Does anyone have experience adopting children with ODD & ADHD?
We are considering adopting two early school-age girls with these conditions. There is a history of violence, abuse and neglect in their birth home. The birthmother also has ADHD and learning disabilities and was abused as a child.
My husband and I are in our mid-30s and have no children. We are looking forward to becoming first-time parents, but want to make sure this situation would not be more than we could handle.
We would appreciate any advice.
it depends on your energy...ADHD....i wouldnt be concerned with adopting a child with ADHD, there just a little hyper, or should i say alot hyper. but it keeps the house interesting.
my son couldnt even stand still to put his clothes on, i had invented a game where he was the robot and i had to push the buttons to get him to get dressed.
you just have to be a little creative with it.
ODD....i would get the book by ross greene, 'the explosive child'
you will need a different way to parent these kids with this behavior. this is not like a child tantruming, this is something much much more.
they get angry over any request because they cant proscess the information quick enough.
I would do alot more research and see if you can handle a child with ODD and then put ADHD on top of it. they might be real tough.
some of these children with ODD do end up in the hospital due to their uncontroable explosive behaviors.
THey are not easy kids to parent.
I would suggest you look into a adoptive parent support group. you will need some support when they come.
be forwarned, RAD and ODD look very much alike, not sure how old your girls are.
the people who will give you the best description of these two little girls would be the foster parents. do not just listen to DSS, trust me on this.
ask them about their behaviors, how often do they get oppositional and how long do these battles last.
also, find out how many foster homes they have been in, this is also a sign that maybe their behavors were too much for the foster parents to handle.
you are first time parents, i would just be real careful.
ADHD....piece of cake....ODD..well, thats a little different and you need to prepare yourself.
i dont want to discourage you, but dig a little more about their current situation since they were removed from birth family not before.
their history is important, but their current status is even more important if you want to parent them.
by the way, your girls also have PTSD from the description you gave. really look into this.
you need to put your kind heart away and think with your head. I hope you didnt see a picture of them yet.
thats what did us in.....
ODD-Oppositional Defiant Disorder is exactly what it says. The child has oppositon to everything said and Defiant to all requests.
If I told my ODD child to eat chocolate cake, he'd refuse. It requires different parenting. And, RAD is often misdiagnoses as ADHD or ODD. I would recommend going to [url][/url] and [url][/url] and looking at what it says. Also, Greg Keck and Regina Kupecky's Adopting the Hurt Child might shed some light on what to expect.
Thank you all for your advice. I have been doing a lot of research today. My husband and I discussed the children's report tonight. We feel really bad for all that these girls have been through, but we're not certain that we are prepared to deal with the difficulty of their situation.
Dadfor2, we did see their picture already -- and of course they are beautiful and very sweet, innocent looking children! Their report, however, paints a very different picture. It is hard not to fall in love with these children, but we are being careful to think with our heads and not our hearts.
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Well, after a lot of research, we have decided not to proceed with this situation. These girls have pretty significant behavior issues, and we believe it would be very difficult and challenging for us as first-time parents.
So, we have gone back to our original plan of adopting a healthy infant or toddler. And we are once again waiting ...
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Hi Dee,
I believe you have made the right decision for your family! I am sure you feel a little (maybe a lot) heartbroken right now, however, I commend you for doing the research beforehand. Had you just accepted the placement and had to disrupt it would have had devastating effects on those children.
Your child(children) are out there. I will pray that you find each other soon.
Good luck in your search.
i think you made the right decision too. i dont regret any decisions we made with our boys, but i think if i had more knowledge i might of been in a different situation.
but i do believe it was meant to be that we had these two children....
our youngest, who was 4 when he arrived. is doing wonderful, he does have some issues, with behavior, but we expected that when we went into this.
he is growing into a loving, attached, little guy and just a joy to be around..
there are alot of children out there. your child is looking at the same stars at night, waiting, just for you. you will find each other soon.
[font=Verdana]Today, my husband and I went to our Case worker to go over some records of a child (age 6) that we inquired about almost a year ago. We knew that this child had been abused and neglected. We also knew that this child had wetting and soiling issues also. Since I have been in Special Ed for almost 13 years and have seen just about all, neither of those problems were a big issue to us. We also were told in a previous report that this little girl may have Reactive Attachment Disorder. That too, was something we could handle because we have many resources. [/font]
[font=Verdana]On a physiological report done almost 1 year ago, said that this child had some signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD. We have no problem with the ADHD; however I personally have worked with older children with ODD. [/font]
[font=Verdana]Since this child has been in 3 foster homes in 2 years ,abandoned , neglected, no stability , not a lot of structure in he young life, Can some of her behaviors like ODD , be remedied by therapy, experienced parenting, doctors , school ect...? We have two boys ages 19 and 11. I being a mother, who was abused as a child, already have some anxiety of raising a girl. A little girl that I have always wanted. But raising a girl with ODD is a little scary. Can anyone help shed some light on this?[/font]
[font=Verdana] [/font]
[font=Verdana]In advance Thanks so much for your help.[/font]
Does anyone have experience adopting children with ODD & ADHD?
We are considering adopting two early school-age girls with these conditions. There is a history of violence, abuse and neglect in their birth home. The birthmother also has ADHD and learning disabilities and was abused as a child.
My husband and I are in our mid-30s and have no children. We are looking forward to becoming first-time parents, but want to make sure this situation would not be more than we could handle.
We would appreciate any advice.
Have you read/listened to Nancy Thomas's book-on-tape called "Healing Trust" (might be available at your local library)? It has a very positive attitude toward healing seriously 'damaged' children. It is about healing RAD, but the children she talks about certainly sound extremely defiant. Also the book called Your Defiant Child (or something like that title) has lots of practical techniques to make the defiance the child's problem not yours.
I have not dealt with any children that were diagnosed as ODD but one of my ex-foster daughters was very defiant when she first came. I used Love and Logic parenting techniques and after a little while (maybe 6 weeks, I forget) she told me she had 'learned to be good'. She still had many defiant days but got better and better. We were very attached (she didn't have any attachment problems). But in her next (current) placement (was supposed to be a permanent placement with a relative but instead she is soon coming back to be adopted!) she has apparently become defiant again. I'm pretty sure the parenting she's being subjected to now is the old fashioned authoritative style, which I can easily see how that would cause her to be defiant again. She HAD to be defiant for years (went into foster care at 7 yrs, and had been in therapy for defiance for a year or two before being taken into foster care - which happened when the therapist decided the child didn't have a problem she was reacting to unacceptable family life) because of the bad family situation she grew up in, then it was a GOOD way for her to behave, but is maladaptive now. She can also be quite a 'snot' (like a teenager), but she is a wonderful little girl.
I think it is important to have a good sense of fun and humor when dealing with defiance, while of course setting limits, transferring the 'units of concern' back onto the child, and consequencing misbehavior.
I'll give some examples from my experience: One bad day, my fd was 7 yrs old then, and she was purposely throwing books on the floor at the library. Then on the way to checkout she sat down and refused to go to the checkout. For each time she was bad I told her that was sad for her because I would have to think of a punishment and then I walked off to the checkout (which was by the exit so I didn't have to worry about her being kidnapped). I think by the time we were on our way home there were 7 punishments (logical consequences) that needed to be thought up. Luckily, a little friend of hers was supposed to spend the night that night. When we got home I explained to my fd that it was hard work to take good care of one defiant child, so unfortunately she couldn't have her friend come because I wouldn't be able to take good enough care of two defiant kids (her friend was capable of some pretty defiant behavior too). I made my voice and posture convey true sympathy for my fd's disappointment. She cried, she yelled, she begged, she got down on her knees and pleaded. I didn't give in, but remained very sympathetic. And I followed the technique of not saying 'you can't have/do' by telling her that I would be happy for her to have her friend over the next week if she was not being defiant. After a while she quit crying and called and told her friend that the sleepover was cancelled because she'd been bad. She was never bad like that again! Not only was she motivated not to be defiant, but her friend reminded her all week to be good! ha!
Another thing she'd do would be to make a very disgusted annoyed expression when asked to do something. But instead of turning her rudeness into a battle by saying something old-parenting-style like 'wipe that look off your face', I would make a game of it and say wow she could do that look so great - do it again! Then she'd think about how to do it and make it again, and we'd both laugh.
Another really useful technique from the Love & Logic parenting book/tapes was to time the child when they were being defiant in a way that wastes the parent's time, and have them do extra chores for that amount of time. That worked great with my fd. The first time she had 10 minutes of chores and after that one experience, her time dropped to just one or two minutes and after a few of those experiences, she was down to just seconds. I didn't have to get mad or try to make her do things I'd just say in a happy voice, 'oh good, more chores will get done!' and start watching my watch and then she'd have the dilemma that if she continued to defiantly refuse I'd be happy anyway, so she'd capitulate. One very satisfying (to me) day I went to pick her up from her visit with her bmom and my fd was running around outside the DHS in possession of the Case Aide's shoe. (I'm sure the Case Aide was willing to apply an ODD label right then and there!) All I did was call her name and say I was timing her, and immediately she threw the shoe back and came running over in a perfectly good mood (i.e., I could get compliance and neither of us had to get mad). It also made me look like a really good parent.
Thanks so much for the insight. I will certainly look for those books. I just ordered Adopting the traumatized child.
I look forward to hearing more insights. This has been a long and painstaking process and I know that someone upstairs will let us know what is right by sending people like you to show us the real light.
Thanks again, montq
I have a child who has RAD. It is a very frustrating problem to cope with if you aren't 100% prepared. We've dealt with torn up bedroom sets ( destroyed with scissors) mini-blinds cut up, tantrums, lying, stealing, cheating, manipulations, hurting herself to make it look like we did something to her,feces
smeared all over the bathroom & bedroom, touching other children inapproriately, lack of empathy, etc etc etc etc.
MAKE SURE you understand what you are bout to cope with because it can tear your marriage up. ( Ours has stayed strong through diligent effort & likewise family)
ODD and RAD have some overlapping symptoms. A child with RAD will fight attachment. Their fighting can appear very deviant. They want to push you away and by arguing they do that. A child with ODD will defy everything you ask. They will argue about the obvious. If you say the sky is blue, they will argue with you. Its constant and very wearing either way.