Thursday, 25 June 2009

ODD Facts

I learn something every day, though some days I wish I didn't and today is one of them.

Twelve year old Sonny Grainger (above with his mother) has been described as a 'one-boy wave of terror' by police and told he will be locked up if he continues with his criminal behaviour.

His mother insists that he needs medical help rather than prison because he suffers from oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), which causes him to be hostile to authority figures.

Sonny, from Hull, has stolen cars, started fires, assaulted neighbours with bottles, eggs, stones and sticks and even smashed the windows in his own home after being told off for bad behaviour. He tends to sleep for only two hours a night and has tablets to sedate him in the evening.

The neighbourhood beat officer said, "The boy does know the difference between right and wrong and this asbo is a last-ditch attempt to change his behaviour."

His mother said, "I am not saying I have not received help - I just don't think I have received the right help. I will not give up on him. I love him."

Oppositional Defiant Disorder is a recognised psychiatric condition said to affect between one and 16% of school age children. They are consistently surly, with a pattern of unco-operative, defiant and hostile behaviour towards authority figures.

Perhaps it is the generation gap, but if this lad had been around in the 50s when I was his age, he would have been sorted out by one or all of the three policemen who lived within a close or two. No doubt about it.


The Last Of The Few said...


Mrs LOTF is a head teacher.
And a good one.

I read your post and can empathise with the mother.
Yep......I await some of you other loyal readers to get a hold of this.

I agree parenting has a huge and probably major part.

However OOD, ADHD, Dyspraxia(sp) ADHD are recognised medial conditions.
The issue correctly is help and support.

The education system from its point fails them.
As they use the word integration.
This sent shock waves through the teaching proffession.

The closure of special schools, with special needs teachers, with special facilities to calm, to teach, to entertain, to guide, dare i say to even show a bit of affection too.

But hey they must be intergrated, given the same education as others.
Ina class with 25 - 30 other kids, not getting the attention they need, not getting the guidance, needs catered for etc.

As a result they seem disruptive, seem wild, terrors, unruly.

Intergration is a failure, a complete diaster.

But hey its a damn site cheaper than keeping a special needs school open. Dump them into main stream and employ a 15k a year assistant who just can not cope.

Mrs LOTF has been physically hit twice in the last educational year, she could press charges yes, but did not as its children.

The system is wrong SR totlly wrong, we have had mental conditions since time began.....we just did not recognise them nor treat them correctly.

Faux Cu said...

The Chav 15 minutes of fame combined with the "everybody else is to blame" persecution complex.

ZaNuLab defined, sadly, in person, and there are loads like them out there awaiting their turn

subrosa said...

Morning LotF, I'm sure Mrs LotF is a good teacher.

In my time I've had to deal with the result of children who were a product of 'integration' and it was often a depressing job.

As you say many problems were what I called 'social' where the child reacted from their environment. These were the saddest cases.

The others such as dyspraxia were hereditary or physical/mental medical problems and I'm sure research into these has produced better and better help for these children.

It's a bit like the comprehensive argument LotF, putting everyone in the same building just doesn't work.

Dundee used to have a superb special needs school which was highly respected by the community. I believe it has reopened but the criteria for entry is complex.

This lad, according to the article, has attended a 'behaviour unit' and is now barred from that.

Oh the mother is on Radio5Live right now.

subrosa said...

Morning FC, you wouldn't have heard the discussion on Radio5Live this morning. The mother was talking plus a phone in. Interesting views all round.

Oldrightie said...

"Mrs LOTF is a head teacher.
And a good one."

If that modesty were true, how come so many kids are crap. This is yet another excuse for the utter breakdown of decency, respect, intelligence and family life. Breeding will out and here is an example of that. It started in America, presumably?

The Last Of The Few said...


Define the number you think are crap.

And read what I wrote properly.

Good ones are the ones who can make something out of somebody with bugger all money, bugger all reasources and who keep going back when people such as you just shout off at the mouth without looking a bit further into it.


subrosa said...

There's a very interesting post on They're Joking Aren't They's blog:

Anonymous said...


Tut tut tut, no violence now lol.. Its a tough one this becouse where do you draw the line between what is a condition to out right bad behaviour ? Either way i think the parents have to take responsibilty and with proper help from the right people then this lad can be put on the right track.

I do feel sorry for the police becouse clearly they are not trained in this sort of area and all to often they fail to understand any underlying problems and think some sort of punishment will make it go away, all to often this can back fire. On saying that you cant have ferral kids running a mock ruining other peoples lives so no easy answer..

Send him to Niko, one thump from that brute and the wee man would never step out of line again lol

Fidothedog said...

I think he suffers from FSS(Feral Scrote Syndrome) and is in urgent need of some therapy designed for this condition.

A firm slapping followed by a swift toe up the backside.

Sadly this has fallen out of favour in recent years and doesn't require an army of non jobs to look after his every need.

Indy said...

I doubt that a clip round the ear would be enough for this child. Surely the main difference between the 1950s and now is that in the 1950s children like Sonny would have been in a locked institution. Far more people, including children, were locked up in mental institutions in those days than are locked up now.

There is a balance to be struck there and it is a difficult one. I agree that mainstreaming children who have conditions like this is stupid. The same goes for adults. There are many young people and adults who should be living under some kind of supervision, possibly in some kind of institution but are not. Often they end up in prison, which is not the answer either.

But having said that we really don’t want to go back to the days where people who may only have had a simple learning difficulty ended up being put away.

It’s very difficult to find the right balance, though I think most people would agree that the balance now is definitely too far towards attempting to integrate people who are just not capable of being integrated. That is as unfair to them as it is to everyone around them.

subrosa said...

Indy, the main difference between the 50s and now is that there would have been a father figure in the life of the Sonnys and I have to disagree about the locking up of children. I lived in an area of Dundee where most families had at least one child and I can't remember one of them being locked up. We were 'controlled' by the threat of the three local policemen who would willingly give a child a telling off or a talk when off duty.

I listened to the mother talking on Radio5Live this morning. A great deal of time and money has been spent on her lad but to my mind, the harm's already been done. As regards a father figure in his life she didn't have one either. Now perhaps that's a clue.

subrosa said...

Listening to some of the texts and emails which had come in in response to the radio phone-in Fido, I think your opinion was in the 95% majority.

subrosa said...

Ah Spook, I see yer mum taught you well. :)

As I said to Indy Spook, the lack of a father figure in the boy's life and also the mother's may have a lot to do with this.

Don't we have enough acronyms already? Do the 'experts' need everything labelled?

I would say yes to both questions.

The police, due to the Human Rights Act I suspect, are no longer able to deal with these problems, yet when I was young they were the experts. It shows just how much their powers have been gradually reduced.

Indy said...

Subrosa of course there were many more children locked up in the 1950s than there are today - you yourself wrote a post quite recently about whether borstal was a better system than the one we have today.

Prior to the Kilbrandon Report, and the introduction of the Children's Hearing system, children who committed offences apeared before juvenile courts. They could be sentenced to be detained just as adults were.

The Kilbrandon Report is still available online here:

It has statistics on the numbers of children who appeared before juvenile courts in the 1950s against whom charges were proved.

In 1950 17,081 appeared of whom 17% (2,891) were repeat offenders.

In 1951 17,336 appeared of whom 2,730 were repeat offenders,

The numbers declined slightly to a low point in 1956 when just 15,329 chidren appeared before juvenile courts, of whom 2,386 were repeat offenders. The numbers then started to rise again to 1960 when 20,306 children appeared before the court of whom 3,404 were repeat offenders.

The report does not say how many were sent to a remand home/borstal/detention centre and how many were given a fine. But the charges were upheld in all of those cases.

Those figures just do not back up the idea that youth offending was not a problem in the 1950s. Evidently it was, but young offenders were dealt with differently.

Maybe an argument could be made that the way the justice system dealt with young offenders in the 1950s was better than it is today but you can't argue that youth offending was not a problem in the 1950s when an average of 17,000 youngsters between 8 - 16 appeared before juvenile courts each year and were found guilty.

subrosa said...

Indy I wouldn't know the number of children locked up in the 50s and yes, I did ask recently if borstal was a better system.

I notice from your figures that far less were repeat offenders in the 50s and 60s than today. Why is that? (I say that because in a recent post I did the repeat offender rate was around 85% if I remember rightly).

Did I say youth offending wasn't a problem in the 50s? I don't think so. All I mentioned was one way it was dealt with in the 50s. Of course there were problems. In fact, I know of one 14 year old in the 40s who was caught pinching a banana (they were very rare during the war as they were used for their oil content). He was caught because he was the youngest and wasn't smart enough to get over a railing quickly and he ended up in borstal for a year.

Today the same offence wouldn't get a slap on the wrist.

banned said...

Oppositional Defiant Disorder = stroppy twat who should either be sedated 24/7 or given a good hiding each time he offends.

subrosa said...

Oh dear banned, some won't agree with you you know. :)

Fitaloon said...

Oppositional Defiant Disorder, I have 3 boys who suffer from that, its called being a teenager. Just that some are scrotes and some are normal human beings who know the difference between right and wrong.
One day...

subrosa said...

I'm quite sure yours know the difference between right and wrong fitaloon. We all went through it in some degree. Well actually, I was more or less perfect but then I'm female. :)

Anon said...

In a small friendly village in a more civilised country, a kid like this would have mentors who would guide him from an early age. The mentors might be grandparents, neighbours, cousins or whatever. There would be no disturbing influences like TV, video or funny additives in food. If the kid continued to cause trouble he would be removed to an institution. In my experience, disturbed kids always come from disturbed homes; divorce causes havoc. It would be better if fewer of us had children.

subrosa said...

Anon I agree with all you say. That's why, in my childhood this type of young person seldom existed. For all Indy says about more being 'imprisoned' then I really would like to see today's figures for the youngsters who are brought up to the Childrens Panel plus the numbers who re-offend.

Sadly marriage is frowned upon these days. I feel children should only be conceived within the confines of marriage, barring 'accidents'.

Only recently I spoke to a very pleasant young lad who had just had his first child. I asked if he was married and he shrugged. He said he and his girlfriend were very committed to each other but when I said to get married could cost less then £100 (the service only of course) he said "We're not ready for that."

Says it all.

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