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  • #16
    Just a short update on our ODD scout. He quit the troop several weeks ago. He came to the meeting and announced that he would not be back.....but seemed to enjoy the meeting. His mom spoke with several of our committee members in another room and explained that he was going thru "another" period of talking suicide and had quit everything he was involved in such as soccer. Bless his heart, he has problems and my prayers are with him. Hopefully he will chose to rejoin some of the activities he has quit at some point. However, if it were up to me, his parents would be required to attend meetings and campouts from now on.


    • #17
      "If you ever see a full blown ODD tantrum, you will recognize it as not just a defiant child, although you will get defiant adults who struggle to accept reality..."

      That may well be the case, but it is important to remember that many disorders are diagnosed and defined entirely by behavioral guidelines. In other words, the acronym tagline of a clinical or personality disorder does not necessarily mean anything beyond the behaviors that are readily observable. The diagnosis does not mean that the disorder is not a learned behavior, nor that the best treatment for the disorder is not behavioral modification. In other words, the difference between "just a defiant child" and "a child with ODD" may not be as substantial as we like to believe. ODD is a wide category and there is not a set etiology for ODD at this time. In some cases, a child with ODD may be suffering from a chemical imbalance or other neurological abnormality, but this has not been determined at this time. Indeed, the criteria for a diagnosis of ODD are such that numerous biological situations may receive the same diagnosis.

      If you would like to see the diagnostic criteria for ODD, then investigate the following link:

      This is from the DSM-IV, but there haven't been any changes for this disorder in the DSM-IV-TR.

      The main point that I am trying to get across is that psychological disorders are not necessarily physiological and that conventional wisdom is not always wrong in determining how to deal with these situations. Just because Jimmy has been given an acronym by a psychologist or psychiatrist doesn't necessarily mean that Jimmy can't help it and that Jimmy needs a pill. I would urge everyone to learn more about a particular disorder before assuming that it is a specific physiological assessment. Some disorders (like ODD) are merely collections of symptoms (antisocial behaviors, in this case) and not physiological assessments.


      • #18
        We had an almost identical problem with a Scout back in April as what AwHeck describes.

        The Scout, a big 16-year-old and the leader of his patrol, had refused all weekend to take participate in any activities or to help with any of the camp chores. Sunday morning, when it was time to break camp, pack and clean, he and a buddy disappeared for about an hour while the rest of his patrol did all the work. When the two returned, I had a rather stern conversation with them causing the one Scout to break down crying and screaming obscenities at me. At that point we handed him a phone and told him to call his mother to pick him up. After spending about 20 minutes on the phone telling his mother how awfully he had been treated, he threw the $300 phone across the camp. At that point I was concerned that he was becoming violent and just let him sit until his mother arrived.

        The following week, we had a conference between the Scout and his mom, during which he broke down crying again, kicked a chair and stormed out. As with AwHeck's mom, this lady looks at us very sincerely and says, "Well you know he's been diagnosed as bi-polar." NO, and it would have been dang nice if she had told us!

        I don't feel it is in my job description to deal with serious behavorial issues. My one rule has always been that if you want to be a Scout, you have to behave like a Scout. Screaming obscenities at the adult leaders and throwing things is not Scoutlike behavior -- I don't care what the underlying psychological causes are.

        Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the family -- not the unit -- to manage these problems. In our cub pack we have a Scout who is a rather unstable, insulin-dependent diabetic. Not in a million years am I going to accept responsibility for doing blood tests and injecting insulin to someone else's child. He always has a parent with him, except for short meetings where he can be checked before or after. Of course we know to keep an eye on him and have appropriate snacks available. We are able to do that because the parents came to us and explained the situation.

        Another example related to behavioral issues: We have another Scout in the troop who has some rather serious although controlled behavioual issues. The only thing we have to make sure of is that he wakes up and takes his medication in time to lie in bed for about 30 minutes while it takes effect. He cannot be expected to wake up and hit the ground running. Again, the parents explained this to us (admittedly after it had been a problem on a campout) and we now know to wake him up early and remind him to take his meds.

        Bottom line is that I'm not going to be in the woods responsible for a 175-pound 16-year-old with uncontrolled behavioral problems and somewhat violent tendencies. As a matter of the safety of both the Scout and the others in the unit, they either get the situation under control or stay home.


        • #19

          Your update about your ODD Scout concerns me. I expect that his Mom and Dad are seeking proper medical support and intervention for their son. Please confirm that this boy IS receiving professional help! Suicide talk brings concern for this boy to a heighten state.

          Yours Truly in Scouting,
          Rick Pushies
          Los Padres Council, Live Oak District