Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

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He tries to control & dominate his family, peers and school staff...

Dear Mark, for the past couple of years I have been working with JR, as i will refer to him for reasons of confidentiality. I am after some advice as the child is facing exclusion from school due to a catalogue of offences against his peers and staff. He is following dinosaur school programme run by our behaviour services. He can, although he is only 6yrs of age, tell you about all the solutions, problem solving techniques he has learned, although refuses to put into practice. He tries to control & dominate his family, peers and school staff. A simple outing can be a nightmare, he will stop dead in his tracks and hold every-one up refusing to board the bus etc I have tried traffic lights, smiley face book, etc. the list is endless. I have given him instructions to work, if he refuses he gets count of three, instructions repeated then behaviour ignored, this seems to work and he is very bright and has amazing concentration levels and an excellent work rate, but the overwhelming desire to be 'first' to do anything,from line up which i have stopped him doing because he pushes people out of the way, to trying to beat every-one at all cost at snakes & ladders. I play football & shoot baskets with him using a small group of kids who are still willing to play with us. His humour is rude, anything to do with poop, buts,burps gross table manners, which he also has, he finds funny he loves to see a look of disgust as he eats nose contents in front of staff. Time out given he says 'don't care'. we try to reason with him he says 'blah blah. Missed play' time says not bothered, does his time without remorse. I seem to be his only friend, i tried to buddy him up with another bright little boy but he tried to dominate him and stabbed him in the hand with a pencil, needless to say we abandoned that strategy. It is so frustrating as he is so bright and could be a real little star but he just cannot seem to cope with school life, we tried one to one in the after school club but it was too intense as i had to be that step ahead of him all day long avoiding total domination at all times! Any advice on this matter would be truly welcome.

your sincerely, Jane, warn-out support worker!!


These behavior problems could be the result of many different factors (e.g., genetic & environmental). At first glance, you described a child who (a) is on the receiving end of poor/negative parenting (e.g., a parent who is extremely critical and judgmental), and (b) has Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD.

Has he had a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation yet? If not, this would be an important first step. (I would do some testing to rule out Bipolar Disorder.)

My experience with these children (i.e., children with severely disruptive behavior patterns) is that they eventually misbehave to the point where the parent has to place them in a residential treatment facility for a period of a year or more. Sometimes the best thing for these kids is to be away from their parents for awhile.


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