I am wondering if any of your son's have or been diagnosed with O.D.D.? If so what kind of help have you recieved to help your son with this and how have you dealt with it? Is this something that a psychiatrist/psychologist can help with?

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Justin was diagnosed with O.D.D. when he was almost 6. At the time of diagnosis, he had just started on Ritalin. Once we got the dosage of ritalin right, we started Justin on a very low dose of seraquel. Its a antipsychotic/mood stabilizer. It worked wonders for him. We also had him going to weekly therapy and every two weeks with a psychiatrist. This lasted for several years and then gradually we were able to lower doses until he was off the meds all together.

Do you think he was born with the disorder or do you think anything attibuted to it - steroids, school, etc? Did the psychiatrist shed any light on that? We did not notice any of this until after our son started school and steroids (which unfortunatly were started at the same time). This was at around 5 1/2. I am wondering if they triggered it or if it's just something that was always there and just comes out more around that age with the stress of added responsibilities (school) and in our case the frustrations of learning disabilities. What do you think helped the most, the therapy, medication or a combination? Is Justin over it now?
I think it was something Justin was born with. When the psych and I sat down and had a long talk about it, and he started telling me how kids with o.d.d. acted at the younger ages, I could see Justin. Justin argued about absolutely everything from the time he was old enough to talk. I will never forget an all out throw yourself on the floor, screaming and yelling temper tantrum because he wanted a drink and I gave him a blue cup and he wanted the red one. He actually picked the cup up and threw it across the room. Honestly, I just thought he was a spoiled brat. I know people reading this will think the same thing. O.D.D. behavior goes to the extreme. There is definitely a difference in a child being a brat and o.d.d. I think school just brought it out even more and made us realize that his behavior was excessive. He argued with other kids, the teacher and the principal over everything. Its exhausting behavior to deal with. I think a combination of all of it helped. the meds stabilized his moods enough to where he would actually listen to us and talk to us without blowing up. We could talk through what was wrong and how to fix it. The therapist taught him ways to cope and how to realize when he was getting mad and what words to use to tell us how he was feeling. The therapist also taught us coping techniques. One of the main things we had to start doing was to get on Justins eye level. When he was starting to get mad, if we got down on our knees and could look him in the eye and get him to focus on us and talk to us, it calmed him down quicker. I wouldnt say Justin was over it, but he is off all meds now. He doesnt take seraquel or ritalin anymore. He was able to stop them all together when he was a little over 9yrs old. He still can get angry quickly and he will still argue alot. He doesnt know when to STOP talking. Even if you tell him to stop, he will talk right over you. We use the same techniques.....looking him in the eye and making him focus on us when we talk to him. We help him use words to tell us what is wrong and not actions. However, we can all manage it now and get control quickly.

Hi Karen-
Baylor just turned 4 and he can be very difficult at times, has been difficult in fact since about 15 months old. At least, thats when he started the high pitched screaming and started exhibiting some OCD behavior. The high pitch screaming he has toned down now, but he still gets upset quite regularly. I think the difference now, is that we know most of his triggers by this time, so we can sometimes, but not always, divert him before he totally loses it.
He has never been on steroids for his DMD, so I can't even wonder if that is the reason for his behavior. He also has sensory issues. Tags usually have to be cut out of shirts, and it's sometimes hard to find him socks that don't send him into orbit. Nail clipping, face washing, and hair combing can also set him off. He had surgery on July 1, ( tonsils/adds, ear tubes, and a muscle biopsy)and we had to ask the nurse for a larger size of socks because when we put the ones on she gave us for his size he got upset because the seams were to close to his toes. When we put the other socks on him, we had to put them on upside down, because he thought the grippers on the bottom were supposed to be decorations on top. It can be really comical to us at times, but we feel so bad for the little guy. I don't know if these are symptoms of O.D.D. or not. His OT therapist is trying some different things to see if she can help him with some of his sensory issues. Baylor is very personable and friendly, but most people would also define him as headstrong and opinionated. I just gotta say, good thing for him he's so cute!! :)
My Grandson Logan who will be four in August and was just diagnosed with DMD on July 2, 2008, also has problems with temper tantrums over the smallest things. If his socks are not put on correctly or his clothes get twisted. His Mother often gets very frustrated and has a hard time handling him. I have found that if you talk calmly to him rather than raising your voice or put him in time out, he will come out of it quicker. When he gets put in time out it only seems to escalate his screaming and crying.
Hi Karen,

I found this great article that might be of help and you can clink on the link to read it or copy and paste if necessary:


Also, I did not hear of this until now. This interests me as my son exhibits these symptoms and right now he is driving me crazy. So, I think I will use these tips since I know it is plain old disobedience too and I would prefer not to medicate. I think those type of drugs have there own problems as well. That is just my preference though. Thanks for starting this discussion.

Kari Schultz
Not sure if this has been said as I have not read through everyone's posts... but, it is VERY typical to be diagnosed with ADHD and have ODD. I think on the 4 axes you have to have at least 2 diagnoses listed, and most often times with ADHD it's ODD. Before I started working with juvenile delinquints, I thought that this was just a fancy word for bad parenting....well, dah, I was WAY wrong. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at almost age 5 with ODD as well. Not a whole lot that can be done other than behavior modifications ect. I find that steriods and ADHD medications make the symptoms worse, but not at the point that we can't deal with it...
What is O.D.D.?
This is what I found...

Children With Oppositional Defiant Disorder

No. 72; Updated December 1999

All children are oppositional from time to time, particularly when tired, hungry, stressed or upset. They may argue, talk back, disobey, and defy parents, teachers, and other adults. Oppositional behavior is often a normal part of development for two to three year olds and early adolescents. However, openly uncooperative and hostile behavior becomes a serious concern when it is so frequent and consistent that it stands out when compared with other children of the same age and developmental level and when it affects the child's social, family, and academic life.

In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster's day to day functioning. Symptoms of ODD may include:

-frequent temper tantrums
-excessive arguing with adults
-active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
-deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
-blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
-often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
-frequent anger and resentment
-mean and hateful talking when upset
-seeking revenge

The symptoms are usually seen in multiple settings, but may be more noticeable at home or at school. Five to fifteen percent of all school‑age children have ODD. The causes of ODD are unknown, but many parents report that their child with ODD was more rigid and demanding than the child's siblings from an early age. Biological and environmental factors may have a role.

A child presenting with ODD symptoms should have a comprehensive evaluation. It is important to look for other disorders which may be present; such as, attention‑deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities, mood disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) and anxiety disorders. It may be difficult to improve the symptoms of ODD without treating the coexisting disorder. Some children with ODD may go on to develop conduct disorder.

Treatment of ODD may include: Parent Training Programs to help manage the child's behavior, Individual Psychotherapy to develop more effective anger management, Family Psychotherapy to improve communication, Cognitive‑Behavioral Therapy to assist problem solving and decrease negativity, and Social Skills Training to increase flexibility and improve frustration tolerance with peers. A child with ODD can be very difficult for parents. These parents need support and understanding. Parents can help their child with ODD in the following ways:

Always build on the positives, give the child praise and positive reinforcement when he shows flexibility or cooperation.
Take a time‑out or break if you are about to make the conflict with your child worse, not better. This is good modeling for your child.

-Support your child if he decides to take a time‑out to prevent overreacting.
-Pick your battles. Since the child with ODD has trouble avoiding power struggles, prioritize the things you want your child to do. If you give your child a time‑out in his room for misbehavior, don't add time for arguing. Say "your time will start when you go to your room."
-Set up reasonable, age appropriate limits with consequences that can be enforced consistently.
-Maintain interests other than your child with ODD, so that managing your child doesn't take all your time and energy. Try to work with and obtain support from the other adults (teachers, coaches, and spouse) dealing with your child.
-Manage your own stress with exercise and relaxation. Use respite care as needed.

Many children with ODD will respond to the positive parenting techniques. Parents may ask their pediatrician or family physician to refer them to a child and adolescent psychiatrist, who can diagnose and treat ODD and any coexisting psychiatric condition.

See also:
Thanks for posting this and everyones responses to this since I started this topic.

What you posted pretty much sums up ODD and what I have witnessed with my son. I have not had my son formally diagnosed with ODD but I know this is what he has and have for a while. My son also has some of the other problems mentioned, ADHD, learning disorders, and anxiety. All of this was heightened when steroids were intoduced but I have tried to keep him on the steroids at all costs (as that is all that we have). I have seen some success with Lamictal, a mood stabilizing drug, in diminishing these adverse behaviors.. He seems to plateau on the drug after a while though and it has to be increased. I have seen ODD and the other things mentioned diminish even more considerable when we have taken him off the steroids and even lowered the dose.

I first noticed the signs of ODD and that there was something not right when he was about 18 months old. He pestered and annoyed my middle daughter Lindsay beyond belief. There was no letting up and it seemed nothing I could do to stop it except seperating them. He just never got it. I have another son that is 2yrs old and he has started in on him now - intentionally pestering and annoying him. I am having quite a bit of trouble with my 2yr old son and his behavior as well. He has been formally diagnosed with a language delay and appears to have some of the similiar traits of my older son with DMD - ADHD and sensory issues. He does not have DMD though. I have to wonder how much my older son's behavior has affected him. He goes beserck when Daniel is in the same room with him and I pretty much have to seperate them most of the time. Daniel pretty much leaves my daughters alone now that they are older and really they get along fairly well now although they are always wary of him and his mood swings.

The ODD and anxiety has been pretty bad at school and he has the most trouble there. They have learned to be very patient with him and have learned a lot of the triggers that I know that set him off and have been able to diminish and redirect him when he has trouble. It is a very slow process though and the learning has been slow - mainly because the behavior has hindered the learning process. He is only in a half day program now entering 2nd grade. He has a very hard time retaining anything that he learns.

For the outsider looking in it is hard for them to understand this behavior and then the added moodiness of the steroids and what impact the disease itself is having on my son's psychie. I have the added stress of getting blamed for a lot of my son's behaviors and many pass it off as a lack of discipline or attribute it to spoiling or coddling my son due to his illness. Nothing could be further from the truth. This can be very hard to take and I guess I have deleloped a thick skin because of it and ignore most of the comments now. I blame a lot of these behaviors (ODD, ADHD, Sensory processing, learning disorders, etc) on the lack of dystrophin in the brain and believe that possible because of my son's deletion area he is more impacted mentally. I know there is a lot not understood yet about the role of DMD and lack of dystrophin in the brain. Hopefully someday they will make a breakthrough in that area. I feel for all of you parents going through more of the mental issues your son's are experiencing with DMD. It can be absolutly ovewhelming and exhausting at times.

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