Dealing with my son’s oppositional defiance disorder was the most difficult and challenging experience of my life.Have you ever had one of those days with your ODD son or daughter when you felt like it couldn’t get any worse? That day came for my family on January 10th of 2002. I was used to getting phone calls from Mike’s elementary school but somehow today felt different. The principal, who was usually understanding and sympathetic to Mike’s Oppositional Defiance Disorder, was very cold on the phone. He just said, “you need to come pick Mike up from school, now.”
He knew I couldn’t just pack up and leave my job just to pick Mike up from school! After Mike’s father left us I had to get a second job to pay the bills but I couldn’t just tell my boss I had to leave early. Mr McNeil, the principal, made it very clear to me that I either came to get Mike from school or he would be expelled. Thank God my boss was understanding.
When I got to the school I saw Mike sitting in the office and as I walk in the door he screams “There’s the F#*KER!” Words can’t describe the embarrassment I felt. I could feel the office staff staring at me. I broke down crying, right there in the office. I had never heard Mike say such disgusting things.
Mr McNeil took us into his office where he told me the story of how Mike sat in class and yelled, “Shut up, F#*KER!” every time one of the students or the teacher tried to talk. He continued to do it down the hall on the way to the principals office and to the principle.
I was overwhelmed. I felt like such a horrible parent. How did he learn those words? I knew that everyone thought I taught him that. Everywhere we went everyone gave me dirty looks when Mike acted out. I tried everything, yelling, screaming, loving, caring, begging and a lot of crying… but nothing worked.
Now here I am sitting in my son’s principle’s office being told that “if his behavior doesn’t improve we will have to expel him.” THEN WHAT? Home-school? I can’t home-school him, I have to work! It’s just the two of us, he has to go to school. I can’t do this alone!
Where the hell did he learn the F-word? Why can’t he just be a good kid? Am I really just a bad parent? What am I going to do?
I had a complete breakdown when we got home and Mike was as sweet as he can be. He hugged me while I cried which only made it worse because I kept thinking, “why can’t he be like this all the time!”
A few day’s later, I stumbled across a website about Oppositional Defiance Disorder. I had already tried the drugs Mike’s doctor recommended but I didn’t want to poison my son so I stopped them. I read a few books which didn’t help and as I was reading the webpage all I could think of was “shut up, F*#KER!”
What was I going to do? I had to try everything, God knows if Mike got expelled I didn’t know how we would survive. So I decided to give it a try. What did I have to lose? It could not possibly get any worse than Mike calling me a F$&KER in public.
I am amazed at how well the program worked.
Is he cured, no. He will never be cured however he has not had an outburst since January 10th. I’ll never forget that day and had I not been at my wits end, I would have never tried behavior management. Talk about a blessing in disguise. My son runs around calling people the F-word and it was the best thing that could ever happen to us.