View Full Version : Are these comorbid conditions creeping in?

12-11-05, 04:27 AM
My daughter has ADHD (appears to be same variety as mine), but I'm starting to worry that she's also showing ODD signs. I'm not exactly sure where the line is drawn between immature acting out and ODD. I know the prognosis is much worse if ODD is a factor, so I'm very concerned. She is eight years old and lately has been accelerating her use of throwing herself on the floor and kicking and screaming over the simplest requests. She's also thrown things, kicked at stuff and knocked things over when told to go to her room for time out. She's hurt her little sister (not seriously but enough to make her cry) by shoving or hitting her. She doesn't do these things with my husband, just me. I obviously need to get a better handle on my discipline. Any recommended reading or technqiues would be appreciated. I'd really like to get her in to see my clinical psychologist who specializes in ADHD but her father says no. She's also starting to have anxiety and fears caused by her thoughts. Tonight she was in tears as she told me I try to stop my thoughts of wanting things, but I just can't. So I go after them, because I can't stop them. I think she probably needs meds -- I really don't want her developing a bunch of comorbid stuff that will cause her more trouble than the ADHD, but my husband is dead set against it. I really need suggestions on non medical interventions for the anxiety stuff as well as the oppositional stuff. Thanks.


12-11-05, 01:12 PM
I was diagnosed myself as ADD about six months ago. I suspect my seven year old boy is ADHD as well. Some of what I was seeing in him helped convince me to seek help for myself. Currently I'm looking to get on the road to fixing me before working on him. I feel that my wife remains skeptical of my own treatment and is reluctant to look at the possibility that he could be ADHD too. My son's symptoms do not mirror mine, I had more difficulty with mathematics, he has more difficulty with reading. He is also a pretty brilliant kid otherwise, above average in many ways. He has had some episodes of very strong willed opposition that concern me too. (To the point I've had to walk away and catch my own building frustration) I've read very little on ODD. What I have read sounds like much more frequent episodes than I'm experiencing. He does have a loving friendly personality, a good sense of right and wrong, and fairness too. Maybe some of this is the age combined with undiagnosed/untreated ADD? Lets keep an eye on them

12-12-05, 09:49 AM
Hi Winks,

Thanks for responding and welcome to the forums! Yeah, we'll definately keep an eye on them. It's kind of frustrating when you see things and your partner doesn't want to. I was just diagnosed in February. I'm going to try to do some more reading up -- I hope it's just a delayed maturity thing --I know they say ADHD is a developmental disorder. I'm just not sure where that line is between lack of maturity and something more serious.


12-12-05, 01:17 PM

GOSH, I feel for you. My heart's breaking.

This behavior is NOT age-appropriate. I thought my 8yo was a little immature, but tantrums???

I hope you're not dealing with ODD here. If she listens to your husband, you're probably not. My advice:

1) What YOU can do is put your foot down with her. This isn't a time to be afraid to be "the bad guy". If you can get to the same place with her that your husband is (discipline-wise), you can see just how much of it she has control of and how much might be ADHD-related. Example: my 8yo is a very well-behaved child at home. We can pretty easily tell when he is deliberately disobeying and when he has little control over listening, remembering, & doing. We accomplished this only through discipline and it works. Kids don't resent you for boundaries; they need them.

2) If professional help is out of the question, try behavior modification techniques. This will be hard for you, given your own disorganization, but if you stick to it long enough, it'll get easier. Try setting up a token economy. Give her a token (this can be anything) for good behaviors and take them away for bad ones. She can exchange the tokens for things she enjoys.

3) Talk to her teachers. If you're having trouble, they might be, too. If she's ADHD, I guarantee she's having some problems at school.

My hubby is pretty ignorant about ADHD and won't do the research. As a result, he's (understandably) VERY reluctant to put our 8yo on meds. Since DH is pretty open-minded, I enlisted the help of DS's teacher. I made sure DH was present at our parent/teacher conference last week and DS's teacher made sure she described to us IN DETAIL just how impaired DS is at school. This convinced DH that DS was putting in all the effort he could and needs the meds to get to where he needs to be. He agreed to a trial (should the pediatrician recommend this).

Regarding the anxiety -- this may just be a by-product of her loss of control. If she feels more in control, it may go away. A token economy will give her goals and a sense of accomplishment.

Anyway, good luck with this. If you need behavior mod resources, I know McT has some and I can certainly get ahold of some as well.

My thoughts are with you!

12-12-05, 04:49 PM
Thanks Barb. Yeah, the follow through on behavior modification is pretty tough -- I wasn't a particularly good disciplinarian as a teacher years ago either. I'm currently off my meds because I was having rage episodes (hadn't acted on them but cut that line way to thin and was afraid of crossing it and hurting someone). The rage problem seems to be back under control without meds but but my consistency, memory and follow through are back in the toilet.

My daughter only takes a few classes down at the local private school (music and art) and she is perfectly well behaved there. I'm home schooling her trying to get her caught up on reading, writing, and math -- she is dyslexic and also has typical math facts memory and writing coordination problems that are common with ADHD. If I can get her up to speed, we'll enroll her next year. While it doesn't do much for my ego to think it's just me, that would be preferable to ODD for sure.

I've got Barkley's parenting book and am going to see if I can implement some of the behavioral things he suggests. I'm also seeing my therapist this week and going to ask him for suggestions. Just a little discouraged here.


12-12-05, 11:27 PM
The outbursts your daughter is having is very much like the ones my daughter had before we put her on meds. Girls are extremely emotional when they are medicated. H's episodes were so bad that I wasn't sure which way to turn, but once we put her on meds her emotions evened out pretty fast.

When you feel out of control it's very easy to act that way. I think kids tend to act out more with their moms than other people because they know exactly how far they can push and exactly where our buttons are. It's even harder to deal with them when you are adhd and the consistancy factor isn't there. I'm totally horrible with being real consistant...but I'm working on it.

Chin up...there are no perfect parents...just perfect love for our children.

12-12-05, 11:38 PM
Yeah...I have a troublesome middle one. This doesn't sound that extraordinary...more like garden variety opposition.

The telling remark in all of this is that you are not only the mom but also her teacher. There might just be too much of you. You become background noise and dad is the stimulating new figure that pops in after a long day working through the lessons.

I'm not saying that she is going to turn around, she won't. She is this way. What I would try is breaking your day up. Take a look what the library is doing or the museum. Knowing you, you are driving hard with the lessons...which is good. But I would opinion that if you eased up a little she would still be getting 200% of what she would have been getting at school.

Let her learn through fieldtrips. All of a sudden her day is broken up, things are exiciting and stimulating. You two may do some real cool things together, she socializes outside of the home....and I bet behaviour gets a little better also. Firm and a fine piece of music. If it is all the same, it is just noise.

Just an opinion.

04-19-06, 01:08 PM
Thanks Scuro for your input -- I was feeling too overwhelmed when you first gave it even to respond. I'm taking my daughter to her doctor today. The doctor already believes she has ADD and I'm going to discuss all this with her. Umnichu's positive outcome with his son's initial medication dose has encouraged me to maybe get a med prescription and see if my husband won't let her at least give it a trial. Things have improved some since December -- she's having less fears and temper tantrums which is really great, but I think catching up to speed for the beginning of third grade next year (she wants to go to regular school and we're planning on giving it a try at the local church school), and I'd really like her to be up to speed before she starts.

I'll let you know how it goes.


04-19-06, 05:28 PM
I hope it works and I'm glad she is doing better!

I also wonder, since she is saying that she wants to stop but feels she can't, if she is A) trying some manipulation all children do ;) or B) just acting on them around you because she has a feeling of comfort and safety when with you. :)

I think that, not only do kids act out more for parents because they know how far they can push, but also they feel comfort in knowing that their parents are there for them. Since you are around her so much, it is probably even stronger for you two.

I do hope you are able to get help and convince your husband to as well, I understand your fears about comorbid conditions and self-esteem since they so frequently happen. Does your husband have much knowledge about ADHD? From what I've seen on your posts, I definitely get the impression you have done a lot of work to help him learn.

I hope everything goes well!

04-21-06, 01:44 PM
My husband thinks he knows a lot about ADHD but a lot of what he think's is wrong -- afraid somewhere along the line he heard some Breggin-type of misinformation. He knows she is ADHD -- he occasionally admits it. Medication to treat it is his biggest problem. Hey, I'd love a better solution than meds too, but until there is one ..... well, you do the best you can with what you've got.


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