HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

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

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Your column "ask the parent coach" was like reading about my family's life story the last 9 months...

My name is L___ and I just want to thank you for your website that I stumbled upon while doing research on Reactive Attachment Disorder. Your column "ask the parent coach" was like reading about my family's life story the last 9 months. I have found a lot of websites on this disorder but yours really hit home for me.

We have a child that has been with us for 9 months that we were getting ready to adopt but have since decided that we do not have the capacity or time commitment to care for him. He was diagnosed with RAD by a school counselor recently and shows every sign of RAD except cruelty to animals. The more research I have done, the more I understand this disorder and the severity this boy has (he is 7). With 3 other young children, we have come to the conclusion that we can't commit to years of therapy without the rest of the family suffering in some way.

We know his family and he was taken away at the hospital and put into foster care for 3 months because his mother was a drug addict and he was tested positive for drugs in his system too. He has lived with his grandmother ever since but we feel, after reading all the websites that she too, has RAD. Her dysfunctional livestyle is all Austin has even known. We thought we could help him with "tough love" and discipline but now we see that is not the case and all our efforts these last 9 months have made little to no impact.

She also misdiagnosed him with ADD and heavily medicated him to keep him in control. She then tried to take her own life because she couldn't deal with him anymore and that is where we stepped in. We wanted to help out a needy child and the opportunity presented itself. Our hope is that he does not get back into the hands of her or his mother again. We hope it is with someone who can dedicate the time to get him the care he needs and deserves. We will have to advise the court of our findings and hopefully they can help us find placement for Austin. Again, I would just like to thank you for opening our family's eyes on this disorder. I didn't take it seriously before but I do now.

Sincerely,

L___

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Articles

Parenting Rebellious Teens

One day you wake up and find that life has changed forever. Instead of greeting you with a hug, your little boy rolls his eyes when you say "good morning" and shouts, "You're ruining my life!" You may think you've stepped into the Twilight Zone, but you've actually been thrust into your son's teen years.

During adolescence, teens start to break away from parents and become "their own person." Some talk back, ignore rules and slack off at school. Others may sneak out or break curfew. Still others experiment with alcohol, tobacco or drugs. So how can you tell the difference between normal teen rebellion versus dangerous behavior? And what's the best way for a parent to respond?

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Outbursts, rages, and strife become a way of life (an emotionally unhealthy way of life). We set aside our own needs and focus on the needs of our children. But what does it cost us?

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The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen

The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.

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