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Living With An ODD Child - Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Updated on April 20, 2008

The Toughest Thing Ever

My husband and I adopted our children. We went through years of infertility treatment and the usual trials and tribulations before we finally brought our first child home. We really wanted to be parents. And finally we were.

We had hopes and dreams of a wonderful family life, with two fully participating parents, and a close relationship among all of the family members. At that time, we did not know what Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) was. I wish that I still didn't know. But unfortunately, 18 years later, I know it all too well.

Other articles can describe to you the symptoms, causes, and treatment of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. In short, an ODD child is defiant, manipulative, prone to temper tantrums, has a skewed view of how the world works, never takes responsibility for his or her actions, and seems to live to annoy and provoke those close to him or her while charming outsiders.

I would like to give you a real-life glimpse of what life is like with an ODD child.

Our oldest child was a difficult baby. She didn't sleep well or eat well. She suffered from multiple ear infections which made her life even more miserable. I often wonder if that played a part in her later life.

She was a delightful, active toddler, but she had already starting pushing harder and being much more resistant than her peers.

When her brother was born, for the first time we realized that not all babies were as difficult as our first. By the time she was a pre-schooler, we were reading books about dealing with difficult children.

Life was still quite manageable. We adopted two more children. Then she turned 8 and all life as we knew it changed.

Age 8 is a very typical time for true ODD to present itself. I personally doubt that children who are diagnosed with ODD younger and grow out of it; were truly ODD children. Why age 8? That's when life starts putting more pressure on your child - to do more homework, to work more independently, and so forth. Often ODD children are just fine as long as EVERYTHING is going their way. But that's not how the real world operates.

One of the worst days of my life was when our oldest had her first major temper tantrum. She had to miss a birthday party because she refused to comply with our rule about not climbing the fence and going to the neighbor's yard (we lived in a metropolitan area at the time and we did not consider leaving the yard without permission a safe practice).

She had a temper tantrum that lasted for 8 hours. If you've never experienced such, it would be hard for me to explain how miserable that is for both you and your child. I was at the end of my rope long before the tantrum ended, thinking that I would be willing to do almost anything to be released from the torture.

After 8 hours, she decided it was time to take a bath and go to bed. That was it. She decided it was over and it was. I was flabbergasted, but greatly relieved.

Not long after, she became very upset because we refused to let her bring home baby chicks that had been hatched at school. We simply did not have the facilities to house chickens, even if city ordinances would have allowed it.

Our daughter responded by drawing red marks on her neck as if she had cut herself and coming into my room with two butter knives which she stabbed into my pillow while I was napping. Later, she climbed out of a second story window and was hanging there when a neighbor found her. I'll never forget her staring straight into my eyes as she hung, waiting for my husband and the neighbor to get a ladder to rescue her. It seemed to say, "see, I will always get the upper hand." Years later, she confirmed that she had looked at me pretty much with that message.

She spent a week in the hospital and was the darling of the hall. She charmed everyone. The nurses loved her. Thankfully her doctor was savvy to ODD and told her that she was putting her family at risk. She was so young that he had to explain the concept of risk; to her. He was so right. We spent the next ten years living as a family at risk.

We put many, many miles in taking our oldest to psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors. She was put on various medications at different times. She was hospitalized again several years later. She was evaluated for ADD and was found to have a mild version of it. She also has an auditory processing disability. As if life weren't hard enough on her with her irritable personality, she also did not always understand what she was being told.

For our daughter, medication never really seemed to help, though we supposed it did. It changed her behavior, but didn't really make it better. Plus many of them made her sleepy during school, which caused problems of its own. When our psychiatrist first mentioned that we needed to think about taking her off of medication at some point - she'd been on medications for over 6 years at the time - I panicked. I needed all of the help I could get to cope.

But it was evident that she put very little effort into working with her medications. I kept hearing from the psychiatrists that this behavior or that wouldn't be helped by the medications unless she put effort into it.

When we finally made the decision to wean her off of meds, we figured out what the effect had truly been. On medication, she would often have several good days in a row followed by a horrible temper tantrum that would last two or three hours or more. Off medication, she had no good days, spending much of her time annoying others trying to get a rise out of them, but she had mostly outgrown the very long, intense temper tantrums. It was a tradeoff, to be sure.

Through the years, we have had many bizarre situations. She was fond of calling the police to report us for various violations including making her go to school. She also would start screaming, "Stop hitting me," while we were on the telephone talking with 911 when she had called them and hung up. She really knows no boundaries and cannot anticipate consequences.

She scratched the word "loser" into the paint of my car. She locked me out of the house in freezing weather while I was barefoot and in a nightgown. She threatened to kill a sick rabbit and often mistreated or teased the family pets to get a rise out of the pet's owner.

We developed a routine when her tantrums started. Our son would take his two younger sisters and their pets to his room and lock the door. We never had to ask. It was like a fire drill where everyone knew their part.

I grieved for all of the hours and hours of their lives that were lost, sitting in his room, listening to the tantrum and wondering how far it would go this time. I had wanted so much more for all of our children.

Luckily, my husband and I have strong marriage. Otherwise, I'm not sure we would have made it. When our oldest was ten years old, we calculated that we had a minimum of 8 more years and we just didn't think we could do it.

We talked about separating once so that each would only have to deal with her behaviors half of the time. I'm glad we didn't choose that, but truthfully, the break would have been wonderful.

I would love to tell you that we figured this whole thing out. We didn't. We understand ODD more and know our daughter's patterns of behavior well. We instituted many changes that helped somewhat. For example, we picked our battles carefully, made sure that she understood directions enough to be able to repeat them back to us, and wrote down expectations.

I have to believe that all of the hard work we put into rearing her will pay off at some point. Although we have no happy ending, I know that things could have been a lot worse. And occasionally, we get a glimpse of the person she just might develop into one day. All we can do is hope for the best.

If you are dealing with an ODD child, please find at least one other person who is also dealing with an ODD child or has lived through it. Support and understanding are very hard to come by. The main reason is that ODD children are masters of manipulation and charm. Outsiders who meet your child casually will have no reason to think that they are anything but wonderful to be around. If there's a problem, then the parents must be the ones causing all of the trouble.

The first time I heard, "I know exactly what you are talking about; we have the same situation with our child," I could have cried from relief. Finally someone really understood what we were going through.


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      Tracy 6 days ago

      WOW! I really thought my daughter was the only one

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 9 months ago from Philippines

      You are wonderful parents and it is deeply saddening to know that your daughter has this disorder. My thoughts are with you always and I hope this difficult journey will show progress soon. You have given so many years of your life to care for your child. You are great, great parents.

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      Mary Chappell 9 months ago

      This is an eye opener as to the why my 10 year old acts the way she acts.

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      Pamela 13 months ago

      This article is far too accurate for me. I believe my stepson either has ODD or that he is a sociopath. Unfortunately ( maybe?) for me and my husband, he's now 18. I don't know if we can get him out of the house. And if we can I'm afraid he'll come back either to break in, break our things or steal them. I'd appreciate any advice!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 17 months ago from Philippines

      This is such a sad story and I feel for you. I appreciate your writing about ODD, it's the first time I heard about it. The story of her putting a knife into your pillow while you were asleep is really, really scary. Stay wise, and stay safe.


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      Brianna 2 years ago

      I'm sorry but I feel as though your daughter might be more sociopathic than ODD.

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      Nicola French 2 years ago

      I was nearly In tears as I read this post and many of the replies. I have a 6 ½ year old boy who was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at 3 years of age. With our son we noticed differences early on compared to his three siblings. At nine months he gave up morning naps, around 16 months afternoon naps and struggled with sleep at night. From about 18 mths until 3 years of age he slept only approx. 4-5 hrs in a 24 hour period. To say it was a rough time is a drastic understatement. During this time he was like the energizer bunny on steroids and we were exhausted. He would take 4-5 hours to go to sleep at night and then sleep on and off throughout the night for anywhere from 45 mins to 1 ½ hours and then be ready to go for the day at about 4:30-5:00 am. He would have explosive tantrums over nothing and they would last anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours. He would through things, hit, spit and pee on siblings, furniture and floor vents. The hardest part of this is that he is well behaved at school and gives little push back in the company of others he is rather shy, so it feels like he save it all for our family and most of his hostility and anger outburst are directed at me, mom and his annoying behavior for his siblings. After meeting his behaviors to our pediatrician and our pediatrician observing some of his outburst I was feeling defeated, depressed and isolated. Most of our family never saw his outburst and although they didn't outright think we were lying they were unsure. Finally when he was around three years old my sister asked if I had ever thought of a developmental pediatrician. I found one and we got in immediately. I LoVe this dr and her practice. After gathering all his info, interviewing our pediatrician, his preschool and observing him with our family as well as spending several hours playing with Jim in her office she diagnosed him with ADHD/ODD. She also mentioned to us that in her nearly 30 years of practice he's on the more severe side of ODD and one of the youngest she's ever diagnosed. She got us set us with counseling, discussed therapy options and med options. Because he was a risk to himself and his siblings we started him on the lowest dose possible of ADHD meds and also something to help him sleep.

      I would say that first night of sleep was like heaven and felt so good.

      Recently I've come to realize that he might now out grow his diagnoses and I need to be able to grieve what I thought was going to be our family life. The biggest piece of advice encouragement that dr gave us was that these kiddos are highly intelligent, always challenging and thinking outside of the box, although they are extemely difficult to parent as kids they grow up to be awesome adults. She encouraged up to get him outside, let him explore different sports and activities because in her opinion these kids need to figure out what they really enjoy doing and our good at- this is essential to them havering successful adult lives.

      To say our life is normal is far from the truth, but I'm understanding it more and more and trying to react less and less. I've also learned to really savor the good days/weeks because it helps me through the really low days. Thanks for sharing!

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      chris 2 years ago

      I grew up with ODD/ADD/Panic Attacks and i believe most of the struggle is psychological. Feeling helpless and unable to control the outcome of my situations and surroundings.

      Through the years i observed the world around me and the people in it. Gaining understanding i felt no one else had. I spent most of my years analyzing human reaction, learning " If i do this then this will be the outcome and desired/undesired effect". The world around me was unfair in my perspective and my self esteem suffered greatly. Often i felt like i could never express myself or my point well enough which led to my outbursts. Even writing this makes the anxiety flare. I've often thought that i also had OCD with the way i always had to have things a certain way and i obsessed with detail. Fact is my ODD never went away. I've suffered many failed relationships because of my outbursts. I've grown distant because I don't want to put others into an emotionally abusive situation and because i couldn't suffer the failure. It's been tough but I'm strong and "I must have my way" ... my way is to survive. I've married and taken the roll as father. I'm strict on my children and a lot of times i'm inside myself thinking how I grew up and what would have helped me. I think every person is different just as every person with depression suffers differently. There's different flavors of ODD . The way mine mixed into everything else I was diagnosed with and my surroundings growing up had a very unique way of putting a spin on the streamline idea of ODD. Quick to temper, manipulative, sweet and charming, down right evil.. I was raised by a single mom. Most of MY problems would have been tempered with a stern/present/supportive father. I didn't fear my mother nor the consequences she'd place on me.. I was whooped many times... I was grounded.. My privileges were stripped.. My mother tried everything and at times it got violent when i didn't get my way. I didn't want to be like that but many times i couldn't help it. I would try to control myself but couldn't control myself... Imagine having a disorder which you needed to be in control or follow someone you could charm that had complete control..but never having the control over yourself.. I think things calmed down when i moved out on my own.. i was allowed the space to find my center which was very important!

      To anyone with an ODD child i would advise adequate space, stern expectations and sound moral grounds....

      avoid arguments .. which would inevitably lead to an episode... Keep them active in sports or recreational activities. Get them into crafts and poetry. Teach them how to better express themselves other than showing a tantrum ... I've never been medicated... The psych told me i had the final say in it and i straight out said no... also should state I've refused medicines my whole life for multiple things(medicines i thought for the weak and would control me)

      i wasn't diagnosed as a kid at 8... i was diagnosed later on..

      Challenge your kid/ make a game of things.. i strived in competitive situations because of my behaviors.

      Ultimately time will only tell. You have a gifted(talented) kid don't let it go unharnessed . They will find ways to climb to the top of anything they do.. corporate latter and all

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      Goodness and mercy will follow me .... 3 years ago

      I am struggling with my two sons, age 12 and 11.

      one has ODD for sure , I am yet to seek diagnosis. The other beats me up and the house, everyday.

      I have been a single mum for ten years, I can't take any more, I have been bringing my children up very well, but I just can't take anymore.

      Tonight one left the home whole the other beat me up, my daughter doesn't want to live here anymore. All I wanted was for us to be a normal family.

      I haven't as yet got any help, as I don't want to appear to be a mum who can't cope. But my boys are ridiculous .... This feed has been helpful, but how do I deal with my ODD son ? His defiance etc etc etc is almost worse than being beat up.

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      I hear you... 3 years ago

      As I sit here, awakened every night by my 8 year old. She is master manipulator. From all outside appearances she is a normal happy child. But, the truth lies well below the surface. Diagnosed with ADHD we are living the ODD nightmare above. She has violent outbusts, destructive tantrums and threatening overtones. It actually took a turn for the worse at 8. We've tried the diets, strategies, no meds yet. Hang in are not alone!!

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      I know 3 years ago

      I have 10 year old with ODD. Your words are our story. Sad so Sad. Such anger in a child. So many doctors, so many ideas and nothing works. Prayer is all that gets me through each day. Our lives have changed forever. Somedays she is a blessing and most of the others I just want to get through the day. We have chosen to use no medication at this point.

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      Lisa 4 years ago

      My son is 11 and was diagnosed with ADHD ODD and Trichitillomania. we are to a point we dont know what to do. He is pulling his hair out, lies lies lies and tantrums. It is tearing up our family. The Psychiatrists and psychologists are fooled by his behavior and I beleive that they do not beleive that it is as bad as it is. Help.... email me with any advice.


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      Maria 4 years ago

      My son also has ADHD/ODD. This is the first I've ever heard of auditory processing disorder but I think he may have that too. When he was 2 I was recommended to take him to speech therapy and his preschool teacher saw similar traits in him that reminded her of what she went through when she discovered her toddler was practically deaf. Of course I've had his hearing tested several times and the speech therapy did help a lot. When he was 3 and diagnosed with ADHD, I was told the "hearing problems" were just symptoms of the ADHD. Now that he is 11, the fact that he can't "hear" right is just one more thing for him to use to try to manipulate me into an argument with him. Fortunately he doesn't do the tantrums but he has displayed a lot of similar traits as many people mentioned here have described. Calling the police, threatening to call the police, being so charming and polite to outsiders but exhaustingly confrontational and argumentative at home. No one seems to understand. I've gotten to the point I don't even want to talk about our situation with anyone because I just end up feeling like I'm failing at parenting him. I feel a little better knowing others have similar experiences. Thanks for sharing!

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      Christie 4 years ago

      I know I'm late to this feed, but I too have an ODD child who has grown up to be, most likely (she refuses counseling or any psychiatric help) BPD. She is always the worry in my thoughts and the rock in my stomach. The fact that she is charming and engaging out in the world has always been difficult for me to swallow. We would go to church each Sunday morning with her usual hatred towards me, but once we were in church she would sit by me and hold my hand (even when she was 18!). We not only had a strong marriage to get us through, but I was a stay at home mom and our church friends and neighbors were able to give her what we could not, or what she would not accept from us. She is now almost 22. She took a break from her junior year at a major university to serve a mission for our church and will complete her education when she returns. I am thrilled with how well she is doing. I'm just hoping to offer a ray of hope for all of you. It can get better. Maybe not a better relationship, but as they live their own lives the pressure is relieved a bit on the rest of the family. In all honesty, however, I am already worried about her coming home. I already sweat her weekly letters. I try to read her true meaning in every sentence she writes. I am expecting that her visits home will still be limited to 3 days tops since that's all the drama we will allow. I know she will still hijack every family holiday or happy moment, and forget about vacations. We quit including her on family outings years ago. I try not to accept the blame she tries to put on me for EVERYTHING, but I must admit that after all these years I am worn down. One day when she told one of my other daughters that she cut herself and it was because of me, I felt crushed, like a failure. Then there is the issue of manipulation. Is she really cutting or just saying she is cutting? Is she really cutting out of pain or to make a point to me? Was she just telling her sister this to get her to tell a secret about herself? If she is really cutting out of pain, is it really me, or the bio mother who she feels abandoned her? We have 5 daughters we've adopted from foster care, yet this daughter continually talks about "what she's been through", like her sisters have escaped the stressful, abusive, neglectful beginning she endured. And forget working through or talking about any of this. She shuts down, scowls, breathes heavy with tears streaming down her face. Later, however, we will get a letter (more like a manifesto) from her denouncing our terrible behavior and explaining her righteous indignation. When we took her to college I thought that would be the best day of my life, but I found that what was left was a huge emotional vacuum and I almost didn't know who I was without that constant stress, strain, pressure and drama. I experience constant guilt. Did I really do my best? Did I let her get the best of me too often? Was she the tail wagging the dog in our family? I have another daughter that has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. She is tough and I am exhausted at the end of every day, but everyday I see a spark and light in her. She allows a bond and connection. What a difference! Kudos to all of you for trying so hard. Way to go single parents trying to tread water in the middle of a hurricane. Wish I could high-five you all!!!

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      Aumber 5 years ago

      I read all of these post...I too have a child who is now 18 who suffers from ODD, Bipolar and ADHD.....A support group appears necessary and can be extremely helpful to us all.....I just created a new group called Parents With Children Who Have Exceptional Needs on Facebook....It is a Closed Group......feel free to join this group so we can all help one another through this journey.....

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      Anthony 5 years ago

      I found all this information about ODD, and now I´m starting to realize that maybe I had it when I was young. Maybe a mild condition of it. I remember throwing a table against the wall in class, hurting classmates, vandalizing the school. And I can tell you, that none of it was premeditated. It'd just happen: whenever I felt that things weren't going the way I wanted, I would just lose control totally, incapable of rational thinking, my brain would go on repeating that thing that made me feel sad or angry, over an over, until I coudn´t handle it, the snowball effect created in my mind.

      I guess by the commentaries that these is more or less what every parent here is facing. These went on since I was about 5 years, until I was 18 or so. I also had ear problems when I was a toddler, my mother says I suffered long nights in pain. My parents never gave me any drug for my condition, it was 26 years ago. I can tell you how I felt if it's of any help: Anytime I had someone nagging me or asking me why I did all those things, I felt like something was so wrong with me, that I was different, evil, dehumanized. I know it sounds crazy that a child could think of things like that, but it really can. Also when I was sad everyone would think I was mad, so that made me even sadder. I know some of your situations are far more problematic than my own. I wish you all good luck and keep fighting, under all that rage and angriness there's still a good person, don't let anyone deny it.

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      Johann 5 years ago

      Very true my brother of the age of 24 is displaying so many of these characteristics, breaking stuff just because he doesn't get his way blaming everyone else for his problems. But to an outside he will charm them .... lol honestly im done living with this nut-job. Thank god im moving out soon, and to put the iceing ontop of the cake ... im the younger child

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      Snakegirl1901 5 years ago

      I can relate to the ODD, I was looking up symptoms my grandson displays quite regularly, Ive been told by family members no less to smack him whip his behind and so on, that he needs disciplined...he does receive discipline, but not to punish him for "being bad" by rather to teach him there are consequences and rewards for every action we each make. My family and friends believe Im wrong about what seems to be the condition affecting him that it has to do what the situation we are in....and it part. I am legal Guardian of the four kids, my daughter, and her hubby both in treatmeant detox centers, but not before serving prison sentences. Unfortunetly my little ODD adorabled monster was there the day these police kicked in their door, knocked his mom to the floor and watched screaming as they beat his dad and drugged them both away, and then be taken away by strangers to a strange place not understanding what happen and wondering where mommy and daddy were, where was the grandma person who comes everynight with could he not be affected? or the two older children, the youngest was three months old. People say its tantrums and that i need to bust his behind and force to behave the right way...there is nothing normal about the why my grandboy behaves, he looks over at me and and will just say with provacation "I hate you, hope you die" I try to not let him see it hurt my feelings, so I just say "I know sweetpea", wink or kiss his fat cheek and add" but I love love love my Shrek baby...and to be honest it has tapered off...a small small bit, but Id rather have something better in slow good gheal millimeters that in leaps and bounds.

      Sadly to add to the situation which will only undo any tiny accomplishment, and almost did already, Ive been leveled with chargers of viscious child abuse, bad viscious kind, but someone who wants two of the kids and has fradualently accused others of the same stuff....the police had to go to where they had my babies, and then social worker come to the house not long after we got home. Yesterday was certainly a bad day in bedrock, but there was one ray of light...the worker that came out just happen to be the same one who was at my daughters house to remove the kinds and had taken my info to do background check, and gave me kids 3 yrs ago with three days of the state taken them, I see the events of yesterday as leading up to being hopeful for the good, my little ODD monster at first begin to behave like normal in those viscious fits, but then he heard the lady say it would be okay we would stay together, he calmed himself down and played quietly lol that, amidst all the bad being slammed at us, gave me a reason to be hopeful and to let go odf some worry, not all. It let me know that contrary to what was said my instincts about hiim and how I had chosen to deal with with it and teach him to go a different way when he feels that hateful meaness that Im not an incompetent guardian of my lovable anklebiters. My only issue the moment, yes the chargers could be made to stik or they people will charge againa and ain til they get what the want, is my accusers once friemnds decided to just take the two they wanted and file chargers against after I wouldn't say ok to their souless demands, used the other two as levearage to try and force me to do it, but it went not in way they want, so the harrassment and nasty allegiates are texted yo me or left in voicemails lol...and im dealing with al and keeping a smile on my face to keep kidss smiling and worry free, which is the original reason I found myself at the website this morning, trying to find out in my role and our situation is I can get restraing order to keep them from even stepping into my yard But have no luck just yet. Ladies, the lovely members of an ODD keep your head high and know you are doing a fantastic job with your child, as good as you can, for if they could do better then they should have offered to show their method, rather than criticize your way. Smile and judge move on along this path with hope and knowing it will get better...

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      Judy M Willington 5 years ago

      I have an Oppositional defiant 9 year old soon to be 10 year old. His behavior has become progressively worse since the age of 6 ~ it started showing its ugliest sides around age 8. He will be 10 in a couple weeks. I spend every night of my life crying. The battles, the yelling, the screaming, the defiance. He has also been diagnosed with sensory integration dysfunction and ADHD. We have spent countless amounts of time and money on trying to find the right treatments and help. I am devastated to know that things are not going to get easier with him. I feel his behavior has but a huge dent into our whole family. His sibblings shouldn't have to be put on the side all the time so I can deal with his outbursts. I don't have many friends in our area. I am the social outcast of the neighborhood and considered the parent who doesn't know how to parent her kid. They hear me out doors yelling, screaming, hollering and occasionally saying bad words as my frustration grows bigger and bigger!!!!!! I would love to be in touch with you, Us ODD moms and dads need to stick together because otherwise we have no one. My dad always tells me wow you have your hands full with that one....seriously dad???? They say I just need to be more firm or that I just need to lay the boom down on him....people who are not parents to the ODD child have NO idea!!! Thank you for your post, it reminded me that we are not alone in this battle and that other moms and Dads go through it too! How old is your daughter??? Does she still struggle with this now as an adult??? If you would like to keep in touch please contact me!! It would be so wonderful to have a friend who understands completely and doesn't judge me and tell me that I am in incompetent parent! Please keep in touch!!!!!

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      Jodie 5 years ago

      I'm hearing you all I'm a single mum with 3 kids with ADHD and odd each one slightly different the joys !!never boring , always on my toes , sometimes I cry , sometimes you have to laugh at the things they do , and other times it's pure shake your head in disbelief !! Good luck to you all , stay strong and positive , it's just as hard for our kids as it is for us . Sometimes all they want is a bit more of our ATTENTION mmm I know they have got it with the daily out there stuff , but try to egnor if you can and change their direction before the situation gets out of control some times we need to think smarter and be a step ahead to calm the moment down by pulling out a game and inviting them to play or putting a DVD on in a room they are in without asking them or saying anything and they might just settle in to watching it without realizing , and letting go of what was about to unfold . We have to be smarter!! Power to you all x

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      dotty1 5 years ago from In my world

      This is a really informative hub, can I ask? when did you make the decision to speak to a doctor etc about your child? I just ask as I worry sometimes about one of my children :)

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      Tricia 5 years ago

      I have a soon to be 11 year old son, who is a terror he lies, steals, has tantrums, runs away and tells people I don't feed him, I make him wear dirty clothes, and hurt him, and hurts himself then tells people it's me hurting him. He lies to any teacher or adult makes false allegations. I have been reported for child abuse by every adult he lies to. Each time they come back claiming no child abuse or neglect found, but I have two other children that suffer the stresses of him, he often tells me he is going to kill himself, or his younger brother (who is 8 years old) and kill me too. I'm at a loss therapy doesn't work for us, he was diagnosed at a young age of having ADHD, but last therapist thinks he is bipolar. I'm so scared and worried all the time in a constant state of stress, my husband and I are always on damage control. My son punishes us by telling adults lies and he's never sorry about these behaviors. I'm at a loss I don't know what to do, but it helps I'm not alone

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      verickson 5 years ago

      I was searching online because I am at my wits end with my 9 year old whom has been diagnosed with ODD, Depression and Anxiety Disorder at the age of 5. Her school is fed up with her actions as well. Every thing that you have written is exactly identical to my situation (right down to lying about being hit). My daughter has learned to strangle herself at school because she knows that their policy requires her to leave the school if it happens, she has threatened to kill her teacher and within the last two months she has turned on me (this used to only be a school issue) I am a single mom whom is dealing with all of this and I feel so alone. I am close to losing my job (again) due to having to pick her up from school/child care. It has gotten to were I do not even want to come home from work because I know the remaining 7 hrs of my day are going to be miserable. Your posting made me cry knowing that it is not only my child that is so extreme. There really are others. Thank you so much for posting.

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      Wow... 5 years ago

      Your article made me cry... I did not know this existed. Our daughter is 8 and behaving the same way. She was diagnosed with ADHD, has been medicated, and sees a counselor every week. Every day is a fight with her. It's hard to enjoy life when everything seems to revolve around her happiness. If she is upset, everyone in the house is. If she gets her way, she's happy, and everyone is happy. She only acts up at home. She is awful to her 2 year old brother. I cannot leave them alone, even for just a second...something terrible always happens. When she gets in trouble he just stares at her in shock while she screams, he gets very confused. I have to take him away from her. He doesn't deserve this. Noone does. She lies, cheats, steals...very manipulative. Even when we catch her doing something wrong, she denies it. She hits her parents, says NO often, throws tantrums nearly every day, mostly over simple brush your teeth, comb your hair, put your shoes away. Bedtime is craziness. She curses, tells us she hates us and once said she hopes we die so she can go live with her grandmother (who thinks she's an angel....) My relationship is falling apart over happy to have stumbled across this page though. It makes me feel somewhat better knowing there are others with similar situations out there. I often think she's pure evil and I'd love to send her away! Pray for us! In the mean time I am going to purchase some books to help cope.

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      Paula 5 years ago

      We have a child that has been diagnosed with ADHD ODD AND MOOD DISORDER and I understand everything that you are going thru right know. The female child is 12 years old right know and I can't wait until she turns 18 and out of my house for real. But I am also glad to hear that we are not alone. I thank GOD for a throng marriage as well.

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      Ginger 5 years ago

      I wonder about this with my 4 year old...She is my baby so its not like I"ve not experienced terrible twos or anything like that. My youngest, my baby is a whole different ball park from birth on. She couldn't stand to be swaddled and would throw a fit even as a new born..She has always been a difficult child. We had a brief break for about 4 months and recently the temper tantrums and not being able to take her out like shopping is torture and my mom will watch her for me while I work, but other than those 5 hours a day she can't handle it...I have tried other baby sitters in the past and most will last an hour. An experience babysitter and good friend, tried watching her one evening after a good day, and I just left for a few minutes and came back and could my child screaming from the apartment and I was outside, "Get out I hate you I will kill you". We have a cat, poor cat, if I could find him a home I would b/c she tries to hurt it and its gotten to where I have to lock the cat in the bathroom with me or my bedroom if I am taking a time out, to prevent injuries to it or her b/c at times he will fight back. My oldest one has all but moved out b/c the destruction and stress of living with my 4 year old...I am dreading and looking forward to school her dr just tells me they don't want to do anything till she is in school...I'm looking forward to the break, but dreading it b/c I don't know if she'll calm down once she is in a real strict setting or if she'll have a melt down where she throws things bashes her head into a wall or another person...or worse tries to stab a kid or teacher with a pencil....if anyone can help or offer advice please

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      Ellen 5 years ago

      I have been searching for help for a while now and came across this ODD thing . I have just read all your stories , and it is just like my 14 yr old daughter . Shes hit me thrown tantrums where she throws her thing around her room ,screams .theres no reasoning with her .you cant even sit her down and talk she just switches off . Shes started swearing at her sister alot and demanding to get what she wants . She also has speech therapy , short concentration , auditory prob picked up at 3yrs witch is pretty much when it all started she can be the most beautiful loving child and is always good for other people .shes been seen by the school psychiatrist and no one has ever mentioned ODD .

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      EmbarrasssedParent 5 years ago

      To Desire'......well, it looks like you and I are in the same boat. My son is 9 years old and has done everything you say your child does AND THEN SOME!! He has been difficult to raise from day 1 and it seems like things get worse every year (probably because he knows he is getting bigger and stronger as time passes). Things really took a turn for the worse when he started physically torturing his baby brother (he's only 2!)five months after his brother was born. My son was also physically abusive towards me even though he knew I was pregnant with his brother, but it was nothing compared to what he was doing when his brother turned five months old. He would throw toys at him, mainly aiming for the face, he would pinch him, giving him "charlie horses" on the leg, etc get the point. Not because he was mad, but because he thought it was hilarious to make his baby brother cry from fear and pain. In the past, I did not know what the heck was going on in his head and so I handled things the best way I knew how, which was spanking him, yelling at him on a daily basis, trying to scare the behavior out of him.....I know now that what I was doing was WRONG and just made things worse. BTW, his baby brother is 2 years old now so you can see how long it's been goin on. Far too long. He has been in and out of mental hospitals since he was 4 years old and not a whole lot has changed. He is on medication, but it is to help him sleep. He has been on countless meds and not a single one has done a damn thing to help. He is going to a day treatment school right now because regular public school only triggers his violent behavior further. So that brings me to the past week or two....which consists of daily all out wars, extreme defiance even with a set schedule, suicide threats, death threats towards me and his little brother, putting holes in walls and doors. I am so exhausted and overwhelmed!!!! I don't know how long I can keep doing this. I love my son with all my heart, but the very thought of being around him fills me with a sense of dread and feeling physically sick to my stomach. I know it isn't his fault. He didn't ask to be this way. I don't think ANY child would. But what the hell do people want from me anyway? I'm viewed by others as a bad mother because I obviously can't control my own child even when I try explaining why he acts the way he does, people are always saying "oh come on now, it can't be THAT bad. If my child acted like that, I would show them who is the boss and they would never act like that again." Oh really? Okay, then why don't they live with him for one week and then tell me it isn't THAT bad!! Just because their kids are naturally well behaved doesn't mean all kids are like that. That's just plain ignorance, to say the least. I'm doing everything I can for him because I want to help him, but I feel like a total failure as a parent. If things keep going the way they are, I'll be lucky if he makes it to 11 years old. Can a 9 year old really be suicidal? And what's worse is that his little brother has to sleep with me in my bed because I don't trust him. I lock my bedroom door and even then I have to sleep with one eye open. Yup, it's really THAT BAD. Anyway, sorry for writing a novel lol. Just venting to people I can relate to since my friends and family don't want to hear about it anymore. They all treat me and my children as if we are a burden to their lives. My own mother has pretty much sworn off babysitting my child. To top things off, my mother said in front him "Erin, do not ask me to watch Tyler anymore, EVER. I will never watch him again because he is the most awful child. He's a BAD KID. I'm sick of him." But when my sister asks her to babysit for her, she is so quick to say "of course I'll watch the kids for you. They are always good and I never have problems with them. I LOVE watching those little angels." Like WTF mom!!!!!! Gee thanks, way to kill two birds with one stone....make me feel like an unfit parent AND causing irreversable damage to your grandsons self worth. Bravo. Fuckin bitch I swear.

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      Dobie 5 years ago

      My 3 kids are all adults now but were diagnosed With ODD. my question is can it stay into adulthood. i am still having the problem with my oldest who is 24 like she is still in her terrible two's. she is mean and downright nast, graet with others outside the home.

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      Desire' 5 years ago

      I was reading your article because I found that my son is getting worse and worse. This morning he told me he hopes I burn in hell. Besides the tantrums and the awful things he says to me and my husband he's also saying the strangest things. Like when I told him that I want him to clean his room he popped off with "you just want to drive me to suicide". He's only 11 years old and he's been saying he's going to kill himself for the past 2 years. He's been in and out of the Behavioral Adjustment Unit for the last 4 years and he's getting good at working the system. He argues with everything you say no matter what it is. He has to have the last word. He's also trying to control our home and be the parent. Just like yours when you leave him alone and don't make him do anything he's fine but the minute you ask him to do anything BOOM. I'm so lost and frustrated, have no clue what to do anymore. This afternoon is going to be really bad because I've taken everything he loves and disconnected it. I've also decided to get rid of the game systems in the house and make him go outside. Wish me luck.

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      Robin 5 years ago

      Laurie - I am curious to the status of your situation since you posted this message. I have a daughter who is not quite as violent as some of the kids described here, but is definitely an explosive child, and has really been so from birth. I would not put her in the ODD camp as she tends to stop herself just at the edge of breaking the rules. She is charming to others, and does well at school, but along with the rages has other odd behaviors that prevent her from developing real social connections. She seems constantly to cling to an exact vision of every aspect of the world, and this seems to make relationship with people pretty difficult. I am wondering if you have tried, or now of those who have tried, the following: group therapy (sometimes I think her isolation and sense of being 'broken' keeps her from wanting to to help herself with therapy. I wonder if meeting with other kids who also struggled with intense anger/emotions would make her feel less alone, esp. if there are those in the group who are making progress); meditation (there is a lot of literature out there suggesting that mindfulness based meditation can have a cumulative effect on the brain in regulating emotions - but getting her to practice consistently is quite difficult); DBT, dialectical behavioral therapy, or CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy, which address the strategies of self-talk, which are often lacking in this group. Essentially how to change your thinking patterns, in dialogue with yourself, that helps break the cycle of event/reaction. I am considering medication for our daughter (I suspect she is hyperactive and anxious) as a means of helping to bring things under control enough to implement other therapies, but don't know what to try yet. She is 13, and I think a lot of what we are seeing is adolescent emotionality layered on top of the brain chemistry that she was born with. Another note: she is also quite remorseful afterward, which is helpful, and can sometimes be quite on board. I have worked hard to learn not to engage with her anger (not a perfect record on that one, to be sure), and disengaging keeps her focused on what SHE needs to do, if I am not in the cycle with her, which provides her an easy out (I'll blame it all on her). I guess my overall focus is to keep doing as much as I can to encourage her to develop the skills she needs to control her emotions until she is old enough/able enough to buy in to her own treatment, and make it something she does for herself, as opposed to something she has to do for us. I wish there was more out on there on families (not therapists) who had gotten through some of this with some success.

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      amy 5 years ago

      I have a 6 yr old boy that has been diagnosed with odd,adhd,add and has a learning disabialty. Last year I was at his school once a week cuz of his behavoir his teacher even hade said that he is so out of controll that he makes her want to cry. So I put him on meds witch changed this year of school he an angel there. But home is a whole diff ball park. He was diagnosed with all of this at 4 and the odd I didn't agree with to much but as he gets older I see that he has it. And I dread to see how he is goin to be when he gets older. Sometimes I feel like im gonna jus have a heart attack from his behavoir and iv tryed everything he jus don't care wat the punishment is he still can't controll himself and doesn't care how he makes me feel or how he is making everyones life harder and also his. So we are in the same boat. I feel like he is going to hurt himself cuz he is so brave and will do almost anything that's dangerous. Im at a lost and I jus don't kno wat to do.

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      Worried mom 5 years ago

      my daughter is turning 8 she has a sister that is five and a half sister that is a year and half she sees her father every other weekend here lately she has got worse attitude ander issues says she has bad dreams at night sometimes says nothing's ever fair for her I try talking to her but nothing seems to work any suggestions

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      rachel 5 years ago

      this website is very hard but good to read. i am suffering hell as a single mother with a 10 yr old son who i believe has odd.i also have a 6 yr old daugher and i feel for our safety at times.he is now with his father for a few there a forum or something where i can speak to somebody directly?i need immediate help.thanks.x

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      Kristina 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing all this. It's wonderful to find it. I wonder why you didn't place her in a Boarding home and protect your other children from a horrible life?

      We adopted a sibling group of 4 from Foster Care only to find they were living nightmares in child form. Brutally sodomizing each younger child with sticks from the yard, targeting us on a daily basis, and more.

      Before it was finalized, we refused to adopt the oldest (11) and ended up placing the next 2 oldest (7 and 6) for re-adoption. The 2nd oldest was un-adoptable due to her desire to use knives and sodomize younger children. She is now in a Girls Home that we pay for.

      We kept the youngest child and he has progressively gotten more committed to ODD behavior. He is 5 and daily targets us and takes us on. We had to remove him from Kindergarten for molesting 8 children within 2 weeks of being there.

      We are now considering a Boy's Home for him rather than living a shattered life of daily strife and strain and leaving other children at risk.

      There are Boarding Homes for young children but they are hard to find. The one for our girl is $800 a month, and I would eat noodles as a steady diet to be able to pay for it.

      I hope this helps other parents consider removing a nightmare child from their home if the child won't comply. Your other children will not recover from a chaotic and wretched homelife that tip toes around an abuser. Just think what you set them up for as a way of life.

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      Tim 5 years ago

      My 14 year old daughter is is a mental institution from odd as i type this. my wife of 18 years has left me and my 3 kids. I believe my 18 year old son also has odd. Iife is nearly impossiibe to navigate for me right now. my buisness is falling apart. The legal chaos odd kids create is so time consuming and mentally exhausing that I sometimes wonder what will become of us. I have one "normal" 11 year old daughter who has to see all of their chaos. I wish I had had them comitted years ago, since i finally see some help coming of it. Im guilty of enabling them and "taking their side" and "trusting" them for way too long. I hope I can survive these years and comeout sane myself. Odd is horrible and you cant trust your own kids. Im in the thick of it right now so exuse my gloomy post.

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      Ann 6 years ago

      Investigate placing the child outside of the home. The stresses on you and your family may destroy you. The most difficult thing I have ever done wad to place my child in a group home. This was the best decision. We have regular contact with her and she comes home for school vacations and 1 weekend a month. We are all doing much better and anticipate that one day she will return home.

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      Maddy 6 years ago

      I hope she grows out of it, I know how it feels, my younger brother has Symptoms of ODD ( and it waiting to find out what is wrong with him) but only directed to my mum and I, he scars my friends when they stay over so I can't have many people stay over be cause he gets mad that mum tells him to go to sleep or not to do something or he cant watch tv he gets so out of control were he screams, yells, hits, bites, pulls our hair and scratches and he throws anything he can find at us hes 9 and hes very smart and everyone! loves him our parents are split up and everyone thinks we are over-reacting, I cant deal with it anymore it has been about 6 or 7 years and it just gets worse and when someone asks why he does it he always finds something either mum has a boyfriend or mummy was drinking, and when he does something wrong he and mum tells him to go to his room he swears kicks bangs on walls, scratches her till shes bleeding and crying. If anyone knows how to deal with it, im 14 and I dont even like coming home anymore and its always about him 'poor him', please? help?

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      Kathie 6 years ago

      My son has also been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and ODD. When he was 6 he had a temper tantrum in his bedroom and kicked the cat so hard she died the next day. Please keep all pets away from these children. Our life has been a living hell with him. He is now 16 and bullies us and is disrespectful to us and never obeys family rules. He lies and puts us down verbally everyday. He as been a problem in school and has been in 6 different schools already. He has a psychiatrist, a counselor, a casemanager, a therapist. He as been on numerous medicines. We have tried to help him everyway we can. I'd like say our life was good with him, but I can't. He was placed in Special Education at school after a Child Study was suggested and confirmed from the High School and he blames us for that. He goes thru high periods and low periiods and I am never sure when he will attack me verbally. His conversations start off nice enough and then he goes into attack mode for anything at all. Don't cross these children or you are in for an attack. At times it feels as if we are not his Mom and Dad--we are his prey.

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      uuurl5559 7 years ago

      I have ODD/ ADD/ OCD and my life is very hard, when I get into an argument, the only thing I want to do is win. I don't care who gets hurt, as long as I get my point across, I feel like I have power. It is so much more than a behavioral thing, it's more like physiological. there is nothing you can do to control the way you feel. At times, I imagine that the whole world is against me and I have to justify some weird and pointless circumstance. One thing I think that will help is to be aware of your child's stress levels, because when I get stressed out, every little thing will set me off. being fourteen and a triple warhead of mental disorders is soooo tough considering all of the advanced classes, activities, and events I participate in, and it sometimes feels like my family isn't there for me.

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      overwhelmed and fustrated 7 years ago

      My b/f 6yr old son has ODD we just recently got him diagnosed as well as ADHD and speech and language delays. My big concern, after working for a company that deals with MR and BH troubled that he may be helped during his big explosions by being held so he can't hurt himself or others around him because he gets to kicking and hitting. I'm talk a full out restraint or anything (he's only 6 for goodness sakes) but maybe holding him a feedle position until he calms down. Is this a good idea or would this make things worse????

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      Leana 7 years ago

      After reading extensively on ODD I think my cousin might have it. He is 3 years old and is constantly throwing major fits. I have not seen him that much at his own house, so I don't know how he acts with his parents regarding brushing teeth, bed and bathing. I do know that he has major ADD (from his dad) and is very hard to take care of. I was wondering if anyone had any advise or knows a way to test for ODD.

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      Nikki D. Felder 7 years ago from Castle Hayne, N.C.

      I work daily with students with exceptionalities and ODD is frequent among several. I agree with the support factor and drawing from others. Hats off to you and your husband. You all and your daughter are in my prayers. All things are possible to him that believes!

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      Adam 7 years ago

      Holy crap, my brother has ODD and I was just wondering if we were the only family that had such difficult times with someone with it. It really just is so frustrating and though your story doesn't give me much hope of it fixing, at least I know if you guys can handle it, There's a hope we can. Good luck, he was arrested for the 4th time for violating his probation (put on by 3 charges of stealing) after trying to choke my mom just today. He is only 15 years old.

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      Holly 7 years ago

      My daughter is 9 and last year she was diagnosed as ADD. But her doctor thinks there is something more going on so we are also seeing a therapist. No one has said she has ODD at this time but from everything I am reading I am pretty sure she is. She can make 30 minutes of homework last 8 hours by throwing huge fits and crying and screaming. She has sliced Xs in the wall with a butter knife in the bathroom and in her bedroom. When she is very upset I have to restrain her so she doesn't hit me. Like someone said above she can be the sweetest child in the world until she doesn't get what she wants and then its like she makes up her mind then and there to make everyones life miserable. We do have her on medication for the ADD (Concerta) and that seems to help a little but it isn't the solution. I think the doctors dont really understand just how bad it is because when she sees them she is calm and rational and agrees with everything they say. But for her father and I she can test our patience to the limits. It is nice to know that other people do understand that this isn't just a case of a spoiled child, this goes way beyond that. It is hard not to blame yourself...but we are doing our best as parents. I pray for us all to have more good days. God Bless!

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      Aimee 7 years ago

      I have a 14 year old boy who was diagnosed with ADD and ODD at age 9. It started when he was about 3 or 4 though. I kept thinking it was a stage and he would grow out of it. Sadly this has not been the case. I wish that I could tell you it will get better. I have tried counseling, medication, and behavior therapy for him as well as parenting classes for myself. All of these have helped to a point. I honestly think he is also bipolar. Several of my immediate family members suffer from bipolar so I know first hand what its like. They don't diagnose kids this age with it though. He goes through good and bad cycles all the time. He was doing very well for a couple of months then all of the sudden he is falling apart. He won't do his home work, is skipping classes he doesn't like,stays out late, is more defiant than ever, he swears at me, and threatens me. The doctor did say that growth spurts can make behavior worse and lately this seems to be the case. He has been grounded for a couple of days for staying out until midnight without letting me knowing where he is. Last night he didn't show up until 10:30. I told him he couldn't hang out with a friend this weekend and that I would call the police if he wasn't home by 6:00 and I would speak with his friends parents to let them know what was going on. He told me if I do that he will disown me.Then as the conversation went along he also told me that he will kill me. He told me that he hopes I die in my sleep. He has also threatened to burn down the house a while back. He talks big when he is upset but I don't know how seriously to take it. He is not generally violent but I'm afraid that he may snap. I also have a toddler in the house but he is usually very sweet with him, other than yelling at him to stay out of his room. He has never directly threatened to hurt his little brother though. Also my husband of nearly four years, my oldest son's stepfather, has had it with him and their relationship that was pretty good at first has deteriorated over the last few years. He has struck struck my son on a few occasions. He agrees that it is not ok. I told him that I will leave him if it continues. Right now we are looking into family counseling through our church. We moved an hour away from our family almost two years ago. My son was doing much better at first especially in school. The school has been very good with him. Lately though every thing is falling apart. It doesn't help that my husband is not very supportive and actually is making things worse by argueing with my son and having complete blowups and threatening him or telling him to leave. I also suffer from a chronic pain disorder that seems to be much worse when I am stressed. I am really struggling to try to hold things together for my son, myself, and my whole family. If any one has any Helpful advice that would be great.

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      Karen 7 years ago

      It brought tears to my eyes reading this, my daughter is 8 and is profoundly deaf. She has been having major tantrums since the age of 3 and life is getting no better. She has been assessed for ADHD and Asperger's but they say she may have bits of this but not all of it. Life has become unbearable for us and a Teacher of the Deaf mentioned ODD to me the other day and when I looked it up I thought this is my daughter. She suffers with OCD and Anxiety problems most of the time. A simple request to brush air can go into a major tantrum. I have two other children and life is not fair for them and not good to see all the time. My daughter had a tantrum once lasting all day on holiday on the beach as she had had two warnings then she couldn't have an icecream she was uncontrollable but ringing SS didn't help they never do!

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      Mindy 8 years ago

      I have the same problem with my 6 year old he was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. I go through the taturms and the screaming and yelling at me. He has even tried to stab me with a sharp knive he was stabbing into his mattress. It is scary and dont know what or how I can help him.

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      KH 8 years ago

      I can so relate to all your stories. I have a 9 year old daughter who at age 5 was diagnosed with ODD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety. I had in home therapy for a while but like a lot of you, my daughter is charming for others even in my own home. I am a single mom and have managed with difficulty to raise my daughter on my own. Things got a little better for a while but now that the holidays are coming around things have gotten bad again. Mostly becuause she refuses to go to bed and then is a bear in the morning becuase she is so tired. Then if she is going to be late for school she refuses to go. But I know that God gave us these children because we are special parents.

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      8 years ago

      I have a 13year old son who was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in second grade and ever since then it has been a struggle. I was not aware of ODD until about 8months ago, which is very frustrating, because all this time I have been researching other stuff and having treated for other stuff. I am the one who found that he was ODD just by the research I did then I brout it to the attention of his pshycitrist that I had thought he may have ODD. Let me tell you it's tough having a child with ODD. The tantrums are long and crazy you never know what might trigger him to have one. I am in meetings and on the phone all the time with his school. The schools are not very helpful when it comes down to it they try make you believe that they want to help, but yet it seems as if they get really annoyed with you and your child, and it seems as if they pick at your child as well you need to be your child addvicate at all no one else will do it for you. If your child has ODD and alot of problems in school have your child be put on a 504 behavorial plan or an IEP it will help you out alot and protect your child. The school will try to get you not to do, but don't give them a chance to tell you no you can request it writing to the school district. I just want to say best of luck to all of you. Its hard and difficult, but you can do it keep your head your child needs you the most.

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      Jen 8 years ago

      I'm doing all the research I can on ODD, because I strongly feel that my three year old is showing signs of the disorder. We live under the constant threat of tantrums and rages. They aren't long in duration, but they are intense and frequent - over things as simple as brushing teeth or going potty or putting on the appropriate shoes. And that element of being able to charm everyone else...that's what makes me crazy, because no one believes that my funny, adorable, very verbal little girl could ever have a problem.

      I am curious about the auditory processing disorder. Can someone explain that to me? I have often felt that my daughter doesn't "hear" what I am saying, even though she is very bright and verbal. It's like a roadblock goes up, and the information doesn't get through. At that point, she starts whining, "Mommy...Mommy...Mommy" over and over again, getting more and more distressed, and nothing I say or do helps. I end up ignoring her until it suddenly just stops. The roadblock comes down and information flows again....until next time.

      Even if my daughter is not ODD, the difficult behaviors we have been dealing with make me appreciate what all of you are going through. It's unbelievably stressful. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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

      I can truly sympathize with your position. My son is ADHD/ODD, Anxiety Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress. He was diagnosed by age 7, after being suspended several times starting at Kindergarden, and continuing through grade 6. (My son will be 12 in May.)

      I am a single parent, having decided I could no longer live with my son's father (who, I am positive is ODD, with a mild ADD, although he has never been diagnosed. He developed Epilepsy just after puberty, and his behaviour was put down to the epilepsy.)

      I spent the last 6 years on my own, raising my son, and putting up with his father's behaviour...(to be honest, I have been dealing with that since my son was born)so I truly do understand the stress, discrimination, manipulation and daily wars that are part and parcel of raising these kids.

      We are not alone, even though it feels like we are. Something that has helped me to continue with my struggle is a comment that was said to me by a very wise woman. She told me "The reason you were given your son, is because you are strong enough to withstand the challenge. He doesn't have anyone else."

      Keep the faith....God Bless...

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      colinzmom 8 years ago

      Wow, that is a worst case of ODD. My son may have ODD, his counselor and pediatrician feel this may be the case and after reading "The Explosive Child", I also believe this is the case. He has had MANY tantrums that have lasted about 1 hour or longer, and they are all a result of being asked to do something as simple as getting out of the bathtub! I am at the end of my ropes and am exploring many different discipline avenues, but have not found any to work as of yet. I am still trying, my son on a good day is AWESOME, everyone loves him, he is fun, outgoing, and just plain wonderful. But behind closed doors....not the same kid! I am fortunate to no have met the tantrums of pillow cutting and I hope I never do, you are a strong mother and your family must be just as strong. I wish you the best!

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      Relieved 9 years ago

      Oh MY GOODNESS!!! My story! My daughter is 8 and I have just had her diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder, oppositional defiance disorder and borderline ADD. At this stage I am thinking it has all stemmed from the auditory processing disorder and the years of misunderstanding and being misunderstood, an 'I can't do anything right so I will do whatever I want' attitude. Today we were offered the medication but we have decided to try strategies for a few months to see if it helps - I am not against the meds and will go that way if nothing improves over the next few months. It is so reassuring to read of someone else going through the hours of tantrums that I have endured. I had another child - 6 years difference, it took me 6 years to gather the courage to tackle another child! - and just keeping the toddler safe has been on occasion an emotional and physical battleground. I have pretty much been told she is a spoilt only child that needs to learn to do as she is told by the school and made to feel like a neurotic parent looking for an excuse for my bad parenting. To anyone out there who is also suffering and wondering I recommend trusting your own instincts! Don't let anyone judge you, explore all the possibilities! Our family communication since learning about the auditory processing disorder has improved remarkably and we are building her knowledge of ways to help herself and build her self esteem. The teacher has been advised strategies - hopefully she will come home from school in a better mood than she has been! The future looks brighter.

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      helplessinhouston 9 years ago

      We have a child with ODD and have had almost an identical experience. It made me feel better to know we were not alone and not going completely mad.