Surviving Teen’s & ODD

Hey, all my favourite viewers, how’s your winter treating you? This virus is kicking my behind and making me slack on my 2020 resolutions and accomplishing goals. Having ADHD, raising kids with additional needs never has a dull moment. #Pushingforward like a champ. 37 years old and just started drinking COFFEE! Like seriously, best thing ever, I can’t believe I’ve been missing out this whole time! Mostly because my son Cam the gamer a.k.a Puggo Gaming started drinking coffee, so figured since I’m making it for him anyway I’d give it a try. Just when I’m about to enjoy another mug full… a full blown unexpected meltdown blew up right under my nose. And well this happened….

Coffee maker with improvised pot
Sometimes no matter how much you plan for positive meltdowns, avoid the triggers and plan ahead they come anyway. Teen’s are their own species. Adding Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) into the mix with a dash of ASD is definitely beyond most expertise that only a parent or caregiver can truly understand.

I’m going to share with you all our struggles and some tips that we found helpful and some that hasn’t been so helpful for us. If you have some clever tips I’d love to hear about them, drop them in the comments below.

My son, as you know Cam the gamer a.k.a puggo Gaming. is 15 with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and anxiety triggered ODD. He is calm and most often a happy teen. His triggers are anxiety like that’s his up top #1. ODD for cam sets off his defiance, talking back, swearing, teasing, punching holes in the walls, yelling, throwing anything, refusing things he loves…. Sound familiar? All how he deals with his anxiety, making it appear like ODD.


Becoming familiar with the triggers and recognising the anxiety has been a huge game changer for us. As anxiety is the root cause of Cams ODD behaviours such as threatening, verbal and physical aggression towards myself, my partner, his sister’s and our pet’s. Lack of respect, lack of motivation, and just being beyond the norm of the “teen attitude”

For Cam his triggers are

  • The unknown: not knowing what’s going to happen at his appointment, not knowing what his new classes are at the beginning of a new term or what would happen if he left the house unprepared.
  • His siblings getting something different than him (sounds strange, petty but it’s a real worry that causes him anxiety)
  • Trying something new…
  • When things change even just the menu at Billy Ks
  • Meeting new people or going somewhere new…
  • Me abandoning him. Why??? I have no clue but it’s real.

Like I said sometimes despite all your efforts, the meltdowns, the controlling outburst etc. still happen.

But being prepared, and preparing the siblings, that it’s going to happen has really helped. For an example. Cam got takeout for his lunch at school today and his little sister did not. So knowing full well it trigger his anxiety by thinking she got something better no matter what I tell him… Getting her off the bus I simply prepared her that his anxiety has spiked and that her takeout was on the way and that she could go enjoy it in her safe zone while he displayed his meltdown. Otherwise he would of teased her and siblings rivalry #1278495 would of exploded in the middle of the living room and ruined our whole evening. Instead he just started yelling his anxiety away and body pushing against me for his deep pressure to calm himself down and it worked like a charm.

Keep track of events at school, going over the family calendar daily and having the family calendar pop up as reminders on his phone has also helped a great deal.

Something else we are still testing the waters on is that he uses melatonin to help him fall asleep but seems to also spike his aggression so we are currently testing falling asleep without it, will see how that goes. He has tried without if before and we did see results just it’s tough when their anxiety takes over so they can’t turn their minds off enough to sleep or sleep well.

His bedtime is now like this (15yr old)

  • Goes up at 7:00pm
  • Does his washroom routine
  • Re-arranges stuff in his room
  • Plays with Calm your Monster playdough (chocolate Orange scent)
  • Watches his youtubes
  • Around 8-9pm I tuck him in, sometimes two or three times
  • By 10-11pm he’s asleep until about 6:45-7am most days sometimes earlier but I have a rule he cannot wake me up until 7am unless he really really needs me.
  • So far it’s a working routine for us.

School: school is tough it has its own set of anxiety triggers. When I know he will not have a good successful day at school I keep him home. If he isn’t going to be productive, or I may have to pick him up anyway etc. I don’t see the point in enforcing a losing battle. It’s not “giving in” it’s choosing your battles carefully to succeed!

Little tidbits:

  • Don’t ask direct questions
  • Be direct when making a request
  • No surprises
  • Plan, prepare, predict
  • Set goals & limits
  • Don’t forget to respect the triggers
  • Love unconditionally

Bye guys, Thank you for subscribing.