Autism Watch: 2007

ODD: Obstinate Dude Disorder

Posted on: November 19, 2007

The diagnosis of ODD has been tossed around a bit during the last couple of years, but we aren’t buying it. It’s not a permanent thing…okay, it’s not always that bad. This week though? Oh yes. In fact, the last 4-5 days have been a bad case of ODD: Obstinate Dude Disorder. (Ask me for my personal definition of PMS…go ahead, ask me. I am really creative with initials.)

This has been a day of obstinance. The last kernel of corn on his plate was the last straw. He’s now upstairs playing the newly repaired Gamecube, but unhappy about the disappearance of its memory card, which, of course, he did not lose. He had nothing to do with it. He, in fact, never has anything to do with anything and the rest of us are idiots.

Along with ODD, he’s a stim monster. Hands in the hair, fingers pulling the eyelashes (normally a sign of stress, but sometimes just a stim) and the most obvious? Shirt off the shoulder, cheek rubbing said shoulder. Over and over.

Stims are one of those things that are really common with kids on the autism spectrum, but that doesn’t mean we just let it go. We do pick our battles, and right now, his ODD is our bigger battle, but I do worry since the winds are apparently due to kick in within the next couple of days…four or so days of them. When the winds get bad, he normally wants to stay in his jammies all day and cuddle…or yell. You can’t really tell what kind of mood he’ll be in. That changes every minute, and I doubt even he knows what he’s going to do next. The good news? I work tomorrow and am off work again until Monday. I can pound Starbucks while working on some new ABA techniques that may help.

Speaking of ABA, I’m thrilled to be starting a new program within the next few weeks. Thrilled. Seriously. I know we’re in for a lot of work, but I am clearly not a professional behaviorist, and I welcome the input of those who have been in the trenches. I am looking forward to this to the point where my friends are probably thinking “oh no, she’s talking about it again.” To you who put up with it, you can come to our open house in December. 😉

Tomorrow I get to experiment and see if there’s another cookie I can make for ds that doesn’t have oatmeal or chocolate chips. Oatmeal makes him gag, in any form, and he’ll eat chocolate chips forever and I’d really like to bless my family with something other than that kind. Then I need to complete some jewelry I’m making for Christmas gifts, plan what pies I’m making for Thanksgiving dinner and dive into the stack of new autism books that are growing dusty. (And it’s not helping that I keep adding to it. I just bought Dr. Bock’s book on autism and epidemics of childhood and I have a highliter ready to go.)

Speaking of books, has anyone noticed the plethora of books on autism that are coming out over the next few months? Now we just need a bookstore closer to my within 5 minutes. I can get to our closest Borders in under 10 minutes, but I want closer. Parking alone at that store takes longer than the drive. I also have TACA’s journey book that I have yet to crack open though I know it’s full of info that I definitely need to try.

Off to see if the memory card has yet been found. Ds stood on the stairs yelling about it, then crying, and for right now, he’s calm….the calm before the storm?


2 Responses to "ODD: Obstinate Dude Disorder"

I was just doing some surfing and ran across your BLOG and it made me smile. One of those moments when you realize you are not alone and it’s ok to laugh at how laughable life can be. My son Kyle is almost 6. He is Autistic and I too have heard ODD but have never allowed him to be officially tested for it. He does however fit the profile. Every other word from his mouth is negative. He lays a toy car down then walks away and for the next 30 minutes he is whining and crying “I guess mommy threw it in the trash” “I guess Michael just doesn’t want me to have anything” “Mommy is a bad girl” “mommy just took my car”. Look for it? Oh my NOOOOO That never occurs to him or atleast he shows no sign it does. Play with one of the other 300 cars in his collection he is obssesed with? NO this is THE car the one we have chosen to cling to like glue for a few days or a week. All day most days are like this. He goes off over anything and nothing at all. He says NO to every request, issues a constant stream of threats and mean names to us. Somedays you feel your sanity won’t last and other times when you step back and see your world through the eyes of others you just have to laugh. I don’t know what made God think I was qualified to be this beautiful childs mom but I wouldn’t trade him for the world. It was nice to read your rantings and know that I am not an army of one in this world and it is ok.

I was googling “autism and odd” and came across your blog. My son has a tentative dx of autism, plus dx of SEVERE ADHD (since he was 3), disruptive bx and anxiety. He’s 8 and his dad just died this past April. He freaks out about any change, the unknown, etc and that was a DEFINITE shocker. He rocks, toe walks at times, screams for no reason, laughs hysterically for no reason, obstinate/argumentative, blames everyone else for his bx’s, has NO awareness of his body in space, completely oblivious to real dangers like fire and cars, but freaks out in carwashes. Wears headphones (not plugged into anything) when noises bother him, attacks his older sister for no reason and was just kicked out of the private school I was sending him to for aggression and shouting random words out during class. When he’s had his meds (risperidone, concerta & lexapro), he’s much better. He’s also creative, sweet, shows remorse, affectionate, intelligent and great at building things. I’m so confused!

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