it's a tough road, but you'll make it!

nos_baby2005 7 years ago

my son was diagnosed today with ODD on top of ADHD. I'm at a loss for words. I know that he has some behavior problems but they aren't ones that really bother me. he's persistant about what he wants. my concern is with his learning. he is in kindergarten and you can ask him a question and get the right answer the first time but then ask it 5 minutes later and he doesn't know. you can see the wheels turning in his head but he just can't tell you the answer again. i'm at my wits end i don't know how to teach him so that he can remember it for his tests.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

nos_baby2005 - if your son is anything like mine, tests won't be a problem, but the behavior in school will be. I would suggest finding out everything you can about ADHD/ODD and get the whole family on board. There are a lot of support groups out there and it is a good idea to hook up with one, as well as one on one support for your son.

It's a long road, full of pot holes, but the destination is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Just try and take the time to stop and smell the flowers along the does help!

Hanna Bambina profile image

Hanna Bambina 7 years ago

Omg you poor woman!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hanna Bambina - It certainly is not for the faint hearted lol...

deberon profile image

deberon 7 years ago

To everyone sharing their stories here. Thank you. I took in two nephews 4 yrs ago when their father was the victim of domestic violence (the mother is serving 30 yrs for the crime). The youngest was 1 wk shy of his 2nd birthday and we really didn't know much about either child. We had to let the little guy sleep in our room on a pallet because we did not have any additional space in the house (we have since converted our garage to a large bedroom for the 2 boys). This little guy was very restless and would scream and cry out in his sleep and would scoot all over the floor in his sleep. And, he did not speak. He would only scream and grunt. He also didn't make much eye contact. Our first thought was he was autistic. Maybe that would have been an easier diagnosis to deal with :(. He took forever to potty train and still, at almost age 7, has 'accidents'..which are really just because he doesn't want to stop what he is doing so he goes in his pants. He also had to be removed from daycare, due to his aggression towards the teachers mostly at that time. We found a small, hippie school (as we lovingly refer to them, they are awesome) where he was able to stay for almost 1.5 yrs. They don't allow kids over 5, so we went ahead and enrolled him in kindergarten and crossed our fingers. My husband and I both work and our two sons and the oldest nephew had attended YMCA afterchool. so we put the little guy in there too. big mistake. he would run out of the school,, hit, scream, bite, etc. totally out of control. in the classroom not much better. he refused to do work, did not want to be part of the group, would tear stuff off of the walls and hit/harrass the other kids. the principal I have known for years and the teachers were aware of his family history so they were more lenient than they probably would have been. we decided 3 months into school that it was not a good place for him. We were so scared and confused we took him to a phsychiatrist (referred by the phsychologist he as seen since 3 yrs old). The phsychiatrist had him admitted as an outpatient to a residential treatment center. He was there for 3 months, and did not improve. in fact he got worse. he began exhibiting sexually inappropriate behavior which we don't know where that came from...the dr there put him on welbutrin, even though it is not approved in children (we should have questiioned that more but we were desperate). the meds worked initially but as soon as he built up some resistance it actually made him more aggressive and unmanageable. We were fortunate to have my mother take him in, and were able to get him accepted into the behavior unit in her school district. he was also placed in special needs. He did relatively well the remainder of kinder. he spent the summer with grandma most of the time, but he came home almost every weekend and spent a week at the beach with us which was actually a pretty good vacation. there was enough to distract him i guess.

i could go on and on, but bottom line is he is add/odd and also has sensory integration disorder. he is also compulsive and obsessive but is not diagnosed with ocd at this time....

part of this is just his physiology - he is just wired differntly. but part of it is exasperated by the fact that his whole work collapsed when he was so very young.

We worried more about the older nephew initially, he was 6 yrs old when his father was killed. we did not know that there is something called pre verbal memory and that it is a very powerful force. the little guy has so many issues, but we love him dearly. when he is in a good place he is so awesome, funny, loving. but when he is in his bad place it is a living h***.

I too used to give those looks - the 'control your brat' stare...I am so humbled now. I had no idea. Now when I see these incidents playing out in public the look I give is one of understanding and sympathy.

to all of you dealing with these issues, do try to get a rest and get away. and know that you have not done something wrong, you have not failed, you are not a bad parent. You are a good parent trying to do your best in a situation most folks have no idea how hard it is to live with.

bless you all.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

deb - thank you so much for sharing your story - trust me when I say it will get better - it's a tough road to travel. You might want to see if either one of your nephews is suffering from PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Just knowing sometimes helps. Blessings for you too my dear - hang in there!

Angelina Minondo 7 years ago

Hi Enelle!

I was so happy to find you and your site; and to know that I am not alone! My son Triston is 11 going on 12, and although he does not have ODD, he has ADHD to the fifth degree! We have been fighting med's since kinder garden, but this week he straight up came to me and asked that I put him on something to help him focus. We tried concerta for half of 3d grade and were not happy with the side effects of not eating, not being able to fall asleep, and mild depression and anxiety. We also didn't feel like it helped him that much, as he was always complaining about feeling weird while on it. This time we think it might be different because he is more aware of what is making him feel this way, and this way ignore the "weird" feeling and focus on learning.

At this time I have a 2yr old and one on the way and a husband that works late all the time. I need to find an answer to getting homework done in less than 5 hours a night! and all weekend... he doesn't retain much from the classroom, and is also a very poor test taker.

I am still a bit scared of putting him on full time ADHD medicine, and was wondering what your take on med's are? and have they helped you and your son? It sounds like you have your hands so full, I can hardly imagine how you get anything done! I am so thankful that you have found the time to share your experiences and all the information that you have gathered along the way with us. thank you thank you thank you!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hello Angelina :) I fought with the negative feelings of putting my son on Ritalin. I felt like I was letting him down, that I was a horrible mom, that I was taking the easy way out. My son takes one 20 mg slow release tablet a day, with a booster of 10 mg regular release at lunch time to avoid him crashing (when the meds come out of his system) during school. It is the only thing that allows him to focus in that kind of environment. He does not, however, take meds on the weekends...and yes, they have helped.

The homework is always going to be a battle, and one that you can't afford to fight. It is not up to you to school your son - and if you keep fighting over homework it could irreparably damage your relationship with him. Leave the homework for the for tests, if he has trouble with written exams, advocate for verbal ones...

I am pleased and flattered that my words are being heard and are not only helping other parents like myself, but are offering validation and hope. Keep your chin up my dear - there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it does look rather small right now! Blessings...

web 7 years ago

thanaks fro this work

alyse 7 years ago

You just described the hell of living with my son. While I love him dearly, he seems determined to ruin his life and mine in the process. I, too, am a single-mom, and with the violence and constant arguing in this house, no man in his right mind would ever be part of this family. I am destined to be alone, which I have accepted as my fate and am ok with most of the time. My son is ruining his meds, no counseling, no consequences, nothing makes any difference to him, and I am forced to live in a hellish daze with him. My 9 year old daughter also lives in hell with him as well. There are times I want the State to take over and get him out of this home, but my love for him has prevented me from taking this final step. I am at my end dealing with the hell he dishes out every day. There seems to be no solution to this nightmare. I have RA, fibromylagia, degenerative disk and joint disease and chronic back pain, all aggitated by relentless stress. The simplest request to take out the trash, do his homework, don't assault me and his sister is met with tremendous violence from him....This has got to be hell

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

web - you are most welcome

alyse - I understand your feelings. However, you need to take steps to protect your daughter. The only way to do that is to make some kind of change. Your son needs to get counseling, or meds, or both, otherwise he will continue to spiral and there will be no return and little chance for redemption. You need some form of respite care for both yourself and your daughter. If you can't provide (for whatever reasons) what your son needs, you will have to allow someone else to provide for him. You can't let this continue. Talk to someone in your community - social services - psychologist - psychiatrist- social worker - and get him the help he needs.

Suiiki profile image

Suiiki 7 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

It's a miracle my parents didn't kill me when I was growing up. And honestly I am afraid to have children, knowing how I behaved as a child (And sometimes still behave)

I have bipolar disorder and technically I am ADHD, but I don't respond well to medications for the ADHD and I don't have all the symptoms. Speaking from the experience of someone who has the disorder, you are partially right when you say the the realization bit is missing from the discipline cycle. But for me it's more of "OH crap, I'm doing something bad and I know better, but I have already done it and now I can't turn back." Other times it's "I'm too angry/upset/excited/otherwise emotionally worked up to give a flying barn owl and I will take the punishment when it comes." 90% of my behaviour is impulsive and happens before even I realize it, and sometimes people get hurt as a result. Yes I feel bad after the fact but I don't realize what is happening at the time that I am behaving badly. When I am overly tired, haven't eaten well, or am emotionally over-stretched I behave worse and am more impulsive than if I have been taking care of myself.

Having a set routine and good diet will do wonders for your son, you have got to make sure that he gets a good sleep each night and eats well and on time. Also let him know that he can talk to you about anything and you will try to help...then follow through.

Good luck!

Jennifer profile image

Jennifer 7 years ago

Minus the school problems, you could have written this about my son. It is exhausting. For some reason my son is perfect at school, awful at home. No one can believe the behavior I describe at home. Ugh. Good luck! I know you need it (me too!)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Suiiki - Thanks for the tips! I have noticed that my son behaves worse when he is overtired (more so at night) and when he needs to eat. I do my best to insure he has a good diet, and set routine, at least at home. It is hard to control these things when he is at school, or with his father. You can lead a horse...

Jennifer - I'm glad you don't have the bad behaviour at school as well. It can be overwhelming at times.

Mary 7 years ago

My 5 1/2 yr old son Matthew was recently diagnosed with odd and adhd. We take him to a psychologist but he does not answer his questions and just sits there and stares at me for answers.The doctor is suggesting medicine but the pediatrician had to decide which one. I feel like a failure but if this is the only thing that's gonna help him then we gotta do it. Ilove him soo much but hate the way he gets. At school hes an angel and teachers were amazed when i told them how he acts at home and with relatives. His outbursts and tantrums are horrible. Our neighbors are constantly complaining and banging on the walls. We don't even know how we make it through the days. I feel like we have to constantly walk on pins and needles. We have another son who is 4 and they are constantly fighting because if Matthew isn't in control he flips out and then they both start hitting eachother. I absolutely dread 3pm when i have to pick him up from kindergarten which sounds horrible but my house instanlty becomes a battlefield when he gets home. From the moment they get up at 530 they start playing but always turns into yelling and screaming with them. When he's by himself hes a delight so sweet and cooperative but if they are both together forget it!!! Thank you for sharing all your comments i feel like we are not the only family dealing with this.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Mary - No, you aren't alone! I know it feels like it when everyone around you doesn't understand.

ssety 7 years ago

I am a separated/single mom with adhd/odd 13 year old. He does not accept that he has the condition, nor is he open to therapy and medicines that has been prescribed. The dad has been a contributing factor for this situation save for the fact that he has physically abused my son when we were together....

Everything that I have read so far I can definitely relate to!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

ssety - I understand the frustration - it took quite a while for my son to accept taking medication, and he still isn't open to therapy! However, he doesn't have a choice in the matter if he wants to live with me. Sometimes you need to get tough to get results...

Moonchild60 profile image

Moonchild60 7 years ago

Enelle - Wow, I started reading your hub and kept going "that's Jadin, that's Jadin". My 11 year old has ADHD and ODD and takes vyvanse 30 mg every morning and I too give my son Melatonin 3 mg at night. My oldest son suggested it as he is into holistic remedies. He also says I have to give him Omegas (all of them) and a multi-vitamin every day. Which I try do with the multi, but getting Jadin to take Omegas is really difficult so I try to find it in foods. It is extremely frustrating when he acts out, could not care less about consequences and no one gets it. My family never could understand how difficult it is to raise an ADHD/ODD child and actually think disciplining them makes any kind of a difference. It is very frustrating, but mostly I just do whatever I can. I have noticed that diet is extremely important and a good nights sleep. I agree with you on everything and I am going to check out your website. I am not a single mom but due to Jadins behavior and his dad's inability to relate to him, it is like I am a single mother, as I do feel like I am rasing him myself. Jadin has also been tested as "gifted" and I also agree that most of these children do tend to be highly intelligent and it has been documented that many of them do incredibly well later in life as they have the intelligence and energy to go quite far. However, they need scheduling and direction (as well as everything else mentioned)in their young lives to get to that point. In other words, one can raise a very successful ADHD/ODD child but it takes a helleva lot more work than raising a child without it. Thank you very very much for this hub. I think it has made all of us feel less alone in our struggle!! Warmest regards - AnnMarie

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Moonchild60 (AnnMarie) - thank you so much for your comments - I'm glad my hub has helped. I know how lonely it can feel dealing with these disabilities. You aren't alone!

Jamie 7 years ago

Your story describes my son so accurately. Especially the facts that he is very bright as well as has all these other symptoms. I am guilty of thinking that ADHD and ODD were not real disorders - seems I knew all the answers before I had children.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Jamie - Don't we all!

anna 7 years ago

HI I am Anna and I have 5 kids and all of them have adhd and odd and some just have add and just odd it is nice to know i am not the only one that has to go throw this every day some people don't know how life is when you have kids like this and alot of them don't know how we feel it is hard but youhave to do it people think life is so bad for them i am so happy god gave me my kids and i do what i can do day by day and i hope everyone could understand how we have to make the kids behave it is not like other kids u have to make sure u look at them and see how they look at you and you will know if they did it or not.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Holy cow...I have challenges with just hat's off to you my dear! You are so right about the eye contact part - they are masters at avoidance LOL...

FirstStepsFitness profile image

FirstStepsFitness 7 years ago

Your not alone , I completely understand , my daughter is now 22 . She was diagnosed as ADHD the ODD was never officially diagnosed . The information given on the CHADD site helped , as well as any and all information on the topics . Its annoying really when explaining this diagnosis and disorder to anyone not familiar with it , it is next to impossible . My entire family including my late husband thought her behavior could be resolved if I were a stricter parent . I was strict as we all know here in this forum their environment must be well controlled . In fact parenting the child is 3 times more difficult , your setting up consequences for past behavior , while controlling the present behavior and still planning the next step with consequences on every level . It isn't peaceful and it is far from calming . When I spoke with parents of "normal" children they seemed to be parenting so effortlessly , those parents could actually engage in a conversation with their child present without distractions .For years I though it was me because she was my first child . I fought with schools , teachers , councelors , principals , babysitters etc ... over my childs behavior and her general non chalance over any punishments , as well as her lack of empathy . Many of these have not changed with age . I wish everyone here luck we can band together maybe form the support group we need . Feel free to contact me I have been there done that and still trying lol . Great Hub this gives me an idea for mine :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 7 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

FirstStepsFitness - thank you for your comments. It really is something that is difficult for parents of "normal" children to understand. Teachers and counselors are starting to get more information, and there are some out there who are extraordinary.

Missi Darnell profile image

Missi Darnell 6 years ago from Southern California

Great Hub, courageous and insightful. 4 of my 5 had ADHD with codisorders that are often more difficult to deal with than the ADHD. 2 of mine have the ODD/Conduct Disorder and yes it is a ride! My oldest put me through hell and back I didn't think I'd make it through the teen years, but we did. He's better, more self control which comes with maturity. He's still a great kid and I'm so proud to be his mother. Thank you for sharing.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Missi Darnell - I hold on to the 'light at the end of the tunnel' thing. I just keep telling myself "things will improve...he's getting older...he's gonna make it! LOL

Thanks for stopping by and providing some inspiration!

Angel 6 years ago

thank you for sharing your stories... being a mother is my greatest joy... my girl is 5 and I adopted her at 2. ... ADHD on Adderall, but everything I read I will ask her dr. about ODD too... she's been kicked out of 2 preschools.. terrified to start Kindergarten in the Fall (me, not her!)... yes, my family just thinks I need to discipline her more.. she yells and hits and kicks the wall and hits her head, but the next minute she is sooo sorry and the most loving child.. compassionate!!! I am extremely (i beleive 'divinely' patient with her... a calm almost comes over me when she 'flips'... several times a day... and then she can go "days" and be awesome.. green days at school :-).. then walla! whamo back to major tantrums, hitting, biting, kicking, screaming.. oh the screaming!! Any advice!!? She is on Adderall (5 mg) a day... anyway, thanks for sharing your story... such a rough week I was looking for other "mom" stories (yes, I am single too!)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I would suggest getting another evaluation - there is obviously something else that is causing the behavioural outbursts. Omega 3 supplements, cut down on the processed foods, and possibly check for allergies...

I understand what you mean about rough weeks...hang in there, it will get better!

Bethany 6 years ago

I am so glad I found this page.. I am always online researching and trying to find better ways to deal with my ADHD/ODD son who is 7 years old. I thought i was totally alone in this until I read all these stories. Some of them completely describe my son and the challenges I face everyday with him. And its true people that do not have children like this sometimes look at you like its your fault and how could you let your child act like that.....If only they could understand if I could stop him I would some people just need to be more educated on MENTAL ILLNESS!!!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Bethany, I know what you mean, and I have been doing my best to do just that.

Drug Free ADD profile image

Drug Free ADD 6 years ago

Great Hub Enelle. I think it's great to see someone relating the human experience of raising children with ADHD. Clearly you've struck a chord with many like-minded individuals.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you, I had no idea when I first posted this, that it would be helpful or motivational to others :)

Melissa Martinez 6 years ago

Hello, I have a ten year old son, who has been diagnosed with ADHA-ODD since he was 4 Years old. Things are getting worse ,he is on aderroll but i feel that does not work. Can someone give me any suggestions on schools or programs in PA or in Florida that he can benefit from. Thank you

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Your best solution would be to contact the school board in your area, as well as the local psychologists. Sometimes they have solutions where others don't.

beccas90 profile image

beccas90 6 years ago from New York

The drugs are a problem as they tend to cause disturbance in eating habits and as you've established have other side effects. However, as the kid matures and grows into teen your child be faced with social issues and there may come a point where his anxiety can only be tempered with the help of drugs.I'm not an advocate of drugs either but the teen years are difficult to get through for any kid let alone a kid with ADHD-ODD - remain open to what is needed for the time and help smooth out the bumps.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks beccas90, I'm holding my breath! My son turns 13 this month (May) so I'm sure it is going to be an interesting ride...

upstateNY 6 years ago

5/17/2010. I read thru all these posts and am so saddened that not one parent had a miraculous breakthrough and received help for their child from all the mental health professionals that proclaim they are licensed or certified to help children like ours. My 7 1/2 yr old son is in everyone of these posts. At this point, I am calling out these doctors, therapists, school psychologists, etc. I am done with the time out rooms, storage rooms used for tutoring, the suspensions, being told it is parenting skills, etc. I am going to print this and throw it at everyone at the next CSE meeting. I have acquired an attorney for my child at this point. My district even suggested he be placed for a diagnostic in a mental health facility. Wait till I bring the chairperson the application for her to be admitted. Good luck everyone, and thankfully I haven't pulled my hair out, or gone insane! I am angered at these proclaimed college graduates with their masters, ph.d's, certificates, etc. who have no clue how the heck to treat these children. I do see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi upstateNY - I understand exactly how you feel! I have been on this roller coaster for 12 years now, and this is the first year I have actually had any decent support. It (the support) still isn't perfect, but his principal and teachers are at least working towards helping my son be successful and not suspending him every time he opens his mouth. If you get a chance, you might want to read my letter to my son's school principal (here on HubPages) so you can read how we were treated for the last 4 years of his schooling. It might give you some guidelines (or ammunition lol) as well as check out my blog at and my other hubs about ADHD.

God Bless, and keep your chin up hun...we aren't alone!

christine 6 years ago

ok where to start i have a 11 yr old daughter who is going on 30 lol with adhd/odd and depression and a 10 yr old son with adhd. wow just saying that tires me out. anyway i am having a horrible time with my daughter. she cares about nothing or anyone or anything for that matter. i have tried all the punishment tricks , but its hard to take things away from a kid who just doesn't care. all she wants is the argument before the fact and after. she is on medication but it is for the treatment of her adhd which honestly compared to my son is not present at all. i dread waking her up in the morning for school. its usually a 20 minute argument of why she doesn't want to get up and then she is a precious little angel after our "fight". i hate saying this but i love when shes in school. i get some peace for a bit.but when 4 pm comes around i start to get anxious because i never know who will walk through the door. its usually freddy cruger day after day. im worn out. no words could express just how stressful being in my home can make you. so much so i rarely have visitors who stay more than 15 minutes, especially if my daughter is home. i have lost every babysitter i have ever had due to her mouth. and its only her mouth with adults (thank goodness). she knows every button to push and when and where to push it. i don't take her shopping with me anymore because of the stares when she has her "fits". i don't know anyone else who is dealing with what i am so its nice to know i am not alone. i guess one bonus for me is she is an angel in school. no bad behavior ever, however she struggles in math alot. which from what i have read seems to go hand in hand with this disorder. i get criticized for not punishing her (grounding, spanking, etc) it does no good. i have considered sending her to a boot camp which just tears my heart out thinking about sending her away. her father(whom is in and out of her life) is no help at all. when she "acts" up with him he picks up the phone calls me and says come get her instead of trying to deal with it like i do. yes i have a lot of frustration with him. and yes i believe my daughter can sense it. she has just as much frustration with him as well. the only thing i have been trying with her is when she has an outburst just hugging her. she always looks stunned ( like a deer caught in headlights). it takes her off guard because she is expecting me to yell fuss and fight. and well i just cant anymore. i don't have any fight left. i just want my little girl back. thank you for listening. all of you.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I do know how you feel about the arguments. My son is very much like that much of the time. The hugging method you use with your daughter could be the best thing you can do right now. Something else that might help is to get some outside counseling for her - I found that it is helping my son, and the arguing is diminishing somewhat.

I also understand about the 'father figure' in her life. Unfortunately, I have a similar challenge with my son's dad, and have been working on finding him a good male role model - something you might consider for your daughter as well. I know it is really tough, but having someone your daughter can look up to and respect will go a long way to helping her outbursts.

Another thing that has really helped with my son is talking to him, (when I am calm and not angry) and explaining what I do for him, why I do it, and how his reactions make me feel.

christine 6 years ago

i have tried talking with her. i usually have to wait until the next day ( her "mood" can carry on throughout a full day) she understands what i do and how much i do, but at the moment of her break down i do not exist as her mother. only the enemy. which depending why she had her fit to begin with i stay the enemy for quite some time. for example last night we had an argument a huge one that started at 9pm and lasted well past midnight (she likes to drag it out as much as possible) this morning she gets up for school with "i love you mommy" like nothing ever happened. at times i don't think she even remembers acting like she does. i honestly believe she is bi-polar. she goes to see a therapist, and phsychiatrist. the pshychiatrist says she is too young to tell if she is bi-polar. i mean it can be literally day and night with her every second. one second shes my little girl and the next she is satan himself. and its a consistent thing. everday. sometimes all day. her fits erupt over the smallest things from her brother or sister looking at her to a bad grade in school. the "donor" (father) will not commit to family therapy (which i believe will help) ok lets explain this about dad. we got our divorce in june 2008 in august 2008 he got re-married by september 2008 she was pregnant and in november 2008 they found out it was twins (step-mom has a daughter age 10 as well) so according to what my daughter has told me and her therapist daddy has replaced both my daughters and my son and she is pissed. my daughter by the way was daddys little girl. im at a loss of what to do for her. i grew up this same way. only my dad never visited me. even as an adult he doesn't even know my full name. J (my daughter) has a better relationship with her dad but he comes when its convenient for him to be a father to her . not when she needs him. i do have someone else in my life who trys very hard to be "dad" but not be a father. he is here but doesn't pressure her. he is one of my biggest supporters but also one of my greatest criticizers. punishments are never enough to please him (even though he knows none of them have worked) everyone says take away her favorite thing. hard to do because when you take that within minutes she has found another favorite thing. she is a great manipulator. if she could get paid for it right now she would be a millionaire. lol. funny i have said all this to her therapist on a number of occasions and im telling the world now and it feels as if the world is listening more than the person getting paid to do so. and i thank you. i don't have friends so i have no one to vent to. cannot vent to the boyfriend because then we fight . getting him to understand probably will never happen and i am already prepared for him to walk out the door due to as he refers to it my non-parenting. i guess i can accept that just as i accepted all the babysitters past and the ones in the future. thank you for responding and your kind words.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Trust me dear - only someone who has walked in your shoes can really understand what you are going through. Unfortunately, you have a combination with your daughter. Not only is she dealing with the ADHD/ODD, she is dealing with her hormones, and that can be worse than the ODD! My daughter, who is now turning 25, was hell on wheels as far as attitude goes, and she doesn't have ODD, just some facets of ADD and OCD. I'm glad you have some type of support for her, however, you might consider finding someone who can relate to both of you (if that is at all possible.) As for the boyfriend - it's great that you have some support, but if he isn't on the same page with you, things are not going to get any better. He has to realize that you are doing everything you can, and his criticisms of your parenting skills is only undermining your ability to do what you need to do. (After going through a similar experience, my personal feeling is to give him an ultimatum - either work with me or hit the road!) You don't need someone who criticizes your skills, you need someone to stand with you and support your decisions and offer alternatives when you run out of ideas.

As for taking away her favorite thing - that doesn't work (as you probably already know.) You can't keep feeding a negative with a negative, it perpetuates the cycle. You are probably already doing this, but pick your battles or you will be in a constant state of punishment. When either my son or daughter were rude to me, I would let it slide, which was horrifying to others, but it wasn't worth reacting to as there were far worse things that needed to be addressed.

Something that might help you feel validated, teach your boyfriend about the disorder as well as show him how his attitude towards your parenting skills isn't the way to go, and help with the psychologist/psychiatrist, would be to buy "Taking Charge of ADHD" by Russell A. Barkley, PHD. (Trust me when I tell you this!)

The best thing you can do to help yourself and your kids is to learn everything you can about ADHD and its attendant disorders. This doesn't mean everything will be all roses and light, but it will go a long way towards helping you find the support you need - I know - been there, done that, bought the t-shirt!

EMERALD 6 years ago

last year i was diagnosed with ODD and seveave depresion,i have always found it hard to concentrate,always been different i am getting asessed for ADHD because the mental health team are seriosly concerned with my behavior i don't mean to be bad it just happens i don't know how to control when i get angry i have been suspended 14 times i have hit teachers,hit students,put others at risk, my latest was i took drugs and got caught at school but i took the pills to concentrate anyway i took to many and had to go to the childrens hospital the mental health people there said that they want to move my diagnoses up to CD(conduct disorder) i have lately put my hand through a window(out of anger) i had to have surgery , i have noticed how much pain i put my mum through and ive started to feal really guilty......i just wanted to know if its my fault that im like this and wats its like parenting a kid like me??? 15

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Emerald,

First let me tell you, that no, it is not your fault that you are like this. Unfortunately, ADHD/ODD and other disabilities are not something you can catch, or get from eating too much sugar - you are born with them.

Parenting a child with any of these disabilities isn't easy, but we do it because we love our kids. It's tough on your mom, but you can help her by doing your best to stay in school, become more responsible for your actions, and work with your mental health team. Do your best to avoid confrontation (as that only leads to more anger,) and maybe suggest to your team that you want to take an anger management course if you haven't already done that.

It isn't easy for you either, and I do know that. Just do the best you can every day - these disabilities don't take a holiday, so unfortunately, neither can you.

Amy  6 years ago

My son also has this issue and I am at a stand still right now with his fits after the meds have worn off! He is 11 now and is big, strong, and VERY loud, I am afraid someone is going to call the cops.He screams like I am murdering him when all I have done is asked if he washed his hair!! I am at the point now and I hate to say it..I don't like him...I love him sooooo much but like is another thing. I am up against a wall and don't know where to turn!!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you! If you don't already have outside counseling for your son, get it! Then go out and buy the book, Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell A. Barkley PHD. You need to learn as much about the disability as possible for you to understand and help your son. Read my blog - it has lists of resources that can help.

Amy 6 years ago

He sees a psychiatrist and was in counseling but it is very expensive...I am waiting for medi-cal to go through for him. He is on Aderall but it seems like its getting worse then it ever was before. I am very patient with him (most of the time) and give positive feedback instead of negative. I feel so bad for him he hardly has any friends and when he does he completely obsesses over their friendship and they drift away. Its so sad to watch...heartbreaking! His breakdowns are so hard to control I feel like I am walking on eggshells and if I say something, anything he will start. Literally I am so lost right now with him. I will for sure tonight after work get the book... I have read so many! The ODD is the hardest though and I can never find really good advice as to how I teach the correct social responses and how to parent a child who is so impulsive and defiant... Thank you all this blog is really helpful at least I know I am not alone in this!!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

No Amy, you aren't alone! There are more of us out there than you think. You are right, the ODD is the toughest part to handle. I have also written another article here about the ODD - there might be something there that could help. I have gone through all of this myself (actually still going through it lol,) and there is no magic solution, but there are some pointers that might help,

Christine 6 years ago

i have been reading a book called The Explosive Child by Ross W. Green. it has great insight to some of the issues and offers ways to resolve them. my local library had it. good luck!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks for the tip, I will check it out be sure to include it on my blog!

loungeLIZ 6 years ago

Hi - I'm writing since you been so diligent about responding to SO many people. Background: I'm a stepmom to a 12 (soon-to-be 13 y.o.) who exhibits some of the ADHA symptoms. He gets into trouble all the time at school and only focuses on work that holds his attention. He does NOT have the combative attributes of others' kids that have posted here. His mom has an anxiety disorder and is gung-hop for meds. My husband and I are anti-meds - we feel if by the time he turns 18 he wants to risk the consequences of taking a medication (and we feel ALL drugs have some repercussions) then that is his decision. I worry that in a child with hormones beginning to go wild that adding in an unknown of a med is too risky. My stepson acts somewhat better with his dad and me because we're quite strict and try to keep him on track, i.e., don't let him raise his voice in the house, act wild, etc. Part of his school issue is there are no immediate, acute consequences for behaving badly in school - he'll go to the office, call his dad, get punished later - but nothing immediate and memorable.

I really feel like IF he has some mild attention problem, it's not worth risking the drug effect possibilities. The problem lies in that his mother won't let it go, which shocks me since she herself nearly killed herself due to being over-medicated. She has more attitude issues with him than we do, partly because she's handling him on her own, and partly because (IMO) she tries to be his friend (she thinks that his behavioral problems affect his abilities to sustain friendships, which I think is far, far secondary to doing well in school. I also feel like she's projecting her own insecurities onto him - she's put in into his head that he has ADD/ADHD and so now, whenever he has problems in school, he uses that as an excuse. Whenever I jump in to defend my husband's position on the matter, I'm trumped by just being the stepmom. I'm afraid the ex will try to take some legal action to put him on meds, and I'll have no say in having a medicated child (whose reaction to meds as an adolescent could be dangerous) living under my roof. I guess I'm just looking to vent, but I really don't feel like we're at the end of the rope with him (but his mother does), and medication is a last resort. This has been a very informative collection of posts, thanks!

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loungeLIZ 6 years ago

I also forgot to mention that my stepson also has "waves" of good behavior vs. bad. My husband speculates that it's related to growth spurts. Does anyone have any info about that?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi loungeLIZ,

I appreciate the need to vent! It sounds like your s/son might have ADD/ADHD, but unless he is tested (properly,) you are only going on speculation. As for the boy's mother, she is definitely projecting. The boy might have some behavioural issues that prevent him from making and keeping friends, but those can be addressed in school or with outside help, should the need arise.

However, before any type of medication is agreed to and administered, the boy needs to be tested - starting with the school. This is something you or your husband can look into, as the school carries a lot of weight with behavioural problems. You can't just go to your family doctor and have him write a prescription for ADD/ADHD meds. It has to be done through a pediatrician or psychologist/psychiatrist. Before they can issue meds, there has to be a substantial reason, (which is why I am suggesting starting at the school level and going from there.)

There are websites that offer alternative methods for controlling ADD/ADHD, and if your s/son has a relatively mild form, these could be the way to go for you. You also need to remember that when he is in your care, you don't have to give the meds! My son functions quite well on the weekends or summer holidays without meds. He only takes medications for school, and these are very mild. He doesn't need to be drugged, just stimulated enough (the frontal lobe) to stay on track at school.

Something else that works well with these kids is coffee, believe it or not. The caffeine stimulates the frontal lobe and helps with concentration ;)

I hope this has been helpful for you - anybody going through the stress of ADD/ADHD diagnosis/diagnosing can do with all the help they can get!

...and don't forget, you have a voice as well - make sure you use it - don't let someone else make the decision for you/your husband...

loungeLIZ 6 years ago

He regularly sees a counselor - I don't know offhand if he's officially tested him, but I think the counselor believes he has some ADHD. There were evaluations forms at his old school that both parents and school teachers filled out. His mother's showed extremes which would indicate ADHD and his dad's/mine showed borderline ADHD. The teachers' were in-between.

I found with diligent monitoring and correction (the moment something happens), he was able to break some of his habits he's apparently had since his parents adopted him. I'm very curious about the "waves" of good/bad behavior.

As for the medication, what is the type that allows sporadic use? Is that OK'd by pharmacists/doctors?

I really appreciate your diligence in responding to all!

loungeLIZ 6 years ago

PS, we've tried the caffeine idea (he prefers tea), but never really noticed any difference.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Good that your son sees a counselor, that will help with some of the social problems. You have the right of it with your diligence - kids with ADHD respond better to consistency and guidelines (consistent ones! sorry, can't say that enough sometimes.) The reason the mother's forms showed extremes is due to her inability to be consistent with the boy's behaviour. She is more likely to give in for the sake of peace, rather than take a stand each time the behaviour surfaces. It is common for the parent who is most responsible for the child's care to be the one the child refuses to respond to. I have been fighting that battle for years...

There are a lot of factors that contribute to the child's behaviour and response to discipline - as an example, my son always slept through the night, on his own, when he stayed with his grandmother. However, he refused to sleep for me unless it was WITH me!

The 'waves' of good and bad behaviour is also very common, however few parents can step out of the situation to consciously make a note of it. My son fluctuates regularly, for no apparent reason. I have come to believe that this could be the result of hormone fluctuations, frustration levels, or where his head is at the given time (meaning internal issues he might be dealing with - friends, moving, issues at school etc.) You have to remember that ALL kids have waves of good and bad behaviour, it is just more pronounced with children with ADD/ADHD.

Regarding medications - most ADHD meds like Ritalin, and Concerta (not sure about Adderall) have a limited 'working' time of approximately 6 hours. (Not what I was told by the pediatrician,) and most of them can be given sporadically - meaning if the child doesn't have to concentrate for something like school work, he doesn't need to take it as long as the parents are fine with possibility of the child bouncing off the walls! When my son was younger, I gave him meds every day he was with me - regardless of whether or not he was in school, as it was easier for me to handle his behaviour. However, now that he is older (just turned 13) he is better equipped to manage his emotions, and is almost the same as non ADHD kids (notice the 'almost'...) when he is not taking meds. He still fixates, but he is easier to manage.

As for the tea, for whatever reason, coffee seems to work better, but you could try giving him a cup in the morning with his meds (or without) and a cup before bed. (Believe it or not!) ...Works for my son!

Robyn 6 years ago

Hi, I haven't read all the posts as yet, just about to jump into bed. My son is almost 11 and he's very lucky to still be living with me. I am a single mum, with 12 yr old daughter and 8 yr old son, so ADHD is also a middle child. His dad lives 4 hours away so doesn't see often. Paediatrician thinks ADHA/ODD (but only seen once), seeing child psychologist next week. Taking other children to the appointment to help explain what he is like and how hard it is for them to live with. I have just started family day care from home as this seems to be the only job that doesn't involve him going to holiday care, as he was kicked out of one last year for hitting another child over the head with a cricket bat. It has been a very difficult week due to school holidays and it's a lot to ask of him to share his home with other children (day care kids), but I need to earn a living. No matter what I read about ADHD, and all the help and advice, I just can't tolerate the rudeness and back answering and denial and disrespect and yada yada yada.

I feel like I'm slowly going insane and am worried about my other children, as they are sure to end up resenting him for having to live with such awful behaviour..


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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are braver than I! I didn't even consider opening a day care, as I had enough on my plate with my son...there was no way I could have handled any more children!

As for your other children, make sure they get counseling as well as you - this will help with the resentments.

rebecca 6 years ago

OMg! I read all these experiences and they sound just like my boy. I been educating myself on this since he has adhd/odd and its a living nightmare as u all know. I don't even know how to explain but you all did a great job at it for me. People don't realize how exhausting and stressful this is, mine is 8 y/o and had problems for as long as i can remember! the dhs is involved, i even got investigated by CID which been dropped but dhs sent me a notice saying Im being put on the state central registry for child maltreatment!! Just because he went to school with a SCRATCH oh his said and they said it was a gash! it was gone in 2 days, ugh so frustrating!! At that time I had some long nails and yes combing his hair i accidently scratched his head and they just blew it all up..My boy said the principal told him his wife had a son who got hit in the head with a belt buckle, and looks like that so being my son he said i did that to him! Then that's when the principal called DHS and it went from there..they don't understand that he takes these ideas and runs with them, geesh! He loves attention and now its just caused me alot of problems. I just don't know how to deal with him because of what may happen next, them school people don't understand the temper temptrums, and fighting..etc.. that he does or a adhd/odd kid does and how hard it is to keep them from getting bruises are knots on there head or whatever, I seen him at times trying to hurt his sister and i keep my pets away from him because he is too cruel. It really causes havoc on marriages, it does. Anyway Im so glad that there are others out there- and its nice not being alone.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I totally understand that! I was amazed when I discovered there were other kids like mine. It helps to know we are not alone in our struggles...good luck with your son. It's a rough road, but you'll make it through alright (barring the occasional flat tire LOL)

christine 6 years ago


i posted here a while ago and just wanted to update. my daughter is now on vyvanse in the morning and something new for ODD called intuniv. she takes her vyvanse (which is to last 12 hrs but doesn't) first thing in the a.m. she then takes the intuniv in the evening at 5pm (after vyvanse has worn off). the intuniv lasts 24 hrs. i have seen a remarkable difference in her attitude. we had to play around with the milligrams but she is finally doing well.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Awesome to hear christine! So glad you gave me the update :D - Best of luck to you both for the future :D

Carmen 6 years ago

I am single mother serving in the US Army,...I have a 7y old daughter whom has mood/adjustment disorder and shows symptoms of ADD. I have a 3y old son whom has mood/adjustment disorder, ADHD and shows early symptoms of ODD. My daughter for the most part is easy to deal with, shes super clingy and needs constant reminders of things she does daily....and has done since she could do them. My son, is the tough one, he is a behavior problem, attitude problem,he constantly lies,..we can never get a straight answer for him, his favorite phrase is: "I don't know why"...he HAS to get his way,..he gets superbly angry throws uncontrollable temper tantrums, throws himself on the ground, kicks and screams as if he were being beaten poops his pants on purpose..pees himself on purpose, if not getting his way, he will be rude and nasty, to anyone and everyone around, he seems to have no remorse over anything, he's even tried choking our 9month old puppy...he hits, bites, and fights with children at daycare. NOTHING works! timeout, sending him to his room so he is disengaged from everyone which contains nothing but his bed, clothes and dressers, taking privledges away, no TV, no toys,...for certain amount of time, trying to make him earn things back, even our last luck! The Army offers respite care, and I take full advantage of it but right now it's to the point that my childcare provider doesn't want to deal with him...I do not know what to do or how to deal with him anymore....Thanks for everyone who posted before me,...its an honor to read your stories and know that I am not the only mother going through this.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Carmen, I'm glad our stories have been helpful (to some degree) if only to give you some support in knowing you are not alone in your struggles. Thank you so much for adding your story to ours, and I wish you the best of luck my dear.

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msgooch70 6 years ago

God Bless you...For the last 6 years...I thought I was going daughter has ODD/adhd and tourettes...It has been a crazy roller coaster...I cry 24 hours a day..I am at a loss as to how I am going to function every day..Just waking up is a "what am I going to wake up to today"....At least I know there are others out there..

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

No, you aren't going crazy, although for parents in our situations it would be a very short trip! Hang in there, it will get better!

mrspeck 6 years ago

My son is 18 and a senior in high school. I moved out 2 weeks after his birthday. To be honest, it is more of a relief. He has been diagnosed with ADHD since 1st grade. Only recently have I learned of ODD. It has answered so many questions, his lying, his argueing, his manipulation, his inability to understand the consequences of his actions, etc...

I am exhausted. I feel I have completely failed as a parent.

I have been able to keep him on his meds until middle of his junior year. At that time, he had acne so bad that none of the regular treatments would work. So, he went on acutane. He turned in to the devil himself. Moody, angry(more than usual), depressed, verbally abusive, in your face violent, demanding, always right, lazy, the list goes on. I have cried so much, I don't think I could cry if someone sawed my arm off with a butter knife. I am numb.

Almost, like night and day, his temperment changes. Talks to me like nothing happened after screaming profanities and threats. He does show signs of regret, but never actually admits to it.

Since the acutane, he refuses to take any meds. He failed the last semester of his junior year. I'm fairly certain he won't graduate.

He calls me everyday, now he's moved out (he doesn't admit he has moved out, but he never comes home). He is polite and talks to me nicer than he has in years.

At this point, taking him to the doctor is a farse. He lies about everything and when the doctor isn't looking he mimes to me how angry he is and he's not going to take those pills. Then in an angelic charismatic way he tells the doctor that I have problems and it's all my fault.

What am I supposed to do? I wish we never did that acutane, life was far from perfect, but it completely fell apart after that.

I don't know what to do. I am so exhausted. Half the time I just want to let him make his own mistakes, but then I know, no one would be like that if they could help it.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You do raise a valid point, but at some time, it becomes their challenge, not yours. I haven't reached that stage yet, but I think about it a lot. When is enough, enough? At what point do you turn them loose to battle their demons themselves?

My ex-mother-in-law is still caught up in the cycle, although she has said that she will no longer bail out her son (my ex, who turned 41 this year) yet she still enables to a certain degree, and champions his cause, (After all she is still his mother) even though it does nothing to affect a permanent change.

I honestly can't say what I would do in that situation, or the one you are in either - however, I have a man in my life who, I'm sure will help me when the time comes. We are doing the best we can to instill the necessary life skills into my son so that this next change will be as painless as possible, and he will be able to be self reliant.

However, it still remains to be seen...

I wish you the best - I would love to say, "Walk away", but that is a decision only you can make, and to be honest I'm not sure I would be able to either.

You are right about the " one would be like that if they could help it" part, however, there comes a time when they know what they are doing, and choose to do it anyway. From what I have read, I would say that he has reached that point, and if that is the case, my choice would be to strike out on my own, with a completely new set of rules...

Shasta Wright 6 years ago

OMG.....After reading this I swear someone has dipped into my brain and put hidden camras all over my life. I live in the city of Wichita Falls, Texas, and needless to say that there aren;t any suport groups for parents dealing with these problems. I have tried to contact the CHADD national group. So as a stay at home mom I a willing to start one of my own. Getting started to head in the right direction is my problem. I am deffinantly going to check out your books and blog if you can help me out with any of this please feel free to e-mail me at Thank you for making me feel like there is someone out their who can truly understand my situation.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I know the feeling! I wrote this piece without any expectations, just to let others know what it is like living with someone with these disabilities. As you can see by the comments, there are a lot of "us" out there!

Rebekah M. 6 years ago

My poor poor daughter is 5 1/2 and doesn't know what hit her, I have ADHD/ODD, I am 27 married to my high school sweetheart, we have been together for 12 years, things do get better as they get older, it did for me, but not after many many many issues, I was put in specialty foster care for assisment at age 13 to 14, I was 11 years old when finally diagnosed, and man what a roller coaster ride from hell, I remember crying myself to sleep begging god for answers/help/understanding and this was at like age 6, I just didn't get it, things DID NOT SINK IN, at no fault of my own, I wanted so badly to fit in, but no, my mother always to this day introduces me as her "HARD or BAD child" like come on, if I could take it all back I would in a heart beat, but all an all, she was relentless and never gave up on me, even though I felt like she did, we are very close, after many many long heart to heart "crying" mother/daughter talks.

I do understand why she did what she did, however, now that the tables are turned and I have my own little "mini me" isn't life mom loves to hit me with the "I hope you have a child just like you one day, then you may understand" funny how mothers are always right at any

I call her from time to time for her "think outside the box disapline tackticks" (I really take them with a grain of salt, but once upon a time being on the receiving end of they were quite questionable)

For instance, potty training..don't we all love and miss this...NOT, ne ways, so she decided that I wanted not part of the "potty" and well, she couldn't get me to sit long enough so............she TIED ME TO THE POTTY and laughed her frustration away watching me run around with this "potty" attached to my on now that's funny...get this, it worked with in 2 yes 2 days I was potty trained, I guess I really couldn't get in to much with the "potty" attached..WOW...again very questionable..but hey you all know that if someone has anything I mean anything that works, other then spanking (which I'm sure you all tried that and quickly found that hey, they hit back, or laugh, or nothing at all, so yeah) needless to say things picked up for me after I had my daughter at age 21, I got married 18 months later, bought a house 2 1/2 years ago, and we have a son he's a month from turning 2...things are great, I know exactly how to deal with my "MINI ME" lets just say I know what's she's feeling and thinking even before she does, funny how things turn out, I also have a home center daycare, I started using disapline tackticks even before I really came to terms with the fact thay she has the CRAP GENES

So they all thrive on structure and instant rewards, keep this in mind, I have a weekly behaivoral chart on our fridge and just am very consistant and let me tell you, there are hard times not matter what, they will learn on their own "THE HARD WAY" almost always, but I can tell you things do work, you don't have to medicate in all situations, diet is huge, you will hear this everywhere and once you make the changes and true to good eating habbits, you will find this helps alot, but not completely, also SLEEP SLEEP, they are so hard to put to bed, I tried everything, and man this was hard, finally my friend suggested this infamous " Nanny 911 sleeping tacktick" so yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

IT WORKED.. yes I said it, it worked, something out there worked, I am amaized by this, she falls asleep on her own with in 10 mins, sometimes a bit of jibber jabber, but man all and all, she's sleeping all night in her own bed, no getting up coming in our bed, nothing, if she has a bad dream she comes and gets me, cause daddy is a heavy sleeper and not pretty to wake up, mommy is better at waking

I just sit with her and talk about it, if she wants to, and then tell her mommy and daddy are just in the other room, we will always be here to protect her and it was just a silly bad dream, kiss and hugs and that's that, she goes back to bed.

So you are dying to hear how this "Nanny 911 sleeping tacktick" works here it goes:

Establish a bedtime routine, every night same time, bath or shower, brush teeth, jam jam's, pee, drink, storybook,(we do prayers and favourite part of the day as well)and hugs, kisses, tuck in, goodnight, (small night light if needed)and walk away, keep door open 4 or 5 inches, then sit outside in the hall where they can see you, but NEVER I MEAN NEVER give eye contact, or talk with them, they want a response, this prolongs their bedtime...very smart they are, trust me I

So after putting them to bed, they will get out of bed and try to get you attention, and granted I forget things before bed, like going pee, or that extra drink of water, or maybe their fav. stuffy or blanket, acknowledge this and help them, however, if it's just to come to you and cry for nothing at all, and or after they are done very quickly, peeing or drink or.......

Put them back to bed, tuck in, hugs and kisses, (quick) go back to the hall with a good book....this may take a while, so they will get back out of bed, just never acknowledge them, or do not give eye contact, they are looking for this, just pick them back up, you know under the arms, firmly, not overly you know, they will say you are hurting them, or they may even hit you, or say the worst things to hurt you, they are feeling hurt so they hurt back ALWAYS (they do not mean it, they really really love you)....and just keep picking them up and putting them back into bed, this may go on for over 2 hours(my friend..yikes)I never had a 2 hours bedtime session, but it could they even may respond to this for the first few nights, but as soon as the inishal pleasing stage is over and reality kicks in, they may revert....STAY STRONG....keep putting them back in, so worst case children usually take up to 2 weeks of this, my daughter took 6 days, one day was a later night at grandpa and grandma's house, but when we got home, boom right to bed, I still to this day can't believe it worked, I love you Nanny 911.....can I say god send...yum yeah!!!

Each day once they settle but are not sleeping and being quiet, you can slowly move around, like fold laundry, labtop or in your room with door open, I try to keep something on for backround noise, they get used to this, I run a load of laundry watch a bit of tv, soon enough they are doing it, and man lets just say "LOADS and LOADS of praise" this helps!!!

Oh I passed on this same advice to my 2 friends with very bad sleepers and it's working like a charm, one has ODD other has ADHD, so my daughter is going through the diagnoses process at this point, but there is not a dought in my mind, she has it, the dreaded ADHD/ODD, as they say "like mother like daughter" really all I can do is laugh about it, nothing else can change it, it's there and not going away, you learn to adapt and live with it, I am to this day medicated for it, I have a very normal life, so to say, she makes it quite interesting, my little stubbron bull, but my horns are bigger and the battle of the wits will never

They never said disapline is suppose to be convenient for the parents, this is why most don't stick with it, other kids need attention, cooking, cleaning, life goes on, well it does, and it can get better, I am speaking from life lessons, I went through it, and I know what to do, and have lived through what not to do as a parent, pushing them to do things will not WORK, guiding and explaining things is a much better way to get through to them, it's the lack of respect they feel from the parents or adult role model in their life, you just keep on trucking.

God Bless

Make Someone Laugh Everyday, this WILL Make Your Day!!

Becka :-)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I did try a system similar to what you have mentioned, and after 5 solid hours of screaming, I relented. Sorry, I just wasn't strong enough to get past 5 hours. However, my son has improved quite a bit over the last year, and he will go to bed on his own now, however, he won't go to sleep for hours unless he takes melatonin.

pedalgrl 6 years ago

Why are we the statistical markers? Why are we, the single moms, bestowed these ADHD/ODD children-gifts?

I have two teens (one father) and a 9 year old (another father). The 9 year old son even has that similar look in his eyes - the one I saw in the picture of your son at the lead of this piece.

I started to read the comments and noting that there were too many to digest in one reading, I decided just to tell you thank you.

Tonight, I called what we here in MN call the "non-emergency" police. Good or bad fortune...I reached a busy signal. My 9 year old went into a rage after refusing to do his homework. That's where it started. And now, I am left in the numb in-between I have know since his birth.

I feel myself slowly and methodically losing my mind. I fight with all my might...and all I really want to do is talk softly and breath deeply.

Thank you.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

When counselors talk about being consistent, they don't realize that this only works properly when there are TWO parents on the same page. Being a single mom and trying to be consistent is one of the hardest things to do because you get so worn out from the constant struggle. I found one way to help was to adopt the "daddy voice" and once you have your son's attention, say things that make him think and don't give him a chance to breathe! LOL

Jane 6 years ago

I think my daughter has ODD but not diagnosed. I have an appointment too see a consultant in a month time. My daughter never been in trouble with the school.. but teachers does complain that she is un-organised, forgetful, some times lonely. She is acadamically doing well but we do have to push her a lot at home. There has been few out burst outside of the house. But behaves well at school. Just reading all of your comments make feel that I am not alone... and can relate to most of it. I need help before she tries it on the school.

By the way, has anyone tried putting them in boarding school? Please don't take it as we have money.. or any thing like. I am prepare to sell my house and live in a small place.. if boarding can help??? I have a son who is 4 years younger than her ( She is 12).. She is really distrubing him everyday.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I haven't heard about anyone doing the boarding school, I know I contemplated it, but don't have a house to sell to make it work. However, my son has been responding well lately, and he wouldn't do well away from home right now. I think that is a decision that only you can make - but I do know that respite is a good thing in some cases.

Eileen Kirkland 6 years ago

Wow, I so feel understood!!!!My ADD/OCD 6yr. old first grader almost got suspended from school today because he pushed a little girl and was disrespectful to adults.We have trouble at home dealing with not understanding serious consequences due to poor choices and now it's leaking into school, not much understanding from the school they have a reputation to uphold.....Sooo Frustrated!

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you! Having walked a few miles in your shoes I can say that it will get better! The older your son gets, the easier it will be to help him, with good results.

michelle 6 years ago

I have a son who is 8 who is over the charts adhd and odd.. he is alomost suspended from school. he is now on a safety watch at school as he is a threat to other kids... my son gets very aggressive when he gets teased and hit at school where he fights back.. he has lots of anger issues and alot of confusion in his life where his father passed away when he was 2 he was young and didn't understand and now that he is at the age where he knows his father is gone and not coming back is hard on him. hes been in these class rooms called community to school where they learn social skills and stuff. but not really sure if its working... I have the teachers calling me telling me how hes acting ( like i don't already know) its very challenging and i find it hard for his groundings where i take all his stuff away no tv no computer no games... try to say your in your room for the day if your bored u can colour draw clean your room do some school work and every 2 mins he is walking out of his room.. i get sooo frustrated and get to the point where i feel like im outta ideas and tired of arguing and fighting with him which is a alll day thing.. lol any ideas on a good grounding? lol something to punish for the attitudes and fighting he does at school?? would be great help.. he has drs and councillers as well and at school has a one on one.. hes a big brother. theres lots of support for him.. just outta ideas lol

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I understand completely! For a long time I struggled with the same issues. Unfortunately, there isn't a magic formula, and it seems like you are constantly punishing him for his behaviours.

You have to start with baby steps, and you have to LOOK for good things to praise him for - like when he finally brings his dishes out of his room when you ask, finishing a project in school, not hitting or yelling or something where he would normally retaliate. These things will help to provide a bit of balance when it comes to the groundings.

You might try getting him to do small things for you (instead of always taking things away - as they don't understand consequences at that age.) Get him to help you vacuum or dust, or wash a few dishes, or help with the laundry - things that you have to do anyway, instead of just sending him to his room.

Having been there before, I can tell you, it will improve, you just have to stay the course and keep going. The older he gets the more he will begin to "get it".

Jessica  6 years ago

Ive read so many horror stories kids who end up on drugs later or get so many other problems. Soes is get better?? Do they grow up to be normal adults??

Im losing my mind in my house. Please email me

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Dawni 6 years ago

I am so worn out and I need to vent. I love my charming step son who I have raised since he was 2. He was diagnosed with textbook adhd and odd in grade 7. I've been an advocate for him forever. It was frustrating for him and us to know that something was "off" for so many years before he was diagnosed but not know what it was. We had the typical call from school that he was close to being expelled in grade 1. Apparently he was red flagged in kindergarden when he still lived with his biological mother. He's in grade 9 now. His father is also adhd very high functioning and I strongly suspect odd as well. He travelled for a living before I met him and still does. I am having a really really hard time and am full of resentment and anger and the odd time rage lately. It's menopause time! I've talked until I'm blue in the face about his needing to work in town. I feel he doesn't know how to cope so he just keeps hopping on a plane but promises he'll travel less. I feel I have no control in my home. I know it's up to me to create one area of sanity for myself in my life since so much of our life has been about supporting our son but even "my area - my home" is full of constant friction. I try hard to make it feel peaceful and warm, I find they do strange things and there is no consistancy. The game plan is always changing. For example they will only let the dogs drink a tiny bit of water because they will drip on the floor. To me that's cruel and I put the bowl back on the ground I just won't have it. When one dog is done eating the other goes and licks his food bowl. I don't care again it's a dog thing and is over in 30 seconds. I'm tired of sitting down at the table with dog dishes beside me. No matter how much I explain calmly, loudly, etc it goes on deaf ears. I turn on an extra light because they know my vision is not like theirs and I need it...they turn it off even when they see me reading. So again I explain but they can't get it. Not very good examples but it's little things all the time, everyday, crazy making and illogical the bs just runs rampant around here and I'm simply past the point of saturation. I'm not good for anyone anymore. I know adhd inside and out I get it but I"m soo tired. We've had play theraphy, talk theraphy, brain mapping, behavior modification, metronome, adderall, etc for him, and it's as good as it's going to get. They are both very lovely and charming in social settings and it's hard for friends and family to believe there is really much of a problem. It's very allienating and there are no support groups in my area. It's just constant and after 12 years I am a worn out, angry, depressed woman who's spark has gone out. I feel like leaving this situation but I am not ready yet because I love them underneath it all but I don't even have the energy to do that. I used to be the kind of person that had a light that attracted people, I was energetic, and enthusiastic but I feel I've died. Logically I know I am probably depressed but haven't found the energy to even go see a doctor. Deep down I am afraid to leave, don't feel I'll ever get a job at 49 and I sincerly love them and am loved by them. Should I be broke and alone at 50 after dedicating years to loving and supporting both of them? I just can't help saying "where the hell is his father" I hope I can find a way to get my strength and power back but right now it's not looking too good.

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Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Sometimes it's the little things that can make or break you. I would take a stand (this after years of compromise, and discovering that when you stand up for yourself and mean it, things can change.)

Your family has seen that even though you say you need something, you can get by without it, or without consequence. If you don't stand up for yourself and mean it, these "little things" will just keep right on happening - because they "see" that they really aren't that important. Trust me, if there was something they thought was important, they would raise the roof to get their point across and get what they want! (This also from years of experience LOL)

It may seem a bit petty, or rock the boat, but you are also a member of the family and should receive the same respect they demand for themselves and their idiosyncrasies. Don't explain - just change things. Tell them this is the way it have just as much right as they do and they will HAVE to afford you the same respect they expect. Above all - BE CONSISTENT!

If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else will....

Melissa Davenport 6 years ago

I want to thank you for your postings and all that you have done. I have a 8 year old little girl. We found out in Kindergarten that she had ADHD and after almost being expelled from school we started therapy and medication. We have since had issues with lying, stealing, fits, hitting and hurting the cats and her brother. That is just to list a few. This year we put her in a gifted school thinking that it would help her. She was diagnosed with ODD a little over a year ago. I really didn't know what it was and came home and read up on it. I will have to say that the past month has been the worse. She has shoplifted from a store, stolen from school and the babysitter. She has consequences for her actions but nothing seems to bother her or stop this. I am also always telling my husband that her brain just doesn't realize the consequences that is the only thing that makes sense. Reading your post makes me feel much better. I see a big issue with being impulsive and very manipulative. I love my girl more than anything in the world and all I want to do is to be able to help her. Right now she is on a list to have a full battery of psych. testing because they also feel that she is either bipolar or has antisocial issues. As a mother, I am so proud of her. She is a really gifted little girl and unfortunately most of the time I am so exhausted I don't know which way to turn. Her brother is four years old and it is being very difficult to keep him in check from doing her actions. All I have to say is be proud and make changes in what goes on in your home town. I know that I am planning on going to our school board and speaking to them about how they handle these kids. My daughter has taken things from students and right now is facing being suspended again. She will go back to school Wednesday and the scarey part is I know don't express it that she will not make it through the week without it occurring again. I am currently working with a different team of support groups between in home visits, teachers, administrators, and therapists. All I know is BE CONSISTENT. It is a hard hard time to get through. No ONE understands except for someone who has went through it or is going through it. GOD BLESS U ALL!!!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I agree! Until you walk a mile in our shoes, other parents really don't understand exactly what it is we go through every day, and the frustrations that can build up. Good luck with your daughter my dear. My son went through a phase for a few years where he stole from friends, strangers and school. He did stop. I impressed upon him the seriousness, (meaning the police were called in for a vandalism call and they warned him that if they were called out 3 times - this was already the second call out - he would end up having to go to the station and they would consider charges.) I don't know if they really would have charged him, but the idea of leaving me and being on his own in a strange place finally got through to him and he stopped stealing.

Anyway, what I am trying to say is don't give up hope. They do grow up and improve as long as we keep working and helping. Like you said - BE CONSISTENT!

Karen Engle 6 years ago

My husband and myself are fortunate to have adopted three of our Grandsons. The middle boy was diagnosed 3 years ago with ADHD/ODD and after reading your article we have had just about everything you have had, except the expulsions from school. We have worked with therapists, who said they had to take time to get to know Tyler, that is his name, and after 8 weeks did nothing for him. We have taken the initiative to find a new pyschiatrist and therapist at another location. The first psychiatrist, who is over 70 years old, all she was concerned with was how his weight is, is he eating good and wanting to reduce his Focalin from twice a day to only once. In fact, one of his teachers said she would write a letter to the doctor saying that she should not do this as he would never be able to sit and learn in the afternoon.

We have had days when he can be the nicest child you would want and then instantly change as thought the devil incarnate has come into him. When other people meet for the first time he is very shy and can be the nicest child you want. But later, her shows hus true colors.

The past three years have been a challenge for both me and my husband. Tyler seems to listen better to a man than a woman. I remember when he was only 3 years old he would think nothing of coming up to me and kicking me in the legs. I had so many burses I looked like my husband had beaten me. It took a lot of time and holding and hugging him to at least now, at times, I can get a goodnight hug and sometimes a kiss.

Just like you said he is very smart in school, but try to get him to do his homework for more than 30 minutes and you have a fight on your hands. And unfortunately he goes to a school that gives a lot of homework. He is in the third grade and they are getting ready for the FCAT exam and the homework is piled onto them to get them ready for it. They do have a program that we can get him into so that when the time comes to take the test he will not be times liked the other children.

We are axiously waiting to see how this new therapist and new clinical technician will be. They are planning to send someone to our house to help with parenting. We have tries just about everything with him. I do want you to know that he has one older and one younger brother that also lives with us. The older has a mild case of ADHD only. The younger one is normal, is that is the correct word to use these days. He shows no symptoms of having and disorders of any kind. The older boy only needs to take his medicaion during school, as he tends to not keep on track.

We have found thing that Tyler really enjoys and that is football, He started playing this year and really enjoys it. It has been good therapy for him. He controls himself on the field and is able to play the game very well.

Well I guess I have taken up most of your reading time. But after reading your article, I could realte exactly how you and your son get along.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Don't worry about taking up my reading time! It is just as important that you talk/write as it is for me and others to read. :) I know exactly what you mean about your grandson listening to a man better than a woman - apparently, this is a fairly common issue, as most times the woman is the one who interacts the most with the child, and this seems to build up a "tolerance" with the child, to listening. If your husband was the one who interacted the most, you would be the one your grandson would listen to.

It's good that Tyler has discovered football - that will help a lot when it comes to social behaviours and his peers.

The main thing that I can tell you is to remain consistent with discipline, homework and consequences. It makes a huge difference, even though it doesn't appear to work right away.

As for the homework - explain to the teachers that he is only capable of doing a half hour every night. If he is having trouble focusing in school (which they will tell you about in a second,) then they should realize that without his medication in the evenings, there is no chance he will sit and concentrate for more than half an hour, and they should make other arrangements for him to complete the work in school. There is no point to jeopardizing your relationship with your grandson (and continued fighting over getting him to do his homework will do that,) just to satisfy the school.

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jcschur1 6 years ago

This helps I am not alone, I get so upset when I hear others say there is no such thing as adhd/odd ect..

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Oh yes! I've heard that one before too! LOL...I just ask them if they would like to have my son for two weeks - then tell me there is no such thing!!

Jessica 6 years ago

Im currently dealing with my 6 yr old..on the brink of being expelled from his school..... I diagnosed him myself when he was 5 then had it backed up by several DR's, teachers and a therapist. He has always actually been a very charismatic, outgoing and happy child, i am also a single mother. I knew the signs being an ADD child and now adult myself and my brother is severely ADHD, any ways back to the point. IDK what to do with him, at home he is quiet, well behaved, follows the rules, has never once argued bedtime or shower time, cleans his room, i mean almost never an issue. Recently this attitude has developed when it comes to dinner time, but is excited about homework... ya, beyond me! I am finally getting my meeting with the behavioral specialist this week after a 6 hr eval at his office. My son has become VERY interested in female body parts and his own after another student in his class told him to go ask a little girl to show her chest to them, my son wanting to be everyone's friends asked the little girl and got in huge trouble. I even know her mom, they played baseball together. The little girl is much more developed being bigger than her classmates... last week he tells her, "well, you still havn't shown me." Suspension and we were told next time a police officer would be called, and he would be expelled for sexual harassment.. MY SON DOESNT EVEN MEAN HARM! Never did any of this before meeting this other child. However, let me give you some background into his personality traits that scare me so much. Cunning, great liar, can get away with almost anything and get people to believe almost anything... (not me or my boyfriend though) Tells everyone what he thinks they want to hear, stole money for the first time at age 3, first case of getting in big trouble for sexual harassment in pre-school, when and after being punished, acts as though nothing has happened, i even tried spanking.... he had NO reaction, like nothing was even going on. Everyone is drawn to his cuteness..seriously. We recently found he was going blind in his left eye! OK, major problem, he has never complained of pain or sight loss, then we find he is at the lowest level of normal hearing a kid can be, borderline going deaf... Then we find the left top row of his teeth will need a cemented retainer due to a severe over bite causing his issue with heating dinner, he bites the inside of his mouth. Now waiting on a behavioral specialist for better insight. He even had and even though I have not talked to her in over 1 yr, still has my mother convinced he is abused!!!!!!! WTF... He gets horrible grades and reports in school, but shows AMAZING results at home.. I would have him in 2nd grade! Nothing adds up for me and it is so difficult to deal with, he has hurt animals before, not seriously, hurt my little brother (who is younger than him) almost seriously. Used to cry when he received any gifts... Hates schedule change, has been on the same one his whole life. dinner, same time, bed, same time, wake up, same time, shower, same time... I mean I always thought schedules were everything with children. He has slept through the night since he was 3 months old! and slept in his own bed and his own room since 1 wk old! I was 16 when I had him, my mother never had that much control or structure with me or my siblings! Im so scared they are going to kick him out and leave me with no where to educate him and i know he gets it he is SERIOUSLY smarter than most 10 year old's. It's amazing to me that he continues the same behaviors over and over knowing what will happen. When he has a good day, my GOD is he praised... So am I doing something wrong, why is his personality so different at home and at school? I was told by the eye sight specialist the eye thing is a developmental birth defect which in the right side of his brain something isn't triggering properly. He said the right side controls the left side of his face and body... OK, CT scan, no past, current trauma, and no masses, bleeding or any thing that looks out of the ordinary... Could this brain thing be part of it? This "developmental issue" I am truly scared for him....

Jessica 6 years ago

also on 15 mlg daily of aderoll XR.... 5mlg less than me and still cant fully focus at school....

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You certainly have your hands full my dear. I would not give up about getting him the help he so desperately needs. Keep an eye on the 'hurting animals and people' thing - that could be something very serious - and yes, the brain thing could be part of it - and no you aren't doing anything wrong. Just keep going till you find someone who will listen and actually do something to hel you. Keep your chin up dear, you aren't alone...

Jessica 6 years ago

Thank you, the hurting of animals has stopped, that was past events... but we dont realllly trust him alone with any animals since the incident. We do have a fantastic behavioral specialist and things are just starting to get going. he feels there are some serious things behind it and that he doesn't even know when he is lying or telling the truth. I will never give up on my boy. He is my world! However even the behavioral specialist was blown away by how intelligent he is and how grown up he is for his age... and how VAST his vocabulary is... a,amazing for a 6 yr old. Allowing him to manipulate adults even easier.... We don't let him get away with very much and it just sucks, I feel so bad always having to punish him when my gut feeling tells me none of it or at least not all of it is his fault... He just doesn't know how to deal with his feelings or sort out all of his Adult thoughts yet... IDK, We will figure it out eventually, I will keep you posted. This chat room is something im so glad to have come across. It has made me feel better and lets me fully know, as you said, im not alone!

A.Treadway 6 years ago

I also have aq son with ADHD/ODD. Yes everything you wrote sounds so familiar! My son will 12 next month. I am also a single mom and have a daughter 20.

Kayla 6 years ago

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences Enelle and everyone else! It is comforting but frightening to hear about others on the ride that we are just beginning.

My son is 4.5. He is such a good guy. He actually is an animal lover, which is somewhat different from others. We have cats, and I emphasize caring for them and helping them like "babies." He sees them as "his" babies, sometimes.

Other than that, everything is on-target. I saw pediatrician after pediatrician, specialist after specialist, when he was an infant, because I couldn't get him to sleep without wailing for more than about 45 minutes at a time. The first 10 months were a nightmare. I eventually tried a "Ferber" method for sleeping, which I wholeheartedly regret. He cried for 5 hours, intermittently, with me in the room that very first night. Even with the two weeks of "Ferberization," he was still waking 5-7 times a night. Fortunately, that was a VAST improvement over the 12-15 times a night that I was seeing. :-/

The behavior problems have escalated. He, quite literally, vibrates with energy nearly all day long. He has below-average fine motor skills (can't hold a pencil, can't cut with scissors). He is openly defiant and has no idea why that is a bad thing. I can see the unhappiness, anger, and frustration on his face everytime he is punished. Both my husband and I are at our wits ends about it. I have ADD-inattentive, which has always made my life a living hell. Combine that with 4 children 5 and under, getting two college degrees online, dealing with a parent dying from terminal lung cancer, and having a miserably depressed child with ADHD/ODD...I'm a total trainwreck of a mother these days.

I'm just beginning my journey with him, but I can foresee the years to come. I don't give a crap if he fits the mould, so to speak. If I have to work from home doing some goofy Scentsy/Melaleuca/Arbonne thing or eBay business so that he can be homeschooled, I'll do it. I just want him to be happy with who he is and want to live his life. My worst nightmare is that he has so much self-hatred by adulthood that he kills himself...or so little self-control/coping management that he hurts someone else.

I do have one question for you all. How do you help siblings of children that are ODD/ADHD? My oldest (5.5) is just tormented. The ODD/ADHD son (4.5 years) just loves his brother. It is evident by how just completely lost he is without him while the oldest is at school. The ODD son always runs to his brother in rescue when he's hurt and would, quite literally, beat the snot out of anyone who hurt him!! So much little self-control. That's the name of the game, it seems. :-/ Yet, I can't deny that he fights with his big brother ALL the time. He irritates the hell out of him to the point that my oldest is just red in the face with fury!

How do I help the siblings who are 5.5, 3, and 18 months old to understand and cope? I'm so lost. I need to get this baby in to see a behavioral specialist, I'm sure.


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Yes you do! You also need to get counseling for all the kids - that is what will help the siblings. They need a safe environment to voice their feelings so they don't burn out and start disliking their brother (more than they do now...) Check out my blog - for some support groups and books. There are also some more answers there that might help.

A.Treadway - I also have an older daughter - she is 25

wendy 6 years ago

I to have an adhd/odd child he is eight and we have ups and downs so much. I am so grateful for my child but Everyday is a constant battle. Whether we are fighting about his chores or bedtime or anything else i have my hands full daily so thank you for your post because people need to realize what parents with adhd/odd kids go thru

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are welcome Wendy - it can be a struggle at times, that's for sure! profile image 6 years ago from upstate, NY

I had ADHD as a child but only was diagnosed with it in my mid-forties. The frustration of a parent with an ADHD child must be overwhelming. I think alot of parents feel guilt about their struggles with negative thoughts about their ADHD children. Some try to compensate by spoiling the child which creates more problems down the road. Because ADHD has the appearance of a discipline issue, the child and parents must deal with lots of judgment , guilt, and misunderstandings. Anger and depression are often issues that accompany an ADHD problem in a child. The frustration with constant misunderstandings and rejection can be overwhelming for the child. I think though that self pity and poor behavior cannot be tolerated in the child but obviously a strong relationship must be formed to apply the necessary discipline the child needs.

amanda uk 6 years ago

hi i found wat alot of u wrote about living with children with adhd odd my son is 10 and has both hes in part time school outside headteachers office as he cant be with other children as his behaviour is really bad hits kicks bites u name it he does it he is a lovely boy and wouldnt think bad off hm but when he has a epeisode he has try stranglin himself 3 times where i have had 2 call police he wrecks my home controls it argues over everything cant grounde him as he will walk out he house he cant keep friends i find it really hard to cope and how to handle him i also have a 13yr old girl and 1 2yrboy any tips on how to manage him would be greatfull thanks and now relise am not along xx

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 6 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It can be overwhelming for parents with children who have ADHD, ODD and other disabilities. There are support groups, but it is a tough road to travel when looking for them and other necessary help. The hard part seems to be finding a balance. (Sorry, there are a lot of hard parts lol)

Hi amanda uk - you are not alone! I'm not qualified to give you any advice on your son, but I would suggest you get counseling for him immediately! It does help in the long run.

Bill 5 years ago

I have a 7 year old who has adhd/odd and i can relate to everything she has said in thsi story. My son has hit teachers, other kids, been suspended and had to finish first grade at home for the final 2 months. Hes on medicine and is in different classes at school but yet still acts up. If i get 2 straight weeks of good behavior at school i throw a party, lol. Just like she said its an adventure and wild ride.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I have found that as my son gets older, the disabilities are easier to deal with - either that or I'm just getting numb LOL...

Jo 5 years ago

I am so glad to have found this site. I have a 12 year old son who has adhd/odd emotional behavioural difficulties and I also think he might have asd although this is not on his diagnosis and I, as everyone else on here have had many ups and downs (more downs than ups)and am at my wits end at the moment and also feel guilty. I guess that other people feel this also but my son was only diagnosed last year and since he was little has been a right handful!! My guilt stems from how I have dealt with his conditions (before he was diagnosed) and also reacting to him that this is something that he can control and therefore must be misbehaving for fun. Has anyone else been through these feelings?? If so how do you handle them? I don't want to overcompensate with him and let him away with things that he can control and at the moment I am reading everything I can to get a much greater understanding of what life must be like for him (although I already know it is fairly miserable! and isolating as he has either no friends or maybe one for a little while until they fall out. Plus having to hear parents telling their children they are not allowed to play or speak to him outside school .. must be soul destroying for him, and breaks my heart) I also hate the looks and attitudes you receive from people who just assume he is naughty.

I am a single parent and really do feel that I have no one that I can talk to about this and can't seem to find any support in the UK. My family just don't understand what day to day life is like with my son and tell me how they think I should bring him up (they really do speak to me like I am bringing him up wrong!!) although they have also said that they couldn't do it!! Infuriating!!

I am finding school to be a massive issue in all of this, like life isn't stressful enough without school adding to it. It took so long to get a diagnosis because school refused to aknowledge that he had adhd traits (even though I was constantly called to school to discuss his behaviour) now he is diagnosed and is attending secondary school, they seem to treat him to harshly which makes things worse because my son now refuses to comply with their requests and although I have been in school to ask them to find different approaches with him they refuse to. So my son refuses even more daily to go to school, his attendance is appauling, has been on report 4 times since sept, has had numerous detentions etc etc

I find this all very frustrating and confusing and really stuggle to know what to do for the best for my son and my sanity. I am looking at links that are on this site so I can get as much information as I can so thanks for posting them :-) Rant over!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Jo - You aren't alone! At some point, all of us (parents of ADHD kids) have felt guilty. The only way to get over it is to not dwell on it. Move on and find ways to help your son. Counseling will help, and so will "alternate" programs for schooling. This year I am looking at one for grade 9. I know my son won't do well in senior high - he isn't emotionally or physically ready. Also, the school won't bend when it comes to his behaviours. We have already gone through a behavioural program/school, and my son was expelled - at age 7! So I can't see an improvement now that he is 12 LOL...

My boy doesn't like school either - if he could skip, he would (and has!)

See what programs are available in your area - check with counselors and the school board. There has to be something available, somewhere for you.

Jackie 5 years ago

Hi there my son Dav was diagnosed almost a yr ago and today was suspended for the first time in a really long time, he had the worst day he has ever had he pushed his teacher ran away from school where other teachers were out looking for him then he got into a the teachers and other students! I some times forget that he has these disorders add and odd because when he is here at home its night and day between what happens at school, although i have noticed a decline in his relationship with his lil sister and brother. Its nice to have found a website where there are other parents dealing with the same things. Many people have no clue about odd and even my parents don't want to belive in the diagnoses but i have to say that there is no denying it!

Thank you for sharing your story

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Jackie, you can also check out my blog - there are some really great resources and links to relevant material as well.

Jackie 5 years ago

Just wondering does your any of your kids have issues with telling the trueth and telling whoppers of lies?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

My son went through that phase, and he is much better now, but there was a time when he told some amazing stories!

WG 5 years ago

OMG Reading your story made me think I'm not going crazy. Things like this really do happen to other. My son will be turning 12 in May. He was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD a few years back. I'm really not crazy about medicating him. I know they say things are safe, but then years down the road you see a commercial from a lawyer "saying did you take this drug and did you have this happen call me." It's scary. I'm a single mom also. I have a 17 year old daughter too and think if he came first she wouldn't exist, same as you. We live on the 2nd floor or my parents house. My son and my father are constantly at each other. He forgets things, talks back, doesn't do what he's told, lies, and things nothing of it when he hurts someone. He went to a therapist for a time after he was diagnosed but things never got better. I've tried being nice and praising him, I've yelled at him, I've begged and pleaded with him, I've taken things away, I've tried scaring him with if he hurts someone bad enough the police could take him away. Nothing seems to work. Any suggestions that may have worked for you that I haven't tried, without going the medicine route, would be greatly appreciated. My mother is a nurse and she 200% against medicine for this but yet is always complaining to me about his behavior. Even if I changed my mind, which I don't see happening, she would go crazy and then we'd have a new problem to deal with. It's so frustrating.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

No WG, you aren't going crazy - at least not for that reason! I know it isn't easy deciding whether to medicate your child, but there is no way I could do this alone without meds. However, the medication for ADHD doesn't affect the ODD. The only way that I know of to combat the ODD is behavioural management. I do have a blog at that is fast becoming a community for parents with kids like mine (and yours) that offers support, resources and information. If you are interested, stop by and sign up! The more people who get together, the better! That will mean more answers, more questions, more resources and more support! Please pass it on! We need all the help we can get LOL!

jr 5 years ago

I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago as an adult. I am in universtity and find it almiost imposible to keep up with the other students. I just wrotew a researcg paper on ADHD and found out about the $1100/yr canadian tax credit (since 1988)for ADHD=mental disability. are you familiar with it?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I'm not familiar with that tax credit, but I do know about the disability child tax credit. I'm guessing that I qualify, as I had an accountant do my taxes for the year, and as I am already receiving the d.c.t. some type of notification would come up. I will check into it though - thanks for the heads up!

stacey 5 years ago

Oh this rings so true to home with me. My son has just been diagnosed with adhd/odd. He just turned 5. I am so tired of being looked at as an inefficient mother because of his condition. I hate that he has been pegged the "Bad Kid" in class and in sports. We are currently in therapy and working with meds. We tried Tenex and it made him worse... perhaps their next idea of what to try will be better. I hate him being a pharmacutical guinea pig, but I know he will have a more stable life when we find something that works for him. I get weekly calls from the daycare to come discipline my child because he isn't listening to them and their discipline doesn't work, but quite honestly, he could care less if I spanked him or not. It doesn't work, and he isn't scared.

Sorry for the rant, but I feel your pain, and have a sense of comfort knowing that I'm not alone in the battle.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

None taken my dear! (You can rant all you want at ) is a new online community for parents like us :P come and join, and welcome!

Kristine 5 years ago

This article really hit home for me with my son. I have been dealing with his hyperactivity and defiance since he was 2 or younger. He is now 4 and Im stuck. I need advice and help on what to do, how to handle him, and how to make sure the doc isnt giving my kid something I wouldnt want him taking. I dont know if anyone else has had this problem but with my son, not only has he been defiant and extremely hyper since birth pretty much...but ever since his first day in daycare he has been known as "the runner" and still is to this day. I am a stay at home mom now. He has been kicked out of daycare once because the teacher said some parents were afraid to bring their child there cause he bit a little girl one day. Thats the only bad report I ever got before I got the call to come get him, quite frakly I was pissed but at the same time knew he was also driving the teachers nuts too. Anyway, around 3 1/2 his primary care started him on Tennex and it seemed to help a little bit, but still not as it should. So she referred us to a psychiatrist, whom I ended up seeing the nurse practioner in the office, she prescribed him ridilin....but the 2nd day I was pulling my hair out and they said to stop it and go back to the Tennex since it worked a little bit. Keeping in mind though, the doc only gave him the Tennex to help with his "impulsiveness". Well hes now 4, will be 5 this June and will be starting kindergarden this fall and the Tennex was really starting not to cut it at all. Heres what my last 2 months have been he escaped from my house at 11pm at night while I was sleeping, climbed onto the kitchen table unlocked the top chain lock, the middle deadbolt AND the lock on the knob~!! Id tucked him in at 900p or so and didnt go to bed til 1030p...woke up at 11p to my back door wide open and no sign of my child. I lost it, dialed 911 freaking out. Theyd found him 3 blocks from my house, he said he was just going to Walmart to get a toy and coming right back!! My 4 YEAR OLD!! The scariest part of it all is he wasnt scared at all, not of the dark or being out by his self! So I started moving the kitchen table in front of the back door so he couldnt get out...well the other day, Hed been up and down ALL night, doesnt happen often but he does have bad nights now and then, so when I laid him down for nap about 1230pm I clunked out too for a bit, but not after I made sure I hadnt heard a peep from him for a good 20 min. Woke up half an hour later....the kitchen tables moved all locks undone back door wide open no sign of Anthony! :( Run to my car dial 911 looking for him now on the route he took last time, no sign of him, 911 operator...weve found him! UGH!! I look like a freaking terrible mother now when Ive tried taking every precaution possible. So the officer comes to my house, is kind of curtious but says since its the second time this has happened he has to call dfs, Im like fine, whatever, let them come, I do NOT neglect my child nor is he hurting for ANYTHING at all. I call his doc and say look this Tennex is really not working, I cant even keep up with him throughout the day, he wont listen to ANYTHING I say, he has no fear of anything, he gets really mad when he cant do something(like fix a toy a certain way) and now hes escaping from my home, dfs and the police are involved now, please help! Let me make a note too, before he started escaping from home, he always ran off like at the grocery store, if Id turn to grab something off the shelf, 2 sec flat hed of jumped out of the cart and took off, that Fast!! Hes fast !!! Hed run into the street after struggling to get you to let go of his hand...just run, run , run. Anyway, so the doctor says...stop the Tennex...were starting him on .5 of time in the morning, thats all. Now this is the first day on the Risperdal, which Im not excited about after reading a few things about what its typically used for. But today has been HELL pure hell, not sure if its something that has to build up in his system or what...but I was worried cause he hadnt stopped ALL DAY, much worse than he ever was on the Tennex, so I called the doc, and the on call doc says, to ween him from the Tennex and gave me a schedule, said its probably from his doc trying to drastically stop the Tennex like that. So now were weening the Tennex and starting the risperdal. I dont know what to do. What the hell is risperdal...really? Anyone know anything about it, what it does and if it should even be given to a 4 almost 5yr old!? I now had dfs come over, offered to refer us to get him some services thru the crider center, but he already has a psychiatrist so not sure what thats going to help, but Im complying because I want my child better, not because I have to. Now the dfs worker says the cop sent the report to the prosecuting attorney for possibly to press child endangerment charges!! Before Id even heard he was doing that, Id already installed alarms on every single door leading outside in my house as well as his bedroom door. I am NOT a bad mother nor am I neglectful in any way, but now I may get criminal/child endangerment charges because I have a child with an illness, that Ive tried getting help with prior to these incidens!!? Take a walk in my shoes for one day is what I say to the cop, PA and the dfs lady. Youd walk away feeling stupid for ever making me out as the bad guy. I just need help...advice, something! Im so stressed out over this, and its not even the legal stuff, I just want my child better! And to know what the hell Im giving to my child now! If anyone can help, give advice, just talk or share a similar experience or experience with a child on Risperdal, please email me, because I cannot always access this site, my internets funny, but I can always get to my Please..I'll listen to any advice or suggestions. Even need help with discipline suggestions cause he wont stay in time out and spanking him will do NO good at all, hed just hit me right back, or laugh. Ugh, just so stressed. I hope someone can help with advice or something. Thanks alot.---Kristine M.

Frustertated Dad 5 years ago

I keep reading people recommending you get "respite care"... how do you get ANY kind of care, especially respite care, without going bankrupt?

And... why it it that the two psychologists and the one psychiatrist I've been consulting for this problem with my son, has NEVER ever mentioned respite care?

Things are better here in the US than in the UK? I truly doubt it! The only suggestion I ever got was to place my son in a therapeutic boarding school, at the cost of $70,000US per year. Really, now... my only other alternative is to keep fumbling around with these retarded MFTs and psychologists who think 1 hr per week is somehow going to do something.

My son is 15 now and had been ADHD/ODD for years. I fear that there is very little hope for him, and when he turns 18, he will end up going to jail, and there won't be anything I can do for him.

So, you folks out there, esp. in California, tell me this: where did you get "respite care" and how did you afford it, how much did it cost... and do you have an older teen with ODD, and how did you deal with it?

My heart is broken. My son's mother is a paranoid schizophrenic who's been out of the picture for 8 years now, and I just can't love him the way I used to anymore.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you! My son will be turning 14 this month and it has taken me this long just to find the answers that I have listed here!

I do have some resources available on my blog (now an online community,) at

Hopefully there will be something there can help you - there is a list of places to contact, hopefully one of them will know more about respite care.

Tami  5 years ago

My daughter was just diagnosed today with ADHD/ODD combined with Adjustment Disorder, and am feeling very alone. I too am a single mother, and she will be 10 in October. Life here is stressful to say the least, it is a constant fight to keep her on task, and when things don't go quite right she informs me that she wants to kill herself. I am very lost and feel alone. Until I read your article, I felt like no one understands the daily pressures. I have the Doctor telling me that I have to find a job more accommodating to her hours at school, and I need to rethink my parenting skills. I felt like punching him in the face. As a single mother not receiving any support financially from her father, we would be living on the street. I have spent most of this Friday night doing research, and keep coming up with all the negatives. I am exhausted, and drained but I will never give up. She has beaten me up and punched me in the back of the head. But I can't help but love her, I would give her the world if I could but am so tired. Thanks for listening I needed to talk

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you! Check out my website at: for a few more resources...

Jennifer 5 years ago

My son has recently been diagnosed with adhd, odd and generalized anxiety disorder. He is the 4th of 5 children but my only son. I am unsure whether to put him on medication or not. The psychologist says it may be best to treat the anxiety first but it is getting harder to control him as he gets older. He is always hanging upside down on his bunk bed and has lots of trouble at school. Family doctor says maybe it is time to put him on some form of medication to see if calming down his adhd helps more. As you have gone thru this what would you recommend.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I would definitely consider medication. I don't advocate it as I don't like it either, however, it made a big difference with my son's ability to concentrate and focus. As he gets older he will be able to manage his adhd better, but for younger years it helps calm them.

Kayla  5 years ago

I have a little sister that sounds exactly like your son. I don't know how to handle her. My parents are trying different approachs but refuse to medicate her. What do I do?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I would suggest that you gather as much information about ADHD/ODD as possible and give it to your parents. They need to be informed before they can make any decisions regarding medications. As for how you handle need to remain consistent with any decisions regarding your possessions, room etc. If you say no, you need to stick to your guns regardless of how many times she asks, and you need to have your parents on the same page as you...hence the information.

Kimberly 5 years ago

I have A 7yr old daughter, she was given to us by my niece who was only 15yrs old. We have adoppted her and we are the only parents she has ever known. I have two daughters in their late twenties with son-in-laws. So I have raised two children with little to no issues. This child is killng my husband and I. Her Mom was diagnosed at the age of 4yrs old and she was severe ADHD. It was like she had no conscious at all. It was the hardest thing to watch this child struggle through her young life being ostricized by family, friends, parents of friends and her teachers. My niece was on the streets at age 12yr and on drugs and pregnant by the time she was 15yr. I understood some about ADHD and knew that it was hereditary and there was a good chance that this little girl would suffer from the same fate. My daughter has the same ped Dr. as my daughters did and her bio mom, so he is very aware of what she would be facing. We saw the signs very early on and it started to show when she went to daycare where she struggled a great deal. At the age of 3-1/2 my husband and I put her in private school and she had a hard time with behavior, but she was already reading she is very advanced. she was diagnosed when she was 4yr with ADHD and ODD. the school worked with us and were pretty patient. In kindergarten I quit my career and focussed all my attn. on her. It was to diffulcult to handle things that would come up at school from my job a hour and half a way. This year in Jan. My husband and I pulled her out of that school due to their discipline procedures and I started homeschooling. The older she gets the worse her behavior gets, just in the last couple of months she has gotten to the point where she basically says to us "what are you going to do about it" when ever she chooses not to do something. She is now showing physical and verbal agression towards us mostly at night. She used to go right to bed, but not now. the other day she was so out of control, that we kept her from her dance recital and she flipped out and said she was going anyway, she got in my car and tried starting it, the whole time screaming her lungs out and crying. We got her out of the car and she took off down the road and any time my husband got close she would start running they got about 2-1/2 miles from home. We finally got her into the car she tried to keep jumping out. On the way she was talking so calmly saying just pull over here and let me out and randomly blurting things like look at the bird ect. My husband I thought she had cracked and thought we should take her to the hospital. About 3weeks ago her ped Dr. put her on ritalin, 5mg at 8:00am, noon and 4:00pm. She is doing very well during the day I have enjoyed her company for the last 2weeks. But night time was still out of control more times than not. The Dr. took her last dose away and suggested 3mg of melatonin. the last two nights she has been asleep by 7:30pm and sleeping till 7:30 in the morning. We still had a fight before bed tonight but she feel asleep nicely. I love to go in and talk to her after she falls asleep, she barely wakes up, but she is so soft spoken and always so sorry for having a rough night. It makes me cry because I know she doesn't want to be this way. Sometimes when I would ask if she had a good day at school she would sometimes say yes and then say "I had to try very hard to make good choices" I think these children have to make a conscious effort to make a good choice that all of us don't even think about becuase it's so natural for us. It takes everthing they have to do the same thing. I want so much for her, I want to open every door that she needs open. I feel so much more relaxed knowing that all of you are out there. Parents of typical children just don't get it. I have good friends who say things like, she seems to be very aware of what she is doing, yes they do , but that dosen't mean they can stop it before it happens. I feel better just writing this, Thank you for being there!

Amy 5 years ago

I have a 4 year old son that is ODD/ADHD and i just want to rip my hair out every single day! i have 4 other children besides him otherwise i wouls pack my stuff and hit the road and never come back! i love my son but he puts me through 100% hell every single day of my life! No one will babysit him and i can't say i blame them. :(

Amanda 5 years ago

I am so grateful that you have written down what I experience everyday with my 7 year old son, who was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD. I also am now a stay at home mom due to the fact that no one can "handle" him. We (his dad and I) still to this day hear the all to common comment "I would beat his butt for his behavior." It is so hard to get people to understand that it does absolutely nothing except make things worse. Last year when he was in the first grade he was almost expelled from school. Thankfully, we were already in the process of getting him "help". Sometimes it is hard for me to deal with everything he throws at me that I just go to my room and hide for a bit. It s a great comfort to know that I am not alone in my feelings. I thank you so much for your courage to say something about the trials and tribulations that you and your son have gone through. It gives me hope to know that we will be ok also.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are most welcome my dear - the behavior does get better with age so take heart and hang in there!

Mum of Daniel 5 years ago

Hi Enelle

I'd say life has been 95% hideous and 5% pure joy since Daniel was born 5.5 yrs ago. But until his sister was born 2 years ago I thought it was perhaps just ME who wasn't suited to motherhood, that it was my problem I wasn't able to cope with a hyperactive child who bit and hit all other children in every playground in London, and that 'boys will be boys', etc etc. Then along came Dora: calm, peaceful, LISTENS to me (amazing!), makes eye contact when I talk to her, sits on my lap with absolute stillness.

Oh, but she's a girl, I thought at first. And 'he's only 3/4/5 yrs old, what can you expect?' Or 'he's jealous, it's natural' when he persistently hits, pinches, scares, splashes water in face of his sister, who he actually loves dearly, but can only show it in short spurts when one is least expecting it. But bit by bit, my 'normal' child has shown me how very far off normal Daniel is.

My worry is twofold: I feel sorry for Dora, who never knows which way the wind is blowing. will her brother hit her? kiss her? roar at her? speak to her in a sweet little voice? He changes literally by the second. it is exhausting for everyone, but especially for her. Will this have a lasting effect on her developing personality? Her fight-or-flight reflexes? when I swoop in to rescue her every 3 minutes, I feel her little heart beating frantically. Yet she is helplessly drawn to him, like a moth to a candle. And he tries to get her to do naughty things, egging her on, teaching her his villainy.

my other worry is - I can't help favouring her. I want to hug her to me and kiss her all day. I find her calm, her normality, so utterly reassuring and nurturing. She's everything I could want from a child. She's everything he isn't. And this Daniel/Dora polarity is surely damaging to our family, long-term. She's the good one; he's the naughty one. She's the loved one; he's the rejected, punished, shouted at one. I do try to praise him, and to do this in front of her. but it's hard!

I need to somehow get into a new mindset and celebrate his lovely side, focus on the positive, instead of dreading him waking up, dreading picking him up from school, reporting negative stuff back to my husband at the end of the day. I feel at the moment he's destroying our family (my husband and no longer have a particularly loving relationship. Sex? What's that?! who would have the energy? Who would feel in a good enough mood?!). But I also feel that my favoritism isn't helping Daniel feel like a valued part of the family. Though to he honest I'm not sure he notices or cares. Perhaps I'm just beating myself up unnecessarily and I should take all the solace I can in my daughter, as God knows, I need it!

It would be good to hear from others about this issue of siblings. Jealousy, favouritism, showing love, coping with an ADHD/ODD sibling...

so glad to find this hub! UK parents are so much more reticent.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I feel for you my dear! It isn't easy living with ADHD/ODD. There are so many things I want to say to you, but this isn't the arena to use!

For good or ill, Daniel is your son, and you are his only advocate. His behaviors will improve with age, but you will most definitely have one heck of a ride before that happens. I would suggest finding a good counselor for him, meds if possible, or alternative medication, whichever way you choose. (The counselor can do double duty for the rest of the family as well.)

-Nothing like adding more to your plate than you already have, but in order to keep the marriage healthy, you need to find some time to work on the two of you, or you could end up a statistic, like many of us.

I also have an online community/blog that is free to join, and hopefully connect with other parents who are dealing with similar issues. check us out, we do have books, resources and couldn't hurt!

Krista Sunday profile image

Krista Sunday 5 years ago

First off ty for sharing your story.. i am a single mother of a 3 1/2 yr old boy who was just diagnosed ADHD/ODD.. and after a VERY EXTREAMLY rough night was at the computer crying trying to find out what to do and found your story. My son sounds just like yours and i worry about where ill be even months from now.The comment about killing in his sleep as horrible as it sound i know how much worst it feels to have that emotion.. i was just sitting here hating myself for feeling like my son is ruining my life. i love him more then anything and when he is good he is the sweetest boy but the other side of him is just unbearable!thank you for sharing made me feel not so alone!

Broken mom 5 years ago

I have a 5 yr old daughter who is very intellegent and beautiful. She sufferes from night terrors and mares. She has always had a stong will being born with her eyes open(literally) and when being suctioned she slapped the canister out of the nurses hands. She always was when I ask you had better give even from infancy. She was diagnosed with hypotonia at age 9 mos. Through therapy sessions she learned how to sit,crawl,stand and walk. This took six months and during each session she worked hard as she screamed profusely the entire hour. I always thought it was just a strong will. When she turned three she became more demanding and although loving it was to be on her terms. She is directly defiant, ignores me and others of athority, she is a profectionist ( when she cares about something), she is very hyper and while have outburst of anger if she does not get her way or if something is not done the way she would like it for example she wants to wait to do her homework. She will yell and scream at me or others until she turns blood red in the face. She has a history of impaction as well and often messes her panties.

Her father is active duty and is not with us right now. She misses him very much. He is ADHD/genious and has a diagnosis of PTSD. Be time is horrific and very stressful for the entire family. she can be calm and as soon as you mention bed or pajamas she goes on a hyper full bore not listening to you rampage. This is a nightly occurance. Does any of this sound familiar to parents experienceing ADHD/ODD. My girl has a psychiatric for the first time this month.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You certainly have your hands full! Some of the things you have mentioned could be classified under ADHD, the defiance issue could be ODD (oppositional defiant disorder.) My son also has to be perfect when doing certain things like writing, drawing or building.

It sounds to me like there are a few more things besides the ADHD, and it is a good idea to have your daughter see a psychiatrist - good for you, at least then you will be able to find out how to help her.

Kristi 5 years ago

Oh how I wish I ran across your postings before now. I have a 9 year old daughter who acts very much the same way as you described your son. Expulsion from day cares, suspensions from school. I must say that her behavior has gotten a little better since she was diagnosed 3 years ago, but she still has her moments every few days. I thank you for sharing your story and will check in often for any helpful tips. Lately it seems that her ODD is making a strong appearance. I feel like I'm losing my mind!

Tara 5 years ago

Ok so my boyfriend of a year has a son that is 4 yrs old and him and I think that there could be an adhd issue going on with his son. The problem is that his son's mother gets angry and defensive when he suggest to get him tested. Also let me mention that his mother's brother has been diagnosed with adhd....just to share a little behind our reason is that from the time my boyfriend wake him up which can be as early as 7am til the time he goes to bed (as late as 12am) his energy level is at a consistant 10 (on a scale from 1-10). He has already been out out of two daycares; one for hitting a teacher and tge ither for fighting the other kids. At his current daycare not less than two weeks of him being there another 4 yr old asked my boyfriend if he was his dad and tge processed to tell him that his son is mean and bad. I dint like to be left alone with him becayse I know by the time hus dad comes back from where ever as little 20 mins gone im going to be frustrated and annoyed. And its not that I havent been around kids, I have three young nephews that are at my house 5 days a week 12 or more hrs a day since birth and my aunt has a daycare that I had worked for from age 11 to 15. Im concerened for him honestly. I think the earlier they address the issues then the better off he will be, not to mention my relationship with his father. The question is how can we get help if his mother isnt open to the idea that her son may have this disease?

Tara 5 years ago

Sorry for all the mistakes in my above comment. Im using my phone. :)

Anon 5 years ago

Reading this makes me cry. We are now at a point with our first son (5 yo) where we are having to admit that there is definitely a problem and are seeking help through our GP at present, but are currently feeling rather alone with it all on the whole (at least I have a loving and loyal husband, for which I feel truly grateful, but boy is this hard and our families are either mostly missing or not 'getting on board' with it at all right now). I am in awe of how you must have coped over the years. I am of the mind that when it is this important, what has to be done, must be done, but I have been surprised just how far he can take me to the brink of giving up and doing something ridiculous (needless to say I haven't, but it gets you close). I sometimes wonder if I was a serial killer in a former life or something - I feel there should be a reason for this madness at least?! But alas, I think it is just the (un)-luck of the draw...

It is totally heart-breaking to watch this happening to your own child and not have the answers, but we are determined (at the times when we feel strong enough), to be there for him always and to see us all through this, including his baby brother, who in contrast is able to do and understand many tasks in a way that our first son just cannot for one reason or another (depending on what mood he is in, as to why he cannot put on his shoes / wash his hands / stop getting so angry, etc, etc, etc). It is just so exhausting and we feel so low and angry about it ourselves sometimes.

The fact remains that when his behaviour is good, he is one fantastic little boy and we love him dearly (so much it hurts). And when I say good, I just mean 'normal' for want of a better word - the difference between what I see as his 'normal' outbursts and his 'other' ones (we're not even sure what we are dealing with yet), is starkly apparent.

I don't know really what else to say now, as I am having one of my 'numb' nights after a Very L O O O O O N G day... :(

Continuing good luck to you and your family, I hope things improve for you all, goodness knows we all need a break x

Stacey 5 years ago

I really loved this article. It helps to know that there are others going through something similar. It's so frustrating and sometimes you feel like you must be the only one with this problem because no one seems to understand. My daughter was placed in my home under foster care at 18 months. It was a relative placement, she was my niece, and her mother had abused drugs and alcohol and abandoned her as a baby. I noticed right away that she had some issues and requested help from the county. I couldn't get any help without the social worker completing paperwork and approving the help. The social worker seemed less than enthused to help and was an invisible agent most of the time. Once adopted and now school age I started seeking help through the school system. I requested she be placed in special ed because she has learning disabilities, but was told she didn't qualify. Speech and other intervention programs were utilized, including the school psychologist, but did not seem to be helping. Finally, after being suspended several times last year, she was placed in special ed this year at a different school. She's now 8 and in the third grade. School just started a couple weeks ago and they've already suspended her and called me to pick her up about 5 times. I'm going to lose my job if I don't figure something out and I'm a single mom with no other income:(

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Kristi, I know what you mean about the ODD making stronger appearances - as my son matures I can literally watch him cycle through his various disabilities when we are having a discussion - generally ODD first, (...I'm not listening...) then ADHD (oohh...look at that...) then he cycles through obsession, paranoia, neurosis, deflection etc., all of which make it difficult to keep his attention focused on the original subject of the discussion!

Hi Tara, at the best of times, it can be very difficult being a 'step-parent', however what you have posted does lead me to think there might be a reason to have your son tested. Unfortunately, it might fall to the mother to pursue this avenue, but it would be a good idea if both birth parents were on the same page. I know when I was approached by my son's teacher regarding his behavior, I was most reluctant to accept her intervention. My perception was that an outsider was 'interfering' with what I thought was my parenting abilities. It isn't an easy thing to accept that your child's behavior won't improve without medical intervention, and the process of acceptance can take some time to adjust to.

Dear Anon, sometimes it helps just to talk to someone who understands what you are going through. When I did my first ADHD course, I couldn't understand why everyone else in the class was having success while I was the only parent still struggling. Later I realized that the additional diagnosis of ODD and Anxiety disorder were major factors with my son's behaviors. Unfortunately, having the answers doesn't always make it any easier to deal with, and the roller coaster ride is just starting. It took a long time for my family to realize exactly what I was talking about regarding my son's behaviors. Their breakthroughs came when I published my first article about living with ADHD/ODD (and subsequent book.) Seeing (in print) what I had been going through with my son gave validation to my words. It might be an idea to print a few articles, or get a book (I suggest Russell Barkley's Taking Charge of ADHD, the complete authoritative guide for parents,) for your family to read. Take heart and enjoy the little victories - they will give you the strength and determination to hang on and find the help your son needs. (...I totally get the "serial killer" thing lol...) Oh, and you need to develop your sense of humor - it will help you keep your sanity when everything else feels like it is falling apart ;)

Thank you Stacey, I appreciate the compliment :) I faced similar circumstances with schools. They seem reluctant to take the parent's knowledge and views into account. First off, don't take the suspension as the solution. Let them know that you will hold them responsible for you losing your job if this continues and if they cannot come up with a suitable solution then they need to find a school/psychologist/psychiatrist/program that will. Your daughter cannot be suspended for her behaviors (if she has been diagnosed,) as that can be classed as discrimination. (read my hub "Letter to My Son's School Principal -

Jozan 5 years ago

My son just start school two weeks ago and already he had been suspend. I really dont know what to do I mean he can be the sweetest kid at times. And other times he can be a handful . I have stumble upon your article and as I read I was a but relieve to know that someone has the same problem as I do . Sometimes I feel as if I have fail as a mother. I keep asking myself this same question over and over again where did I go wrong in raising my son? My son hits the kids and the teachers and even spit on him. I am at my wits end and don't know what to do. His doctor is doing anything to help the situration. Please do u have any advice for me.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Yes Jozan I do - have your doctor schedule him an appointment for ADHD testing. Take a parenting course for difficult/ADHD children. If your son does end up with a diagnosis for ADHD, start by learning about the disability and strategies/solutions, and you can most definitely join my blog/online support group at for more resources, books, coaching etc. (Those are just the first steps...)

Anon 5 years ago

Hi Enelle,

thanks for your response (my msg 8th Sept). We have now insisted that the group we attend for our son's issues do some testing to see what, is going on and how we can best deal with it. We were initially just meeting up and talking and it's all been very nice, but we have felt very much like it's our parenting under the microscope and nothing is actually being acknowledged. All that's happened so far is us sitting chatting about our gripes and agreeing to attend a parenting course! (Damn, when did I get so compliant!?) ;>

We're just waiting for them to discuss the 'right option' for our son in terms of which specialist he sees, but I have to say that I am not getting feelings of understanding or trust from them at the moment - it's more like we are stamping our feet (albeit quite quietly for the moment!) to have these tests done.

We have no idea as yet what they intend to do about it, but are now determined to get to the bottom of it.

As you say, knowing what is causing the behaviour doesn't always make it any easier to deal with, but it sure is better than not having a clue, which is how we feel at present.

We've been seeing the behaviours as different from the 'usual' for some time now - I found an email notification today from a message I sent to the Jo Frost Supernanny forum when our son was 2 + 1/2 saying that he was acting 'bonkers' and asking for help! We are not imagining this, but feel like everybody else thinks we are so far :(

I would love to share some research and knowledge about the issue(s) with the family, but the trouble is, they are deeply intrenched in homeopathy, etc. and the 'head of the ship' is very much researched herself in those areas, so I know there will be more than just resistance to this to say the least, even though I have always been open to the possibilities of Bach Flower remedies, I just can't see that they are making an ounce of difference!!!

Well, it's us against the world or so it feels so far, but we are determined to do what we feel is right for him, lest this situation gets any worse due to denial and ignorance...!

I am now going to try (ha ha!) to stop any reading about disorders, etc.on the internet, etc. until we get an answer from the centre and we get the testing underway and see how it goes from there. If they don't pull their finger out soon though, I shall be back to the Doctor demanding that we get the correct help asap!

Thanks again for your response, it's so nice to hear from somebody who is open to the possibility that perhaps everything isn't quite rosy...

If I am half as strong as you seem to be, I am sure we will survive! :)

Anon 5 years ago

Me again! It's been a busy few days back at school - so far we've had a fight / bullying to deal with since Thursday and it's only Monday!!!!!! Arghhhhhh! Patting myself on the back though, as all being dealt with quite well so far (I think!?)

I've been doing a little research and, this may already be known to you all, but I am loving this website, so thought I'd share :)

Strength and Happiness to you all ;)

It's separated out into nice chunks of info with practical advice and it has a wonderfully positive spin on the whole thing (ha ha, like this is easy right?! But seriously, it IS nice to see it put in a positive light...)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I agree! There are a lot of positives and for the most part I do my best to focus on those, however, the parents who contact me are more focused on their challenges, and I don't want to sugar coat anything...I will definitely check out the website though :) thanks for sharing!

Parker 5 years ago

I am a Director of a Preschool/school-age program and have a 9 year that comes after school. She's dignosied as having ODD and ADHD I believe. I can only speak about when she comes to our program, she has all the syptoms of a ODD person. She does get in trouble at school, on the bus and at the after-school program. We try to talk calmly to her, try to diffused the actions before they start or give her her space. Sometimes it is rough and very challenging. She lives with her dad, who is a single parent; and i know it is hard on him. She had one of her episodes which turn into a meltdown today. I was was going up did I remember anyone acting out or having ADHD/ODD or any other illnes that we are seeing in children today. And i could not think of anyone nor remember. what's so different now than when I was growing up? What has changed in our society, foods. Then also are they demon possessed, influnced by the demonic spirits. Because they are acting like they are. We want to prescribe all these drugs, what about exorsim , calling on the name of Jesus. Jesus healed (cast out a demon) in boy who would throw himself in the fire. I believe this boy had all the systems of a ODD person. these children need deliverance, but we want to cover up with meds and talk. They are not getting better, it's just smoothing over.

roxie 5 years ago

Thank you so much for your post. I am currently teaching Grade One and there is a boy in my class who is diagnosed with ODD. I have been reading a lot about this disorder as I am struggling to deal with his often disruptive and dangerous behaviour. I try to give lots of praise, to remember he is just a little boy (and at times rarely seen, a quite sweet one), and to remember that his actions are frequently beyond his control. Nevertheless, he is by far the most challenging student I have ever taught and several students in the class are terrified of him. What I am struggling with the most right now are consequences. Very often he won't accept a consequence. Last week, he bit me when I took his water bottle away because he was hitting other students with it. I wonder if there is something I could be doing, or something I should stop doing that would make a difference? It breaks my heart because I see he is not a very happy boy most of the time.

RadioBabe profile image

RadioBabe 5 years ago

I have 9-year-old identical twin girls with ADHD, one with the added bonus of ODD. I am losing my mind. The one with ODD tried Intuniv but the side effects were too much. We've been on Strattera for weeks and it is NOT working, at all. I'm worried about stimulants but that's where we're headed, next. I'm worried for her future and, quite frankly, my health. The stress and anxiety of all this is killing me. Thank you for writing this article. I've already used it to help a friend understand what I go through and that his advice for more discipline is simply not going to work.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Parker, I agree, they do seem like they are possessed at times, however, I don't think that exorcism will do much to alleviate ODD behavior. It isn't a matter of "possession" but rather one of different brain function. In layman's terms, the filter that the majority of us use on a daily basis that controls spontaneous thoughts from escaping our mouths doesn't work properly.

Roxie, consequences are difficult to enforce (at school,) as the only real consequence is to remove the child from the classroom or school. Unfortunately, the child (generally speaking,) doesn't want to be there in the first place, so to them, the consequence is a reward. Today's society views many solutions that would work, as abusive so for most of us, our hands are tied - then everyone wonders why these children seemingly run rampant with no discipline. You might try the one, two, three system to head off unwanted behavior. (first offence is one, second offence is two, etc. that worked well with my son for several years.)

RadioBabe, I completely understand what you are saying! If you have questions or just want to vent, check out One Small Step for Parents (the blog link is listed just below this article.)

Nichole B 5 years ago

Well as I have read your story I don't feel so alone. I felt like I could be the only parent with this type of child as all these people look at me when he lashes out and there's nothing I can do. My son is diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, Explosive Aggressive Anger, Depression, Anxiety Attacks(possible. We are in the midst of changing to a different doctor and starting therapy but he becoming so violent towards everyone that I'm not sure how to handle things anymore. I am a single mother and I have 3 other children (girls) 1 older than him and 2 younger. He was recently kicked out of the daycare because they couldn't handle the violence anymore and were concerned for their safety and the other children, is refussing to go to school even when the principle walks out to the van and tries to get him to come in and my son starts kicking and screaming and the principle finaly says he can't get him to go in. It's like yep you thought you could do what I couldn't hmmmm. haha. Now my mom is currently helping me by taking him in the mornings and after school(when he goes) so that I can atleast work. I can't afford not to work and still provide for all my kids. It's so hard though nowing I'm the only one that gets through to him but there's nothing I can do for that. I myself am starting to feel like I am powerless to him and there's been times I feel i'm going to loose it. I have thought about taking to a stress unit because of the depression/anxiety but I don't know what good that would do. I'm stuck oh and he is only 7.

suziejay 5 years ago

hi my son James is 7yrs old & we only got the diagnosis for ADHD/ODD 2 days ago, so only just starting to find out about it. He is very down at the moment, but sometimes he seems almost manic. We are going next month to see the specialist to talk about medication for him, but feel so confused about it. would be very grateful if anyone could offer some advice for us. thank u x

5 years ago

Mom of a 6yr old with ADHD-ODD (and posibly Bipolar?) here! I´m crying as I read this and the comments....sometimes it´s so hard to remember that I´m not alone...

Lisa 5 years ago

Hii have a ten yr old girl with ADHD and odd everyday is a struggle. I'm 27 feeling 127 that just getting her to school she's currently on meds but does not help with the odd and 9 mg of meletonion

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Nicole, 7 is, I think, the worst age. I had problems with my son, but when he turned 7 it was worse than the terrible twos! If you can find him the counseling and help he needs that will ease your situation somewhat, and his behavior should improve as he gets older. (Not sure why that is, but that is what I have discovered and been told by other parents.)

Hi suziejay, the best advice I can give is for you to get a book on ADHD. I struggled with finding information for years until I "was forced" to buy 'Taking Charge of ADHD, the complete authoritative guide for parents' by Russell Barkley. I needed the book to complete a parent consulting course with an ADHD was the best investment I ever made! You can also join our online ADHD community at - there are a ton of resources available, as well as books, links to other websites, information, support and coaching. (The book I mentioned is available on the site - I believe at a reduced price ;) )

Dear M, I totally understand how you feel! If you are reading the comments after yours, please feel free to join our online community!

Hi Lisa, I agree, the meds don't do anything for the ODD, however, a very good idea that helps a lot, is to feed her when she has an ODD 'episode'. That worked really well for my son. I think ODD can be linked to low blood sugar (as well as just being oppositional lol)

carrieanne 5 years ago

I didnt think that there was many people out there with childern like this, my daughter is 8 yrs old. She has adhd and odd, I find it really hard with the way she is just want to cry most of the time, dont get me wrong I love her with all my heart but I just dont no who to talk to anymore.She goes to the hospital every 6 months to have a check up, she is on meds, and is a different child when she as had them.I dont really like having people round my house when shes not on her meds, I feel like im a really bad mother, every thing is just a fight. Im not a single mum, but some times I feel like it, with the way my husband and my daughter get on, they can be very close but when she does something wrong or she dont do as she is told I have to get in the middle and I hate it because it dont matter who I stick up for Im the one in the wrong. you see hes the step dad but has been with use since my daughter was 15 months old. Its been hard for him to, bringing up someone else child and haveing to put up with what he does, I thank every day that I have him because theres not many men who would put up with this. My daughter also has problems with wetting and messing the bed she can do this 2 or 3 times a night, I have had to put her in pull ups as we are not getting enough sleep and is costing use loads with washing, bathing and having to buy new bedding, were going to have to stop use pull ups aswell as I cant afford them for much longer. My daughter does'nt get dla, I am out of work at the moment and next month my husband finishs work, would some one please help, give me some advice on want to do at night and why do I feel as if Im a bad mother and feel like Im letting my daughter down.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Something that might help at night (it certainly helped me) was NO drinks before bed, and a plastic cover on the mattress. My son slept on a hospital bed (totally plastic) for years because of this problem. I bought no name pull ups for him for years and that helped also. It was a toss up between doing laundry every night and bathing/showering my son at whatever god awful time it was, losing sleep etc., or peace of mind that it was dealt with until morning...most nights that is!

This is a common challenge with ADHD/ODD kids, and she will grow out of it, but the worst years are from age 7 - 9 (at least in my experience.) You aren't a bad mother, just a very tired, stressed out one. There isn't much you can do to help your daughter, she has to grow out of this...the wetting is generally because these kids have underdeveloped bladders, and the 'other' is explained better in "Taking Charge of ADHD, a Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents" by Russell Barkley, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with.

You can check out my blog (the link is listed above the comments) for more ideas and solutions. Hopefully something listed in there can help. 5 years ago

I'm so glad i'm not the only one with problems ,my 13 year old son was diagnosed in 2007 with ADHD and ODD,he has just started a special needs school,which is absolutely brilliant for him up until a week ago a neighbour who has 3 coloured children started calling him a retard,and the 9 year old told him to go get on his special needs bus to st,bernadettes and take his medication,now this nearly drove my son to jump of the pier as he could'nt take it anymore,now yesterday the 5 yr old called him a st bernadette bastard,his mother calls the guards at the slightest thing and blames it on my son who dose'nt do a thing he just walks past and ignores them,i've showed the guards ciarans reports as to the problems he has,and they've been great about it offering support in any way they can.But now ciaran has withdrawn into himself again and has 2 be constantly watched,i just don't know what to do,we can't talk 2 this woman as she just rants and raves at you,but it's not fair on my son,he's so loving,can be cheeky when he wants but are'nt all teenagers,.Is there any point in getting a solicitors letter done to do this neighbour for slander,as the things she tells people my son has done is unbelieveable,as it's her kids that do it and blame ciaran for it,any advice would be really appreciated..

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I would definitely get a restraining order against the woman and YES why not start a civil suite against her for defamation of character, abuse, discrimination and anything else you can think of! This needs to stop and simply ignoring it won't help. Get the police involved, any welfare service you can think of, write letters to the editor, and get the solicitors involved!

Bre 5 years ago

Thank you sooo much for this. I am going through the same thing. The school has threaten to kick my son out of school in kindergarten and im a single mom so i get the well its probably because there is not a father in the home or your not spanking him or you let him have his way too much. I am in the process of getting him to a doctor and this article really helped. thanks soo much:)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

So glad the article helped! You might want to get a book on ADHD - I recommend Russell Barkley's "Taking Charge of ADHD, a Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents." You can show some of the chapters to the school - they need to read it!

Tina 5 years ago


I have to say that you did not need to include the fact that your neighbor has 3 coloured children. As if that added any value to your story or explains their actions.

You don't like people calling your child names so why would you use a label like that? They didn't choose their skin color and your son didn't choose to have ADHD.

Maybe your dislike of coloured people has rubbed off on your son and he may have done or said something to tick them off just as you have done here. Remember, he as a hard time controlling himself so he may do something you would never say or do unless behind your closed doors or online.

Tell him to apologize sincerely for whatever it was to make piece and so should you.

Maria 5 years ago

Hi Enelle

We have been dealing with same problems since my son Daniel was 4 years. He had behavioral problems in every preschool he attended, hitting the teachers and peers, trowing temper tantrums all the time and refusing following the rules. He attended a private catholic school last year for kindergarten and that was a nightmare, of course he was expelled. Now he's 7 and is in First Grade attending a public school and his physicologist thinks he has ADHD/ODD but he was not officially diagnosed yet. We receive a call from school every day because he hits other kids, he is disrespectful

with all the adults at school, he refuses to finish the classwork. The teacher told me yesterday the she have never had a kid like my son in her class (and she has been a teacher for 22 years). He is a bright kid, no learning problems at all, he's the best reader, loves math, all his academic grades are good. But his behavior is terrible 99% of the time. My husband and I have been tried everything!! We changed our diet and now everything in our house is gluten-casein free, no sugar, no chocolate, vitamins, Omega 3, etc. He loves animals then we enrolled him in a "horseman" class and he's learning about horses and how to ride them. He is a sweet boy and is sad most of the time because he feels he can't control himself and when he's calm he ask me why is he different and why he can't be a good boy? that is heartbreaking. The worse thing is the fact that none of his classmates want to play with him, and his self-steam is more affected every day. I've read some books but never read the one you suggest here in your site, of course I will read it soon.

Thank you very much for sharing your story and support parents like me, who are desperate and crying for some help. It is good to know that you are not alone.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Excellent point Tina, I presumed that step had already been taken. We noticed that when dealing with my son's behavior he has a tendency of omitting chunks of information that pertain to the resulting situation. Now we 'debrief' as thoroughly as possible THEN listen to the other side to get a complete picture.

Maria, it sounds like your son might benefit from behavioral counseling. My son's behavior escalated between the ages of 5 and 7, and at that time there were fewer resources available. Now that more professionals are aware of ADHD, ADD, etc., there is a greater chance you can find a program that will help.

I'm happy that my story is helping others to realize that we are not alone in our challenges/struggles. Thank you for your comments :)

Karen Heber 5 years ago

Wow, Enelle I thought you were writing about me and my son. Thomas is 15 and will be 16 in April 2012. So many things have transpired. He is not in school. He cannot get up in the morning in addition to his OCD, ADHD and his anxieties. I live in NJ. Please send me and email at I need friends and resources and mainly someone to talk to. My husband adn I have been going through this for 5 years.

Karen Heber 5 years ago

With so much missed school-we wound up getting him to Sophmore year of HS (which was not easy). What options do parents have with kids who suffer from these conditions? (OCD, ODD, ADHD and Anxiety). Homeschooling only offers one hour a week.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Karen, it can be quite a struggle when parents don't have access to programs or counseling. I will email you with a few suggestions, hopefully they can help!

Christine 5 years ago

I came across your page as i was researching ADHD/ODD for a research assignment for school. I am 27 and a single mother of 2 boys, ages 9 and 5. My 5 year old was diagnosed a year ago this up coming December with ADHD/ODD/OCD/borderline Conduct Disorder and also suffers with anxiety. As i was reading your article, i thought to myself, i am not alone; it's not only my family who deals with these daily struggles. We are slowly getting help for our family from different agencies in the area and the school is trying their best to compensate while he is in their care. I have been pushed to the edge with him and have even contemplated giving him up because i simply cannot deal with his defiance and motor driven behaviors. He provokes and provokes and it seems as though he enjoys getting in trouble and fighting. I have never met a child who loves to battle and argue more then my son. The scary thing is, he is the spitting image of his father, looks, behaviors, temper and disposition. His father is nearing the 30 year mark, just got out of jail of 7 months for domestic related charges, which is a regular for him, abuses multiple drugs and alcohol and acts like a 17 year old teenager. Will my son out grow these disorders, or is he doomed to lead the same life his father has?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Christine,

"Will my son outgrow these disorders...?" In a word, no. However, with help he can learn to manage them.

" he doomed to lead the same life his father has?" No. That part is partially in your control. We don't know what kind of person our child will become, but we can help shape them to a certain extent. It isn't easy, especially when you are dealing with a parent who isn't a good role model. (I am facing that same challenge and I can tell you, "It isn't easy!") However, with hard work and dedication, you can give your son a better chance to become the adult that you will be proud of.

I have noticed that younger children with these disorders seem to be hardest to handle. You need to be consistent with your praise and consequences, even though it is easier to let some things slide, don't go down that road!

Get a book on ADHD - that will help you a lot. I recommend Russell Barkley's "Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents".

Your son's behaviors will get easier to deal with as he gets older, mind you, as one gets better, another takes its

Don't lose hope, things will get better! Check out my blog One Small Step for Parents (link is in the article) for more resources and support.

T.Serrin 5 years ago

Searching for someone somewhere that could/ would understand what 'this' is like, I randomly found your story through a Google search. Reading your story was like reading pages from my own book, and for the first time in what felt like weeks, I actually stopped crying enough to read… and type…

My son was born January 19th, in San Diego, CA, and didn’t sleep well from the beginning either. But, my story sadly even started with a horrible pregnancy. I gained 95 lbs, had preclamcia (sp?), stitches in my cervix, early labor twice, horrible nausea up until my 5th month, and 4 hours of pushing during labor (yes, just pushing – I had even passed out because of the pain). I was also one of those wacko’s that read all those books about “what’s best for baby,” so I didn’t want any pain killers during delivery… HUGE mistake! The nurse even put me on petocine without any pain medicine! …If you don’t know what this is, it is supposed to regulate contractions, however, this is the same drug used to induce horses!

And, then this beautiful baby boy was born, however, I was scammed into believing my son’s father who promised the world, was actually going to be around for the long haul. Most say I should’ve known better, but how could I have? It wasn’t like we just met and got pregnant. Although we did not have years behind us, he led me, and my family, to believe that he was a good and honest person, that he loved ‘us’ and that we were going to be a family, and work together through everything. I suppose maybe I should’ve got the hint when the Dr. told us, my son and I would be in the hospital at least another 4 days (my son was loosing too much weight, and I had internal bleeding), and he took off to Vegas after being in the hospital with us for barely 24hrs. I however, believed what he told us, that it was for work and he was working hard to build us a home…. Anyhow, here we are, my little boy (thankfully God makes them cute), and me, alone in the hospital not having any real idea about what the future holds.

My son too, was ‘restless,’ fussy and didn’t want to be touched by anyone but me (go figure). Although at this time and a few months after, despite his multiple-hours-at-a-time of screaming, and the fact that I was going to college and working without any help, I at least (before he started crawling), had ‘mini’ breaks. You know those priceless moments when you could at least go to the bathroom without being interrupted or worried that something was going to catch fire (ahhh, the small things). But, as he got older, I knew there was something ‘different’ about my son, but no one believed me or ‘really’ listened.

For example, when he was 8 months – 16 months he would have temper tantrums so violent that he would self inflict himself. Literally, he would get so frustrated he would throw himself into the ground face first leaving bruises all over his head. Yes, even at this young age, I was getting multiple calls a day from the daycare's he would have to stay at during my work/ college day. I can’t tell you how many jobs ‘let me go’ after I had to leave so often from these ‘tempter tantrums,’ and of course, there was also their complete dislike of my falling asleep at my desk and getting sick so often (I am sure you know lack of sleep, stress and being around children more often – you are 10-90 times more likely to get sick). On top of this, I also was getting multiple visits by CPS (child protective services) to insure I was not hurting my son. I actually had to tape the temper tantrums! I would never hurt my baby, but I am sure it looked severe enough to be scary. And this just made my confidence worsen by the months that went by.

I thought my reading books about what best to do as a parent, making regular pediatrician visits, working hard to get through college and working to stay away from leaning on the state, while reading to my son and taking him places and doing everything I could to be a ‘good mommy’ would make up for something!? But after being laid off for the umpteenth time, I had to beg my mother and step-father to let us come live with them until I could save enough to move out. They did, but it was on the condition that I took my son’s father to court for child support. All that time he was holding a carrot in front of faces about being a ‘family.’ But, of course, I didn’t know that at the time. I still kept going, looking forward to the day I would have a break since there would be two of us, parents working together on raising our son, paying bills, taking ‘sleep’ turns… and so-on. Luckily, my parents got me started with the courts (if they didn’t – apparently deadbeat dads can get away without ever having to pay anything!!!??). But, the justice system and our government is a whole different topic.

Back to my son… the good parts; he was incredibly brilliant. At 22 months he could pronounce and speak very fluent and intelligent sentences. He knew the differences between cone and triangle, cube and square, circle and sphere, and so-forth. He even picked up on continents, and their names! I will never forget the day the daycare teacher grabbed me and had to bring me to the ‘older’ children’s’ room. I totally thought he had to speak with me about another ‘incident,’ but rather, pointed at a map and continued to stutter as he asked dumbfounded about the fact that my son knew what a continent was!? But, as he was my first child, and I had read college books to him since pre-birth, and was really active in teaching him all that I could, this did not really surprise me. In fact, I think this was the first moment that it hit me that my son may be ahead of the game.

But, between the night terrors, screaming at me, throwing himself into walls, never sleeping in his own bed, spitting and kicking others, not being able to sit still for a minute, throwing food and silverware in every restaurant we ever went to, yelling ‘I hate you mom’ everyday, breaking his toys and of course all of my electronics, drawing on the walls, and not being able to get along with other children, constantly wanting more and more, I was suffocating and barely able to gain enough energy to make it to the next day.

My son had so many incidences that were exactly as you describe as a lack of ‘realization.’ He was only 17 months old when I will never forget, he was standing by the door with a sippy cup of chocolate milk and he was having fun shaking it upside down, getting milk everywhere in hundreds of tiny droplets. I, of course, took the cup and spoke firmly to him about why we don’t do that. I then grabbed wet/soapy cloths and had him help me clean up the entire mess. But, as I was only10 steps away, going to throw away the now dirty cloths, he looked at me with a smirk and the lid now off the cup, and I didn’t even have the time to shout “NO!” before he tipped it upside down and dumped the entire chocolate milk cup all over the carpet. Needless to say, this was the first time he got a red bottom and these were the years I started to avidly watch, read and record ‘the Nanny.’ But, I swear her programs are not designed for ADHD/ODD children.

My son didn’t, and still doesn’t, sleep! The nanny said when getting a child to sleep in their room, there will be about three days where you follow a strict routine, and they still get up over and over. The first time, it’s “no, (nicely) it’s bedtime,” tuck them in bed and leave. The second time they get up, it’s more firmly, “it’s bedtime!” before putting them back in bed. The third time, parents aren’t supposed to say anything, but rather pick them up and put them back in their bed until they stay. WELL, my son, would get up and out of his bed 90+ times in a row night after night, after night, into weeks. After two and a half weeks, and almost a complete breakdown and several close accidents due to extreme lack of sleep, he got his way – I had no choice. I fell asleep and he brought his “B” and himself into my bed to sleep.

At 3 he would have screaming temper tantrums that would last 2 hours or more; if you spanked him, he would go another 2 hours. I would have to completely ignore him, including the breaking of t

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Wow it is almost like reliving my son's pre-school years! I can TOTALLY relate to what you have written. One tip I can give you (if you haven't already heard,) is Melatonin. It is a natural sleep aid that regulates your sleep pattern, and is available in several dosages. My son takes 5 mg every night either an hour before bed, or at supper time and he is able to fall asleep (miracle of miracles,) fairly quickly without getting up 30+ times a night. I would sit on the end of his bed until he fell asleep (usually no more than 1/2 hour,) up to the age of 11. Then I bought him a single bunk bed with room underneath for his toys, desk, etc., so that ended the evening ritual. :) A very clever investment - he got a cool new room which helped him develop the desire for a cleaner, neater space, and I got more "me" time! Win win!

kelly 5 years ago

reading all of your stories makes me feel like im not in my own my 7yr oldson has adha dyspraxia and autisum im so struggling as have a 9yr old girl no problems but a 3yr old with so many things my son has and i think i got a nother one on my hands omg please god no any coments and advice welcome at pleases thanks kelly

trb1986 5 years ago

to know that i'm not the only one going threw this a relief, but it's very hard to cope with. my son is seven years old before he started taking Adderall in school he always was getting into trouble in school putting his hands on students, not following directions, etc. but i never really had a problem with him doing his work. so when he started taking adderall he was in the first grade now he's in the second he was taking 10mg a day now in the last month he started taking 15m. he does great in school he's an a and b student no problems. but when he gets home its another subject he lies, steals, disrespectful, punches the wall, throw things, try to hurt his know im thinking why doesntt he act this way at school.

trb1986 5 years ago

an he's ADD/ODD

trb1986 5 years ago

typo.. he's adhd/odd

tammy 5 years ago

I have a son with ADHD and ODD he is late teens he no longer lives in my home due to outbrust and I wish you all the best because I now it doesn't get easier and that not many people understand and I have been called a bad parent or that I neglect my children or favor my other children over him. but now that he has lived with others that have taken him in they have called me to ask how I did it. Now that he is out of the house my house is more relaxed but I worry so much more and I am affaired that he is going to end up in jail, he has already had severeal problems with the police and school. so I wish you all things work out better for you and your family...

kerri 5 years ago

Omg it is such a relief to read others Stories and know I'm not alone my son is 8 with Adhd/odd and anxiety and i have cried myself to sleep many nights cause I feel like I'm in a nightmare with his disrespect and attitude. Don't get me wrong I love my son but to have a good day for us is a miracle and well never seems to happen anymore. Just was nice to know i don't live this Hell alone!! Cause i am a single mom and days can be difficult when you have no escape or someone else to step in when things get escalated.

jenbullen 5 years ago

i have a 7 year old daughter who is severe adhd/odd... she is in grade 2 and on the verge of being homeschooled, i did consider homeschooling last year but figured with her newest medication that it wont need to be done...she is constantly in trouble, fights, swearing etc...i cant get her to stop..we dont go in public to often as she is emmbarrassing and i hate that people stare me down like i have bad parenting...she is very dirty and acts discusting most of the time, and finds it funny to brake her toys and hurt her brother and sister...

now my oldest daughter is 13, she was diagnosed adhd at age 5, but over time she has grown out of it, my 7 year old on the other hand the doctors have said she will only get worse over time and will have this the rest of her life...

i fear for my child and our own lives because of these disorders...and im tired of schools telling me to do something about it and its my fault and constantly calling for me to pick her up from school...

we have a free programs here that deals with behavoral disorders and sensory issues etc...but we have been denied access due to her sevarity being to strong...

i am also hating the fact that my family doesnt understand why i am so stressed on a daily basis...i have gone through many stages of depression and anger...and i have had thoughts of ringing her neck, although i love my kids to bits and would never do anything to hurt them, i wish i could sometimes....she is a handful and the disorders to exsist...and i feel for every mother who has to go through the same isnt easy on yourself or your child or anyone around you...and it is 100% a full time job...wish my husband and mother understood that part...

but i have ran out of options and dont know what to do anymore...and seems to me like i maybe falling back into a pattern of depression again, hense the reason im doing searches online for the millionth time for 5 years now...

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larry taggart 5 years ago

As I have read most of the testimonials most are by mothers. Well I am a father who a Son 5yrs old who has ADHD/ODD and let me tell you most are discribing my son as well. He is very bright academically but his behaivoral issues are getting in the way of his school work. We rae only a month into the school year he is in Kindergarten and my son has already been suspended twice and has received ISS about 4-5 times. He is seeing a Phys, and a play therapist. The school staff does not have a clue on how to handle a child with ADHD/ODD my son is a very loving child and currently does not present all of the symptoms that most of you have described. Now stealing and does not act agressive unless he is angry or fustrated. Loves playing with other children and usually plays okay. I tell you this school year has been a kick in the gut to me and his mother. getting help is very hard.

Jenn 5 years ago

My son is now 13 and was diagnosed with adhd/odd at the age of 3. Just this spring they added turrets to his list of problems. I am a full time single parent and get no break from him at all. My son has been on so many different meds trying to find a good fit for him (considering his odd is off the charts). Currently he is on adderall XR 30mg in the am and strattera 80mg at 2pm along with clonidine 0.1mg (2 of them) at night to help him sleep. It's very frustrating most of the time and most of my family just don't get it and don't understand why I don't work. It's nice to know I'm not alone in dealing with this. I'm currently having a hard time finding ways of punishing him for his constant bad choices/behavior and nothing seems to work as he just doesn't care. Any suggestions?

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Kelly, I have sent you an email with some suggestions for you

trb1969, I'm not sure why he acts differently at school than at home, my son acted poorly in both places! However, count your blessings that it is only at home (as of the time of your comment.) Part of the problem is ADHD/ODD kids seldom show respect for the person who is their main caregiver. Usually it is because that person is the one who has the most compassion and is most tolerant of the bad behavior. Unfortunately, that is also part of the problem. (You need to be consistent with consequences and less tolerant of the bad behavior...not easy I know...been there, done that!) I have also noticed that when my son is hungry (probably because his blood sugar levels are lower,) his ODD comes out and he is cranky, argumentative and plain miserable to be around until I feed him. Then everything is hunky dory again...

I would suggest that as soon as he gets home from school that you feed him - a snack of some kind, or even early supper. His meds have probably worn off and his body is saying it needs food - even if he doesn't realize it. You will probably notice a change in his behavior, I know I did!

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

...Although the stealing/lying issue won't be affected by food - the only thing that worked with my son were stiff consequences and a good talking to by the police!

Hi Tammy, Thanks for your support - you are right it isn't easy! I understand your feelings, I worry about that with my son as well. Hopefully I can give my son enough structure and "good role model" that when he leaves home (no idea when that will be...) he will be alright.

Hi Kerri, I understand exactly where you are! My son was horrible from the ages of 6 - 12. He did improve as he got older, but the first few years are the worst.

JenBullen, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is to get the book (available on my blog One Small Step for Parents, the link is just above the comments) by Russell Barkley, "Taking Charge of ADHD, a Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents". This is not a plug for me to get rich here - this book is a must have for anyone dealing with these issues! It states in black and white what you are living with on a daily basis - a must read for your family so you can get the support you need. You can also find a lot of resources and support on the blog as well.

Hi Larry, it's nice to hear from a dad! Generally the mothers are left holding the bag (I guess because we are supposed to be the nurturers lol,) but these disabilities are equally difficult for either parent to live with. Getting the proper help is not easy I agree, but you need to stick to your guns and keep searching! You are on the right track with the Psych and the play therapy, however, you need to get the school involved as well. Read the above comment regarding Russell Barkley's book and get a copy. It will help tremendously!

Hi Jen, even though it seems that your son doesn't care, that is the ODD talking. Just stay consistent - find things that he enjoys: video gaming, tv etc and try using those as consequences. Make him earn them back - they are privileges, not necessities. That seems to be working for my son - cell phone if he has one...and you need to be quite firm - not pleasant I know, but so far it is working for my son...also make sure he has food when he comes home from school, that will help with his behavior. The later it gets in the evening, the worse my son is - give him another snack and make him go to bed. That will also help somewhat.

sarah 5 years ago

is there any chance i could ask you a qick question?

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Sure thing you can email me at or you can message me through my profile here at HubPages

sarah 5 years ago

hi my story is no where near as bad as some i have read on here! over the past year and a half my daughter has slowly started to misbehave... she is 5 years old and an absolutly fantastic little girl BUT she started stealing a 2 years ago for no reson what so ever, this has slowly got worse as she entered nursery and now infant school, however over the past year she just wont listen, she is constantly on the go at home and school, she dissaperes out of class and then all the teachers go looking for her (she is really sneaky) she is above average on her reading but way behind on her writting. she has NO sense of danger what so ever e.g. she has nearly been knocked over 2s in the last 3 weeks for ripping away from me and the best of it is when i tell her how fatal and dangerous it is, she just looks straight threw me as if iam not even talking. she is really loud and very very very hard to calm down (if i can)her and her older sister are ALWAYS arguing, her sister is very quite and likes to take everything in and go nice and slow so they just clash. but her little brother (21months) now seems to be picking abis behavour up. dont get me wrong she is sooooo loving and always tells me and her dad how much she loves us (me more tho for some reason.) we have tryed everything and nothing seems to work. adhd and other things in this cat are very promante in my immediate family and wonder if this is something to look at! i dont want her labbelled as i feel shes just hyper and to me shes just abi but today school have asked me to take her to the doctors to get her assesed and she has now been reffered to a community pediatrican for assesment. am just at my wits end now, its a constant battle against her and want some one to give me their oppinion from an outsider and having experianced it your self, does this sound like ADHD to yourself? sorry if i have wasted your time just need..... well i dont no what i need at the moment. sorry.

sarah 5 years ago

also she has been in speach therapy for the past year and has been under E.N.T (ear nose and throat) specialist since she was 10 months for glu ear and perferated ear drums, which has now lead to her MABEY having to have a hearing aid in the next couple of weeks. i dont no if this is the reson for this behavour or its a consiqence of what might lie ahead!

sarah 5 years ago

sorry one more thing, she also has positive play with a one to one teacher once a week to try and feed rules into her and this also doesnt help, sorry just keep thinking of things, this is all so new to us.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I would definitely look into having her tested for ADHD - what you have mentioned leads me to think it is quite possible, she might also be showing symptoms of ODD, so after the pediatrician has seen her, ask for a referral to a psychologist/psychiatrist for assessment.

sarah 5 years ago

what is odd? i was lead to belive that this was violence? if so she most certanitly isnt volitile in any way. is there anything i can do to help her in the mean time?

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

ODD is Oppositional Defiant Disorder it sometimes goes with ADHD and one of the symptoms is stealing, and the looking straight through you part of not listening, however, she could just have a couple of symptoms and not the full blown disorder (that is quite common with ADHD to exhibit symptoms of 'sister' disorders.) Even if she turns out to be as you state, just hyper, you need to address the situation for the schools. As to helping her right now, the best thing you can do is be consistent with consequences so she learns that when you say no, you mean no. (When she runs away from you or the school, there has to be a consequence of some kind - otherwise she will learn that it is ok to take off.)

If you have more questions, please feel free to contact me through my email or click the link 'contact Enelle Lamb' near the top of this page :)

Kelly 5 years ago

Big lump in my throat, eyes hot with tears, as all I ever feel is hate towards myself for my failings as a mother to my nine year old ADD/ODD son, and hating myself for feeling what I feel towards him (borderline hatred). I NEVER imagined that parenthood would be like this. He and my six year old daughter are as opposite as could be (she is my wildest fantasy of a child times a billion).

Every second of every day is a war of wills. Wake up (fight). Get out of bed (fight). Get dressed (fight). Brush teeth (I have given up on this most mornings because I am already exhausted thirty minutes after he wakes up). Get in the car (fight). Meanwhile his poor sister has to hear me yell (all my energy goes towards him just to get the most basic of things done). Pick up from school (fight). Homework (super fight).

He is on Adderal (fight to get him to take it), and it helps A LOT (also with his appetite because otherwise he eats/sneaks food non stop).

Probably like most of you, I have read every parenting book, gone to every counselor, prayed every prayer, and found that the only thing I can do is get back up every day after falling down over and over and over the day before. And set my expectations low for my son, and let his destiny reveal itself. I provide him a clean and consistent home life, very healthy food, the best schools, exposure to everything that I can think of to make him a well rounded, socially conscious adult someday.

And yet I can't stand him most days. Before I had him, I imagined myself to be a calm, patient, thoughtful, unangry woman. Now, most days are spent yelling, crying, or despairing. I am dying inside. The constant stress cost me my marriage (I am not blaming him, what I mean is that my ex husband and I were under such constant stress that there was nothing left for each other. Thankfully we get along very well and he has both children half the week. We both get a break from our son half the week which has helped immensely).

The rage, you know? The ideas I had about discipline before parenthood (I would never spank, never yell, use natural consequences, rewards, blah blah blah). Yeah. The next person who makes suggestions (that work on "normal children"), I swear I will snap.

Wow I sound angry. I feel like my life has been stolen. My joy. My hope. My belief that hard work and love is enough.

Hang in there, ladies. Let go a little. Pick your battles. Get as many breaks as you possibly can. Journal. Reach out. Get taken care of (facials, massages, anything you can afford). Exercise. Get a boxing bag and beat the eff out of it. Keep breathing.

I stand beside you in knowing solidarity.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I have walked in your shoes for what seems like a very long, long time. I have felt, thought, done and experienced everything on your list. At times I am impervious and others, numb. I took journaling one step further. For some possibly pitiful, twisted cry for help that has yet to succeed, or simply because it was my only escape, I turned my journal into a book. I took my experiences, feelings, disappointments, and laid them bare for the world to see. I reached out in the form of my blog in the hope that others would find it and know they weren't alone. I do what I can for myself, and my son, although I sometimes think only time will achieve that for which I struggle daily - I'm unsure as the future is hidden from me.

The anger, which used to consume me, now simmers below the surface, and has become an asset instead of a detriment (for the most part!) The self hatred and failings, are a dull memory I choose not to visit as it serves no one, least of all me. I thank you for your highly personal and candid comment and appreciate your solidarity more than words can express.

Please accept my invitation to visit my blog (link is above the comments section). I welcome your 'journaling' - email me if that is something you would be interested in. :)

Mandy P 5 years ago

I read this blog with tears literally streaming down my cheeks and I amazed at the amount of parents that cope with our children's behaviour every day without assistance and the professionals we see are so unappreciative of how hard a struggle every day is.

I have a 16 year old who has ADHD and tourettes and is also on the Autistic Spectrum, then I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old who is diagnosed with severe OCD and is also on the autistic spectrum. Every day I deal with the mood swings from euphoric to manic, the huge temper tantrums, sometimes over the slightest thing, the definancy, inability to forsee consequences, the lying along with all the other things that come with it. I love my kids to the moon and back but I have to be honest some days I don't even want to get out of bed because I know what is coming. I always do though and somehow find the strength and capacity to care for them all. I do not understand how their minds work and feel excluded from their thoughts, unable to break through the brick wall that they have around their emotions.

I wish that more people could read this blog to understand exactly what we are coping with every single day and how draining it is. Thank you to everyone that has participated in this blog and may we all grow stronger for our efforts.

Nathan s 5 years ago

Wow, iv got add and odd but nearly all of what you said sounds like me, I'm 15 now and looking back through all my years I havnt realized until now how much my mum has handled, my mum was the one who mostly raised me, I don't know how she did it. And through out what happened she always loved me and cared for me and she still does. So I have to say all the parents who have raised a child with add/odd or ADHD/odd well done.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks Nathan! It isn't easy for the parents that's for sure, but it is no walk in the park for the kids either!

day by day 5 years ago

Hi. My son will turn seven this November. 2 weeks ago he was given the title ADHD combined with ODD.(sorry for my tired broken english, it is three in the morning...finnaly some peace and quiet). I have worked with adolesence at risk (most of them with learning disabilaties) for 15 years. I must admit, it's very different when it is your own kid. Sweet, good- hearted, curious, talented, exhausting...child. I am slowly understanding that it is our job as parents to be an example of the type of person we expect them to be. I can write on and on about what we need to do or what is the right thing for my son, but right now, I am a worried father who hopes he won't do too many mistakes along the way. Thank you for sharing your personal expiriance with us, it all sounds very familiar.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I can empathize with you. I do my best not to make too many mistakes, and possibly shape my son into a strong, healthy, productive member of society some day soon.

jennifer marin 5 years ago

ARE YOU LIVING IN MY HOUSE!? that sounds exactly like my son. To make matters worse I just got a phone call telling me he is being suspended for two days for thrwoing a water bottle across the table. I dont know what to do anymore. I have told his doctor I need to get him tested for ADD and it just seems to go in one ear and out the other and this is the second doctor. I have state health insurance and its not medicaid. I do pay a monthly premium. Does insurance cover this type of testing? I live in Miami Florida and waiting on the school system could take years. My patience has maxed out and Im completely livid at the school system for singling him out once again and suspending him for the 4th time.He is a bright child in all gifted classes but his compulsive behavior is hindering him.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

See if you can get a referral for a pediatrician, they can assess your son and write a prescription for ADD/ADHD medications, as well as refer you to a psychiatrist, where you can get the actual diagnosis. There are also forms that are provided by the school systems (most anyway,) so see if you can speak to the school counselor and get that set up. The forms are multiple choice and provide a range of behaviors that can indicate ADHD, ADD and other disabilities. I don't know what your state covers regarding testing, but these steps should be covered.

KristaR 5 years ago

So what do you do after medication, therapy, meetings with the schools and are getting nowhere? I'm loosing my mind. It's a struggle every day. My husband wants em to look into a weekend boot camp for him. Scare him straight tactic. I don't think that will work either. Any suggestions?

cassandra 5 years ago

Im not sure where to start but I could really do with some advice. My daughter was diagnosed ADHD 2009, privately, then confirmed by CAMHS July 2010 along with ASD, she was also assessed again 28.10.2011 for reasons that will become apparant, diagnosis Aspergers, ADHD and ODD. I asked social services for respite and assistance due to daughters issues and my own illness which I cannot go into for fear of being identified. SS decided there was no problem and brushed us off, then when I demanded respite they started proceedings against me so i moved country, ive been here nearly 2.5 months. Due to my own illness I cannot remain here so am due to go back to the UK within the next week or so. SS deny her 1st 2 diagnosis (the 3rd is likely to dismissed as it was done outside the court process) after respite was demanded, they say i have factitious injury syndrome (which is the new munchausens) and say her behaviour is due to emotional abuse. I feel completely violated and inadequate as a mother as im unable to protect her from SS and their extensive powers. I love my daughter dearly and have spent thousands of pounds getting her help so that she can function at a better level, which she does. Before she resembled a rabid dog, now we have more of the cycles you all speak of and a mix of good and bad. she told her school cousellor I scare her but her dismissed this as she had told him he scared her the week before, she steals alot and lies alot, comes out with remarks like "there not the boss of me" which i have never said and her last school report states easily frustrated, hard to sit still, concentrate & listen, starting to adjust to needs of others. She tried stabbing her teacher in the eye and hand in kindergarten so we have at least made progress, although she does punch and kick pupils who jump the dinner queue at school. When I return to UK I will be legally gagged and cannot ask for help in this situation, so Im asking in earnest now to anybody who may be able to help or recommend somewhere to go. This is all very wrong. I have a place for her on the DORE program but cannot do it here as they will trace us and forcebly remove her, which is what is also going to happen when back in the UK. My poor little girl will have all these difficulties AND no mother. I too have found melatonin helps her sleep but its not on prescription and they say Im self medicating her. They also told a family member that they would strip me of everything, which so far they have all but my little girl. Any ideas are very welcome. Thankyou in advance.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

KristaR, I understand your frustration. The only thing you can do is keep being consistent. Scaring him straight is great in theory, however, a boot camp might have the reverse effect. (Just my opinion, of course,) but it might be a good idea to have the police have a chat - that seemed to work fairly well with my son...he remembers it to this day.

Cassandra, I don't know where to start! My suggestion would be to speak to your MP. Here, we would talk to our MP, write a letter to the newspaper editor and get as much exposure as possible through the papers, television, radio. You can start now. I don't know if it will help, but it might.

jessi 5 years ago

so this is my life in a nutshell. my 4 year is violent and rebellious, not mention the most loving child ever (on a good day). He defies everything asked of him unless he wants to do it. He kicked his step dad in the face this weekend during a fir of rage becuz things werent his way. he has been on a cycle of meds almost a year and only one works and thats the one he takes at night to go to sleep. I fear he will harm someone seriously if things dont improve. he throws things at us when disciplined and will scream for thirty min or more when put into time out. I dont know where else to turn or what else to do. I feel i have lost control and he is only FOUR!!!

Michelle 5 years ago

Wow it is so nice to hear so many similar stories to what I have experienced. My son is now six and I finally got an official diagnosis today of ADHD, which I expected, but also ODD which I never heard of. I have been saying he has ADHD since I was pregnant the poor thing never stopped moving. He also has nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy and because of this the Doctors never wanted to treat his behavior. The doctors hoped to control the sizures and his behavior would improve. But after trying so many different meds and only cutting the seizures in half (from 20 a night to about 5 to 10) they are finally listening. I felt like I was going to go crazy if somthing wasn't done. We are starting him on Tenex and hopefully it will help.

Jeffry B 5 years ago

I am co-parenting a 7 year old daughter who has just been diagnosed with ADHD. I feel like my world is coming to an end. I always thought that my daughter was acting out and was in denial that she had a mental health condition. We have been seeing a doctor for over 1 year to complete the assessment and with everyone envolved including teachers, my new wife, and her mother have finally agreed to medication.

How long should we try out a medication, and what are the signs to be looking for if the medication IS working? My daughter spends 2 weeks per month with dad and his new wife and son alternating every week. We have a structured environment herein our home but I am unsure just how structured it is in the mothers home and wonder if this"bouncing" back and forth is contributing to the lack of consistent structure and if so what can one do?

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Jessi, I have some resources available on my blog (address is above the comments section) that might be helpful. From personal experience, and other parents input, the worst years seem to be from pre-school age through elementary age. (4 or 5 - 12 or 13) After that, the child is old enough to understand more of what is being asked of him or her. However, a whole new set of challenges will make their appearance!

I would recommend getting the book by Russell Barkley, "Taking Charge of ADHD, a Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents".

Hi Michelle, the hardest part is finding the right medication! Once you have that, you have a better chance of helping your son. Hang in there!

Hi Jeffry B, You should notice a difference very quickly with the medication. Your daughter will be able to concentrate and focus better, and be able to control the hyperactivity more. She definitely needs the structured environment, however, it will be difficult to control that when she is at her dad's - something that you will have to live with unfortunately, especially if both households aren't on the same page. It can work if you both make a conscious effort, and it is something that needs to be addressed.

leaf 5 years ago

sorry but I still think ODD and ADHD are nothing but made up disorders. particularly ODD, I mean a disorder that makes you oppositional and defiant and basically have a major attitude towards everything? I smell discipline problems..if parents started teaching their kids to be responsible for what they do instead of drugging them up because their bad behavior gets out of control, we might start seeing less of these lame cop out "disorders".

manon 5 years ago

My son has ADHD and I'm lucky enough to have a husband that supports us. Everything you said is just what he is like. I'm now worried about his younger sister having ADHD as well, she is going to be assessed this month. She doesn't seem to act the same as him. He loves to read and yet she hates to read. He is very out going and she is shy and is having a hard time making friends. I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi leaf, you can smell anything you want dear...I would love to have you take my son for a discipline him :D Before I had my son I would have agreed with my dear, but you don't know what you are talking about :D

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cheska77 5 years ago

ha all i can say is that unless you live with children with adhd/odd you have no idea . i have 5 children and and two off them are boys one with just adhd and the other with adhd and odd , i am big on disipline as i have too be with 5 kids .again i would challenge you to have my boys ( honestly they would reduce anybody to tears ) as they just dont care .so leaf i think you really have no clue as to what you are talking about.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hear hear! It's amazing how often I still get those kinds of comments...I would love to have someone take my boy for a few weeks - a few days won't cut it, as he can play the nice game quite well ;) as I'm sure you have discovered with your boys...

Hi manon, boys and girls display symptoms slightly differently - unless of course your girl is completely over the top. Then you will see more similarities. My daughter was never diagnosed, but she certainly had an attitude which surfaced around grade eight, and stayed lol. However, most girls are more subdued than boys, at least that is what the "experts" say, and what some parents have mentioned as well. I recommend getting the book "Taking Charage of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents" by Russell Barkley (available through my blog - address above the comments section) or through - your choice lol :)

Carmen 5 years ago

Dear Enelle,

I have a friend that has a daughter with ADHD and ODD. It hurts to see her struggle so much. I think she is a great mother to her now 8 year old daughter. Butt she still feels like she's not doing enough and I'm not sure how to show her she is not loosing her fight for her child. I'm going to invest in the books so maybe we can all read them and show both her and her daughter that they are not alone and maybe even discover a different perspective to these obstacles.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Carmen, that is a very generous thing to do. I know how she feels, and it's nice to have a friend like you to rely on.

Stephanie 5 years ago

If I did not no better I would have sworn you must have been following me and my 7 year old son around to write your first blog. My son has ADHD and ODD. My biggest issues with him is his disrespect for women. By this I mean he will listen to male teachers/caregivers, etc. but with me or any female teacher/caregiver and he thinks he rules the roost. His dad is not around very much. He lives out of state and is a truck driver. I am now going to try to get him in to see a male psychologist who he can talk with one on one and maybe try and understand why he has developed such disrespect for women. My son's father and I divorced when he was only one so it has just been the two of us. I kind of feel he thinks he is the man of the house and is my equal. I am really worried about how he will treat women when he get olders. I look forward to reading your blog.

Shylie 5 years ago

After reading your story I find myself not relieved, but even more fed up, stressed out and flat out clueless as to what I am supposed to do about my son's intense anger and manipulative behavior. He is 6 and I swear, talking to him is like trying to make a deal with the devil. He is on one hand, sweet, loving, and incredibly smart, and on the other hand, he is someone I find myself not wanting anywhere near me! He does things and says things he knows are wrong, and when confronted with it, seems remorseful and says he wont do it again, but turns around and does it again the very next day. He is a little over two months into 1st grade and has received his 9th pink slip and one suspension. I am exhausted, worn out and left with no clue as to what or how to deal with this behavior. Talking to him has no effect, taking things away has no effect, physical exertion like sit ups has no effect, time out, no effect, spanking, no effect and getting angry at him only seems to fuel his fire more. When he is alone, without any other kids around, he is fine, relatively perfect. But get him in class or around his step/brother, and all hell breaks loose. What am I supposed to do?

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VelvetHedgehog 5 years ago

I have stopped crying now. I think I have just had my lightbulb moment this morning, finally realising that my 10 year old son may well have ADHD. I hate labels, and acronyms more so, but it all seems to fit. The Jeckyll and Hyde in my son, the constant fidgeting, the inability to concentrate, the tantrums, the frustration.... it all adds up. Now maybe, just maybe I can find some help and support. Thank you to the author of this hub and all the other people who have posted (with the exception of "leaf").

Now for a phone call to his school to talk about his homework last night that looks, on first sight, like the work of a mad scientist, but a closer look will reveal not one single correct answer and a lot of doodles amongst his working out!

Joy in Canada 5 years ago

I everyone: I just learned my daughter has a learning disbility to reading/writing and ODD. I disagree with the person above "Leaf" who stated it is a disipline issue. Well let me tell you I have disaplined my daughter to death everything you can think of. I have been told I am too strick with her. I have been constantly getting her to do as she is told but when it comes to authority and asking her to do her chores (she is only 8) she melts down, screams at the top of her lungs for over an hour etc etc. You can reason, you can use time out, you can take away toys, TV, spank and nothing nothing works. THis has gone on as long as I can remember. So finally I took her to a pyshcologist as this was just not right this type of behaviour.I could understand if I was not disiplining her but I have been and it just keeps getting worst.She is now simply refusing to do anything and I cant physically but her in the time out. So now to the group I need some help as I went to two counselling sessions and they dont know anything unless they have a child with these disorders. Some quidance here would be great before I loose my duaghter in teenage hood to drugs, sex and crime as with her "must be her way or the highway attitude" I am very worried as to what will happen to her. Thanks

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Stephanie, one of the biggest battles with ADHD/ODD is the disrespect - and the main caregiver is the one who is generally targeted the most. The majority of the time, it is the mother who is the brunt of this, and this point is talked about in the book "Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents", by Russell Barkley. (available through my blog) However, the counselor will be a big help with this as well, and it will also help if you reinforce it. Let him know the role that you play in his life, and how important it really is. Keep at it and eventually, he will improve.

Hi Shylie, I found that when my son was particularly disrespectful or defiant, he could be redirected with food. Most of the time when he becomes belligerent, his blood sugar is low and a snack/sandwich can turn him around. He will improve as he gets older - the worst years (from personal experience and other parents comments,) are between the ages of 5 and 12.

Hi VelvetHedgehog, thank you for your comment :) You should contact the school and see if there are any forms you can fill out (generally available through the school counselor) that will help with getting a diagnosis, or you can simply consult a pediatrician to see what he/she has to say. (I did the form route, and it worked well for me.) Check out my blog (address above the comments section) for some resources and where to look for forms etc.

Hi Joy, I understand exactly what you mean! When your daughter has one of her episodes, try food - I know it sounds silly, but trust me, redirection with food does help. ODD seems to be linked in some way with low blood sugar, and extra snacks/meals are a must. It really helps with behaviors, and the redirection helps with getting her to do the things you need her to do. Don't bother reasoning - that will get you very little co-operation! Give her some space and time to cool down, feed her and then she will be more compliant with your wishes. As for physically putting her in time out, just remove her to her room, close the door; take a breath and go back to it after a few minutes. Butting heads with ODD is a lose lose situation. But don't give up on discipline - it is too important - find a better counselor, get the book I have mentioned above, do some reading and research and stay in touch. Unless you live with this on a daily basis, (like us,) this disability is something that few people understand or comprehend. It does get better with age, my son's behavior has improved and keeps improving the older he gets. The worst years are between 5 and 12.

PO 5 years ago

Hi Enelle,

Just a note to thank you for creating this informative space. I'm a Gr 6 teacher who has 2 ADHD/ODD students in my class & absolutely see how what you say makes sense re: ineffectiveness of repeated negative consequences.

These students just don't seem to care about anything, and behaviour as a result of negative consequences doesn't change. Both these students have similar argumentative tendencies, lack of respect for authority and have violent tendencies which they can't seem to control. I'm sorry to hear about the lack of support from 'the system' and that there is no 'magic bullet' that makes it better. Thanks to the parents who shared- it's truly eye-opening (and I must admit, terrifying)to really 'see' what you live at home when these kids are let out from school- a bull-in-a-china-shop phenomenon, as I understand it. I can only begin to imagine how exhausted you are at all times! Wonder how I can make a difference for families.

Though the book you recommend is on my to-read list, let me know about the positive things Ts did at school that helped YOU and of course the child-- any way to improve the behaviour is a valid one!

Thanks again,


A Concerned Teacher

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

One thing that seemed to help was the 1,2,3 concept. (3 strikes you're out) For younger children, the physical presence of 3 blocks on the child's desk helps them to see and remember. First offence, remove a block, second, remove another, etc. They broke down the school day into segments - attendance to recess, recess to lunch etc., and each segment started over with 3 blocks. If they lose all 3, they are removed from the classroom to a specified "quiet zone" where they are able to calm down and complete their work. This was not a total fix, but it did help to control the behavior. Having someone sit with the child (Teacher assistant) to prompt them to complete their work and help with behavior was also a positive step. The ADHD makes it almost impossible for these children to self start, or make transitions to other subjects. Unfortunately, sending them home is not a "consequence" but a reward, and the only thing it teaches the child is that if they want to go home, all they have to do is act out. In-school suspensions are more effective - or staying after school to complete assignments. Make sure the child eats their lunch - ODD seems to be linked to low blood sugar - my son is always more oppositional and defiant if he is hungry, and the medications suppress appetite. Redirect, deflect and feed them! Sounds silly, but it works. (Just giving them something to eat doesn't always work - you sometimes have to nag them to take a bite!) With persistence, consistency and dedication, the behaviors will improve with age.

KRISTIN 5 years ago

Hi there,

Thank you so much for writing all of this, it is so nice to hear that we are not alone. I have a 7 year old, who 1 year ago was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, possible ODD, and sensory issues. LIfe with him can be so amazing, and then snap, it goes the other way so quickly. We sat on a wait list for Mental Health for 1 year and have now been going since March. It has been great, but in the same breath his behaviour when we are there is usually not too good, so it is hard for all of us to get anywhere when we are there.

It all started when he was about 2 years old, and after raising one 2 year old already ( he is now 9 and a awesome mellow, laid back boy), I knew that something wan't quite right. He was very hands one, acting out, could never sit still, the whole nine yards. Once he started school (kindergarten), it got worse, he struggled socially, has no idea how to make friends, keep friends etc., was finally designated with H designation which is a behaviour designation through the school, which did get hid a EA in the classroom. He couldn't concentrate on school, had to sit on certain chairs, couldn't fininsh school work, mouthed people off and swears like a trucker! That summer once school was finished we (my husband and I), went to our family doctor and finally got our family doctor to give the ADHD diagnosis and put him on meds (biphentin). We struggled with the Biphentin, it didn't work, kept upping it and then did a top up at 3pm of ritalin, nothing lasted very long for him. He started grade 1 and was doing a bit better, still had his EA, went to reading recovery, had alot of support in the classroom, but still was getting in trouble. Got calls from the principals office on more than a few occasions, he got sent home from throwing rocks at all the cars that were driving past the school. Then towards the end of grade one we finally got in Mental Heath, they changed his meds to conerta, kept having to up it as it would only last till about 2pm, he is now on 54mg of concerta, and is lasting most of the day.

We are still struggling though, he can very abusive, more to me and his brother, than dad (who was in denial for the longest time, but has now come around). He has hit me, punched me, pushed me down the stairs, I have gone to our appts. at mental health with bruises. He also calls us all the names in the book, and heaven for bid we wanted to go out and do anything as a family, because it always gets destroyed by his behaviour.

So far in grade 2, he has been holding it together while at school, until last week when all wheels kind of fell of. He refused to take his meds in the am, warned the teacher and told them to call us if needed. Of course, we got that call, he was being sent home for threatening kids in the class with scissors- wanting to cut their hair, tried pulling down someones pant etc., the school wanted to call family services because of all of this, but didn't once they were properly informed about Connor and his actions on a regular basis. He got everything taken away form him, all his electronics etc., and he didn't care, we could take everything away and leave him with a pillow and blanket and he wouldn't care on bit, it so frustrating.

We have been judged by parents by other parents at the school, his older brother doesn't want to have anything to do with him most of time, and even one set of grandparents until recently thought that we just needed to parent him differently and be more strict!

I feel as a parent that I am always walking on egg shells, waiting for the next one to crack, because I know that it will sooner than later! My husband works night shifts 2 nights out of 6, and that can be really stressful with me, as Connor will push every button on me, refuse to do everything for me, it is his way or the highway. He never falls asleep before 10/10:30 at night, have tried melatonin, and it doesn't do anything for him!

I keep thinking that it sucks, and why did I get a child like this, but then I look in his eyes and my heart just melts, because I think if I am feeling this way, what goes on in his little head, as he always down on himself (lacks self esteem).

Everyday is a challenge, I never know what we are going to wake up to, the prince I know he can be or the devil that comes out so quick!

It is so nice to read everyone's posts and to know that we are not alone!

Thank you all, especially you Enelle for sharing your stories!


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Kristin, you are most welcome! I wouldn't give up on the melatonin - you can give more than one pill (3 mg) or find the 5 mg ones. If you find that his ODD is getting out of hand, feed him! For some reason, low blood sugar seems to be linked in some way with ODD, and feeding him is a great way to redirect him and settle him down.

The best thing you can do with the schools is to buy the book by Russell Barkley "Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents" There is a chapter or two for the schools that might help them understand the disability better. Or just lend them the book and tell them to read it!

It will also help with the grandparents, and give you a few pointers (hopefully) that will help with your son's behavior.

The most important thing you can do is be consistent...regardless of whether you son seems to respond to the consequences. Just keep at it, things will improve. The worst years are between 6 and 12. As he gets older, he will get a better handle on his behavior. Also - regardless of how he reacts, you need to keep informing your son that YOU are in charge - PERIOD! Otherwise he will not learn respect, especially if you let things slide. It might mean a few fights, but the results are worth it. As for the swearing, I wasn't politically correct - I washed my son's mouth out with soap...not something I can recommend, but it worked for me...shhhh...don't tell...I'm sure there are better consequences out there, but I was a single parent with no support, so I did what I could.

You do need more structure though. Same bed time, same meal time, same, same, same. This will also help. These kids are smart - they know we can't beat them, or boot them out, but we can put them in foster care and respite care...something I used with my son with decent results ;)

sarah 5 years ago

hi i wrote on here a couple of weeks ago now, over concerns that both myself and the school had about my 5 year old daughters behaviour. well shes seen the doctor and pediatriction and is now waiting a diagnosis of ADHD. i never new how many questionaires and paper work was involved but shes getting the help and encourgement she needs now. the pediatriction had asked me to put her on medication (this is where iam stuggling) i have said NO as i feel the sideaffects are to much especially for a 5yr old... and my daughter isnt as bad as some i have read on here and the way i look at is i would basisly be sedating her and then she WOULDNT be my girl, i have managed her for nearly 6years now and shes a charicter, i wouldnt change her for anything. she is who she is and that is how i want her to stay. if she was volitile to my 2 other children and she absolutly NEEDED this medication i would give it her without a seconds thought, but she doesnt. abi is at the minnor end of the adhd spectum and i feel this step would be 1 step to far! iam i right to do this? i just would like some input from people with personal experiances.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I was told by a pediatrician that putting my son on a medication for ADHD was like my son wearing glasses to see better, but you can read into that whatever you choose...however, there are natural remedies that claim to work as well or better. You might want to check out some of them - there are links on my blog if you are interested in researching some of the products available. :) (blog link is posted above the comments section)

Christel 5 years ago

I have never felt so alone until reading this. I finally felt I could relate. My 8 year old was handed the adhd/odd diagnosis about 2 years ago. Reading your story made me feel as I was reading my own. Since he made his stubborn enterance into the world, its been hard. He did not sleep for the first 18 months of his life. Constant trips to the ER with his constant screamming fits, one lasted 9 hours straight, without a break. Once school age hit, he spent more time in the office than the class room, but yet never came home with less than a B on report cards/tests, and has always been the top reader in his classes. He is the most sensitve child I have met, he crys every time he see's something sad, but yet with the flick of a switch he is in full blown tantrum mode. Its all black or white, never in between, one way or the other. Alienation from family, friends, teachers. Threatened to be expelled if I dont deal with his behaviour, no one wants to baby sit him,alienation all around. I refused to medicate him. Blamed my parenting skills, called in resources for help, really watched his diet. And finally gave in recently when he turned to me and said "why cant you just give me pills, so I can be a good boy" It did not break my heart, it SHATTERED it. He is on the lowest dose possible, I dont notice a improvement. I just want to thank you for sharing your story. It has refreshed my strength, since I have been feeling so HELPLESS. Children diagnosed with visible/physical illness are shown compassion, as they should. But children without get a lot less, its sad.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Christel, I remember saying the same thing to my son's teachers. There are natural products available that might help if you are opposed to medications. Not sure how they will help, as each child is different, but it doesn't hurt to check them out.

Also, the book, "Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents", by Russell Barkley helped a lot as well. (Links on my blog...)

Fallon Carlton 5 years ago

My son is 6 1/2 with ADHD PTSD and possible ODD. He is in first grade and is very bright however he is having difficulties doing his work. He is very difficult at home but lovely too. His grandparents, My finance', My self and My parents are all at a loss of how to make him do the consequences that he gets for his behavior and other reasons. Can you help?


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

If you are trying to get your son to concentrate on any type of work after school or in the evenings, I would suggest giving him a small dosage of his medications (if he is taking any,) as they generally wear off after 5-6 hours. This will help him concentrate, and was the only way my son would complete homework without a huge battle.

If you are asking how to get your son to comply with consequences like cleaning his room, doing chores etc., this gets a bit more complicated! You might notice you son will easily agree to consequences (especially to get extra time playing or a treat,) but when it comes time to actually doing what he has agreed to, you get opposition. This is pretty normal as they have a tendency to forget things they aren't keen on doing! The only course of action that has worked for me is being consistent, even when my consistency sparks a disagreement. It can be stressful, but in the long run it is much better than letting it slide. The behavior will improve with age, and the worst years are between 5 and 12. Also, the book, "Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents", by Russell Barkley helped a lot as well. (Links on my blog...)

Christina 5 years ago

My son is 8 years old, has ADD, a high functioning form of Asperger's and I think ODD. He is very intelligent, as handsome as his Daddy (who is the love of my life) and is driving us nuts. As I write this he has been doing homework for almost 4 hours. Last night was an epic 6 1/2, the same amount of time a school day lasts. It's not that he's not capable of doing the work, he manages to do it in school. I have tried everything, and I'm at my wits end. We've done the reward system, which he only managed to turn around on us by flat out refusing to do anything unless he's guaranteed getting his game system which was the reward. We've tried punishment, not allowing any TV time before homework, made sure there are no distractions, sat beside him for hours to help him, explained that if he gets his work done there will be free time to do what he wants. NOTHING works. Yet somehow he manages to do well in school. Though his teachers always talk about his focusing issues, he is performing at grade level, in a mainstream class, is two reading levels above where is expected, gets high scores on all tests, is very good at math, and can recite lessons he's been taught. Every time I walk into the school for whatever reason all I hear is "Hi Nicky!". Teachers who do not even have him in their class know who he is. Children in older grades know who he is and last year there were a group of 6th grade girls he called his "girlfriends". They were quite charmed by him. Apparently he is quite the character in school. I wish I could be a fly on the wall for a day to see it. Well behaved and well mannered I'm always told. It makes me mad and jealous that he can't show us the same respect and courtesy. We, after all, are the ones that do everything for him.

Home is another story. He's putting us through hell. My 19 year old daughter went to live with my Mother at 14 because she couldn't deal with the constant yelling, arguing and stress. It absolutely breaks my heart, as I love her dearly. She lives close by and I do see her quite often, she comes for sleepovers at our home and she and I are quite close. But I wish I had her home. She loves her brother, but gets as frustrated with him as we do. My neighbors put up with a lot as they listen to quite a bit of yelling. One has a son with ADHD so she really understands. Yet it's embarrassing as hell. This is not me. It's not the household I come from where things were quiet, and yelling just wasn't part of the program.

I have come to believe that part of his issues he is VERY much in control of. He's a devil in the morning as we get ready for school which he refers to as a "trap", but as he walks into the school yard I can literally see the transformation. He's good all day and the moment he gets out it begins to change and by the time I am pulling into my driveway it's "hello Mr. Nasty". He knows full well what he's doing. As he gets my husband and I (I am his FAVORITE target-the weakest link I guess) angrier and angrier you can almost see the twinkle in his eye. He enjoys it, which is nuts. We are not pushovers by any means, and don't let him get away with bad behavior because "he can't control it" as I've been told. BS! He likes to push our buttons, it's obvious. Our immediate family "gets it" but when you try to explain it to anyone not living with this they look at you like you have three heads. They see him as charming, witty, intelligent and oh my God do they LOVE to talk to him. "He speaks like an adult, not like a child!" If I had a dollar for every time I've heard this I'd be loaded. The cashiers in my local market are even charmed by him. None of them live with him though.

I am very involved with school and my husband has put him in Little League and Hockey (a perfect sport to release his aggression, but there Nicky acts like a wimp ) and my husband manages and coaches both teams to be involved. He himself is very athletic and the other kids and parents love his style. Nicky could be good in both, he has potential but he loves to give his Daddy a hard time. My husband has enrolled him in these sports teams to help with Nicky's social issues, which are another problem. He has befriended another boy on his hockey team with the same issues and at first we thought "Great, he's made a friend!". Well, two peas in a pod are not always the best thing when dealing with ADD. They drive my husband nuts during practice and games because they do not stop talking. It never ceases to amaze me how much he can talk, and he was delayed with his speech. He talks from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep. It's how we know he's fallen asleep, for we no longer hear the talking.

The level of stress is through the roof, and we both feel it taking a toll on our health. We can't ever get a break from him, as no one will take him for a sleepover. Everything we do or don't do is based upon whether Nicky will be happy, well behaved and/or entertained. It ALL revolves around him. I believe that my kids come first, but we have a life too. And that my daughter has sat out on vacations and outings because of the nonsense is so unfair. I don't invite our friends over because at any moment something can erupt, and escalate because he just doesn't know when to stop, and I don't need the added embarrassment. Holidays are pretty much the only time, and he usually makes sure to give me an extra hard time then knowing that I am busy and stressed as it is. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or any special day he likes to sabotage. If he knows you are not feeling well, he gets extra pleasure out of making you miserable.

I don't get to be a "Mommy" to him. Most of the time I'm angry, arguing, frustrated, annoyed and yelling. His childhood is flying by and it's so sad that things are this way. Once in a while (and I don't know why) he is a "normal" kid for a day. He's sweet, well behaved and I can breath again. It's cruel in a way because it lets me see how things could be. How I wish with all my heart they would be. It's a window to another life possibility, and I try to explain that to him. I try to point out that when he is like that there is no fighting or yelling, and there wouldn't be if he would act like that most of the time. But I think he gets bored with that. He likes the chaos.

We don't want to medicate him. I just don't feel these drugs have been around long enough, and who knows what effects will come to light in 10-20 years. Doctors and pharmaceutical companies just love to dispense a shot or a pill for everything nowadays. His pediatrician agreed that she is no fan of these medications either, and many others I've spoken to feel the same.

What do we do? I feel lost. Reading the other posts here have made me feel slightly better as I know we are not alone. We love our son dearly, and would do anything for him. We both believe he can be very successful someday, he has so much potential. But I also see a lot of trouble if he can't get his instigating and aggressive ways under control. His condition is a blessing in some ways (the intelligence) and a maddening situation in others. All I know is as I drive away from school after dropping him off I can feel the physical change in me. My chest loosens up, I can breathe, my head stops pounding, the stress fades and I can talk without yelling. And the reverse happens at pick-up time, I feel it all increasing because I know what will transpire. And I know homework hell is looming. It's a vicious cycle, and I go to sleep every night praying (sometimes crying) that my son will begin to ease up on some of this.

As more and more children seem to have this (there are about 6 boys in his class and I don't know how his teacher manages) the medical community and the schools need to step up their game. It takes a village to raise a child right? Something somewhere is causing this upswing and I do believe there is a remedy other than sedating them. I try to keep the faith that those questions will be answered, and a "cure" of some sort will be available someday. Til then the gray hairs keep coming faster and faster and my beauty supply store keeps making more money! LOL. I have to

Kirstie 5 years ago

So glad I found this page:) My son is 8, ADHD and dyslexia . . . . the eldest of 3 boys, our house is pretty noisy and wild, with Connor being the spark that ignites most of the drama! He is beautiful, creative, intelligent, artistic and sensitive BUT! social situations are a nightmare, he wanders off, runs around, acts impulsively, argues sometimes for days and days at a time, upsets everyone around him, school is not great - he has a hard time and its painful because he's a really really bright boy - sometimes just knocks me down with the conceptual/philosophical ideas and thoughts he has . . . . we start medication tomorrow morning - its taken a long time to accept this as a possible way forward, after trying many many many other ways of helping - behavioural techniques, alternative therapies, diet, homeopathy - all have had NO effect at all. So, even though we feel totally judged by many for deciding on a way forward that seems so controversial, we decided we're going to TRUST the experts and give this a go . . . . . . . . . thanks for writing this blog - its really GREAT to read the other stories and know that its not just us going through this - thanks enelle.

kirstie 5 years ago

first day - no dramas, very calm, hope it lasts!!!!! Just so worried about all these side effects - but I'm a worrier anyway so I'm sure I'm making it into much more of a deal than it needs to be . . . .

Christina 5 years ago


I am very curious as to how your son will respond to the meds. We are going through one of those cycles of "days and days of arguing" as you said. It seems to come in clusters, and I don't know why. There's no major change in anything that I can see that ignites this cluster. You feel like you've come out of a boxing ring when it's done. Beat up and exhausted.

Today I feel like it's going to come down to him going on something to see what it does, or I am going into therapy to keep my sanity. But I too am a worrier, and I'm so afraid to try it on him.

He gets me so upset that I say things that make me feel horrible. I love him so much, and just want desperately to be able to be with him the way I was with his sister when she was that age. I feel like a failure.

I wish you luck, and hope it works. I also hope you keep posting comments as you go, because I'm interested to see if it works. Your son sounds so much like mine. From the arguing to the intelligence and the "philosophical" thoughts. Nicky just blows us away sometimes with the things he thinks and says. It's amazing.

Good luck!

Kelly 5 years ago

I am a mother of 3 my eldest son is 12 and has ADHD and ODD, while he pretty much refuses to do anything he is getting a bit better behavior wise, in saying that we still have dramas everyday but they are not as bad as they used to be. My daughter is 6 and 1/2 and things need to be on her terms or watch out and you can hear the screaming fits down the street which last for hours on end.. She is my most well behaved if you can believe that. They say ADHD is hereditary which comes to my next issue and my biggest of all, my youngest son is 5, he is gorgeous and to look at, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. His behavior is 10 times worse than any behavior my eldest son ever portrayed and does things everyday all day that I don't believe are normal children things and he knows what he is doing is wrong. If I am in another room he will be up to something, today was painting the carpet in my bedroom, poured a bottle of cordial over the loungeroom floor, colored himself in from head to toe in texta these were just a couple of things, yesterday in the car on our way to a birthday party he wrote his name in pen over the roof of my new car, these things are just added extras to his all day everyday constant loud noises and disruptive behaviors. I dont go out in public with him at all to shops or appointments it's too embarrassing. I am scared to take him to get checked out by the doctor as I have already one child who has been on medication for 6 years on 12 hour dose. I wish there was an alternative answer. He starts school after Christmas and I am fearing the worst.

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cmendonc 5 years ago

Oh my I thought you were talking about my son. He is 11 now and everything you talked about we have been through. Like your son my son was suspended twice in kindergarten for hitting, leaving the class room, and standing on the desks. My son is highly gifted ( an IQ of 151)very creative, has a great sense of justice, fiercely loyal, and at times my favorite person in the world. I felt like, while reading your blog I was looking through a glass at my life. Every incident you talked about we have been through and are still going through. I just wanted to let you know I'm greatful to find your blog its nice to remind myself that my son is not the only child this way. I am struggling right now with the public school system. My son is at the point where he hates school and is failing. I'm just glad I found yuor blog.

Lisa 5 years ago

It seems rare to hear a person talk in the same way about their child as I do. It makes me feel like less of a failure at being a parent- a single parent at that. I could go on and on about the similarities, but I think, as you've written, that you understand. It was great reading your story and I hope it gets better- for all of us who deal with our loved, yet challenging children.

Kirstie 5 years ago

The Meds are still working!

I am trying not to get too carried away with excitement here as we're only on day 4, but we are seeing a BIG difference with Connor after 4 days of medication. We started on the lowest dosage which he has to take 2 times a day, so after breakfast and then just before lunch at school - I have been going in to give it to him at lunch time. I think we will probably have to spend a bit of time tweaking the dosage because you can see when the first dose is wearing off so it has to be timed well or all hell breaks loose! But we can all see a massive difference - at home, at school, playing in the park - its like Connor on a good day but every day - I used to always think 'if only everybody else could see what I see' and now it does feel like they might, which just makes me want to weep for time lost . . . . . I also feel so relieved that medication hasn't turned him into a 'zombie' as several helpful relatives of mine suggested it would - he still very definitely is himself and not a 'zombie', just less explosive and reactive.

Christina - thanks so much for your comments and good wishes - I really feel for you because I know just what its like having a 'phase' of arguing etc - Connor seems to do that too - sometimes we have better phases and then just when you think you might be getting a handle on it along comes a particularly challenging phase which makes you feel as though you're a terrible parent and that its all your fault. But it isn't - our children have a disorder that makes them different and you could be the best super parent in the universe and it wouldn't make any difference to the way that they behave in one of those phases - I hope you post more messages too and that things get a bit better for you and your family - just never forget what an amazing job your doing as its all to easy to forget!

I have too felt at times like I might lose my sanity, blamed myself, considered myself an awful parent and the rest! We took a long time considering medication, read all the pro's and con's, read all the terrible stories on the internet, changed our minds a million times, talked to people, didn't talk to people!!!!! the list go's on. . . . in the end I decided to trust our very kind and knowledgable consultant who didn't pressure us either way and said that we could try this and if it didn't work or if we didn't feel comfortable with it in any way we could just stop it - easy as that . . . . and I thought you know if it works and even only works temporarily at least it will be a break from the behaviour for a bit so we can all feel a bit less tense -like breaking a negative cycle.

Really enjoy reading the stories on here because even though I have lots of nice friends - none of them have kids with adhd and so it feels like my tales of woe fall on deaf ears with them! and its really great to read these posts and realise you're not alone.

Katherine 5 years ago

Wow..reading some of these stories makes me realise I am not alone.I actually came across this hub by googleing "How do I love my ADHD child" after sitting down crying all night (again)after my daughter finally went to sleep..Today has been the day from hell..another,out of many years of it..I am a single parent and my daughter is 6 yrs old.She has finally been diagnosed with ADHD about 3 months ago and the waiting for each appointment takes forever..We finally have an appointment next week with the Child Psychiatrist that will perscribe some medication.I was happy to read your comments "Kirstie" that the meds are working for your son..I hope they also work for my daughter so I can start to enjoy her because it seems like that is never going to happen..

I could go on and on but I would just be repeating what everybody else says about their children..At least I now know that I am not alone..Well I am in the way that nobody I know understands how hard it is. I don't know anyone that has an ADHD child,so they just dont get it.

I live in a small town in New Zealand where everybody knows every body elses business but mostly I'm the person with the unruly child that nobody likes.It's so hard and just a trip to town if I absolutely have to go ends in tears..usually for me as my daughter is oblivious to any hurt or embarrassment she may have caused or just doesnt give a dam.

It's now Midnight.I have to get up at 6am to get ready for work.I hate going to bed as then my peace is over.The morning comes around too quickly and I have to wake up and start another horrible day.

I just have to hope that whatever medication my daughter gets put on is going to help and there may be light at the end of the tunnell..At the moment I feel like I am stuck in the middle and will never see any light..

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Just a quick note for everyone who is keeping tabs on this hub - I have a blog called One Small Step for Parents ( and there is a forum where everyone can get together and send messages, ask questions or just leave comments - for support, information etc. It is free to use, and there are also resources and links for information etc. for those who are interested.

Hope to see you there :D

Christina 5 years ago


I'm so happy for you! It gives me that nudge to try this myself as I have just come back from taking Nicky to school and it was hell this morning. After giving me a 5 1/2 hour homework session last night that should've taken 1 for the little he had, the fun just continued this morning. He didn't want to leave for school. He grabbed the banister and held on tight (he's strong for a slim 8 year old), I had to pull him off of it. Then he wouldn't walk out the door, I had to grab him by the jacket and pull him out. Then he stood in front of the car door and declared that he wasn't getting in. Had to fight him into it. When we got to school, he didn't want to get out of the car, and kept pushing the lock button as I'm trying to open the door. When I finally got it open and reached inside for him, he tried to close the door on my arm. I literally had to pull him out of the car. Then as if all that wasn't enough, he stood in front of the school entrance and refused to walk inside. I just kept saying "Get in the building". Of course all the other parents and kids are staring and I look like a nut job. I would think the same thing not knowing what hell this child has just put his Mother through.

I have issues with my back, neck and arm from a car accident years ago. I am sore all over from this. My back is killing me, and the pain is shooting from my neck to my shoulder and down my arm. My old injury has been fully aggravated.

My husband works so I am the one responsible for taking him to school, but in a few short years he will be bigger and even stronger and I wont be able to get him to do anything.

I'm telling my husband today that this child is going on some sort of medication. I cannot take it any more. Especially as we are so close to Christmas. The last thing either of us wants to do is punish Nicky and not get him what he wants most for Christmas (Nintendo 3DS). But at the same time, he's really been on a rampage lately and doesn't deserve it. We don't know what to do. He should be the most wonderful part of the holiday, and instead he's blowing it.

I'm so glad I found this blog, as it gives me a chance to vent to people who understand fully what is going on. My closest friends don't get it. It's bad enough that they don't have children of their own so they not have a clue what it's like to be a parent, let alone a parent of a child like this.

What I would like to know is what is causing this. Why are there so many children (mostly boys) like this now? This goes WAAAAYYYYY beyond "boys being boys". It's like there is a generation of very aggressive, volatile, "super brats" coming up. What will they all be like when they are adults? Is this a problem worldwide or is it primarily in the U.S.? They have such amazing intelligence that they could be capable of great things in the future, if their behavior doesn't derail that.

As I said, I think it's time we try the meds. I really don't know what else to do.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Christina,

In a way, it is an epidemic, and it is world-wide, just not in the U.S. I get a lot of questions from parents in the U.K. who also need support and information. I do have a blog with more information on it - this is just one of the articles that I posted here on HubPages. The blog address is and there is a link capsule with alternative medications/holistic supplements for those parents who are adverse to prescription medications. Several parents have reported success with them, but it depends on the child and the degree of disability I think.

Believe it or not, it is quite "normal" for ADHD kids to have more behavioral issues close to the holidays. I don't know why, but every school my son attended has reported this behavior change.

I understand your reluctance to "reward" bad behavior, regarding Christmas presents. You can still go ahead and get the gift, but keep in mind that you can always ground him from it if the behavior doesn't warrant it ;)

If you are interested, you can post your results regarding the medications on my blog - this way other parents might find some support as well. All you have to do is join (free, of course,) and I will authorize your postings. For now, I will copy your comments and post them for others to see.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Kelly, As much as you don't want to, the behavior won't get any better until you do. I wish you the best - I certainly wouldn't want to be in your shoes - mine are bad enough! I swear my son is like having twins!

cmendonc, I do, (as I have mentioned above,) have a blog at with resources, books, links and a forum. You might find something on there that can help. I also recommend Russell Barkley's book "Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents.

Thanks Lisa, I do understand! Check out my blog - you might find some extra help and support. As well, check out Russell Barkley's book!

Katherine, there is light! Honestly! It just takes a few years and a lot of hard work, but I am seeing results! The worst years are before teenage years.

Christina 5 years ago

Hi Enelle,

I really appreciate that you took the time to read my posts and comment back. It's nice to know someone's listening.

I am still in shock from yesterday morning and my body is literally quite sore. I think it'll take a few days to recover from this. And no surprise that after that morning debacle, Nicky did not have a good day in school. I sent my husband to pick him up as I really didn't want to see him (went Christmas shopping with my Mom for a little bit), and his teacher was not pleased with his performance that day (took way to long to settle in and did not complete classroom work). My husband then informed her on what he had done to me that morning and she was quite surprised. See, my son does not want us to "expose" what he's like at home to his teachers. He's quite calculated when it comes to that.

I will look into the alternative methods as you mentioned, and will speak to his pediatrician about all this. I've always wished there were a holistic method of treatment, and when considering the wide variety of natural alternatives that people use for other conditions, I'd like to think one exists for this. But if it did, wouldn't everyone be using it and we'd all go along happily in our lives? I'm also looking at purchasing some of the books available. It's like grasping for a lifesaver in a stormy sea.

Did discuss this with my husband and we know in our hearts how hard we've worked over the past several years with Nicky. We also know that we need to go another route, but we are both still so nervous about introducing meds to the mix. Whether holistic or by prescription, something's gotta give.

Thanks again, and I will keep posting :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Christina, I would also suggest counseling and behavior modification. You need to find someone who is very familiar with or who deals with (on a daily basis) ADHD kids. The reason being is that they are familiar with the manipulation and calculation exhibited by many of these youngsters. As for being nervous about meds - would you rather continue the way things are going now? Obviously things aren't working, and aren't changing - time to change things up a bit. Insanity is described as, "repeating the same behavior or motion in the hope that the outcome will be different..."

please post your reply at (One Small Step for Parents blog) under the Forum tab - other parents need to read this as well :D

Kirstie 5 years ago

Christina - I really feel for you because we've had so many experiences like the one you described and totally understand how it makes you feel - Enelle's right though, it sounds like something needs to change in order for you all to feel better about the situation.

We tried homeopathy for quite a while with Connor and found it a bit hit and miss - but cost us a fortune! I could'nt deal with the irregularity of it and we were getting fed up about the embarassing situations we kept finding ourselves with Connor. If its any help to you - we really struggled with the decision of medication - being a very pro natural/alternative medicine type of family - in the end my husband persuaded me to listen to the consultant even though I felt it really very hard to go ahead with it.

We are still pleased with the results of the medication - our home has become so much more peaceful - less sibling arguments/fights, less dangerous/impulsive/attention seeking behaviour - the sleep issue hasn't got any better though, so I'm working on that with a sleep counsellor to see what we can do.

We have managed more outings that haven't ended in disaster - a big city day trip where we didn't lose him! A supermarket trip with all 3 children that didn't end in disaster and the village christmas fayre last night where we all enjoyed ourselves and didn't have to leave early.

We hope this will last and that its not just a temporary thing, but even if it is its at least given the whole family a break from the constant struggle.

Katherine - I so understand your predicament living in a small village - we have lived in several small villages and found its really hard being so visible when you're struggling - but I'm sure it will get better, because you're doing something about it - good luck x

Anyway - I'm going to head over to the website Enelle has mentioned, so hope to see you all over there!

Ondrea 5 years ago

Hi ok I'm desperate! My daughter has ADHD and odd , she was taken to the local alternative treatment unit where she has been for 5 weeks now. They have tried all sorts of meds including geodon but still no change to her violent aggressive behavior! They are not sure what is causing them nor what to do so they want to send her to a residential treatment facility 4 hours away!! Although she is hard at home and unable to go to school due to her behavior I am heartbroken of sending my daughter off to somewhere far away! Any other loving parent whos going through this might understand! When she is not in a fit she's sweet and cuddly. Because she is not autistic they cannot bring resources here so I'm being told my only option (she's 9) is to give her up to the local Dhs or send her off! I can't stop crying about this and cannot bear to loose her because there are no resources here. Any idea?

Brigitte Bosch 5 years ago

Please help me, my grandson is ADHA/ODD and i am trying to get him an IEP and they think he is just mean and all they see is the ODD . I found a great school he WANTS to go to because he can play drums, guitar, tap on table and run around but needs school to beleive me and his doctors . They said it is 'behavior' and that's all :(

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks Kirstie, I hope to see Chrisina there also :) The forum is much better suited for exchanging ideas - and the other parents who follow that website might have suggestions or questions as well!

Hi Ondrea, is there no counseling available in your area at all? It sounds like your daughter might benefit from behavior counseling/modification - I have not found one parent who had success with medication for the ODD - so far the only success I know of is counseling. It takes a while (due to her young age,) but it does work as long as you remain consistent. Personally, I wouldn't want to give her up either. There has to be something that can be done other than shipping her off.

Hi Brigitte, The first thing you need to do is get an appointment with a pediatrician or psychiatrist and obtain a diagnosis for the ADHD/ODD. If you already have one, give a copy of it to the school - principal/teacher/counselors so that they can see it in black and white. They will have no alternative but to set up an IEP. Don't give up - it might be a bit of a struggle, but stick to your guns on this!

Ondrea 5 years ago

Hi enelle,

Yes my daughter has been in counseling for almost a year now and still going but it's not helping so far, I takes to the dr today and they are adding some more meds for now, but she can't be in this unit forever and can't go to school like this

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I suggested to another parent to give Mona Vie a try - it is a natural juice that works at the cellular level, and a couple of the distributors have ADHD children and claim that it works - their kids are almost "normal" with no behavioral outbursts...not sure if it will help/work with your daughter, but it might be something to try if the medications aren't working.

Richard 5 years ago

I am not a parent, but I was a child with saveare social problems. Everything about what was side about ADHD/ODD was me to a t. However, let me make my point fermly and without intention to offend. Speaking from personal experience, I do beleve that ADDHD/ADD and ODD, are real disoders, however, just becouse a child exibits behavors that look like thes disorders, does not nessasaraley mean that the child might have it. I do firmly beleve that the reason there are so many childern on drugs, AND I WILL USE THE TERM DRUGS, NOT "MEDICATION", is because parents are being minipulated buy the syestem, in other words, the are being told by these "PROFETIONALS" that simply becuse there child is hyper, that thier child has a "DISORDER" or if you rather "SOCIAL DISORDER". My advice to you, and again I do not mean to offend, is if you fear that you're child may have something wrong with him or her, talk to them, and if you feel it be nessasary to take you're child to a Phycologist, just take coution, find the best one you can, and by best on you can, i mean find one that is accualy going to be a real Phycologist, in other words, someone who is acctualy talk to you and you're child, and NOT someone who is just going to try to convince you to get you're child INTOXACATED. You are the parent, you and only you know you're child.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I agree Richard, thank you for reinforcing that point. The first action a parent needs to take is to have their child assessed by a psychiatrist/pediatrician. There is a lot more to these disabilities than just being hyper.

Thanks for commenting!

Sandy 5 years ago

Omg! I read your story and that is total me! Wow all this time I thought I was alone In this thanks for sharing

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

We aren't alone in this Sandy - it just feels that way!

Richard 5 years ago

No prob :) Thanx for you're appreciation :) :) :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

If you are interested, you can check out my blog, One Small Step for Parents, (link is listed under Additional Resources for ADHD/ODD in the above hub.) There are links to websites, books, resources, articles and a forum for support/questions/answers etc. Hope to see you there!

Marla 5 years ago

Don't sweat the small stuff - try and remember when your two year old tells you he hates you that he really doesn't and that you're the adult. Use the magic 123 system. I wish we had heard about it sooner - we implemented it when he was 4, never beieving it would work for this intensely willful and defiant "little man", but it did. We did the Feingold diet and found that blue and green dyes and apple products-including juice!- affected his behavior. He liked us paying attention to his diet too, so this could have contributed to the success. We found that gluten-free and dairy-free diets didn't do anything. Rewards helped, but are more effective now that he's 11 1/2. As much as he needed physical activity, we could never put him into organized sports until he was about 9. He was way too defiant with coaches and disruptive to his teams before then. Birthday parties were a nightmare. I could never just drop him off. Since he was a handful from birth, we knew something was up and had early interventions - doctors, adderall at age 5, social skills training. A good book is by Jed Baker for social skills help. My husband and I didn't realize how consumed we had become by his behavior until grade one when he had a good teacher who liked him and suddenly there was hope because he was making progress. If I knew when he was two what I know now that he's 11 1/2, I would not have worried so much. That's not to say my blood pressure didn't rise every night with homework or that I wasn't filled with dread whenever I learned he had a project due, but now, things are way more manageable. In September, we promised him a phone for Christmas if he didn't get sent to the office or get a call from his teacher all term. He worked his butt off and got the phone. Then tonight, we had a major blowup -led me to this amazing site. It could be the lack of structure over the holidays? A couple of the posts have talked about a link between low blood sugar and ADHD/odd. I will pay more attention to this now. But these episodes are draining - remind me of the tough days when he was younger and make me take a deep breath as the teenage years loom. A quick note - a mom wondered about a possible connection between meltdowns and growth spurts. My husband and I noticed a pattern of bad behavior happening whenever he lost a tooth and when they were growing in. I know that sounds strange, but it became predictable for us. Hugs to all the amazing parents here. We deserve a pat on the back.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Marla, thank you for your insightful comment. This is the first time I have heard about a possible link between growth spurts and behavior. It does stand to reason though if you take into consideration that virtually everything can be a trigger for a meltdown. I too will keep an eye on this. I definitely have noticed a link (at least with my son,) between low blood sugar and behavioral issues. I started giving my son something to eat whenever he had a meltdown simply to redirect him because, as you have said, the episodes are draining and I "selfishly" needed a break! (LOL) I soon discovered that the behavior disappeared after feeding him. It didn't matter what time of day, morning, afternoon, after school, after supper, just whenever his behavior escalated - angry, resentful, verbal tirades, etc., I would give him a snack and within minutes he would be calm and redirected with the episode forgotten, (a perfect time to address whatever had upset him in the first place...)

It is good to read another parent's views on growing up. My son's behaviors improved as he matured, although it did take longer to see positive results - probably because these kids are 4 - 5 years behind their peers behaviorally.

Christina 5 years ago


I can't believe you mentioned the tooth loss. My son had been through the roof before Christmas with his behavior, and he did indeed lose a tooth in December! How strange. I read so many possible "triggers" but that's a first, and quite a coincidence.

Thanks for the food for thought. And you're right we all do deserve a pat on the back.

Sharon 5 years ago

ADHD is real. My adopted son is now 6-years-old and has nearly destroyed my marriage and our family. He was a foster child and we adopted him when he was 10-months-old. Yes, he was a difficult baby with colic like symptoms and a never content disposition. However, we had not idea what our futures would hold. Having four biological children as well, I can tell you ADHD is real. Sometimes I question what else is going on but currently his behavior is managed by Adderal, Focalin and Seroquel (to sleep). We live one day at a time and never know what tomorrow will bring. Our outlook is God placed this little man with us because He believed in us. We pray for patience. Thanks for sharing your story. I will be interested to read your books.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you Sharon, you will definitely need the patience! Always remember (especially when you are having a particularly trying day,) that you chose to help this child, and without your help, he would have little to no chance for a successful life.

My son's father is in his early 40's and is just now starting to get his life in order. He was never diagnosed, but has come to realize that he has ADD/ODD, and never had the assistance of the progams that are available now.

Rasha 5 years ago

i need your help, my daughter she is 5 and half year old, still sleeps is school.

she is a ADHD, i face almost the same your issues.

she is in the best private school is my country.

is she need to be in any special school for ADHD???

or i let her continue in the same private school with her brother and sister??

i am really tired and sick, i dont know but i feel sorry for my daughter and i want to get this feeling quickly


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

There is no quick answer for ADHD. I would keep her in the school, but you need to educate the teachers and staff about ADHD. See if you can get some Melatonin (is natural sleep aid) to help her sleep at home and get a couple of books to learn about ADHD and how you can help your daughter. You can get more information on my blog at There are books and resources that might help you.

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shaunda80 5 years ago

Hello Everyone, and Hello Enelle,

I am so glad that I found your post. I have an 8yr old son who was diagnose with ADHD/ODD. The behavior issues has started with him since he was 2yrs old. He was kicked out of one daycare at the age of 4 because of his aggressive and defiant behavior, mainly towards females. I took him to see a psychiatrist when he was in kindergarten back in 2009. He had to repeat kindergarten because of his behavior which affected his grades. The second year of kindergarten was a total 360 for him because he was put on Dexadrine and the teachers didn't have any issues with him at school. In 2010 he had to get off of the Dexadrine because he was very very skinny and it made him sick and so his psychiatrist switched him to Statterra, which really didn't work as good as the Dexadrine. I kept getting phone calls from his teacher about his behavior and him not listening in school and doing whatever he felt like doing. The psychiatrist took him off of the Stratterra because he kept picking at his fingers or trying to cut at them with scissors and still shows defiant behavior. He is currently not on any meds and have switched psychiatrists. I like the new psychiatrist that he has now because he actually takes time out to talk to him and is trying to get to the root of the problem with my son. My son's biological father is not active in his life and only calls him once every blue moon, and make him broken promises which has tremendously affected my son's behavior. He goes through crying spells for no reason, he also likes to ignore people, make evil faces, and walk off when I am talking to him. He doesn't have a normal appetite and barely eats, and he is very skinny. At school he doesn't listen to his teacher, he won't do his school work, and all he cares about doing is being a class clown at school when he gets around certain kids at school, which has affected his grades. He is in the 2nd grade and can't afford to get held back another grade due to his behavior. He is a very smart kid, but acts so immature and has a very nasty attitude, and also won't look at anyone in their face when they are talking to him or chastising him when he gets in trouble. I get so frustrated with the phone calls and emails from his teacher about his terrible behavior at school. I have been feeling to the point of giving up on my son, and I feel horrible for writing this because I love my son very much and want the best for him but I just don't understand what is making him do the things that he does at school. I have wondered to myself so many times where did I go wrong with him. I have even stopped spanking him because it doesn't even work. I tried talking to him but it's like talking to a brick wall. I have set up an appointment for him to undergo psychiatric testing in 2 weeks. The psychiatrists doesn't want to put him on meds until they get back his test results. It's good to know that I am not the only one out here going through these behavior issues with my son. I'm so ready to throw in the towel at times, but I thank god for giving me strength to hang in there. I also have an 11yr old son and a 2yr old daughter, and a loving husband who has been very supportive, but we are all very frustrated with our 8yr old son. Thank you all for sharing your stories on here. I hope one day we all will be set free from the stress we have endured of dealing with ADHD/ODD behavior.

RCK 5 years ago

I'm so glad to have found this site, as some days I really think I must be imagining how hard it is to live with my two boys with ADHD. I'm sure the younger one is also ODD, although he has not been diagnosed with it. He fights us on seemingly everything. Each day I'm not sure what it will be. I want him to play sports, so he can stay in shape. He has gotten chubby (especially since being on an anti-depressant), but he quits whenever he begins to be good at something. If we "make him" do it, even with a reward we have problems with him not following the coach's directions or putting forth effort at practices. I don't know if the best thing to do is just stop making him do activities, or keep struggling with it. He is 11 and he has decided he likes wrestling, so maybe we should just stick with the one actitivity and not worry about sports during the other seasons. What do others think? OF course school is an on again off again battle with episodes of not allowing teachers to help him, not using scrap paper for math when it is required, etc. I'm just wondering if I should give up the fight on actitivies.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi shaunda80, You might want to get a couple of books on ADHD - it helps when you learn everything you can about the disability - something that might help is to FEED you son whenever he has an episode - FEED him. Because ADHD medications and possibly ADHD itself block the hunger signals, the child doesn't realize how hungry he or she really is, and their blood sugar drops. By feeding them whenever there is a sign of opposition or bad behavior, it not only minimizes the length and strength of the episode, it serves to distract them as well.

Talking to a brick wall is exactly how it appears, however, as they get older, it does filter through. It seems not to work at this age because behaviorally your son is 4 to 5 years behind, meaning you are disciplining a 3 or 4 year old, and you know how often you have to repeat yourself to a child of that age. Just keep on repeating! It will eventually work.

My son also used to be very skinny and hardly ate - I decided that I would let him leave the table after he had eaten 3 more bites - however, if the bite was "too small" I would say that it didn't count and make him eat one more. Usually I managed to get him to clean his plate! I would also help him, by putting the bite on his fork myself and getting him to eat it...that strategy worked for several years before he caught on!

You might also get the psychiatrist to check him for autistic behaviors - the no eye contact is a big point. I couldn't see past the ADHD/ODD (and neither did the psychiatrist) until my son was much older and the bouncing off the walls had calmed down. Then we could see other behaviors that were hidden by the hyperactivity.

I would also suggest that you check out my blog (and the forum) at for additional support and resources.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi RCK, If your son is interested in wrestling, then maybe you should just stick with that sport. If it falls by the wayside, then opt for something different. It has been a struggle to get my son interested in ANY sport, but we make sure he gets outside with friends whenever possible, walks the dog, take him swimming etc.

Mandy Smith 5 years ago

My son Isaac who is now 6 years old, was just diagnosed with ADHD as well as ODD. Everything you talk about is what I go through day in and day out. My son just started grade 1 this year and has been suspended over a dozen times!! He literally lost 3 weeks of school because they didn't know how to deal with him. It's nice to know that I'm not alone and my son isn't alone and that there is other families that go through the same things we go through, it's rough when other parents look at you and say you need to discipline him, your too soft, like its all your fault that your child acts the way he does because you taught him to be that way!! These parents that have these wonderful children that listen and cooperate, its not because their doing something right, it's because that is the way their child was built, and this is the way our children were built!!!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hang in there Mandy, things WILL get better! If you would like to connect with other parents who are dealing with the same/similar issues, please stop by my blog, One Small Step for Parents at There is a forum as well as books and resources that you might find helpful!

The step mom 5 years ago

I'm a step mom to an ADD 7 year old so naturally its rough since there's four kids between him and I. The father the kid prefers to step back and let us work together and solve problems but his youngest with ADD isn't easy for me. I've tried communicating when she gets to hitting but when she gets angry she'll hit or bite or scream hurtful things. She feels like I love her less if I get angry for the hitting. I try to get one on one time with her and we always have a great time. Me and the father do not believe in spanking or anything physical but sending her to her room to calm down is only effective for calming down. The hitting is always repeated. I'm afraid that her hitting is getting increasing harder and more aggressive. I have 2 younger kids and one is way to small for her to hit but it happens. I am looking for any advice to make life easier at home. I never want any of these four girls to feel less loved than another. Sometimes I'm so afraid to make her feel bad I slack on reprimanding her. I am in love with her outgoing and at times extremely empathetic personality. I've been with her 3 years now but recently she started seeing a psychiatrist and hits everyone and says that she's just so angry in order to justify. It's recent that I began to get overwhelmed and I'm desperate for us to have our relationship back. I know this takes time but I hope someone will have a method that's gentle on us both most importantly emotionally gentle.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I don't know if I'm the right person to ask regarding your daughter hitting people. My son tried that with me when he was 6 and I responded in a, shall we say, non politically correct way. However, it worked and he never tried it again...

I would suggest possibly anger management - I tried to find a program for my son for years - with no results until now, and I think it would have been a very positive step for the school/professionals to take. I think that when a child has that much anger, they need to be able to recognize it, understand where it comes from and know how to deal with it - at any age, not just when they are in their teens. Stick to your guns and find a program that will take your daughter. It can make a big difference for both of you.

It might also be a good idea to get a couple of books about ADHD - they can help as well.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hello Enelle and all the other frustrated parents,

Just found a VERY lengthy article, "The Drugging of Our Children" by Gary Null (you can Google it) that really delves into the ADD/ADHD problem (seemingly concentrated in North America according to this, as we account for 96% of the prescription use worldwide) and the topic of medicating. I haven't read the entire article as it is quite long, ( I plan to) but was intrigued by what I have read so far...

You can read this comment in it's entirety on my blog, One Small Step for Parents @

Thanks Christina - this is a very insightful post!

Elly 5 years ago

Hi i have just been reading this and i have a son who is 4 years old i had the same when he was a baby of him crying all day and all night. He was so much hard work that we was trying to think of maybe some kind of foster care as nobody els could handle the crying only me. Not even his dad could handle him. Now he is starting school and i have to pick him up at lunch times as the teachers cant handle him all day as he gets so angry. I went to pick him up yesterday and the teacher started shouting at me saying my son has been kicking him so hard in the legs he is now coverd in bruses. The school is refuring my son to a mental helth group who willl come and talk to us. Not quiet sure what about as they didnt say. I dont understand as most of the time when my son is with me i can controll him i say most but not all the time. I normaly just bribe him. Thanks for puting your story here its nice to know im not the only person with the angry kid.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You're welcome Elly, after your 'visit' with Mental Health, you might want to check out some resources to help with the anger your son exhibits.

Danielle 5 years ago

Wow! Thank goodness I found this sight. After getting yet ANOTHER call from the school principle today I thought I was lot and all alone. I am stressed with my 7 year old son beyond belief. He too has ADHD/ODD. I feel like I am at the end of my rope (all the time) the principle tells me today that yesterday was a REALLY bad day at school. I tell her I am doing everything I can to try and help him. He is speeking with a therapist, we have a " Expectations, COnsequences" list in my kitchen (which we came up with together) and we are looking to get him on soem meds to try and help him. I was REALLY against medicating him but have come to the realization that I cannot hold him back. If this is something that will help him I have to try it. So after telling her this she says " CHildren with ODD are some of the hardest to deal with". Well no duh, thanks for your input. Then she says it seems like you are doing everything you can. And all I could think in my head was... "Uh- yeah, hes my son. and if I am doing everything I can why do you call me EVERY week and tell me all of the things he is going wrong" I feel like I am a broken parent and I cannot fix him. I feel like I am failing him as his mother. When I read your article I FINALLY felt like I am not alone. Thank you.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Danielle, first off, you aren't failing him - you are doing everything you can think of to help, so how can that be classed as failing? See if you can set up an IEP - individual education program at the school, that might help somewhat, also see if you can get a teacher's aid (they have another name that escapes me at the moment,) as that can also help your son in school. Make sure the teachers have snacks on hand for when the ODD manifests - it helps regulate the blood sugar, and can possibly redirect and calm you son down - works for my boy, and has for many years now.

Check out my blog at for more resources, and a forum for questions, answers and support.

Jessica 5 years ago

Thank you all. For this article, for sharing your personal stories, and some of the things that have helped to relieve the symptoms. I have a 9 year old step son who I have been raising for the last two years. He has ADD, ODD, and depression. Not to get into all of it, but I can relate to every single post on this page. Just a few days ago my husband and I started to discuss a 'break' from the situation for me and our other two children. I would very much appreciate some advice on how to defuse a situation when it is on the verge of his explosions because the stress, fighting, yelling, name calling, lying, stealing, and many other aspects of his behavior is not healthy for the other four members of our family. Thank you in advance.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Jessica,

A couple of things - counseling if you haven't already, (this helps with social behavior) respite care, (can be for a few hours, or a weekend - just something to help you recharge your batteries) and give him plenty of snacks (this helps with the ODD - helps level his blood sugar plus redirects him and calms him down - works for my son and trust me, my son was h*** on wheels!) The lying, stealing and name calling will abate more as he gets older, but I found that having the police talk to him periodically scared him straighter and was useful as a deterrent.

sue0001 5 years ago

I have a son who is 16 with adhd and also on the autistic spectrum, he takes equasymn which is slow release and melatonin. make sure he is on the correct dose for his weight with the adhd drugs and make sure he has drug free holidays. i dont give my son anything at the weekends or in the holidays. the body can get used to melatonin , were 3mg would work as they get used to it you have to increase the dose. this is all done with the approvaland advice from the consultant.You need to praise good behavior but also let them know if they are misbehaving there will be consequences and to follow through with them or they wont learn any boundries. My son has gained excellent grades and he is now taking A levels he has plans to go on to university. just to let you know i am also a single parent. As an after thought have you had his urine tested to see if he he gluten or lactose intolerant as if this is the case this can also affect his behavior.

Sophia 5 years ago

My sons pediatrician suggested taking 'Bynadryl' thirty minutes before has worked well for three years. I guess it is non-addictive and help children who are taking ADHD medication fall asleep.

susie 5 years ago

My son was recently kicked out of Kindergarten, I am at my wits end. ODD--Never heard of it, sounds like it could be what he has. Thank you. I am going to give him this medication called cognitive and calming...all herbs, prescribed by a doctor if anyone else wants an idea of what to give your adhd, odd child.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Sue, That is one thing I haven't done, but now that you mention it, I'll add it to my list for the next Dr. appointment. Thanks for the tip :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Sophia,

I have been giving my son Melatonin (5 mg.) I tried the Bynadryl, but it had no effect for my son - mind you, there might be other parents who would find this effective. Thanks for the tip :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Susie,

I think you are very fortunate that your doctor is prescribing an alternative medication. Keep up posted about how it works!

Tiersa 5 years ago

I too am living with a child with adhd and odd and so glad to see your article. I was in tears half way through thinking of my own son and the dealing we are having. He too has been suspended from kindergarten and the school believes its due to lack of structure at home. Needless to say they feel punishment is the way to go. I live in a small town in the south which still believes in corporal punishment, when asked if i would sign a paper allowing his principle to paddle him i refused which didnt make the school happy. He now is on medication which does not seem to be working. He is the sweetest loving child but in the drop of a dime can be angry, mean and manipulative. I will admit i spanked him before but there is no use he just stares at me and tells me his behavior is all my fault. He is super intelligent and has been tested which in pre-k he was at the end of a 1st grade learning level. I could also go on and on about my son, but just wanted to thank you for further opening my eyes to this disorder.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are most welcome Tiersa. If you would like more information and possibly some extra resources, check out my blog (

Leslie 5 years ago

My son is 9 years old and is always in trouble at school and home. He has not been diagnosed with ADHD or ODD but has gone for an evaluation and we go back next week to get the results. I am at a loss of what to do with him. I get a call from teh school at least once a week or more. He was suspended last week for hitting another student and just today he was suspended again for throwinf snowballs after being told not to. He tells me he hates me and himself and he wants to shoot himself he will sometimes hit himself as well as throw tantrums. I have told the school about his appointment but they still make me feel like it is my fault. I have people tell me that medication will not help and I shouldn't want to medicate my child. His stepfather thinks that I should whoop him for every bas behavior and then he will know how to behave I have tried to explain to him is doesn't help I have whooped him before but he could careless and it doesn't help he will fight back too. I just don't think spanking him helps the situation. He also tells me ADHD is made up if people could control their kids they would't have this trouble. I should tell you he has two older brothers that are 14 and 13 and I have no issue with them what so ever. My son is very bright and he tests high for reading and math he know the answers just doesn't like to do the work. His teacher has started writing for him if she gives him the answer correctly.

Will medication help or hurt him. What can I do I am driving my self crazy trying to explain him and don't know what to do. Please Help...

Leslie 5 years ago

It was meant to say if he gives her the answer correctly the teacher will write the answer.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are taking the first step - finding out exactly why your son acts the way he does. If the diagnosis comes back as ADHD or ADHD with other disabilities attached to it, I would definitely get the book by Russell Barkley - Taking Charge of ADHD, the Complete Authoritative Guide for Parents. It is available on my blog (One Small Step for Parents,) along with other books, alternative medication/supplements, resource materials and support groups/online support.

I would talk with your son's pediatrician/psychologist regarding medication. My son has been on Ritalin slow release 20 mg since he was first diagnosed at the age of 7, and it helped manage his attention/focus in school. The only thing that helped his behavior has been counseling (good for the self hate, insecurity issues,) and making sure he has plenty of snacks. Low blood sugar can trigger behavior outbursts, and eating snacks when this happens calms them down and redirects them, eliminating the outburst.

Physical punishment won't do a whole lot to curb the behavior - more likely it will strengthen his resolve to piss you off even more. The only good it does is release parental anger that your son is not listening to you. I would suggest your husband also read the book! ADHD is a frontal lobe disability - not a made up disorder...sorry bout that... :)

depressed 5 years ago

I won't spend the time to tell my story, because it has been written above many times.

I just wanted to say that I have read most of the comments, and scanned the rest, and now I'm more depressed. I'm glad that the stories are being shared - it's always great to find other people facing the same challenges. But I have two concerns:

1. My DD is not quite 6, and we've been seeing this growing for about 9 months now. We're learning as much as we can, and getting evaluations from Cpsych and OT, but the recent descent has been quite rapid. She's not even six yet, sounds like we're in for a long tough road.

2. There were not many stories that inspired hope among these comments. That's not to criticize anyone - as I said, I'm so glad that people are posting their experiences. And I get that people who post are more likely to be the ones seeking help, rather than the ones who have had success. It's just kind of overwhelming looking at all these tales that don't have happy endings.

Anyway, thanks for the original hub post and the replies to all the comments.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Take heart - I have met many mothers that have weathered the ADHD storms and their children are happy, healthy, and successfully grown. It's just the growing pains that hurt so much! I have posted one success story on my blog, One Small Step for Parents. It gives the rest of us hope! son is on the upward climb as we speak...he is 14 and improving daily. Still lots of issues, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter :D

Christina 5 years ago

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have done a study on children who have been exposed to anesthesia at an early age. They found that those given anesthetics two or more times before age 3 had more than double the risk of developing ADHD.

I believe there will be more medications found to increase the risk. It's something I've felt all along.

Lori 5 years ago

my daughter, 9, is severe adhd!!! I love your description above!! I thought i was reading my thoughts!! One of your readers said "God gives special children to special people..." i am a beleiver in our God, but i ask every day WHY ME?? What have i done to deserve being yelled at by my 9 year old, what have i done to deserve the defience from her???? I have tried phycologists and doctors ect ect. Nothing seems to help and this morning has broke the straw!! I literally lost it and picked my daughter up carried her to the front door and told her to get out of my house if she was going to continue to act this way and then told her to get in the car!!! So her step father could take her to the school bus. Then i sat in my kitchen floor and cried for 30 mins. Before getting ready for work. I am at the end of my rope and do not know what to do with her anymore!! My sanity feels like i took a leap out the window this morning. Please anything direction you can point me in, i would appriciate it greatly!!! Oh and i too am divorced but when she is with her dad the behavior issuses are not near as bad like they are when she is with me, i wish i knew what i am doing wrong!! She is like a different child around her dad!

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Lorelai1978 5 years ago

Conitnued from (Lori)....her bad behavioral habits are being picked up by our 3 year old son, which is not making me or my husband (my daughters step father) real happy. I have three children total son 10 (mild adhd), daughter 9 (severe adhd) and son 3 ( which i am sure has some mild adhd) it runs in my family. But my mom and daughter's seems to be the worst.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

There are so many different medications, vaccines, antibiotics etc., that can be contributing factors, however, many children have the disability from birth. I do agree that more research needs to be done!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I asked that question all the time...I never did get an answer I liked, so I quit asking...

You probably won't see much of an improvement until your daughter gets older. This is not an easy road to travel - especially with three children, two of whom have been diagnosed. Get some support, counseling, one on one outings/social skills training for your daughter (the hour break helps!) and stop blaming yourself for not being good enough. It wouldn't matter one way or the other, to be honest, your daughter would act the same way if you were a horrible parent or a good parent. Take heart, you aren't a horrible mother, so stop beating yourself up. It won't help you or her.

It is incredibly frustrating knowing that no matte what you do, your daughter doesn't listen and doesn't treat you with respect. It is like going through the terrible two's for 9 years...which is exactly what you are doing. Your daughter is approximately 5 years old behaviorally, not 9. Once you get a handle on this, it becomes easier to take. Maybe not easier to handle, but you will understand her reactions better.

Get some books on ADHD (there are quite a few on Amazon, and my blog as well.) I am not particularly politically correct, so I most likely would have done the same thing in your shoes. I have put my son on the front step and locked the door (he was the same age,) and low and behold, he actually wanted to come back in - this after he had raged for over an hour, yelling, arguing etc. - I had enough and put him outside and told him to live someplace else since he obviously didn't like where he was. LOL...not exactly a proud moment on my part, but sometimes we react badly. Trust me, she will grow out of a lot of this behavior as long as you make sure she has support and counseling - even if it doesn't look like anything is working, it does. It just takes longer to see the results.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I would suggest finding some books on ADHD (available on Amazon and on my blog, One Small Step for Parents) - there are some really good ones available that give suggestions, help and alternative ways of dealing with behaviors and consequences.

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welsh jo 5 years ago from Newport

hi reading your story really had me in tears coz im going through hell at the moment with my 8 year old son... he was the same as yours as a baby cried non stop couldnt take him any were has always been hard work an over the years has got out of control!! finally got him referred after i finally gave in an said cant cope with this alone no more! the abuse an beating i have just got to much!! got his second appointment tommorow at the hospital an hoping for a diagnosis.. struggling bad to control his fits of anger as i have 3 other children had a bad night last night i was bitten an punched an he even got a knife out of the draw!! just hit breaking point really :( hope u and your son are doing well :)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are taking the first step, your next one should be to find some counseling for your son and your family - you included. Depending on the diagnosis, I would suggest finding some books to help you deal with the symptoms, discipline and consequences. (See the above comments for links :)

Yup me too! 5 years ago

Hi everyone

I have spent a fair bit of tonight reading and relating to all the comments listed here. ADHD and ODD and all the other *wonderful* problems associated with these neurological disorders can cause huge problems and heart-ache for all involved. Adults and children with these disorders can be some of the most entertaining people you will ever meet.... until you try to get them to do something! LOL You could go insane trying to get a non-believer to accept that there is a medical reason for the behaviour, but as you would all be aware those conversations are pointless.

I can relate to so many of these posts for two main reasons. 1) My almost 8yo daughter has ADHD/ODD/OCD and anxiety. 2) I have ADD (originally it was ADHD but I became less hyper with age), ODD/OCD, anxiety etc etc.

I have recently started my daughter on Dexamphetamine Sulphate (pretty sure in the US its refered to as Dextro instead) and am having good results so far. I was very reluctant to start medications, and my Hubby (plus his hippie family) was strongly against it too. I did my research, and have read many medical studies that have been done on ADHD medications and their use in adults/children. After alot of reading, I made the decision that this was the right thing to do for my daughter. If your kid had diabetes, would you deny them medication? No. What about asthma? Of course not. Omega 3/6/9 has some benefits but that is a LONG term thing. I'm probably going to annoy some by saying this, but herbal remedys do not work. Try them if you want to, but using them to treat a chemical imbalance caused by a neurological disorder, that in most cases is based at a genetic level, is pointless and most likely strip you of a lot of money used for these "cure all potions". Lavender can have a calming affect, so can classical music, but when it comes to medicine, there is no substitute.

Medicating your child is a very personal decision. I made the decision about giving my daughter medicine because I didn't want her to become the isloated, lonely outcast that I was when I was growing up. I didn't want her to be teased or given the label of "that weird kid with ADHD". As far as its concerned, only those that need to know know she has these disorders. And even those who do know, are aware that ***ADHD is a REASON, not an excuse*** for some of her behaviours. Of couse she annoys people, does everything she can to get someone's attention, and can be very rude, but she is very aware that no one will accept her trying to use the excuse of "I couldn't help it" or "But I have ADHD". Those excuses are absolute BS. Yes we can help it, but it depends if we want to do something about it.

Heres a thought for you - did you know that stimulant medications have been used and tested since the early 1930's onwards? Dexamphetamine Sulphate is the medication that has the "least" amount of side effect, has a short half-life (ie how long it takes to exit your system) and any potential growth side effects can be pretty much reversed upon withdrawal of the medication. From the research I have done, the potential for severe reactions and/or long term effects, seem to be associated with the "newer" type medications that are out there now.

I understand many of the people who have written here are concerned parents/caregivers, and most likely do not know what its like to live with this personally. A simplified version of me without my medication, is the most disorganised, scattered mum who talks to much (often my conversations start in the middle with everyone scratching there heads) and has no idea whats going on around her. Thoughts are popping into my head non-stop and the links between these seemingly random ideas would baffle the smartest of people! But I can see the links if I stop and think. In our world its like we're playing a game of chess and knowing what someone's move is going to be and being about 5 or 6 steps ahead of them so we always win. You know how your kids push your buttons and get their kicks out of your reactions? That is what we do. Yep we plan it. Sorry but I had to be blunt.

Being a parent of a child with the same condition can have its moments. Arguements happen everyday and often go off in various tangents, but at the end of it we can say I love you to each other. As my mother said to me as I was growing up (and more so now) wipe the slate clean everyday. Don't dwell, don't let it fester, don't hold grudges. We probably won't have any idea why we're being punished for something that happened yesterday. Confront any problem then and there, get it over with and move on.

Its not worth going insane over!!

It's true about the eating thing. Bananas are good as a quick fix, or as someone else pointed out carbs (pasta). My daughter sets me off when my medication is wearing off or I haven't eaten. But when I'm functioning properly, ie with medication, I can tell EXACTLY what is going through my darling daughter's head and it still amazes her that with one look I've sussed her out and can rattle of all the thoughts in her head. Hubby does occasionally cop an earful from us but knows better to keep quite (or convieniently remembers that he had to go do something in the shed).

Each kid is different, and as parents to these gifted yet extreemly stubborn children, REMEMBER YOU KNOW YOUR KID, WHAT WORKS and what won't. Try new tactics, but take advice with a grain of salt. If something works this week, GREAT! But be prepared to have to start over again next week.

With the sleeping thing, here's something that might make you go "that makes so much sense".

People with ADHD etc find the process of lying in a room, not allowed to do anything, staying in one spot, keeping quite, usually in the dark, VERY VERY BORING! I hate having to go to sleep. Once asleep its wonderful, but the time it takes drags on forever.... We can't switch the thoughts in our heads off. There is no magic button and you can't just think "ok sleep now". Its not going to work EVER. I have found with both my daughter and myself that taking a half dose of medication about an hour/hour and half before bedtime gives us the ability to subdue the non-stop random thoughts long enough to go to sleep.

When I was in my teens, I was prescribed valiuum by old shrink, but I figured this half dose out myself and spoke to my current shrink about it and had it confirmed that it is a method that has excellent results, but not that commonly discussed with patients. I also find with both of us that having a general rule of if you can't sleep you still have to stay in bed but you can play a Nintendo DS (something like tetris or bejewelled, not smash 'em up games) or listening to classical music works quickly and effectively. Massaging the shoulders or upper back gently calms excited little ones really well.

Other things to look out for is food additives. There is a great handbag sized book that I suggest that you may want to look at called "FOOD ADDITIVES: A Shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe & What’s Not" by Dr. Christine H. Farlow, D.C. Not that I want you to freak out about whats in your food, but to look at the links some foods have on the medications we take, and what additives have been linked scientifically to triggering ADHD symptoms. My daughter reacts badly to BBQ flavoured rice crackers. Citrus fruit and juices can also interfere with many of the various ADHD medications, making them less effective and can in some people cause urine to become very acidic. If you have you child on ANY of these medications, it might be a good idea to get your GP to do a 6mth test of the liver and urine as these are the organs that process and expell the medication from the body and if something is going to go wrong it will more than likely show up there.

Mums, Dads and all the other caregivers who live with these kids, don't give up. We know you are doing your best, and although we drive you mad, we love you and vice versa. You may think we can't hear you, but we can, it just takes a bit longer to process. (If in doubt, notes can be more effective than speaking). Don't give up on us, despite all the grey hairs we ma

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Wow - Thanks for the different view point, it is much appreciated. I will have to try a couple of your tips :D Who knows, maybe they will work for us too.

Jen 5 years ago

I'm curious to know if I am the reason my daughter has developed ODD along with her ADHA. The reason I ask this is because her dad and I are divorced and both been remarried. Her dad is still married but I am divorced yet again. I have also had previous drug and alcohol problems and also been in jail three different times and in and out of psychiatric hospitals since before she was born. Not to mention I am bipolar I with psychosis. For the last two years I have only had supervised visitation every other Sunday for just four hours each visit. So I'm worried that its because me that she is like that. I am doing better now, I'm drug free and piecing my life back together. But have I caused irreversible emotional damage to her? Please help me because I don't know what to do.

pede 5 years ago

Hello there single mom here of two boys 12 and 12. Old is diagn..adhd and I'm almost convinced he's also odd...its a reliefto read there are other parents dealing w exactly what I'm dealing w day in and day out....I discovered this site bcuz I just yet again got an email from a teacher (mind you he is in special needs classes and taking concerta 54mg)saying he went on a "crazy rant" we have been over his I.e.p and adressed concerns about his cursing..but I feel this was a poor choice of words for a child defined as special needs ...I'm just really upset and I think being a young poor single parent (31) this pe teacher is annoyed with him and has no idea how to "deal" w him...I bookmarked this page and will be here regulary..I'm goin to try some of the tips..stay strong parentts we are the only advocates our kids have and they KNOW when someone doesn't like them ie teachers who are not properly trained ..thank u

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Jen,

I don't think anyone can say that you were the REASON your child has disabilities, but I can say that your lifestyle most probably had adverse affects on your daughter that has added to the symptoms of ODD - I say this because my son's father's lifestyle (which was NOT good,) affected my son's behavior for years. Positive changes will help to negate some of the effects as the child needs positive role models - especially their parents. Start making the right changes and decisions to help your daughter see you as a good role model - for what to do and what NOT to do!

You are right - they know...

Check out some of the resources on my blog, One Small Step for Parents. There are forum posts, books, websites and links for alternative supplements that might be helpful. Thanks so much for your comments, and hang in there!

vanessa 5 years ago

I came across this trying to find a boot camp for my son who is ODD and ADHD...We'v tried many different medicines nothing works for him.. they either dont work or they make him sick. Now hes on no medicine and Im losing my mind I cant even think straight, I hate waking up in the morning just because I know what im in for when I do. Im glad Im not alone in this

Jen 5 years ago

Thank you enelle I am doing my best to show that I am a good role model and great loving mother. Thanks to everyone for helping me understand how to deal with all this. Good luck!

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Vanessa,

I'm not sure what medications you tried, and not being a doctor I can't really comment on that, unfortunately - I do know that most ADHD medications don't have any effect on the ODD. ADHD comes with behavioral issues all by itself, but when you add ODD into the equation, it can appear as if nothing is working. My son is on Ritalin 20 mg. slow release, and has been on the same dosage for 7 years. It worked for the bouncing off the walls part of the ADHD, but did nothing for the behaviors...

You could try some of the natural supplements that are available - I'm not sure how effective they are, but many parents swear by them. There are some listed on my blog One Small Step for Parents, and there is also the possibility of trying Himalayan Goji juice or Mona Vie - both of which I have been told help with ADHD. (The Goji juice I did try, and it did work for my son.)

Way to go Jen - keep up the good work!

Cara 5 years ago


I really need your help and advice. My son has ADHD/ODD and I have suspected it for a long time. I don't know how I feel about medications and I know he has been through a whole lot. I have tried a lot of things and researched many websites and books. My son is wonderful but he is in Kindergarten and has a lot of issues. I was reading you article and it is a spitting image of myself and my son. Please email me at I would really appreciate it.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

email on it's way :)

Kristy 5 years ago

Your story is exactly what I have been going thru for the last seven years. I could literally cry right now, because I know I'm not crazy! I took my son to get tested for autism when he was three because I didn't know that ADHD could be so similar. My son has been thru three doctors of different speciaties and numerous tests, he is most definitely ADHD/odd. He has been in several different school programs and his multitude of teachers are always trying to come up with new ways to stimulate and motivate him where school is concerned. I have so many concerns on a daily basis, it's like new questions and concerns arouse every single day. How do I help my son? He has no friends, he is never invited anywhere, his father refuses to let me give him medication, his step father is one foot out the door, and his little brother is so infatuated with him that he tries to mimic every move, which in turn makes me want to pull out my hair. I'm at a loss. I feel like I've run into a brick wall. I already have so many issues, mentally, myself and this is just a constant stress that I feel no one around me understands. His father has told me that he will agree to medication if I take a parenting class of some sort. I've looked every where and no one offers anything. The very few things I have found either take lots of time, and I dont even have a car, or cost a butt load of money. Therefore I feel like I have absolutely no where to turn. If you have anything, in the way of words of wisdom, that might possibly send me a ray of sunshine, please, please, please email me at I'm desperate and need guidance or even a really strong shot!

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

email on its way

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mistygriffin09 5 years ago

I dont even know how to start.

My step son is 6 yrs old. He was diagnosed with ADHD and Bi-polar disorder. I have been in his life since he was 3. He has been suffering from this for a few years now. We have him on 2 types of medication. It seems to help to a point but then it is short lived. I have told his doctor that the meds he is on doesnt seem to work. He has been suspended from Kindergarten for hitting his teacher and students. I am basically a single mom of 3. My husband works out of town. I have tried corporal punishment. All it does it makes him angry then he screams loudly and hits his siblings then he urinates on himself and all over the house. I have taken his toys away, I have done everything including walking away from the situation at the time. Nothing works his doctors tell me lets keep trying his teachers are begging me for help. I have panic attacks myself cause honestly All I want to do is beat the H**l out of him somethimes. I have a 2yr old that sees his behavior and thinks that it normal to act out like him. I dont know what to do his father says he just doesnt have the patience to deal with it. His biological mom says she doesnt see a problem and that makes me want to go off on her. Basically I have to deal with it is what his doctor told me. I need help.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

First off, take a breath :)

Secondly, check out my blog for resources - get a book on ADHD. Most have some type of strategy for living with this disability.

Corporal punishment does not work - period. Basically, it is a release of your frustration, and does nothing to help the situation at all. Try and remember that you are dealing with behavior associated with toddlers. Even though your son is 5 or 6, he is 4 - 5 years behind his peers behaviorally. Explain that to your husband and your son's teachers.

Your two year old is reacting to age related behavior - unfortunately it comes from an older child.

Your doctor is right - there isn't a magic pill that will help. The only thing that might help is counseling, as long as you keep your child in the sessions for a long period of time. Good role models, patience and more patience are what is needed to get you through this. His behavior will improve the older he gets, but the elementary years are the worst.

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mistygriffin09 5 years ago

Thank you for responding. I will get and do what ever we need to help

a mom like you 5 years ago

wow that is exactly me and my situation ...however my children are close in age and it was like raising twins one with adhd/odd/anxiety and the other with medical issues, and yup me bymyself and outside agencies....

a mom like you 5 years ago

i forgot to add that my son does not seem to care about any consequences and often reacts on impulse and replies :i don't know why i did that" ..i have him on meds that do not work *i have a child and youth worker background* so i implement a variety of programs that do not work(i realize that dealing with it in your home is different than in the group home) i have had ppl say i don't know how you do it..i have been a variety of groups family groups,parent groups,a variety of different counsellors however he choices not to speak or open up to ANYONE right i feel like it is only maintenance that i am doing and not helping ,we were involved with a facilty that is called ____ child and family (not sure if i can post the name of the agency) they discharged us due to the fact that i am a well educated women who has it under control..not what they fail to realize is that we need ongoing support and just because things were fairly controlled does not mean that life is great...i am now at the point of finding and outside agency to help relieve the tension at home...he has had 3 physical outburst and he is a very strong 13 yr old boy,the only thing he cares about is basketball, we are involved with a wonderful agency who is stumped as in what and how to help my son, the school has been wonderful however at this point he is completly unproductive and there is no improvement what so ever, my other son has medical issues right now and it is pretty difficult dealing with that and with my other sons behaviour i wish there were 4 of me..*sigh*...well i guess that's it for now, glad to know i am not alone ...i am just hoping to find a solution, and oh btw my family dr is not comfortable with psych meds so he is stuck on something that does not work well, and also the other day when i suggested what to do,i.e. height, weight,blood pressure, and to re-evaluate his meds she did all of that and then consulted with some pharmacist at a local pharmacy.....and then i got a call from a pharmacy saying oh you can pick up this med and try it on your son...(i hope i am making sense right now,my mind is often in shambles and i have difficulties concentrating) ok well thats it for now...thanx for reading..:)

a mom like you 5 years ago

* darn typos up there.... *WHAT I MEANT TO SAY IS...... i have been involved in a variety of groups family groups,parent groups,children groups and seen a variety of different counsellors however he chooses not to speak or open up to ANYONE

Frustrated Mom! 5 years ago

Wow! What breath of fresh air to know that I am not alone. Your son sounds just like mine. My son is now 9 and was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7. We have been struggling with behaviors constantly changing and getting more aggressive. This year he had his fist suspension from school for hitting multiple teachers. I do have him seeing a therapist, which has not seemed to help. In fact she told the school this week that she thinks he has aperegers and not ADHD. After reading your post I believe my son has ADHA and ODD. He is on Straterra which has helped with the ADHD. He started Kapvay at night, which has helped with his behavior at home but not at school. The school is very frustrated with his defiant, oppositional behavior and I do not know what to tell them. We are scheduled for a med check and re-evaluation by his pediatrician next week, I hope he has some ideas.

Thank you for sharing your story.

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Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Mom like me,

If there was a solution, I would be yelling it from the mountain tops! Unfortunately, there isn't - at least not yet, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it! I agree with your doctor - psych meds are pretty strong to be giving to children, with possibly more side effects than we want, however, the ODD can be handled (at least with my son anyway, and he is pretty bad...) with food! I know, sounds strange, but when he has an episode, feed him! Make sure the school/teacher has a few snacks (even if you have to supply them,) to give your son when he has a meltdown, or even if he is starting to become belligerent. I noticed that my son had more episodes in the afternoon (at school) after school, and in the evenings. I have since noticed that if he has a late supper, he gets oppositional, also before bed - so I make sure to give him a snack. This helps to calm him down and redirect him. Usually the ODD goes away right after eating.

Parenting groups really don't do much to help. I have been in many, some specifically for ADHD, and even those don't offer much help or support. Counseling doesn't appear to help much either, but it is necessary in order to obtain help in the classroom.

If you aren't working, I would suggest that you try home schooling your son - he will at least be more productive with you, and he will get the minimum requirements to graduate (this of course, if you don't have a specific school in your area for kids like ours.)

Hi Frustrated Mom,

I wouldn't throw out the diagnosis of Asperger's - my son has been showing symptoms of Asperger's for the last few years, and it is quite possible that he has at least some type of Autistic behavior that is recognized under the Autism umbrella. You will get more help if your son has that diagnosis - regardless of the fact that he might also have ODD. See the answer just above this one for some ideas to help the ODD.

kari 5 years ago

Hello, I have never written a post before but I feel that I have to write to say thank you. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face, finally for a good reason. My 9 year old son has been diagnosed with ADD, ODD,and Anti social behavior. I have tried everything they have told me to do and they work for only a couple of days and then its useless. I am so tired. I honestly believe he has something else going on also but Im not sure, If any of you have dealt with severe memory issues also, I would like to know if they are symptoms of these diagnosis or is there something else. He has forgotten everything from christmas to how to wash himself in the shower. he remembers sometimes but mostly he is lost. He is on Adderall now and I just dont think it is helping. Thank You for posting this just so I know that we will get through this and Im not alone with this.

a mom like you 5 years ago

kari my son is on adderal and it is not helping either

a mom like me 5 years ago

hi guys thank you for your response..i am about to cry again..i am so sad....i believe there is more to his diagnosis and i have changed my work schedule to accomodate our life situation....i wish my dr would listen to me or wish someone would even if i have the best education that does not mean they should ignore my needs...1)at frustrated mom starterra did not help it made things worse..2)suspensions we have had so many we have lost track he had a suspension of 20 days before..*sigh*..3)also i just may think of home schooling i just read his report card lets say he is learning nothing...if it was'nt a failing mark it was a it was an R..R=has not demonstarted the required knowledge and skills....i am very sad and in need of a solution 4) i will try the food idea however i have to hide the food or else he will just eat and not stop to think that there are others in the house that need to eat...the one thing that keeps him busy is basketball...

a mom like you..(i am going to call myself) mz.. 5 years ago

i changed my name to mz just to make it easier i also call myself mz..~ i am happy to be on this page i feel like we can really help each other if not with ideas but with the fact this page is great to vent on..AT Enelle Lamb..are there do's and don'ts for this page?..i know no swearing or listing names of agencies but is there any rules i need to know? i would hate to be banned from here...i like it here already...for example am i or we allowed to ask what state or city we live in? are we allowed to share our email addresses?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Kari,

I do know that my son has trouble with short term memory - part of the ADHD and has to be reminded of things that happened just yesterday. His memory has improved as he has gotten older, it does appear to be something that they can control, however, when he was younger it seemed like he couldn't. I'm not sure if that is due to their highly selective hearing and thoughts, but my son has shown a marked improvement the older he gets. You might want to have that checked out though if you feel your son is not improving.

As for 'things' working for only a couple of days - that is very frustrating, but from what I have experienced and heard, it is "normal" lol. Just keep switching things up. You have to be very creative when the child is young!

MZ, actually this page is simply the comment section of an article that I wrote (on the larger site of HubPages.) It does seem much like a blog because there have been so many people (163 different commenters to date, not counting people without children like ours,) who have left comments and are seeking some kind of solution. I do have an actual blog with resources (books, website links, support counselors, alternative medication/supplements,) and a forum, where you can post questions, answers, or simply vent! If you are interested in posting an article or two about your situation, I can also add you as an 'author'. The address is There you can post where you live if you want, share information (including email addresses,)and be a part of a site that is designed to help, support and encourage parents with children like ours. (p.s. - You have to do something really terrible to be banned from there LOL!) Hope to see you there :D

mz 5 years ago

ok i will check it out ty enelle.....i would love to share my story about children like ours......and ok phew i will be bann did read your story(the one with the pic of you and your son)and i am just reading and learning about what a hub page is so far i am liking it over here...:)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

HubPages is a great place - awesome community, great people, wonderful stories - perfect for the writer in all of us! :)

WWX3 5 years ago

In some ways I can't believe I am writing so many ways we have an idyllic life. My wife and I have 3 beautiful girls - twins 9 years old and our 3rd - who is 8.

And yet - here I am contemplating what my next steps are so that I don't physically hurt my youngest out of frustration. It sounds silly, but I would rather walk away than deal with the consequences of the utter frustration that I now deal with on a nightly basis. Our twins are fine ( a relative term I know ) and even the issues with our youngest pale in comparison to some of the stories I have read tonight. However - it is all personal and relative I guess. In the last 2 years things have just got tougher and tougher. But I do have to stress - in so many ways my story does not match with the ADHD and ODD cases. No sleep issues - ever - no bad behaviour at school - no suspensions or expulsions. Everyone thinks she is a lovely kid - and she is. But....things in common - tendency to lie - bold face outright lie - with no remorse. Poor handwriting that leads to massive lack of self confidence (I'm stupid etc etc) - refusal to do homework or simple chores - massive mood swings - screaming in my face 1 minute - sitting on the couch cuddling the next ( as I literally boil with rage - telling my self to get over it) - and the arguments. My god - nothing is ever her fault...we all hate her and think she is stupid. In my days - a classic spoilt brat, but I find that too simple. I find myself just going in circles - as no matter what I tell myself - I believe that we do deserve more respect than this...her sisters do what is asked without throwing tantrums - so I won't give in - tough love etc. BUT....

It isn't working....yes I am married and my wife often has more success than me - often as a result of good cop bad cop - eg coming in after I have have "set her off"...and from my side that just adds to it - being constantly challenged and overridden without consultation as to my own parenting skills (albeit lacking at times).

So - is the issue with me or my daughter....some symptoms ring true with ADHD - but nowhere near what other describe and yet I am at my wits end....

However - so many words in the posts gave given me hope...wipe the slate clean each day....what works today may not (won;t work next week) - realise that they do love you no matter what they say.

But lord give me (and all of us) strength....

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It is possible that your daughter might have a different disability (if she does indeed have one, not putting words in your mouth, just theorizing here.) I would definitely have her assessed just to be sure. Your comment about her abrupt mood changes lends me to speculate on a bi-polar disorder. Not all behavior is excessive enough to garner a separate diagnosis, so your daughter could have ADD or ODD, just not strong enough to warrant a diagnosis. Again, I would definitely have her assessed. They you will at least have a starting point and go from there.

Hang in there, you aren't alone!

mel 5 years ago

Wow i could have swwore i was writting this.. Im a stay at home mum as i just dont know when i will get a phone call to come pick my boy up from school. The only thing that is different is that my son also has Atypical autisim

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I remember those days - wouldn't want to relive them! I finally started working again when my son turned 12 - which is the age that they are 'allowed' to stay at home alone for small periods of time. Once I ascertained that our house would still be standing when I returned, I started working part-time. I still got the 'come and pick him up' phone calls until I found a school that wanted to teach him - 'wanted' being the operative word here, but I was able to teach him more self reliance. Now I am fairly confident that my son can be alone for prolonged periods of time without breaking anything or destroying the house, trees, gardens etc. (long training period for that one.)

Josie and Curtis 5 years ago

Curtis is 7 and has been on meds for ADHD for 2 years, we are still trying to find the right one and the right doseage. This has been a long road so far but with some of the most loving and happiest moments I have ever had. I am proud of my son as he has also been through the break up of his home and family and has bee 3 months in a new school. When i read your post it could have been me. Good luck to all you out there, children and their familys as well

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you Josie - it's really great to hear such positive stories like yours. Good luck with the meds and stay strong :)

donna easton-hailes 5 years ago

my partner and i are worried that my 4 year old step daughter has adhd or another form of learning difficulty, but the doctor seemed to deem it clear that she wasnt worried about her having this, due to some of the information we gave her about her behaviour both at home and in nursery (despite the fact that her biological father has adhd)and that my in partners family there is a history of autism...our little girl does manage to consentrate, however its for a very short period of time and only for as long as she is interested in doing the activity for, she seems to have this insessit thing for flapping her wrists and constantly spinning around and manages to do it in the most inapropriate of circumstances, then theres the fact that whenever you tell her off for doing or saying something out of place its like shes not even taking it in as she does it again straight after you have told her not to,and it almost seems that the by the look on her face when you are telling her off that whatever you are saying to her just doesnt seem to be registering with her, as she looks at you with a complete blank look on her face as if to say what the hell are you talking about.. fortunately by pushing and pushing the doctor agreed to get the school nurse involved to assess her behaviour at nursery and will probably want to assess her at home too which is waht we want to see if there is a problem, im just wondering if there are any other things we could do during this time to make the medical professionals avtually sit up and listen to what you are saying, these are our kids, our future and i was mortified that they didnt take what we were saying seriously

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

This is something that I have also experienced, and heard from other parents about as well. Stick to your guns and have your step-daughter assessed. The symptoms that you have described match those of ADD/ADHD, however, they can also manifest with other disabilities as well. There might be some forms (paper tests) which you can fill out that help with diagnosing ADHD - usually they are available through the schools. See if you can get an appointment with a pediatrician as they also can make diagnoses regarding disabilities. You might have a better chance than if you just go through your family physician.

Joe Hargrave 5 years ago

My GF's child acts the same way. With PTSD from her ex (he was abusive) I knew when I met locus he wasn't a normal child for I have one of my own. Tonight I noticed that he shit in the bathtub, my gf bieng embarressed and overwhelmed at the sight of me knowing this actually had a panic attack and couldn't breathe. I cleaned him the tub and the sorrounding areas. I am just now doing research for she will not allow me much time with him thinking that I am going to be abusive. And it really stress's her out. I don't plan on leaving her b/c of her son. But I do however think that...well theres something that can be done. I have seen an exponential greaten sense of right and wrong and maturity since she left her husband. He was abusive to him and her mentally and sometimes phyical to him and often to her. I have to reteach him how to treat her and not to just yell at her and agrue with her all the time. When i first met her we was pooping in his room and wiping it all over the walls and door. Normal for a two year old in some cases. But now he is four, and pooping in the tub and playing with it. Not normal. Glad to hear others are going through some simular things. Sometimes it feels that.. well ya'll know.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Yes, I do know! One thing with ADHD kids (ODD, and PTSD) potty training can be very difficult. My son regressed when we moved in with my daughter, and I was cleaning up wall smears, hidden gems under the bed etc. He WILL grow out of it. Work on the retraining - mothers (or main caregivers) are usually the ones that sustain the most 'abuse' from yelling etc., and having a man teaching the child this is not the way to treat women really helps. (I had the same problem with my son, and my b/f has been instrumental in teaching him, and it works!) Pick up a book on ADHD - available online through Amazon or local bookstore - even on my blog One Small Step for will help tremendously!

Felicia 5 years ago

Thank you so much for posting this article, as I was reading it I started to cry, because I realized that someone else TRULY understands what I've been dealing with, I'm not alone!!!! Our 9 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with ADHD and put on Concerta, but after a week, my husband and I decided that the negative side effects outweighed the positive effects that we had seen, so we are currently trying to research more natural alternatives to dealing with the ADHD! But, there weren't any improvements to her attitude with the meds, after reading this article, I definitely think she also has ODD!! I am so sick of hearing about how I have to "discipline" my child more, or "I can't believe you let her say NO to you", or just getting the dirty looks that imply that I'm a bad parent, there is no amount of discipline that makes a difference for her, and I don't "let" her say no to me, she is very stubborn and when she makes up her mind about something good luck changing it! I'm glad to find out that I'm not alone, I was seriously starting to question my parenting and starting to think that I have done something to "mess up" my child. I am going to call my daughter's pediatrician or find a specialist tomorrow discuss ADHD/ODD!!!! Thank you for everyone's posts!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Felicia,

I'm glad you found the article and comments helpful. That was the whole reason for posting it :)

I do have a blog (One Small Step for Parents) that has a forum as well as resources - natural remedies, books, website links and counseling links as well. Trust me, you haven't done anything to "mess up" your child - and you aren't a horrible parent! There are probably meds for ODD, but I wasn't keen on the ones I was told about - there were more side effects than I thought warranted taking it, so opted to take the ride without a seat

Check out the blog forum, there are some tips and suggestions for behaviors that might help. Hope to see you there!

Sandy "Gages Mom & proud of it!" 5 years ago

ADHD can make for a closer family than people think. REALLY!

I praise any parent that has stood up for their children & themselves whether it is to a school or the other parent.

We have lived experiencing the good responses & the outcomes of that. Unfortunately both of my children and I have been atacked & endured the one of the worst of the worst outcome that a family can fear.

Even though our lives were literally ripped to shreds they could never tear us apart.

Christ is in control above all. A great attitude thoughout this helped. My high school motto was something like "Never give up, Never Never give up". My kids and I have held onto that way of life b/c it was what kept us together.

We are putting our lives back together for the better & know that WE are what matters.

My boys and I know that a kid living with ADHD can actually have a better & closer relationship with their parents and trust them more. In my case my kid(s) know that I am their number one fan & will not run from them. I may take a walk on occasion to collect myself and my mind but they know I won't go.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Sometimes that is all that we have, yes? Thanks for the positive comments :) they are always great to hear! (I take a walk occasionally too LOL)

There is a saying, "...don't sweat the small stuff..." I guess it is just a matter of perspective when it comes to size... :)

Bonnie 5 years ago

Thank you for posting this article! I felt every word of what you said and currently living it. I have a 9 year old daughter that was diagnosted with ADHD/ODD/Dyslexia. If it was just that simple that she was ADHD, I could take that, but it's the ODD that is making me insane. I feel like a failure of a parent and just don't understand how a child can be so disobedient. I just scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist to review and adjust her meds. My life is so stressful that I have even scheduled an appointment to talk to someone myself.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It never hurts to talk to someone. You might also like to join our forum at One Small Step for Parents, or check out some of the blogs resources.

I agree, I think I could have handled the ADHD without much problem, but with the addition of the ODD, what first appears simple turns out to be much more complicated!

Hang in there!

Diane 5 years ago

Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this and all the subsequent comments and replies. I am not alone! I couldn't have read this at a more appropriate time. I was feeling very down today about my child's behavior this morning before school. Another bad morning as is usually the case of late.

It took me 6 years to get pregnant. Once I finally did thru IVF I thought my dream had come true and all my problems were over. The birth of my daughter was my saving grace then a few years later turned into my worst nightmare. I know what it is like to want a child so badly. I prayed so hard for her to come into my life and now I sometimes wish I had never pursued IVF so strongly.

She was a great baby. Really no problems. In her toddler years I had problems putting her down for a nap. I could tell in her eyes she was tired but the only way she would fall asleep in the afternoon was to drive her around in the car while strapped into her car seat. By the age of 5 it was apparent that she was a challenging child. The defiance had begun. We had suspiscions of ADHD but for about 2 years I lived in denial thinking her behavior would improve. Instead by the age of 7 her ODD skyrocketed and the talking back and defiant behavior got worse. By 8 years old we started seeing a family therapist and psychiatrist. She was formally diagnosed as ADHD/ODD and started on the patch Concerta. The side-effects were awful. Not eating, very irritable when the medication wore off at night and not sleeping well. Now she is 10 years old and on Strattera. No side effects and it seems to be helping her with her concentration on homework. Last fall family life seemed to improve but since January things have gotten worse at home. For the most part her behavior outside the home is better. She is our only child. And she seems to relate better with her Dad. It is so frustrating for me. I've read so many comments from people whose children are awful at school and with teachers. I consider myself lucky that my daughter does well in school and likes her teachers except for 2 separate bullying incidents in the last year where she was the "Bully" against other girls. I pray that things will improve with time but I also worry constantly about her future. I constantly beat myself up (what did I do wrong-I must be a horrible mother). Reading that there are so many other kids out there that have ODD certainly helps.

I am wondering if anyone has tried to reduce the amount of their child's sugar intake and if so seen any improvement in their ODD/ADHD as a result of it? Our kids eat so much processed foods these days that I'm wondering if this is the cause of the increased rates in ADHD/ODD in recent years. Making matters worse for me is that my daughter is a very picky eater. Since she is so defiant it is very difficult for me to change her diet. She only eats limited foods (pasta, carb filled snacks, fruit and foods high in sugar). She eats little protein and hardly any vegetables. The other day I took her grocery shopping (which I hate to do) since we always have an argument about what to buy. I wanted to purchase low sugar Frosted Flakes and she would have nothing to do with it. I hate to do it (since it is being deceitful like her) but once the package of the regular Frosted Flakes is finished I think I might try keeping it and refilling it with the low-sugar alternative. I bet she will taste the difference though.

Luckily, I have a great husband who tends to be more optimistic than me. He helps me through our constant struggle with our ADHD/ODD daughter that has taken over our lives. I can't imagine how you single parents get through this without going crazy. My daughter and her bad attitude just arrived home from school. Wish me luck.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 5 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

My son is an extremely picky eater! It took a lot of time and many arguments before he started eating better. I also accelerated the process by feeding him things like KD, hot dogs etc. so that he got tired of "quick cooking" and started enjoying real food.

Find a veggie that she likes and stick with it for a while, then start introducing others with the mind set of either eat this or don't eat. Trust me, she will come around, but it might be a battle! I like your idea of the frosted flakes - "...gee I guess this box just isn't as good as the last one...the next one will be better..." and just keep doing it! Small changes done with regulation will work wonders ;)

p.s. I hear you about the bad attitude aren't alone!

Join our forum at - I look forward to seeing you there :D

kitten 5 years ago

I cant cope he doesn't feel like my child and i cant bare to be in the same room as him 12yrs of constant arguments, opposition, disrespect and arrogance! dreading the future those who say adhd doesn't exist need to spend a week with my son!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you! I still get comments from people who have no concept or understanding about ADHD. Two days ago I found a comment on my facebook page saying "stop drugging ur children" !! Needless to say, the battle lines were drawn! LOL!

Cathy Downer 4 years ago

My now 11 year old daughter was officially diagnosed with ADHD/ODD back in 2008 but I always knew (through researching the internet and hearing from others). As i've read others say here, I also knew something was "different" about my daughter at a very early age, what I don't understand is, how did others get their children tested at an early age? I so desperately tried to get help for my daughter but was always told, she's too young to test. By the time she started kindergarten, she had a really good teacher that could control her for the most part so we thought maybe she will just "grow out of it". Of course, she did not so we actually ended up getting her tested at the end of her first grade, therefore, giving her an actual diagnosis of ADHD/ODD. She's probably tried every medication out there but i'm curious to find out from anyone who wishes to share, what medication combinations have worked for you, especially for those of you that your children have more of the ODD than perhaps the ADHD.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I was also told that my son could not be tested before he was seven years old. I was told the reason for this is because the exhibited behaviors could just be a developmental "phase" that would diminish as the child grows older. However, if the behaviors were still evident or worsening, there was a definite reason for testing. I presumed this was a guideline to weed out behaviors that were magnified, yet still not symptoms of a disability.

I also discovered that some children were diagnosed at a much earlier age - from three to five years of age, and presumed, (although this was never confirmed,) that their symptoms had to have been much worse than the ones exhibited by my son at that age - who by the way spent many subsequent years "off the charts" in regard to behavioral outbursts.

My son was also tested at the end of his first grade year with the same diagnosis, plus a few additional ones. The medication that was prescribed for him was Ritalin 20 mg slow release, as well as Ritalin 10 mg (regular) which is used to extend the slow release tablet, should it be necessary. This medication has been very helpful with his ADHD, and allows him to focus better, however, very few medications (if any that I would give my child,) can control the ODD. ADHD comes with its own symptoms of opposition and defiance, which is generally diminished by the ADHD medication. However, when there is an additional disability of ODD, the opposition and defiance is magnified and the medication can't control it.

I find that when my son becomes very oppositional, I feed him - some type of snack that is quick and easy. This helps to stabilize his behavioral outburst, calm him down and redirect him.

Megyn 4 years ago

I thank you for your blog. I have recently come to own the fact that my 8yr old son is suffering from these disorders. While he is not as severe as some of the above hav expressed I know he fits into the guidelines of ODD/ADHD I was wondering if you could give me a good parenting forum that could link me to some parents experinacing similar children as I am at a loss and scared to not be able to offer my son what he needs to grow and learn. Standing here with a BS in Psychology I am sooo lost and extremly out of my eliment. How did that happen? :) Any help you could throw my way would be a big help.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Megyn,

I (and many others,) have been searching for help for years, to the point where I started an online Community Support Forum on my blog One Small Step for Parents. The address is and you are more than welcome to join us. The blog also has resources available - books, website links, alternative supplements, articles etc., that you might find helpful. If you have any questions, you can email me through the link at the top right on this article, or through the forum.

averi 4 years ago

hello my name is averi i am 16 and suffer from severe adhd i have been tested on inteligence and have told i am smarter than most people but becuase i lack the ability to concentrate i cannot live to my full potential i get angry very easy and understand what your sayin i am always hyper and act crazy but the only place for me at school is bein the class clown i drift off when working alot and havee to be reminded i dont like making my parrents mad but its so hard to control people dont understand what its like and says its easy to contol if it was trust me i would have calmed dow has proof im writing this while in school in my grapchic desighn class

averi 4 years ago

i have tooken many medications over the years including redlin,conserta, and many pills i cannot remember the name im takening aderal right now i take two in the morning and two in the afternoon

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hopefully you will find something that works for you so you can grow to reach your full potential Averi. Keep working - I know it isn't easy, but nothing good ever is :)

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linda3smith 4 years ago

hello my name is Linda I'm so glad i found this site because i am learning a lot about ADHD. I have a 14 year old son with adhd and i believe he has ODD as well. He is driving me crazy with all the lies he is telling and he takes it to far to try to get me in trouble with the law. I don't have any support and everybody i talk to tells me to give up my rights and let him go live with his father. But it's easy for them to say that cause he is not there child. I'm sorry but i cant do that i need him to get help. it's really getting bad i find myself crying cause i don't know how to deal with him and it is pushing us apart. I need to really talk to someone who is going thru it or went thru it to give me some ideas on how i can deal with all of this. Yes i am a single parent of three kids and my son (14) his father is encouraging his behavior

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Linda,

There is a blog and forum for parents of ADHD kids at There are resources available as well as articles, books and support! Hang in there, you aren't alone!

My son has given me some very trying times with the law as well due to his 'story telling abilities'. He is also 14 and it isn't easy...

averi 4 years ago

hey its not easy i have to work twice has hard has everyone and i feel like my dad hates me cuase o my adhd and that he want to leave and i know it isnt easy bein a single mom with a son cuase it probaly isnt easy with two parent much less one

i have a question i dont know if adhd is the reason i get mad easyly i try to be my best but its hard and it makes playing sports for my school that much harder do you have any tips

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You might ask your mom to get you into Anger Management classes - that might help you understand what makes you mad or frustrated so often. They are usually free, so see if there is anything in your area :)

AVERI 4 years ago


Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

My son struggles with that too. You can also try coffee - that will help to calm you down as well.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks guys, I'm glad I could help. Just so you know, this is just a comment section for an article :) There is a forum on my blog at if you are interested in more information that might help. There are lots of resources, books, supplements and more information there than you can get here. I can give you more personalized help there than I can here. Hope to see you there!

averi 4 years ago

i do not know how to post on that site or comment how do you do that

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Just click the tab that says forum. Scroll to where it says Community Support Forum and click the link that says new topic :) then you can ask questions. If you want to comment on any of the articles, there should be a link for comments under the title of the article. Just click that and you can leave comments :D

Arlene 4 years ago

Hi Ennelle, thank you very much for your blog! It is very wonderful to know that my husband and I are not alone in our battle. We've been trying to get pregnant for 9 years now to no avail, so we decided to adopt a baby girl from Asian. We got her in the State when she was 14 months old. I started seeing signs and red flags in her when she turned 3. She's so fidgety and its very impossible for her to sit still. She whines, cries, hits and spits at other kids, and gets frustrated very easily. Kids around her don't like her because she talks excessively and loudly and bullies younger kids. My husband didn't believe me at first when I told him that she might have ADHD, but he gave a benefit of the doubt late and we decided to see a Psychologist, who then right away said after a few minutes of observing her, that she is off the chart ( ODD/ADHD). My husband had teary eye and was blaming himself for doubting me. I know that she is 4, but her defiant and ADHD behaviors drive me really nuts. All the best Ennelle!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you Arlene! If yoy are interested, we do have a forum at where we can get information, resources or simply vent about our day! You are more than welcome to join us :D

Best of luck to you and your family my dear.

AMG 4 years ago

It took me a long time to come to terms with how my son was behaving, he was recently diagnosed with ADHD,ODD,COD..which is very overwhelming, he is an honor roll student and very smart and focused when he wants to be, but his work isn't getting done because there is so much detail in his writing, he cant get it on paper. The tantrums would be so bad the rooms would get trashed, and have been hit, sworn at, and beaten down emaotionally by my 7yr old. His father and I split when he was young and now I am remarried. His father lives 5 minutes away and barely speaks to or sees my son. And I think that has alot to do with the instability. His step father is very involved with everything he does and my son looks up to him and loves him very much but also hates him just as much. I think there is a power struggle on who is the 'man' of the house. He tries to be the adult and the rules in his mind are what is set(so he thinks) and if life or activities, etc. dont work out in his favor/go the way he thinks it should, its stomping yelling or even full on crying like the world is coming to an end. As a parent dealing with one condition is hard enough but to have 3 is very stressful. He has a brother half his age, and he sees this behavior and copies it, so not only am I doing everything to get my oldest in a good place with dealing with all these emotions he cant control, I am also trying to teach my youngest this isn't the way to behave. I spend most my nights in tears thinking about my sweet boy, who loves people and is a true go green, help others, go getter, who has this problem he cant control, and biggest fear is for our families to know, because he doesnt want them to look at him differently, esp. after his dad has made it very clear he doesn't want him on meds, and swears theres nothing wrong ( but if he was around more he would know)Wow, I feel a little weight lifted off my shoulders being able to express this to someone. Thank You for sharing your story for people like me to relate to!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

AMG, I know exactly how you feel. My son was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD, Anxiety Disorder and some PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.)If you are interested, you can join our forum at One Small Step for Parents - specifically designed for parents of kids with ADD, ADHD, ODD, OCD and other disabilities. The link is in the comment just above yours :D We would be happy to see you there!

Tricia 4 years ago

I can totally relate with this story! It's refreshing to read something from someone who actually understand what I go through with my ADHD/ODD daughter. I love her no end and would not change a thing about her despite the problems she has.Even my own mother doesn't understand my plight and it's frustrating. I just recently went back to work, my daughter will be 6 years old, but I took the job because the shift is 4am-8am so I'm able to be home the rest of the day. I couldn't work before either. Between the behavior issues and being called in to pick her up and the appointments with her psychological "crew" (she has a play therapist, BSC, Psychiatrist, ect.) it was nearly impossible. I am fortunate that her father is with us and can pick up that burden.

I love her, but most days she makes me want to scream! When it's bedtime, somedays it's a relief...and I feel guilty feeling that way. Anyway, thank you for the article! It makes me feel a little less alone with my struggles!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are most welcome Tricia - I only have one suggestion for you.

Don't pick up the guilt! You deserve the downtime to recharge your batteries. Raising these kids is not for the faint hearted, and can be one heck of a ride!

Best of luck my dear :)

Sara 4 years ago

After reading that story it reminded me completely about my life with my second child but it was a girl. I dont even have to repeat anything because everything she said was the same thing I go throw. I struggle everyday still with her and she is only 4. But I also have a 6 yr old boy and a 4 month old girl which I cant ever leave alone when my daughter is around she tends to try to move or pick her up and she already has and dropped her on her head. I wish I could get help with her cuz i am a stay home mom and its always stressful here. And im afraid my marriage which isnt with the first 2 childrens father because their father also has adhd and bipolar doesnt help me and believe anything is wrong with her. So im on my own about things and im tryin to stop their visitations with their father so maybe her being stable at home things will help.

Christa 4 years ago

O my goodness it's almost like reading my story in the happening, I was so amazed while reading this that it brought tears to my eyes because I know exactly how you felt, I knew from day one that my little Laci was going to be a handful but I never knew that it would be to the extent that it is today, She is going to be 6 and thankfully finished kindergarten, and I say thankfully because she was sent home a lot because of her out bursts of screaming and yelling and running around with the moving everything out of place running into kids with the teachers chair hiding in the cubby and not getting out until I was there to grab her out, chasing kids with scissors and the list goes on, this week it has be violence toward the babysitter, biting kicking and what not, my career is definitely on the rocks because of everything, its overwhelming at times

Kelly 4 years ago

It's nice to know that I'm not son is 13 and has always been a challenge . He actually threw a tantrum when I was in labor and my belly looked like an alien was getting ready to pop out...the nurse said she had never seen anything like it! We are trying to find a med that helps with his anger episodes (we are currently trying Tenex...can't really tell whether it's helping or not). I feel so guilty that I have a love/hate relationship with my own child. Thanks for the reassurance that other parents do understand. Most of my friends don't get it because their kids are "normal"...they say he just needs more there aren't many people I can talk to who "get it".

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I hear you! There is a forum that you can use to talk with other parents with kids like ours - the link is listed in the comments, and on my profile page - One Small Step for Parents...hope to see you there!

Erin 4 years ago

My nine year old son has a severe case of ODD and things are not getting any better. You name it, he's doing it. Suicide attempts, physical assaults on anyone and everyone that gets in his way so to speak. We have every resource imaginable, still, nothing is helping. With endless trips to the ER for psych evals, only to be blames and criticized for my sons behavior, sent home every time, I'm starting to think foster care is the only other option. I am a single mother of two boys. My oldest was diagnose with mood disorder and ODDa few years ago. I have a two year old who is absolutely terrified of his brother. My own family cannot stand being around my ODD nine year old. Like, I don't know what to do anymore. As the years pass, my son is getting bigger, stronger, and more violent by the day. I am appalled by the way doctors and people in general treat me. What am I suppose to do? I'm doing everything I can to keep it together, but how can I do that when I am ridiculed and looked at like a pushover because my child does not listen to me all day every day. I wish everyone could live one day in our shoes and then try to tell us that it isn't that bad. They would not last one hour! If other people think its a piece of cake to raise a child with ODD, then by all means, be my freaking guest. I need a break!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Believe me, I understand. See if there is respite care offered anywhere close to you. This will give you the break you need. If not, it might be possible to have your son enter foster care with the intention of having him return to your care after a certain period of time. Something you might want to check out. (I know of a lady who had her child put into foster care, and their intention is to return him if at all possible, so this option might not be as permanent as previously thought.)

It isn't an easy road when you have a child with ODD - especially from 8 and 9 years old. This time frame appears to be the worst. The behavior does improve as they get older, however, they seem to be the most trying from grade 2 - 6.

I was very "non-politically correct" when my son was 7, 8 and 9...when my son tried punching and kicking his sister, and then me, I turned around and punched him right back. He figured he could get away with it, because nothing was done to him at school except that he was sent home, which in his mind is nothing!

I'm not advocating corporal punishment, as that rarely works with these kids, but there are ways to get their attention - at least at home, and that is where you need to be the strongest.

If you need to vent around other parents like us, check out the blog One Small Step for Parents on There is a forum where you can connect with other parents going through the same issues.

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Jebbyfur 4 years ago

I am also single mom of 13 year old son. With ADD. Never before realized why he has never responded to punishment the way other kids do. Like you said you could beat him till blue nothing would change. My son is all the things you described except at school his defance is inword like with the homework, or lack there of. The problem is i am a chronic pain sufferer. Disabled myself. So i depend on my son for a lot which he is good at. But one thing he drives me crazy with is picking up after himself and creating chaos. I mean the simplest things are left all over all the time. I have to rant And rave just to get him to bring dishes to the sink. I folded three baskets of my clothes months ago because i wanted to go through my things get rid of stuff before i put them away. Being sick having good days and bad days my good time is limited. He recently dumped all the clothes in a pile mixed with the dirty clothes to rewash everything. Of course it ended after a load. Now i have mt. Mckinley of all the clothes mixed, and all my effort time energy ,money gone. He is being forced to do it all over folded and back how it was. Why do they do these crazy no conseqence things. Why cant they forsee the outcome. Oh god help me. I love him more than life, but its so hard. He has no concept of what will happen when he just goes with it. Now that i know there is this odd i am going to imerse myself into it. Talk to his therapist try a new way. Thanks for posting. I would have never know why he acts so unpgased when he does something wrong.

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Jebbyfur 4 years ago

I meant to say un-phased. He us on the patch daytrana and it helps also melatonin at night. Weekends he wont wear it though. Then i am stuck. I love him he is so kind hearted but he doesnt know why he does what he does either. It has gotten better with the age. Growth spurts are involved too i think. At just into 13 he is almost 6" and wearing a 14.5 shoe. He has been in constant spurt with only a month break in august. His body hurts from all the growing. He feels bad eventually, but always on own time and terms. Dad is alcoholic. I wonder if this is genetic from alcohol or what. It is not as bad. I just get so frustrated. The simplest things like pick up after himself. Thanks.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

There is also a magnesium and zinc supplement that might help. It was developed by a dad who has a son like ours - you can read about it at

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jmc152 4 years ago

I'm in tears so i thought about trying to find an article to read that i could relate to, so maybe i can find some serinity in all of this. I am the parent of two beautiful boys, one bright full of life with no behavior issues, and one who was recently diagnosed with adhd/odd. He is tearing my family and my spirit apart. I have no idea how to handle his behavior although i have been dealing with this for about 4 years. He's only 5 now. it seems like noone has any answers for me in this small town and no ideas on how to disipline him. i'm hanging on by a thread with no where else to turn. he went to the dr today and she recommended inpatient treatment. but i can't fathem doing that. he's the light of my life. so loving, kind hearted and my world. how can i get my sanity back? i feel like adhd/odd has sucked the life out of me and my family. it's taken the happiness out of our lives and i can't even imagine what it's doing to him. i look into his eyes and he looks so helpless, so exhausted. i just want to wrap my arms around him and take all the pain away and be able to fix this. his dr is unable to regulate his meds. Any recommendations on medications that have worked for you? any tips on disiplin or behavior modification? i can't seem to get a straight answer around here. it seems so foreign to everyone. any info would be geratly appreciated:O

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Medication for me was a last resort - I hated doing that to my son, but nothing else seemed to help. Not that the meds seemed to do anything either, but what could I do? Now I can honestly tell you about something that seems to be much better...

It is a supplement specifically designed for kids like ours - Magnesium, Zinc, B6 and Vitamin C. My son is taking them and it appears to be helping quite a bit in school, as well as with his behavior. You can purchase them online (only) at After reading the testimonials and hearing how they have helped a forum member's son I decided to give them a try. I can honestly say I'm not disappointed, and it's much better than keeping my son on drugs.

If you need any more information or help, check out the forum at one small step for parents.

Kimberly 4 years ago

Wow.. I get it. I am not a mother of a child with ADHD/ODD but I am struggle atm with a child in my daycare with it. I feel many of the same things as the parents but with the reprieve of being able to send her home. I witness all the things this child does as do all the other children in this blog. Unfortunately I am probably going to have to let this child go because after 7 months of trying I just can not do it anymore. She is very destructive and outright mean at times. She is making a very negative environment for all the other kids and is often times a danger to herself and others. At times she is sweet and loving and this is why I keep trying and trying to work with her but I am feeling hopeless. I feel like a failure. I am at a loss as to what to do. It is a family daycare I own and I just cant keep any control or structure with her here. I relate to the frustration and wanting to quit. I also keep her because of great parents like you all. You all need the break too. But I have a difficult time with 8 other kids in the house.. I just dont know what to do.. Uggh.. Hopeless..

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 4 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It is a hurtful disability, not only to the child but to all who come in contact. Unfortunately, there seems to be very little that we can do to help, and research is nowhere near the head of the page...I understand your frustration, having lived it for many years and having others give up on my son...It isn't easy, and you have to do what you feel is right for you.

babNemiaVike 3 years ago

Good day! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be ok. I'm definitely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts. make your pc run like new

Jamie Sutton profile image

Jamie Sutton 3 years ago

Hi, this article speaks to me in volumes.. My five year old son is the same exact way. I have been trying many things to get him in manageable behavior but i have found nothing that works. Thanks for all the info.

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Ive32 3 years ago

Omg is like ur telling my story right now i feel so overwelm, i dont now what else to do. My kid is also very agressive n that got him arrested in feb. Will this ever get better.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

It has for many families - the older the child gets, the better the behavior in the majority of cases. It takes a lot of work and patience, and it's a hard road to travel...just know you aren't alone! You can check out our forum at for more support. Keep your chin up!

Bszharmon 3 years ago

I have a 4 year old son who seems to display ADHD and ODD. He has been going to a preschool with the school district and has an IEP for speech and development delay. He is a sweet boy who loves everyone. He gives random people hugs in stores. But....he had a very hard time focusing on anything and everything. They are working with him on that but I feel lost at home on what to do. He does things to annoy his older sister (7) and younger brother (15 months) and doesn't stop. We have tried time outs, or just getting him away from the situation, and it will work for a little bit but he will go right back to doing something naughty again. My husband and I get very frustrated with him and his behavior. He doesn't sleep well, unless we give him 5 mg of Melatonion. We have tried 3mg, but 5mg works better. He is loud but yet doesn't like loud noises(ie toilets flushing, blow dryers for hands in public bathrooms, sister screaming from her fits...). He just acts naughty all the time. And I feel like I do renowned have to handle him and what to do when he continues.

Another thing is that he is not independent at all. He can't sit by himself, he asks for help on everything even though I know he can do it himself. He doesn't like to be by himself at all. We have 3 cousins that the kids play with a lot and I feel like they don't understand him so he doesn't get played with a lot. I've also noticed that he tends to go towards adults, or teenagers then kids closer to his age because they understand him more and take the time to listen and play with him. I feel that I can do only so much before i need space from him. he is always following me and i have to be by his side or him by me all day. i know that might sound harsh but mommas need some space. He won't ever play by himself or with his sister/brother. Only sometimes will they have time they play well.

We took him to a behavioral specialist one time when he was 3 but I didn't get too much information on what to do its him. I am planning on calling them again and making an appointment so I can discuss techniques I can do with him, regardless if he has ADHD. I just want to know how to handle him because I feel like I don't everyday. I love him and always will, but would certainly like to understand him more so we can have a better relationship.

thewritingowl profile image

thewritingowl 3 years ago from Ireland

Just came across this article and I have to say I can relate totally to what you are saying. I too have a child currently defined as having ASD, ADHD, ODD and DD. Quite a list for a five year old. But boy do I know what you mean about attitude. My son is the most stubborn person I have ever met. He is starting a new school this week and while part of me is relieved that the long summer break is over another part of me is terrified as to how my son will react to this new situation. You are right when you say you can't understand what it is like until you live it, that's the reality. Sometimes other parents say things to me and I just bite my tongue and say nothing because to even try and explain the reality of my complex child would just take too long.

Don't get me wrong though I love him dearly and he can also be so loving and happy but boy when he is in a mood or doesn't want to do something we all know all about it in our house! I am sharing on FB and Twitter to let others know that they are not alone. Voted up.

Jenny Morris profile image

Jenny Morris 3 years ago from Wellington, New Zealand

Please please can someone help. my 9 yr old has just been expelled from primary school. I DO NOT want to send him to a mainstream school but it seems to be up to the government that they have the final word. He is ADHD ODD and only just diagnosed with Dyslexia. (Took the school so long and now boot him out without the appropriate funding/help) I cannot afford home school so what are my options. This is New Zealand!!!!!!!

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Bszharmon, don't give up with the behavioral specialists - most times the child needs to be older so there is a separation between normal childhood behavior and 'disabled' behaviors. It can be hard to get a diagnosis at an early age.

thewritingowl, thank you so much for the shout out! There is also an online forum for support at One Small Step for Parents.

Jenny Morris, I am including a link to Wikipedia's Education in New Zealand for you to read. This might give you a bit more leverage when speaking with government/school officials. Unfortunately as I am not familiar with your country's laws I can't help much. Just do your best to gather as much information as possible to build your case.

Jenny Morris profile image

Jenny Morris 3 years ago from Wellington, New Zealand

We are under Child/Adolesent mental health in NZ and are currently dealing with the Min of Education BUT there seems nothing we can do to get him in to the schools of our choice (even if we want to pay for it) because he was suspended it is out of our hands to which school he has to go to. Main stream schools of up to 30 students per class does not work for him. I am originally from the UK and feel like going back after 27 years in this country. I am getting very frustrated with the situation/system. Maybe a move to the US might help.!!

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Ericaluz 3 years ago

My son is about to be 7, and I yet to take him to the doctors ,afraid , that they will put him on Meds. He is such a character, so funny, with extreme energy,way out the normal. I knew he had to have Adha by the time he was 1, I was a first time parent ,but I was around children a lot, and never had seen such an energetic baby, always jumping. My son is funny, SOMTimes impulsive, verbally and fiscally , but never to hurt anyone intentionally. The only thing rally that he can focus on is VIDEO GAMES. I'm not sure if I'm causing him more harm then good though. But his little Nintendo ds, while I go shopping, is a blessing! Until

He losses interest , after a long while, then he acts like the game, he has a very extreme imagination, and throws himself on the floor, clearly hurting himself as he plays but never complains. Somthing that drives me crazy, is the faces he makes. Ugly faces and won't listen to me , when I ask him to stop! It's like , he try's, but can't help it. Recently I've noticed, more and more, if something is uneven, he will say "that hurts so much!" Like if , today,this morning, on my bed there was 2 pillows on one side and 1 on the other, he looks AT them and with a painful expression on his face, says "that hurts so much, " and make the pillows even , by placing 1 on the side , 1 in the middle and 1 on the other side. When I ask him, baby, what do you mean that hurts so mucH....? He says it hurts, doesn't it hurt you...not sure where I'm going with this... First time I write in one of these, I'd like to know if anyone has experienced similar situations.

Maria 3 years ago

I am so happy to read your article and your good, helpful suggestions, and to see you are still following up on comments on your article. I will definitely check out your links and go back through and read your comments again. I have felt so alone in raising my son and guilty beyond anything that I feel like I'm not capable enough to meet his needs. I am also single parent. I am so sick of hearing peoples opinions about what they "think" is the problem because they don't "believe" in ADHD/ODD. My son started showing symptoms when he was 2 diagnosed at age 3 and started medication when he was 5, just before starting medication. At that time he was having anger / coping issues dealing with me and his dad split up and I got him counseling for awhile it helped. Now he's 11, he's in the gifted/ talented program (pre-AP) in middle school. The constant arguing and back talk and constant power struggle with him is wearing me into the ground. I almost cannot stand to be around him because he is so confrontational. Cannot even have a 5 minute conversation without it turning into an argument. Forget fun or teaching him anything or even spending time doing anything at all together because it just leads to misery. We cannot go anywhere with friends because his behavior and level of disrespect is so embarrassing, it puts everyone in an akward situation. I am wore out. I am so tired. I feel broken hearted and disappointed because this is never what I envisioned for our life and I feel like his childhood is just slipping away. Pretty soon he will be a teen and then what?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I know what you are going through - but trust me when I tell you that things will get better. For years I despaired that my son would ever have a 'normal' life. Once your son reaches the age of 14, his hormones will start to kick in and the changes you are desperately seeking now will begin. By that time, he will have matured emotionally and behaviorally to the approximate age of 10 or 12, so you won't be dealing with a 'toddler' mentality anymore. I know this sounds harsh, but regrettably, it's the truth. You will still have confrontations and arguments, however you will begin to find that many of the previous behaviors are disappearing. New ones will crop up, but these will be more 'age appropriate' as you will be living with a pre-teen/young adult. Unfortunately, raising a teen is a challenge unto itself, but the stresses of living with a child who doesn't recognize boundaries and refuses to comply with anything will ease.

Make sure through all of this that you have good counseling in place for both you and your son, (including siblings,) as this will help with his later years. Even if it appears not to be helping in his younger years, stay the course. I didn't stop the counseling until my son turned 14, simply because I needed to show him that I wasn't the only person who felt his behavior was unacceptable - and hearing/seeing that from other people in his life is important. Find a solid male role model for your son - I'm not meaning a new love interest in your life, (that could open a whole other can of worms,) I'm meaning a professional that he responds to as this can go a long way to improving his behavior.

Hang in there - be kind to yourself - read my book when it is published "part-time Genius full-time Job" and take heart - you are not alone! Join the forum at One Small Step for Parents - there are many others living the same challenges you are facing. There is power and security in numbers - add your voice - you might end up helping someone else along the way as you help yourself. Much love and hope...

Opepepautty 3 years ago

Hey! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a wonderful job!


Amy 3 years ago

My 6 year mod son has also got ODD, OCD, ADHD he also has ANXIETY, AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASPERGERS) & a arachnoid cyst which is unremovable :/ he was officially diagnosed at 5 but had been in n out of psychs n drs since 3 with extreme behavior problems etc, he is now on Ritalin which I hate but with him it has actually made a massive difference which has been noted at home n school. As a baby he barely slept an as a toddler barely slept or ate, he now eats anything, has put on weight and getting great comments at school although when meds wear off or anxiety is bad look out, with 3 older children if he had of been 1st I would have stopped I swear he's like 10 kids in 1 some days, he gets confused a lot, stressed, exhausted but won't sleep, needs strict routine n can't have certain food or drink, if I was to talk bout my life with him so far we'd be here months, his dad left us 2 year ago n rarely rings, he hasn't seen him in over a year either, my mother n new partner r the only others willing to have him overnight or on their own, he now has 4 awesum step sissys who as much as they argue they try help him to, his teachers have been great helping n learning about his conditions as much as they can, he has a great support network. There are days where I want to throw my hands up or run away but he is so compassionate and says I'm sorry I'm naughty mummy and he melts my heart, he try's very hard and is extremely intelligent, the dr says his iq is unbelievable. Tyran the tornado as we call him :) loves every day like there's no tomorrow, as much as he exhausts me and with my own depression is hard to cope with some days :/ I wouldn't change him for the world, as his phsych said, don't get him to understand our world, we need to understand his, he liveslike he's dodging paintballs all day, put yourself in his shoes, it's very hard. My lil man for his age does well to cope an some days you hear him running n slow down saying slow down Ty Ty over n over or lime his nan showed him he just will stop get in a meditating position n go hummmm :) to slow himself down. We do have more bad days then good but we get by :) he is an amazing child and everyone loves him, they say he has the most far out story's to tell and can make even the saddest person laugh, I know of people who don't really like kids ( patients of mine in age care) but look forward to seeing tyran and he loves listening to them, he has a near photographic memory and has some unreal talents that will be a help in the future, I praise anyone who has children like my son as they are nearly a full time job but the pay in love from them is worth it ;)

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You are so right - they are a handful - but you will be a very proud mamma...I can finally say that of my son :) am very proud. It will be tough getting through the first years, but when his maturity catches up with him, he will surprise and delight! Best of luck my dear, thank you so much for your comments.

Dan 3 years ago


My wife and have a dough tee who is 9. She suffers from ADHD, bipolar, and anxiety. From the time she is awake to bed time. Each day can be a real battle. She wines the first thing for things she can do herself, she makes a huge mess when she eats, she poops her pants, and dinner time is hard cause she does not like anything and if what she does like, if it's not perfect she is downright mean. She has a six year old sister she fights with a lot now. We don't know what to do. We have tried everything. Rewards, punishment.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You need patience and consistency - the two major items in your corner. As she gets older, she will improve - counselling will help too. Check your local community service or youth mental health for counselors. Not easy to raise children with disabilities, but there are programs available to help.

Susie 3 years ago

Hello Enelle,

I have been pulling my hair out for 6 years every morning when the ADHD in my 9 year old is at its worst - this morning I was talking about leaving for the 30th time coz I can't deal with it anymore. I do a lot for my daughter for her ADHD and learning disorders and feel sometimes I am getting somewhere and others I am getting nowhere - constantly on a stormy sea with calm days and less calm days (very stormy crazy days).

Your article made me realize that she simply doesn't learn from her actions which sometimes push me and my husband both to the edge in the mornings specifically. The behaviour simply repeats and repeats and nothing changes. Is there anything we can do to improve her mood in the mornings. Routine wise we have it cracked but that does not change the bad days and unbearable moods with all kinds of not nice words spewing out all over the place.

Thanks for your feedback.


Leeanne's Mum

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Something to try would be to find out what specific thing triggers the bad it the light being turned on, is it the noise level, is it being rushed to get up and ready...and then change the trigger.

You can pinpoint the trigger by marking down exactly what happens before the bad behaviour and see how often it occurs. In this case, it appears to be every morning, so you know how often, but you need to find the specific thing that triggers the outbursts. Once you find what that is (and it could be several things that combine to produce the behaviour,) you can modify the morning routine to eliminate the trigger. Example: you have found that the light is too bright and triggers the behaviour, so you find a softer, less 'bright' light (or change the bulb) and use that. Or you find it is because she 'needs' more time to wake up and get ready for the day, so you start waking her up a half hour earlier to compensate, or simply to give her that much more time to wake up. Too noisy, again, wake up a half hour earlier for some quiet time, or turn down radio/tv. (My family always had the radio on - news in the morning...some ppl watch the morning news on tv...)

Most times, finding out what particular event (thing/item) triggers the bad behaviour is the key to reducing it.

Susie 3 years ago

Hi Enelle,

Can you please tell me what medication they recommend for ODD where you are? We are still going through hell in the mornings specifically with the ODD (no specific trigger) and need some respite and were thinking of adding another pill. She currently takes just Ritalin 10mg 3 times a day but that is not strong enough to deal with her ODD and impulsive and out of control behaviour.

I read to my husband an article on ODD this morning and how to deal with it from a parental stance and I know she has been suffering from this since we were able to see it at the age of 3 until now age 10. I just wasn't sure if it was ODD or personality disorder. Next time I go to our doctor I will bring it up as I have done in the past but they have not really addressed or dealt with it properly. At one time they gave her Risperdal (Respond) which we stopped as we were not sure it was helping and were worried about side affects but now we need something else apart from the Ritalin - did I see someone talk about Melatonin or that you give a pill in the morning? I can't remember but I do remember seeing it on your blog somewhere?

Thanks for commenting.

Susie - Mother of LeeAnne

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jamesaunt 3 years ago

I realize now that I am not alone in this. My nephew I am raising is diagnosed with addhd with and emphasis on the HD. PDDNOS, ODD, PTSD, night terrors, etc. Not to mention he was born testing positive for opiates, and alcohol. I have been taking him to therapist and psychiatrist, doctors, neurologist, and all they want is to give him medications. The schools are having a very hard time dealing with his behaviors but have been really great in trying to help him. I am so glad to see I am not alone. I have recently heard of trials using cannibus to treat his symptoms. I wonder if anyone has heard of this or is trying this with their child with these types of issues. I really am reaching my breaking point. I don't want all these medications to affect his liver. Any suggestions, information, help etc... I am looking for help for him. He is a wonderful little boy..with special needs.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

The only medication that was suggested for my son's ODD was an antidepressant, and as that would probably cause more problems I decided not to go that route. I did, however, put my son in counselling for many years in an attempt to ensure his ODD did not turn into CD. It didn't appear to do much at the time, but I stuck with it and I can honestly say it did help.

Something else I did was to feed him whenever he had a meltdown. Low blood sugar contributes to the ODD behaviours. Try giving her a snack before bed. It might tide her over better for the morning. Or give her a cup of coffee first thing in the morning. I do that for my son every morning and it really helps.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

jamesaunt - I would be hesitant to try cannibus for your nephew, simply because his brain is still developing. Giving him cannibus will have the same result on his brain as if you gave him alcohol. He may calm down, but whatever growth that would naturally occur will be severely stunted or lost - not a good trade off...

See if you can find other counselors that will work with your nephew - behavioral specialists, psychologists etc. There has to be someone who can help you with support. It might take a while to locate the right one, but he or she is definitely out there.

Brandi 3 years ago

I have a 7 year old daughter and a 6 year old son both diagnosed in April 2013 with ADHD and ODD. I was told they were prime candidates for trial medication. People think i'm nuts becuase I have chosem to NOT medicate my children. I believe there HAS GOT to be a different way to go with this. I read your article and actually felt a ease of breath.. Finally, someone who knows what i'm going through! I too get the stares, the comments, and i'm sure there are lots of people that mumble to themselves or others what they would do to correct the situation if it were them. Well it isn't! It is me and my sweet babies having to go through it all. And with the good Lord's help I have not strangled or beat them to death as of yet. ;) Even though they both are ADHD/ODD my daughter also possesses this natural emotional explosive tendency to cry and scream about EVERYTHING! When she doesn't get her way she screams, cries, throws things at me, throws things across the room, throws herself down, smacks herself, calls herself names, etc. etc..My son expresses himself in a little different way. He rarely cries, unless he is truly hurt which is quite the opposite of her. He gets mad!! He gets very very mad!. He gets angry to the point of punching walls, himself, downs himself constantly when he gets into trouble, downs other people being verbally abusive, and physically abusive often. Not to mention he is an avid bedwetter. They are currently in Kindergarten and 1st grade (because of where their birthday falls) and thus far he has not been suspended. He has had 3 office referrals which normally warrants an out of school suspension after the 2nd refferral according to the principal. I actually just got a call from her this morning because he decided he dind't want to be in class anymore and just walked out... bleh. Anyway.. here is my plan of action: I have changed our diet drastically cutting out processed foods, artificial dyes, artificial flavors and additives (you wouldn't believe how much this has helped!!!); We are all three seeing a Maximized Living Doctor who is a "Corrective Chiropractor"; and I am now looking into the possibility of essential oils to help calm them both down. Is there any other natural methods you could recommend possibly??? Sorry for the novel. :)

Brandi 3 years ago

OH!! and we have also started seeing a counselor 1 time a week for my son's anger issues. But I was told that because of my son's age that most of the counseling would be with me to teach me techniques on how to deal with him and help him. I was asked by his school to consider a mental health clinic and as his mother i was mortified by the thought of my baby having to seek care from a mental health clinic. Denial much?? oh well.. I'm doing what I think is best and would welcome any additional Natural methods rather than stuff a pill down their throats. :/

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

There are some natural methods, not all of them effective unfortunately, but the diet is a biggie! Kudos fior doing that on your own. Something that helps dramatically is food. Whenever either one has a meltdown, redirect them with something. I found that a snack redirects and raises the blood sugar levels and helps calm them down.

There is also a site online that promotes a specialized vitamin supplement that might help. ps

Brandi 3 years ago

What are the "other natural methods" and the online site that promotes a specialized vitamin supplement?

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jamesaunt 3 years ago

Enelle Lamb, thanks so much for your advise. I am really reaching here this little man never and I repeat never stops. He goes basically 24 hours. His sleep is very interrupted.. hence, so is mine. I took him back to his psychiatrist and he changed his medications this time to focalin xr. It is not working. If nothing else his ODD has seemed to have gotten worse. He does eat very nutritious and well balanced meals and snacks. I cook most meals from scratch (kinda like my mom and grandma did) . He eats at least 3 meals and up to 4 snacks a day. With or without medications he bounces off the walls and defies doing anything I say (doesn't always seem to be intentional either) . His father and mother were both drug and alcohol addicts. Both were of very low intelligence. I got him after he turned 3. I want so much to help him do better. I pray hard often for the strength and knowledge to help him. I am all he has in this world so I won't give up but wish they would stop pushing medications and start maybe developing some type of schools for children with this needs. I live in Michigan and he is currently in general education along with speech and reading as extra help. But he is falling behind daily. He is in first grade but will have to remain in first next year. He fails to retain taught lessons.

I believe most of his problems derive from his sleeping habits. If you never sleep through the night it can have cause all types of learning and behavior problems.

Someone suggested I start giving him melatonin but I always worry about conflicts with his prescribed medications. Has anyone tried using it? And if so how much? He is 47lbs in weight and 45 in tall.

Also, be aware that because of the fact that I am his guardian I also must do as the courts suggest or there may be legal ramifications such as removal from me so I try to make sure I cross all T's and dot all I's.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 3 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Definitely put him on Melatonin! I found it when my son was 7 and it was the best thing I ever did. My son is 16 and he still takes it every night. It is a natural sleep aid and won't conflict with any medications. It might take a while before he learns to sleep through the night, but is definitely worth the wait if there is any.

Kirsty Wingfield 3 years ago

I have a 8 year old boy who's ADHD I find it very hard I get hit day in and day out school always calls me he swears lies a lot and can be very rude he is on meds what only last for school hours really but since he's been on the he has learnt so much his speech is coming on nicely not where he should be at 8 years old but he is doing great I don't get no break as my mum passed away my none of my brothers can cope with him I also have a 7 year old he's fine and I have a 3 year old what is autism and been told he might never speak there is a lot of people don't understand ADHD and they just look at my 8 year old like he is really bad defo when out shopping and he wants something it's hard to say no cause you know as soon as you say that word it's all going to kick of smashing things he don't have no toys has he as smashed them he as holes in his bedroom walls and door he smashed his tv and the sleep i would love to have a early night never happens and he takes food as well it is hard very hard but least we are doing it and not giving up I love my son even thou he drives me nuts but that makes him who he is now and no one understand our kids more than us mothers do and fathers

Angela 2 years ago

Hi, I have an 8 year old that has been diagnosed with ADHD, ODD,OCD, and a strong possibility of Aspergers which is high functioning form of autism. She is progressively getting worse as the weeks go by she is taking concerts 27mg, tenex and 5mg of melatonin to help her sleep. She cried everyday not wanting to go to school, so I began homeschooling her a month ago and it is a battle to get her to do her work but when she does she is more interested in math and working on a 4th grade level. She is constantly screaming throwing things hitting her 2 and 3 yr old brothers. Doesn't like to play with other children always has to be in the same room as me and pretty much on top of me at all times. She has recently began getting in bed with me in the middle of the night and waking me up telling me she is seeing things. I got her into a child therapist at our mental health center and they are going to begin therapy once a week and case management at home so I am hoping I am on the right track to get her and myself some help. I am emotionally and mentally drained from dealing with her behavior. I am concerned that she is gonna end up in a girls home for the state if it doesn't improve. She is going down a destructive road and told the therapist yesterday that sometimes she thinks about hurting herself.

Nameless please 2 years ago

Sounds similar yet some differences.

My son is 11. Has aspergerd and ADHD. Certain things and people set him off. Made progress yet backtracking recently. One day he missed morning med and that happened to be day 7 year old girl who triggers his outburst shows up to play with him and his middle school friends. And he pushed her. He faced his consequence as well as apologized to her. But this has been on going and it is two way. And of course since he is older and he got physical he is in wrong. But again I made it clear she is not allowed to play with him. And he is to walk away. I even made a script what to do when she approaches. I am really worried about both of them, especially my son. Anyone ever face this?

nameless please 2 years ago

Good morning. I would like to add more to our experience. My son also was kicked out of his pre-school at 3 years old for aggressive behavior. And life since he could walk until oh about somewhere between K and 3rd grade are all a blur. He had been hospitalized twice, sent to the emergency once and released due to behavior and to a boarding house once. We had gone through different diagonosis until intensive testing and a hosptial doctor recognized he was on the PDD scale. It took intervention and a team of people to help me to figure out how to cope with him and to get my husband and me on the same page. I know that I did not cause the problem but I certainly did feed into it unwittingly. I would yell and give these lengthy lectures. Really good therapist are not easy to find. There some good some okay. But if you find a good one that really can help out a lot. So we made some progress. We can now trust him with a bat and he now plays baseball. Back then we did not let him anywhere near anything hard. So he has made progress. He has a hard time making friends. When he does he is very loyal to them. Once he and his friends establish boundries he is pretty good about controlling himself with them. Since he has Aspbergers I am happy that he has one or two solid friends that I am aware of. He is good with his his peers but not so much with younger kids. And even then there are some younger kids who have not seen his outbursts. His friends are neighbors and they are in the same grade as him. He still has outbursts (mainly at home mainly aimed at me and one of his siblings) And some days we have are rough. Recently he has become more aggitated and so I am trying to get him the rest of the family on track. So my son has circumstances, things and certain people who trigger him and he lashes out at them. And I repetely give consequences to try to stop it from happening. Plus he is on medication. He is 11 years old so my guess is that his hormones are kicking in and we may have another rough ride. So I have to prepare myself and work with the social working on what I am to do and how I am to attend to the issues.

Now the little girl who comes over has a history with him. And sometimes she sets him off unintentially but sometimes she chases after him when he tries to get away from him too. I have seen both situations. Still either way he is not allowed to push, trip or hit or say mean things to anyone. Especially little child and girls. My son has bothered younger kids and has stopped when I talk to the parents. For some reason this situation has not been resolved. And I don't want my son to hurt her in anyway. I have told him that no matter what she says or does he needs to quietly walk away from her. I feel overwhelmed protecting my son from himself and family members from him. I really do not want to have him ruin his life because he loses control when the situation can be averted. I told the mother that her 7 year old daughter needs to stay away from my 11 year old boy. Her daughter can play with my younger son who is her age and does not have these issues anytime my 11 year old is not around. But I really stress that this is not a healthy relationship between these two kids. Normally I do not get involved with my childrens friendships unless I sense that it is not moving in a good direction. The stakes are too high. The mom sees nothing wrong with her daughter comeing to the clump of houses to play with kids who are in middle school. These are houses adjacent to ours...she is not contected to our house. And I do not want her daughter left out. I pointed out the kids who are closer to the girls age. But really it is none of my business who she plays with unless she comes near my son. Again I feel that things are brewing beneath the surface with my son and I need to try to redirect him and turn off the heat.

Hockey Mom Of Two profile image

Hockey Mom Of Two 2 years ago from USA

I came across this 'article' when searching for the benefits of my child participating in sports, especially having ADHD. This made me cry..... because it is EXACTLY the life I live and the child that I have. My son will be 11 in September. He has the same diagnosis as your son. He was sent home from kindergarten his 5th day there. I've also been a single mother. I also have another child, a daughter... but she is 5 years younger than my son. I have stopped at 2 also. My son was 9 days past his due date and 3 days of labor. He was stubborn even then. Intelligent, talented, creative, loving, caring, athletic.... but we call it Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in my family. One moment or day he is one person and the next, he is the total opposite! Medication after medication.... some worked, but the side effects outweighed the good. We are still fighting that battle... since he was 5 years old. Reading this.... it just made me feel like I was reading something I wrote about my own life. People really don't understand how difficult it can be! Not to mention, when child services get involved because they feel the child is 'too difficult for single mother to manage at times'. Then you fight for years and years to keep custody of your child when you've done everything told... instead of focusing on what is best for the child and making his life easier and happier.... instead of more stressful and confusing, making behaviors even worse! My parents used to always complain that the teachers and professionals 'always blame the parents' about my brother's behavior growing up. And NOW.... I completely understand where they are coming from. Doing all you can for your child with these struggles..... and it ends up that people want to say we are 'unfit' to care for our child?! Unbelievable!!

Nameless please 2 years ago

Hi hockey mom. My son plays sports and it helps him. One thing I am tired of is judgmental people. I think that we work harder than the average parent. And we really do not get the credit. Not to mention people who do not even believe this is real. If anyone walked a day in our shoes they would sing a new tune. We are always walking on eggshells.

Just letting you know you are not alone.

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Angela,

You did the right thing getting your daughter into see mental health. It is a hard road that we are on, but stay strong - do something for yourself, you need it. When your daughter is seeing her counselor, take some time for yourself - whatever it is you enjoy, or simply just have some quiet time or nap to recharge...

Hi nameless please,

You mentioned your son is in counselling - I'm not sure if he still is, but either way, you should mention your concerns to his counselor - they may be able to help...there are support groups for Asperger's and they also provide more assistance for this disorder than any other except Autism. Might not hurt to see if there is anything in your area...

Hockey mom of two,

nameless has a good suggestion - find a sport your son likes and get him involved. It helps for your son to have an outlet. If you can, find a counselor for him/and or need the support and help. (We all do - and it does help.)

As for the schools...I switched schools until I found one that would work with my son instead of always sending him home and looking at me like I was the problem...sometimes not an easy task, but well worth the effort. We still have a long way to go, but the improvements are substantial! Keep your chin up!

Nameless please 2 years ago

Thank you. I have been on the phone with his counselor and plan to see him this week. Thank you for your blog .

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jamesaunt 2 years ago

Hi, just wanted to give a follow-up. We did go the route of Melatonin and the doctor has put him on focalin xr 15mg. He is basically sleeping soundly once he falls asleep now. Huge difference in his behavior as well. Yeahhhh :) I feel as tho I have won some sort of prize. Good luck to all mom's out there. We have been on a 3 year battle with night terrors, adhd, odd, ptsd, pddnos. Although things are still rough with all the other issues his night terrors have decreased to almost nil.

krystal 2 years ago

hello, again thank you for your story i am ging through the exact same thing but my daughter is only 3 1/2 old and she is very crazed. she its choles and bites herself and us. her little brother me and her father. we are going through so much emotional strain being that we have cps now in our life due to one of her episodes and now my husband may get kicked out the military due to 2 females not understanding whats wrong with my daughter and they said some accusations that they fully didnt see nor understand. the social workers never saw this in all the years they been dealing with children. my daughter from a mental health doctor was diagnosed with adhd and odd with hypertensin also case of hearing monsters in her head. im fully heart broken thinking i was going to bE a mommy and dealing with my autistic son that was just diagnosed at 18 monthes. ive tried and still trying everything but its so hard being her age is so small. to have a child my own daughter with these illnesses make me very sad and depressed thinking im alone and im really not. i know there is help out there i just have to do all the foot work and im doing it. with that being said im waiting for a call back for a in home thereapist to come in and help me deal with certain situations and me asking doctors for help and being ignored really it over welming. my daughter physcally abusing her little brother is really time consuming being that i cant even wash a spoon without having to stop what im doing to stop and control her behavior. i LOVE my baby so much but im at my witts end nd she is only 3 1/2. thank god i have my mom here close, my husband is in the military so its like im raising my babies alone i wouldnt mind so much but they BOTH have disorders that take every minute of my day. If the didnt have my mom and husband at home (which he is sick as well) is really hard for me. i do neeed help and reading these articles help so much! how is your son today? when exactly did you know something was wrong with him?

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Dr.Jason.D - I have copied your comment without the link :)

ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why.

Kids with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them but have trouble following through because they can't sit still, pay attention, or attend to details.

Of course, all kids (especially younger ones) act this way at times, particularly when they're anxious or excited. But the difference with ADHD is that symptoms are present over a longer period of time and occur in different settings. They impair a child's ability to function socially, academically, and at home.

The good news is that with proper treatment, kids with ADHD can learn to successfully live with and manage their symptoms.

Hi Krystal,

I knew my son had problems when he was born, I just didn't know exactly what they were for many years. It hasn't been easy, but we struggled on - my son is now 16 (17 in May,) and he has come a long way. He still has a long way to go, but we are still working with him. (Our full story is available through Amazon - Part-time Genius Full-time Job)

Christina 2 years ago

Enelle, congratulations on your book! I will most definitely be reading it, and I'm sure it will be like reading pages from my own life. I haven't seen much activity on One Small Step, and decided to check back here. As usual, I find comfort in other parents who post on here and know what this whole experience is like.

My son has been better in school. He got a very good report card, and his teacher's gave him a very good review at parent teacher conferences last week. He is in an ICT class which consists of two teachers, half a high functioning mainstream class and half high functioning with either ADD or Asperger's, usually both. He is finally making friends this year, and is participating more in gym (something he hated). He is better at hockey, is really understanding the game more, and considers himself my husband's assistant coach. There are no more huge battles to get him ready for practice or a game, but he will still have his days where he gives my husband the business and is less than a team player.

My problem is that he is improving in these areas, but he still battles with me constantly. He doesn't listen to a word I say, and is so blatantly defiant it's stunning. If one more person says "Oh you know kids always give mom's a harder time because we do everything for them, blah blah blah...." I'll scream. He starts first thing in the morning, getting him up is a fight. He right away starts complaining about having to go to school. Then I let him sit on the couch with me for about 15 minutes so he can fully wake up. The next battle begins when it's time to go to the bathroom, wash up and brush his teeth (which I wind up doing). He keeps moaning and groaning as I get him dressed. Then he settles down as he eats his cereal, a little more battling to get his coat on and get him out of the house. I drive him to school and it's hit or miss on his attitude. But when he walks into the yard, his whole demeanor changes. Sometimes his bad attitude follows him into school and I will usually get a note home, or the teacher will talk to me at dismissal.

They have noticed somehow that he targets me in a way. His IEP meting is monday and I'm going to ask just how they've noticed this. He fusses with my husband quite a bit, and it usually blows up into an argument, but they have a lot of time where things are pretty good. But with me he just loves going against what I say. My temper flares and I find myself saying things I shouldn't. My husband and I both become quite frustrated and stressed by him and at times it's putting a strain on our relationship. But we've weathered the storm together and that's how we plan to keep it.

I love my son, and it's really bothering me that we don't have a great relationship. He's 10 and I think about him becoming a teenager in a few years, and what it will be like then. I hear from person after person about how brilliant he is, but why isn't he smart enough to realize that acting that way isn't going to get him a good response from me. I do so much for him, and I feel like he gets mad at me for doing the things I'm supposed to like getting him to school on time, with clean clothes, homework all done, a full belly, and a nice lunch packed. I keep his room nice, his home clean and cozy, take care of him when he's sick etc. All the right things. Maybe I do too much, I don't know. I just think about when he was small and we would cuddle all the time, there weren't enough kisses and he didn't defy me. I'm hoping that as he improves in other areas, he'll improve with me too. Ever the optimist.

One more thing, the day after he got these rave reviews from his teachers, and we happily told them that homework isn't taking until bedtime anymore, he started acting up. The past week has been unpleasant to say the least. They did add more homework to the mix to prep for the state tests (don't get me started on that subject) which he is not happy about and taking out on me. I try to reason with him and ask if it would be fair for me to take it out on him every time I'm doing a household chore I don't like (which is most) or if his Dad should take it out on him when he has to get up at 5 in the morning to go to work at sanitation. I say it wouldn't be fair to him for us to do that, so why is he doing it to us. He says it wouldn't be fair but then is running off at the mouth again 5 seconds later. What can I say? He's a work in progress. He does however keep promising me to build my dream house after he makes his fortune with his tech company he plans on having someday. There are many who believe he will, including me.

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Christine!

So sorry, it has been a busy place what with me going back to school. I havent had much time for posting, but I am on spring break so will get a couple done on the site. We can chat there :)

I am still working with my son who still gives me nothing but attitude...kinda like your' I can really relate. See you on the site!

TINA 2 years ago

i have to say ur story was very helpful i have not been told my son has adhd but that his diagnosis is ptsd and odd. im so confused half the time my son is a big 10 year old ive only had him a year and i honestly have no idea still he sees counselors and therapists also his school teacher and principal try and help but now it seems we are hitting a downward spiral. i am also a single mother of 2 but my son is the oldest i also have a 2 year old daughter. it is so hard i have no income at the moment im trying to get an extension on public assistance and trying to get him on ssi. since i dont recieve a dime from the father.

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BeC15 2 years ago

After reading your blog, I fully empathize with you all. Where are you now and how is life? I have to say I cried while reading your posts. Many days I am at my wits end and yes, I have felt like packing up and leaving. I have even given my husband, her step-dad (5 years), permission to have an out since I drive him crazy, too, since I have ADD. She is 18 1/2,ADHD with ODD, a senior in high school (magnet) and driving me mad to get her drivers license. Any suggestions??

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jamesaunt 2 years ago

Hi BeC , just a note to tell you that you are not alone in that I have a daughter also whom I got when she was 7 she suffered severely from ptsd, adhd with an emphasis on the H. I had her on Strattera for about the last 6 years of high school. She was eventually put into general ed classes in 10th grade. She successfully completed high school and is now attending college to become a nurse. At 18 she refused to take her medications anymore. (big problems. her add is causing her many problems) but that is another issue. She also wanted to drive and I was successful in teaching her it took about 3 years of trying we started lessons at 16 scary very scary we stopped for awhile. At 17 I made her study the books, manual and anything else we could find and again we tried to teach her we let her drive in parking lots etc after learning the rules. Please understand it is not easy and I am by no means patient so it was very rough. By the end of her 19th year she was able to drive. I gave her a car for graduation and she has had several accidents mainly not involving any other vehicles. Although her last accident did completely destroy the front end she was unharmed and so was the other driver, she learned a lot from that. (we did get it fixed it cost about 1200 and took 3 months) That was this past October. She is going to be 21 in October this year. And so far she is doing well. Please take the time to talk to your child and even show her this. Tell her the one thing my daughter does say is she needs to be on her medicine if she is to drive. Tell her that ADD is not a joke and a car is a dangerous weapon if not used properly. I know you will worry ..I still do. But this can be done. Have faith!

Lisa Huntington NY 2 years ago

So glad I found your blog. I am a miserable and sad parent. My 6 yr old son was diagnosed with ADD and ODD at age 4. Good lord has it been hard. He has been on every medication :concerta, adderall, focalin, vvanyse, medadate, intuniv, and now Zoloft. We've gone from 18 mg on some all the way to 60mg on others and nothing works. I've tried fish oils, suntheanine anything and nothing seems to work. Sorry don't mean to complain but he is very difficult. We made the mistake of taking him on vacation to Costa Rica and he started out ok but then started with the inappropriate behaviors around other kids and was embarrassing. Ugh. I think what's worse are the amount of non accepting parents out there. Everyone has a comment about ours son and our parenting Because they have all come to the conclusion that we are just bad parents. I wish I could find a circle of parents near me going through the same thing b/c no matter where I go I feel like we are the only ones.


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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Hi Tina,

It doesn't matter much what type of disability your child has, it is still hard to live with, get help for and understand. I'm glad you found your way here - there is a blog with a forum at One Small Step for Parents (just google it and you will get the address,) where you can ask questions or just chat with other parents who are going through much the same things you are...hope to see you there :)


You definitely have your hands full...but a driver's license is a good "first step" - they do need transportation in order to hold down a good job "second step" then on their way to independence...(something I am looking forward to...)


If you are interested, you can always join the forum group at One Small Step for Parents - always nice to see new faces...

Hi Lisa,

I truly understand how you feel. Unfortunately, this is just an article, but it received so many comments that I did start a blog, complete with a support forum at One Small Step for Parents (just Google the name and you will find us - can't use the actual link as I'm not allowed to promote other hubs or sites...) There are quite a few forum posts and several members who, I am sure, are going through/have gone through many of the same challenges as you.

Hope to see you there :)

karen craig 2 years ago

That sounds exactly like my son. Excluded twice at age of 5 another twice the next year three times so far this year. I am currently fighting with CAHMS to reassess him, as a student observation on a reletively calm morning is viable for a 5yr old. However i am hoping now we are 2 years further down the line glhe will finally get the support he actually needs. I am also a single parent and work part time but not sure how long for due to my sons second written warning from the chilcare provider so i suppose its only a matter of time before i am forced to give up work. But i would like to say Thank you for this Blog it is nice to know we are not alone. X

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Fifi1967 2 years ago

As, others have said, I am not glad others are going through the same, but so nice to know I am not alone.

Looking back, things were going pear-shaped right from the start. My first clue should have been the fact that my daughter was restless right from the start. She would only breast-feed 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off around the clock, 24/7, day in, day out. It got to the point where, having a newborn and a one year old, I took to sleeping in the spare room so as not to wake the rest of the household. I was so sleep deprived and not coping, I remember lying awake, tears streaming down my face, thinking about how much I wanted to shake her, when it dawned on me "I need help, big time."

I called my mother who lives two hours away to come and give me some respite so we could better deal with everything that comes with a new baby and a one year old. We got into a baby sleep program, but that didn't work for her and she continued to wake during the night until she was 4 or 5 years old.

She was a live wire. Funny, wilful, very social, but fearless and determined. She walked at 8 months, and was always racing around the house after that, constantly falling over and hurting herself. She was always hard to get to go to bed/sleep. She didn't want to miss out on what was going on.

When the kids were small, we moved a bit because my husband was in the Navy. When we moved to a remote location, I had a break down (I think). I certainly wasn't coping well at all, trying to manage a branch of a global recruitment company, living somewhere I knew noone, having two kids under 13 months and my husband being away a lot.

Once we got to where we are now, life was a bit more settled. She started school and there were some minor issues, but we all thought she was just a wilful child. In classes where the teachers really "got" her, she absolutely thrived. In those who didn't, it was not great, but not too bad either.

At the end of Year 2, we started to fair of the school and moved her to a private girls' school which was closer to home, but that we thought would batter manage bullying.

During primary school, she was quite up and down, but what became apparent in her last years there, was that she had problems with peer relationships, friendships in particular. She spoke with a counsellor at school and she and I were left totally disenchanted, and she was put off - a lot (as was I - extremely judgmental and unprofessional).

Once she transitioned to senior school, we thought this would give her the opportunity to move on from the situation, that high school was a much bigger place, with loads of different kids, new friendships etc... a chance to leave behind the small fishbowl of an exclusive (read judgmental) peer group (including parents).

Things were OK for a little while, but then the bullying began and she did not respond well. She could not help herself and always bit back, big time. By the end of Year 7 (first year high school), she was self-harming, although we didn't find out for another 5 months. She had fallen into a friendship with two other girls who were also self-harming and a very toxic friendship grew. I only found out about the self-harm/depression because one of the other mothers called the school and asked them to let me know, and I am forever grateful she did.

Shortly thereafter, I found a whole lot of screenshots of her talking about "ending it all" and how she might do it. Needless to say, this turned all of our lives upside down and this was the turning point, I guess.

I floundered with our health system here, which is extremely difficult to navigate and had some terrible early experiences, which has made it difficult when I have sought help for her since then. Finally, I went to our gorgeous GP who managed to get us in within about 10 days to one of the best Psychiatrists in the town we live in. We also got her into a great psychologist as well, as the previous one had been a very overpaid friend who never challenged her and who managed to be hoodwinked by my daughter's ability to tell people what she thinks they want to hear.

She started on anti-depressants and improved to the point where she was no longer wanting to kill herself, but the problematic behaviour was diabolical. She wasn't coping and neither were the rest of us. Our lovely psychologist mentioned to me at the end of one session that something my daughter had said made her think that she may have ADHD. I have to confess, this didn't altogether surprise me and I sought a very thorough and detailed assessment. She is nearly 15!!

The results came back with ADHD (some elements are severe), ODD and some learning difficulties (cognitive processing stuff). I hate to say it, we were relieved to know it was real, and not in our heads, but that was just the beginning.

Since then, she started on slow release Ritalin and (when I remember) Melatonin. We moved her out of the girls school and she elected to go to the local high school, which had a good reputation and meant she wouldn't have to deal with (in her words) the petty uniform regulations and so on. We worked with the school to let them know the outcomes of the assessment she had had, and hoped this would be the start of things getting back to some semblance of normal (whatever that is)!! I was very wrong.

Anyway, we were all coming to terms with the devastating year that was 2013 to have her sexually assaulted by some a*hole who was at school with her last year at the end of the first week of term.

As a result of this, she went through countless hours of police questioning and the beginning of another very toxic friendship with one of the other "victims" of this sexual offender. She felt very let down by the police and the support system, began to refuse therapy of any kind and also began acting out. Small things at first like missing class, wanting to go and hang out all the time at the local mall. Her reliance on her (cyber) friends and social media escalated dramatically. We were told by a professional that removing this support for her at that point in time would be counter-productive.

She has come to rely very heavily on the school youth worker, which is great because he is a guy, is reasonably young and knows really well how to interact with kids of her age and experience. One positive.

She is not improving though and is making terrible choices with friends and so on. Her behaviour at home is terrible, especially since her dad has been posted overseas for 6 months and has left me as a single parent for that period (my hats off to those who single parent day in, day out)! She takes most of it out on me and her brother who is a year older, who has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression from the past 18 months experiences. It has affected us all very deeply. I am at my wits end most days... I find myself living in a heightened state of anxiety constantly and get no respite from it.

My daughter is somewhat in denial, but accepts the ADHD. She won't talk about it much, isn't interested in knowing more about it, won't help herself, but we suffer the consequences. Most days, I feel as though I just want to pack up my kit bag and run away for a while.

Anyway, I managed to get her to attend a session with the rape crisis centre in our area. She has agreed to go back. Fingers crossed this helps. I really hope so. I really want to engage with all of this to help herself get better. I just want her to have a good life, an easier one than what she is going through.

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I totally understand! This is the first article I ever published (way back in 2008 I believe,) and my son has made some amazing progress since then, but there is still a lot of room for improvement...

He is still in counselling, and so far is doing well, but the first years of school were absolutely horrible! If you are interested you can always check out our forum for parents at One Small Step for Parents - just Google the name and you will be directed to the blog - I can't put the link in too many times or I am penalized on the article ;)

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

You certainly have your hands full with your daughter. Even though my son's story is not the same, the journey is very similar and I understand your trials and frustrations. I too just want my son to have a good life, and for things to be easier for him. I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I always remain hopeful :)

If you are interested, you can check out our forum at One Small Step for Parents - just Google the name and you will be directed to the blog...if you ever feel the need to vent :)

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addexplainsme 2 years ago

I'm so happy that I stumbled upon your hub here! As well as the comments!

It's always nice to know I'm not the only one dealing with this!

I'm so tired of having my parenting abilities questioned because my son's energy level could fuel a thousand cars. Then of course there's the "sympathetic" suggestions.

I've tripled my troubles and I think we're surviving..basically..

See I have ADHD inattentive type (basically I'm the kind that can point out the butterfly in the middle of a sentence.. not the kind that chases it.) I can't keep a schedule because I always lose it. I forget just about everything and I get just as easily sidetracked as my son, even with medication!

My husband (son's father) has ADHD (the butterfly chasing kind) he claims to have it under control..ha! But he's in the military so we get moved around a lot and blah blah blah..

We've also got a 4 year old daughter who is the polar opposite. She's quiet, calm and sweet.. our house is like an OCD having person's nightmare!

But I'm commenting to say thank you for posting this and to share some of my insanity. :-D

Enelle Lamb profile image

Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thank you for your comments! I'm always up for a bit more insanity ;)

Rid 2 years ago

I just came across this post and it was like reading my life story!! I have been divorced since my son was 4 months old; he is turning 8 next week.

After a lot of effort on my side and a sympathetic doctor, i managed to get him diagnosed with ADHD and Dyspraxia last year. To date, the school is trying to get away with doing the minimum to help him as he still manages to get through all the necessary targets without any assistance; the occupational therapist and pediatric psychiatrist need to be reminded regularly and a year on I am not sure when he will be seen next! It is true as someone above said that in the UK they are not very forthcoming with help and assistance to parents and children with special needs.

I am trying so far to resist drugs as they said he is borderline and we should try behavioral strategies for now. All I can say again, quoting you Enelle "it has been one heck of a ride"...and it is not over yet! :)

Good luck and Bon courage to all parents who are doing an amazing job!

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Thanks Rid, we appreciate the complement! Sounds like you have a roller coaster of your own to handle. There might be some links to UK sites on One Small Step for Parents, if you want to check them out to see if they are relevant for your situation :)

Best of luck.

Michael 2 years ago

Thank you so much for this. I don't feel so quite alone now. My son is about to turn 8 and recently diagnosed with ADHD. We thought he was in the autism spectrum but it's presenting itself as ADHD. Everything you said? It's my sin completely. I'll tell him to do things, and he looks right through me. I love him obviously but sometimes I don't know what else I can do for him. He will be getting on medication in July as I've tried everything else with no results. I'm so frustrated and feel completely at the end of my rope =0(

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Actually, ADHD is under the autism spectrum. There are many facets of the disability that present very similarly to Aspergers, and many of the symptoms of ADHD present along with Aspergers, Autism and many other disabilities.

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jlpark 2 years ago from New Zealand

Thanks for this hub - both informative, and real life examples help make it easier to understand for those of us who may only see this from the outside. Thanks

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Most welcome - from the outside, these kids look like they "need" more discipline...unfortunately, they and their parents are judged by the behaviours.

Amber 2 years ago

Thank you for sharing I know I am not alone. My son is 16 and the last three years have been the worst ever, especially this last year. I am so glad others can understand because I have been judged, ridiculed and ostracism I have experienced especially just recently because I am choosing my son my kids come first.

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I can understand your disappointment, anger and frustration - believe me!

Karen M. 2 years ago

Hi. While in marriage counseling at 38 I was diagnosed with ADD and my husband was diagnosed having ADHD. A few years prior to this I was tested and diagnosed with dyslexia. Our son, now 12, was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD three years ago back in 3rd grade. As I learned about ODD it became apparent to me that my husband clearly suffers from ODD as well.

Sadly, it's just about impossible to find any information or help on adult ODD still today. Why don't I hear anyone mention when they have a child with ODD that they also have a parent with ODD?

I can't believe we are the only family with a child and adult both suffering with ODD? If you know how difficult it is to parent a child with ADHD/ODD can you imaging co-parenting with an ODD husband. I'm barely hanging on. I see my therapist weekly. She worries about my mental and physical well-being. She gives me the same advice I would give any friend if they were in this situation...take care of you and leave! Daily I'm yelled at, laughed at, disagreed with, disregarded and disrespected, my son swears at me repeatedly, he has physically attacked me and will physically throw things and hit me. I'm bullied and verbally abused by both my son & husband. Even when I repeat what my husband has said to our son on other occasions my husband will become oppositional and defiant with me.

We live in downtown Chicago. I am surprised, frustrated and disappointed with the lack of ADHD/ODD help available. Where are the specialist?

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Enelle Lamb 2 years ago from Canada's 'California' Author

I know this might not be much help, but check out Russell Barkley's books on AD/HD. He also discusses ODD and other disabilities. His books helped me to get to where I am now. My son's father also exhibits ODD, and this disability is by far, much harder to deal with.

emily 21 months ago

my son who is 6 years old and has adhd and odd and after reading your story I don't feel so alone though this. my son can be so angry to the whole family and he also has 4 sibling he doesn't sleep even though he is on melatonin and he hurts his sibling a lot is that part of the adhd and odd and its only been 6 months since his specialist confirm the condition he has so I think I still have a long way to go in understand all I need to know to help my son. thank you

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Enelle Lamb 20 months ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Yes, you definitely have a long way to go! My son is now 18 and we still have a long way to go!

I am not sure about the hurting of your sons siblings, that is something you will have to discuss with your doctor. If your son is still not sleeping, you can up his melatonin to 5 ml or 10 ml and once he starts sleeping, you can reduce the dosage. That is what I did, and found it worked.

Bernadette 16 months ago

My son have ADHD, he is on Concerta. Take one in the morning just before school, this week the teacher complaining, he is not doing his work, being the clown in the class, his school work is excellent get nothing under 90%, but his bad behavior is getting out of hand. He is turning 10. I don't know what to do any more, this week was really bad. Is there something i can do, i notice he got lately a bad attitude, i do punished him, and he does get his hidings if i just cant anymore. What else can i do, please help

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Enelle Lamb 16 months ago from Canada's 'California' Author

Sometimes children just want attention - bad or good doesn't matter. Try catching him doing something good and praise him. This does help. When his attitude gets bad, feed him. Sometimes low blood sugar can trigger bad behavior. make a chart for him of things he needs to do. When he completes a task, give him a small reward. Positive reinforcement works better than negative - like punishments.

Keep your chin up. It is a long hard road. Get some support for you and some counselling for him. Both of these things help.

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