“What I'm wondering is, does ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) pretty much exist with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) or RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder) or maybe the symptoms/actions are similar?”
When Kitty first came to us (at age 11) she was diagnosed with ODD, but not RAD. I do not believe she has ODD, and they have actually removed that from her diagnoses as far as I can tell and added RAD. (I don’t think she has FASD and neither do her doctors). Anyway, I think kids with RAD have the same or overlapping symptoms, but the focus is different. Kitty only shows symptoms at home with her family. In public she is completely compliant now that she is out of the traumatic biofamily and foster care environment. She does has the revenge issues and the hateful talking about non-family members too, but she only expresses it to us and her therapist. The school think she’s sweet and can’t believe we’re having issues. I have a friend who’s daughter has both ODD and RAD, and she is definitely different from my daughter in that her refusal to comply with all adults is to such an extreme that they can almost use it to their advantage. For example, if the child doesn’t want to load the dishwasher and is doing it so slowly that she’s practically unloading it, they can prescribe her behaviors and tell her to do it slowly and poorly, and she speeds up just to “spite them.” I guess it could be a different cognitive level or being milder on the RAD spectrum, but we can’t “trick” our daughter like that. She is not oppositional to the point of losing track of what she wants from the situation. Or maybe she’s just not RAD enough to hate us so much that she’ll spite herself.
Bear was on the verge of being diagnosed with a conduct disorder (CD) when we got him at age 13 (It was once explained to me that CD is like ODD, but CD is willful – meaning they CHOOSE to behave in an oppositional/ defiant manner). He ended up being diagnosed with RAD and bipolar disorder instead – with symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (which also has similar symptoms).
Apparently, many kids with untreated RAD are often diagnosed with BPD when they turn 18. Many children with CD are diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder when they turn 18. In general personality disorders cannot be diagnosed until age 18.
Many diagnoses have overlapping symptoms and they make things worse by interacting with each other. We decided to try for as accurate a diagnosis(es) as possible, and then focus on treatment. Treatment is the hard part because sometimes the treatments work together, and other times they make things worse. Talk therapy is supposed to be good for Borderline Personality Disorder (although DBT is better), but bad for RAD (attachment therapy is recommended). EMDR therapy helps with the PTSD but often brings up more issues than a child can handle (at least my child). Meds help with some diagnoses but not the brain damage. Stimulants for the ADHD often trigger mania in the Bipolar Disorder. *sigh*
I recently received a chart of overlapping characteristics of several different disorders that I think explains well why our children are often misdiagnosed, especially if they have co-morbid (more than one) diagnoses. Co-morbidity is very common for our kids.
Mom to biokids Ponito(10) and his sister Bob(13)
Sibling pair adoptive placement from NE foster care 11/06
Finally finalized on Kitty(14) on 3/08 - 2 weeks before her 13th birthday! RAD, C-PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, learning disorders, cerebral dysrhythmia
Finalized on her brother Bear(16) 7/08. He turned 15 the next day. RAD, C-PTSD, Bipolar Disorder, ADD, cerebral dysrhythmia " Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain."