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We're at a loss...

I have a male child who has been diagnosed with ODD. He is now 18-1/2. He has been a problem child now for 3 years. Both his stepfather and I have attempted to do whatever we can to convince him to change his behavior, but he is unwilling. He is very shrewd. New York State law says (and he is well aware of the law) that I cannot kick him out other than by an order of protection. I would have to prove that he has been physically or verbally abusive.

According to Family Court, disrespect and not following the house rules does not typically qualify unless it's destructive and/or illegal. (I've been told that the judge generally does not like to put a child out on the street who is not self-sufficient. My son chooses not to work. Unless he leaves voluntarily, I don't think there's anything I can really do until he's 21. He's destroyed my relationship with my husband, and has called the police on us because we took the cell phone out of his hand.

I've tried the Total Transformation Program, but that didn't help. We set the limits and have followed through by taking away all his belongings. He has nothing except a bed in his room and his clothes. He's been living that way off and on for years. He doesn't seem to care. He conforms just enough to win things back and then goes back to being disrespectful. He's just not willing to cooperate. We've made deals with him, which he has gone back on.

We're at a loss. Is it too late for your program? Is there anything we can do?

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