Teens and ADHD and ODD

Jodie - posted on 07/15/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My ODD and ADHD son is now 16 and has rejected his meds and his specialist for the last 6 months, last yr was ok this year is a complete fail, school home everything, I have dealt with this for 10 years on my own with no real groundbreaking help, I am at the absolute last squiggle of rope and I don't know what to do

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Guest - posted on 07/15/2014

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Yes, that is kind of what I meant. ADHD and ODD come with so many side issues that can complicate treatment, it really is hard to offer advice without really spending time with the actual patient.

It sounds like you are expecting a lot from the treatment that the treatment just can't deliver. Please know that no treatment available today, even if he takes the medication every single day and follows every behavioral strategy to perfection, will make him "normal." Even with the best treatment available and strict attention to behavioral treatments, he will still have temper flare ups, he will still have an emotional disconnect, and he will probably always tap and feel a higher level of anxiety than normal people do. The treatment (both medicinal and behavioral) does not make the symptoms go away, which I think is what most people expect it to do, it only helps the patient to cope with the symptoms more easily.

You still haven't described any of his destructive behaviors specifically aside from refusing to take his medications, or why he is resorting to them. One of the main reasons patients stop medication is because they feel they can handle and cope with their symptoms better without the medication or that the medication is making the symptoms worse--in other words, the medication is not doing it's job. That isn't to say he doesn't NEED medication, but only that the medication may need to be changed again. Also, remember that something that worked well for him when he was 7 then stopped working when he was 8, may work for him again now that he is 16 because the chemistry in his body has changed, and is still changing. There is no timeline, or order in which medications will be beneficial, they all interact with the chemistry of the body at different times in different ways.

Jodie - posted on 07/15/2014

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He is against drinking smoking and drugs, is never interested in meds at all not even pandadole, I am aware ODD doesn't go away and we have been through various meds as he has changed with small success, he is also tactile, smell, touch and taste, suffers OCD mild anxiety to, he has a tapping issue(like flapping) so it's a lot more in depth than ODD/ADHD. Thanx anyway.

Guest - posted on 07/15/2014

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Unfortunately with ADHD and ODD there really isn't anything "groundbreaking" in terms of help. He will always have the two conditions, they don't go away (Actually, some people do think ADHD can be outgrown, but others believe if it goes away as the child matures it it was never actually ADHD in the first place, just depends on which school of thought you subscribe to. Everyone is in agreement that ODD never goes away).

Also, at his age, there is rarely a "permanent" solution. Because he was diagnosed at about 6 years old, and is now only 16, his body has been growing and changing all of these years, which affects the way his body and mind respond to the different medications and treatment methods. He will likely not find anything that works really well until he is in his early 20's. The key until then is to keep him from "self medicating" with drugs or alcohol, and pay strict attention to behavioral therapies, as at this point in his life they will be more effective than medications.

Unfortunately, specific advice on behavioral therapy is difficult because the range of issues for those two conditions can vary so much from one child to another. Without specific details about his behaviors, and most importantly WHY he is resorting to the disruptive behaviors, no one can give you much advice.

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