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#1 jotana

Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:36 PM

My daughter has recently been diagnosed with ADHD/ODD and learning difficulties. I would like to mediate her and her father/my ex husband doesn’t want to.
Going to discuss options with her psychologist soon.
What have you found helpful other than medication?

#2 waawa17

Posted 11 January 2019 - 07:41 PM

Has your ex husband been coming to all of the appointments? Or is he just sticking his oar in out of ignorance and prejudice?

If the latter (and he is in a position to refuse legally when medical decisions are made on the advice of a specialist): as well as insisting he is at all appointments, I'd give him several books to read - Chris Green's and Silva & Toner's books are good  (plus whatever good books apply to the other issues also) - and ask him to get back to you to discuss things after he is well versed in all of the issues.

This is just a starting point. Unfortunately sometimes shared custody arrangements can become very difficult when one parent wishes to follow medical advice and the other doesn't. There are legal remedies but that is a very expensive pain. Sympathies.

Edited by waawa17, 11 January 2019 - 07:44 PM.

#3 Charli73

Posted 11 January 2019 - 08:28 PM

While we are on medication for both, I also find the way we speak to DS changed to accomodate his ODD.

It came down to explaining everything to him like why he couldn’t have the iPad etc and the reasoning behind it so he didn’t get upset rather than just a straight “no” because it would create a fight. While he was always in the mood to argue absolutely everything some days I just didn’t have the patience and he became violent so meds were not a maybe anymore.

I’m not sure of the author but our psychologist suggested a book called “the explosive child” and it looks great from the small portion I’ve read.

#4 Prancer is coming

Posted 11 January 2019 - 11:14 PM

My kid has ADHD and a learning disability, but not ODD.  Stuff that helped us to a point is lots of exercise/burning energy off.  Having a few runs a week is part of his pocket money!

Being really strict with consequences - not letting any leyway and having natural consequences thst he did not enjoy.  But at the same time, upping opportunities to connect with him.  Making sure he knew he was loved, having some time together talking, proving positive feedback.

Also really getting on top of things with the school.  Finding someone I liked and got him to be my contact person.  Really staying on top of what was happening and pushing to make sure accommodations and needs were followed through in the class room and basically being a pita at school.

But having said all that, medication has been the best thing ever.  Our paed was really clear that once he had made his assessment, he would only recommend medication if he felt it was really warranted.  And then when he gave the diagnosis, he did not really offer a choice, just that it was needed.  I could have refused or asked for other options, but things were pretty bad at that stage and the outcome was pretty expected.  Not sure if the paed could give you some help in dealing with ex.  Have no idea what the ex is like, or whether he would find it difficult to say no to a paed as opposed you to, or whether it would make no difference.

#5 jotana

Posted 12 January 2019 - 03:04 AM

Thanks, she isn’t seeing a Paed, until April, I got her diagnosis from a neuropsychologist. Hoping for my support when I see Paed.
I’m in a new relationship of 10 months, which is about to end, because he can accept my daughter the way she is 😕

#6 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 12 January 2019 - 09:29 AM

How old is your dd? For my child, medication allows him to do better at school.  Over time, school reports and IQ reports have proven that the medication helps him to learn. That has reassured us that we are doing the right thing.

We have recently changed medication to fluoxetine for anxiety plus Vyvanse. The ODD behaviours have really improved with the use of fluoxetine. It's been life changing for us.

#7 Mollycoddle

Posted 12 January 2019 - 04:36 PM

ADHD and mild ASD for my DS(7). We have a paed, psychologist and OT involved. The thing that has made the most difference has been putting him on Ritalin. He wouldn't even be able to engage with the psych and OT on any level without being medicated. Hell, for a few months there last year we were lucky to get him to stay at school for more than an hour! Forget changes to parenting (though this does have its place), it's pretty much impossible to parent effectively when that little engine is going so fast that it can't even stop to take instructions.

ETA OP maybe have someone try to frame it to your ex from a neurological point of view ie. different brain? Many people are of the mistaken belief that ADHD can be managed solely by changes to parenting/teaching approach or by adapting the external environment. Not so in many cases.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 13 January 2019 - 12:05 PM.

#8 JoanJett

Posted 13 January 2019 - 01:28 PM

A diagnosis of ADHD/ODD can be confronting for some parents.  A lot of resistance to medication often comes from ignorance about what ADHD is, how widely it effects a child's behaviour/functioning/learning and fears about side effects or dependence on medication.  Education is the best approach, and if your ex is open to suggestions, there are many resources to work through.

The ADHD Go to Guide book mentioned above (by Toner/Silva) is a really great simple read with lots of information for parents heading down the path of formal diagnosis and treatment options.  It might be helpful to get a copy to read and loan to your ex before your appointment in April.  I'll put a link at the bottom of this post to a thread recently started about resources for information about ADHD - lots of good links to videos, websites and books.

In terms of other resources/supports apart from medication, it's great that you're seeing a Psychologist.  With the ODD co-diagnosis, it would be worth working on specific strategies for emotional regulation and communication if you haven't already.  There are programmes like the Zones of Regulation that have really simple structure that you could use for language regarding mood/emotional regulation.  OTs can be useful for the day to day practical issues as well.

As mentioned by a PP, consistency is a big key for the ODD side of things.  Consistency in communication, consistency in calm parenting, consistency across environments (two homes and school), consistency in consequences - very challenging when your child is always challenging you and other adults.  It would be good if your ex could attend appointments with you and your daughter to hear the information and the strategies at the same time.

However, it's often really hard for a child with significant ADHD to learn and consistently implement new skills.  Despite their best intentions, the very nature of the disorder means that their brain often doesn't kick in to gear to utilise new skills at the point of importance.  That is where medication helps.  Our son has been on stimulant therapy in various forms for 3 years now.  There is no doubt that it has been enormously beneficial for him and for us as a family.  

Good luck.


#9 Jennifaraway

Posted 13 January 2019 - 01:56 PM

My DS6 was diagnosed with ADHD at 4yo. Also by a psychologist, and we still see him regularly to help with strategies. But we've also been medicating since very early on - he'd gotten to the point where he had trouble finishing a sentence, and he got so very frustrated. When we went to the paed (fortunately we got in quite quickly because we were already on his books from the private hospital birth), he didn't even blink before recommending starting on Ritalin - DS's behaviour (as well as our descriptions, the daycare reports, and the psych report) made it fairly obvious. We were lucky Ritalin worked straight away (he's on Concerta now).

He's a people-pleaser (so no ODD) and usually a very happy child, but he was clearly unhappy before meds. Best thing ever for us. We also don't do "medication holidays" - he has his tablet every. single. day. or things start going downhill.

I definitely agree with meds being needed to learn new skills, at least for DS. Within weeks of starting he began gaining skills, and without meds I doubt he'd be able to put in place any of the psych's strategies.

#10 2bundles

Posted 14 January 2019 - 09:48 PM

I will always remember DS’ paed saying it is the parents that aren’t concerned about medicating that he worries about.  It is natural that people would want to avoid it.

What worked for us was thinking of it as a trial. If we didn’t like the effect it had then we could just stop. Don’t think of it as a life long commitment.

We were basically told that we didn’t have to medicate bit that his educational pathway would be much different if we didn’t.

#11 Mollycoddle

Posted 14 January 2019 - 11:04 PM

View Post2bundles, on 14 January 2019 - 09:48 PM, said:

I will always remember DS’ paed saying it is the parents that aren’t concerned about medicating that he worries about.  It is natural that people would want to avoid it.

I think in some cases where absolutely everything has been tried and everyone (including the child) is at the end of their tether it can come as such a relief that it isn't questioned. I get that, I don't see why it's concerning.

#12 waawa17

Posted 16 January 2019 - 01:18 PM

View PostNanns, on 15 January 2019 - 01:02 PM, said:

How old is your DD?

We said we would never medicate until things got life threatening and that it was our only option.

Just coming to add that the long-term effects of leaving ADHD untreated can be life-threatening even if the short-term effects are not. Depression, self-hatred, addiction, and car crashes and the sequelae of other impulsive behaviours can all be a problem

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