January 2014 Moms

Anyone have any experience with ADHD/ODD?

My stepson, age 5 1/2, was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  I have been in the picture since he was 14 months so I have been watching this develop for a long time; although as a toddler I just assumed it was the age and he would grow out of it.  It is getting worse as he is getting older.  He lagged behind in preschool (attended for two years) both developmentally and socially and his teacher recommended testing.

I am a teacher so I am now home every day during the summer with him and most days I am at my wits end.  I try to remain calm, give choices, set a clear routine, etc. but it is draining and it is the same thing every day.  Can anyone offer any of their experiences/advice?
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Lilypie - (75Jo)

Re: Anyone have any experience with ADHD/ODD?

  • I have had plenty of experience with ADHD through teaching first graders. I also have had at least one ODD student. It is hard, but the main thing I noticed helped was a very structured day. I would not allow many choices, give 2 options. I'm sure you are close to your stepson and that's so important to get them into "buying in" to good behavior. Make sure you give tons of praise when he does something right. Have outside "blowing off steam" time if possible. Try to find his "currency." What does he love above all. Have him earn that using some sort of system (stickers on a chart, coloring in circles, etc) Also, have it be a consequence that his "currency" will be taken away if he does something that really breaks the rules. You've got a handful, and I know it's hard (and boring). Good luck mama!

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  • My sister's son who is now 10 was diagnosed with ODD and borderline for ADHD (they won't diagnose that one but say he has the tendencies) about 3 years ago. She still has constant issues with him. He doesn't have a "currency" that you can give or take away that will change his behaviour.  One time he punched his brother (3 years younger) in the nose and made it bleed.  For a week he had all his electronics, toys and books pulled from his room and he spent all time at home except meal time in his room, with only his desk to do homework.  He didn't care. This is coming from a kid that is addicted to gaming.  My sister has been at her wits end many times, saying she doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.
    With him he would see consequences as not something that have come about from his actions, but instead they were my sister's fault for setting them. He is fully aware of the consequences of actions before he does them, but will still do the undesired behaviour then blame his parents for then giving the consequence.  She is super consistent and that is starting to help a bit. They have created a contract that has set consequences for behaviours at home and school. 
    He definitely needs physical activity to blow off steam.  In the last year he has really gotten into mountain biking so he does that a few times a week at least on the trails and it seems to help him. 
    Not really any advice in there, but you are not alone.   
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  • kiki1978 said:
    I have had plenty of experience with ADHD through teaching first graders. I also have had at least one ODD student. It is hard, but the main thing I noticed helped was a very structured day. I would not allow many choices, give 2 options. I'm sure you are close to your stepson and that's so important to get them into "buying in" to good behavior. Make sure you give tons of praise when he does something right. Have outside "blowing off steam" time if possible. Try to find his "currency." What does he love above all. Have him earn that using some sort of system (stickers on a chart, coloring in circles, etc) Also, have it be a consequence that his "currency" will be taken away if he does something that really breaks the rules. You've got a handful, and I know it's hard (and boring). Good luck mama!

    Thank you!  That is very helpful!
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    Lilypie - (75Jo)

  • CopperT0p said:
    My sister's son who is now 10 was diagnosed with ODD and borderline for ADHD (they won't diagnose that one but say he has the tendencies) about 3 years ago. She still has constant issues with him. He doesn't have a "currency" that you can give or take away that will change his behaviour.  One time he punched his brother (3 years younger) in the nose and made it bleed.  For a week he had all his electronics, toys and books pulled from his room and he spent all time at home except meal time in his room, with only his desk to do homework.  He didn't care. This is coming from a kid that is addicted to gaming.  My sister has been at her wits end many times, saying she doesn't know whether to laugh or cry.
    With him he would see consequences as not something that have come about from his actions, but instead they were my sister's fault for setting them. He is fully aware of the consequences of actions before he does them, but will still do the undesired behaviour then blame his parents for then giving the consequence.  She is super consistent and that is starting to help a bit. They have created a contract that has set consequences for behaviours at home and school. 
    He definitely needs physical activity to blow off steam.  In the last year he has really gotten into mountain biking so he does that a few times a week at least on the trails and it seems to help him. 
    Not really any advice in there, but you are not alone.   
    Yes, I am glad I am not alone.  The ODD part is the one that is the hardest to deal with so I hope I can find some good strategies before he starts regular full-day school.
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    Lilypie - (75Jo)

  • My sister had to work closely with his teachers. They needed to set up a daily sheet that the teacher would send home, and it would rank his day on various things like doing work, listening, participation, etc and would rank each thing green, yellow or red. That sheet would be sent home each day so she could discuss his day with him.  
    I would definitely open up the conversation with the school before he starts so perhaps you can get in touch with his teacher to discuss a plan of action. 
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  • CopperT0p said:
    My sister had to work closely with his teachers. They needed to set up a daily sheet that the teacher would send home, and it would rank his day on various things like doing work, listening, participation, etc and would rank each thing green, yellow or red. That sheet would be sent home each day so she could discuss his day with him.  
    I would definitely open up the conversation with the school before he starts so perhaps you can get in touch with his teacher to discuss a plan of action. 
    Yes, luckily we had this checked for and diagnosed prior to regular school.  The psychologist sent something to his school principal as a heads-up for his kindergarten teacher and recommendations that he needs structure and one-on-one support.  I know we will also discuss with his teacher when we go to open house.
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    Lilypie - (75Jo)

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