ADHD and aggression

Dawn - posted on 01/29/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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I don't know what to do anymore. I am at my wit's end. My son is 5 years old. He has not been "officially" diagnosed with ADHD because he is apparently too young. I am looking for a child psychiatrist to get the ball rolling.



Some background info. My Dh and I adopted our son from foster care. He came to us, his fourth home, when he was 22 months old. He was removed from his bio mom at birth. He was prenatally exposed to cocaine and alcohol and tested positive for both at delivery.



He attends a preschool disabled program with an IEP for speech and readiness. His teacher describes him as high maintenance but can be easily redirected.



We try to control the ADHD with the Feingold all natural diet. Overall, he's a great little kid but lately he has been very physically aggressive towards everyone in the house. Last week, he tore his room apart including the mattress off the bunk bed. Last night, among throwing toys and spitballs at me, he threw a wooden rolling pin at me. Tonight, after a reasonably good day, we went to his room for bed and story time and found his closet doors and dresser full of dings. He banged on them with his sister's doll crib leg. He breaks all his toys and then his sister's toys. When he doesn't get his way, he attacks her, knocking her down and biting her. She is his 4 years old biological sister with a similar history but no behavioral/ learning problems. He lies about everything. If he thinks he may be in trouble, he yells, "Don't hit me" or "Don't spank my butt". We don't spank....ever!!! This really bothers me. I am afraid someone will believe him and call the authorities



His toys were removed from his room and put in his playhouse outside. He tells us he hates us and he's going to hurt us one way or another. I just don't understand. My DH and I are not violent people.



I just don't know what to do anymore...He is small now but I am afraid of his actions when he's older.

Thanks, I just needed to vent.

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10 Comments

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Tracy - posted on 03/13/2012

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Hi (Cathy Camarena - posted on 01/30/2009)



Every child reacts differently to the ADHD medications that are available. My 7.5 yo daughter cannot take any Methylphenidate (Ritalin) based medications. They make her aggressive to the point of violence – slapping me and stepping on the cat’s tail because she’s mad. Without medication or with Amphetamine based medications she’s fine.



One website I recommend to all parents with ADHD kids is http://www.pediatricneurology.com/full.h...



It's actually just one chapter from an book, but it’s great for understanding your kids behaviors and can help you decide if there’s more than ADHD involved.



Another plus - it a great visual tool to use with teachers, breaking down all the behavioral issues of ADHD. When a teacher can see in print why an ADHD child lies, she/he’s more likely to address the behavior instead of just punishing it.

Cathy - posted on 01/30/2009

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I have an almost 5 year old son.  He was diagnosed with AD/HD at age 3.  We waited to put him on meds as long as possible but finally did it when he was four and a half.  He has been on Adderall since Aug.  His preschool teachers and I have noticed improved concentration and less impulsive/risk taking behaviors.  The problem is that I have noticed his temper has become violent.  He has always been stubborn and hard to redirect but frankly I've been frightened by the changes in his temperment.  I read on another site some instances of increased aggression in children taking Adderall.  The agression appears to disappear with other AD/HD medication.  I am wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences.



I am so glad I found you guys.

Carolyn - posted on 01/30/2009

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Wow, I am so sorry you are having to deal with this.



My daughter was aggressive and very angry at the world it seemed. Disciplining her was very difficult as she just seemed so much stronger than me. I had to nag and go from Dr to Dr before I found one that directed me to my current one. Here is SA ADHD is pretty much shrugged off in most circles and the child is labelled as being "difficult" or "a brat" and its pretty much blamed on the mother and her mothering skills so finding someone to help me was a struggle.Keep on nagging and talking to everyone who will listen...someone will eventually direct you to someone who will help.

Patty - posted on 01/30/2009

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My son was adopted at 21 months and we had all the same issues. I thought for sure someone would knock on my door and arrest me for the reaction he had when someone would tell him no. You need to take him to a CHILD Therapist and if that doesn't help your Dr. then I would get a different Dr for him. My pediatritian diagnosed my son at age 4 after I had him to a Child Therapist. We reluctantly did Adderall after behavior modification didn't do enough. He had a TERRIBLE violent reaction to it and I was told he shouldn't be on any stimulant meds. I was offered another type of medication but was so afraid of the same reaction. Well, we spent THOUSANDS of dollars on biofeedback as well as diet changes and it was not working. Once issues happened again when school started we put him on Strattera. OMG I never knew this little boy as well as I do now. He is still a fiesty 5 year old boy but the love and joy I get from him now compared to the anger/violent behavior/defiant behavior I had gotten it is like night and day. I had to go on Cymbalta because of him hitting me and my daughter, spitting on me. He told me he wanted to hurt me really bad. Well, now if I say ouch he is the first one there to help me. PLEASE put him on meds, your lives will be so much better. Hugs and love, Patty D.

Danielle - posted on 01/30/2009

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Dawn, your story is so familiar that I am in tears. I know what your going through! My son was admitted to the stabilization center at age 4 and then again this past October (age 7) for the same issues. Keep pushing! I had to be very proactive and "nag" the doctors and school officials to do anything or look into his behavior problems. I finally found a psychiatrist who did a complete battery of tests to see what was going on. It took me a while to get anyone to listen to me. He is not too young to start treament and testing! Keep pushing them, they will listen. The school can be your best ally in the road to treatment and diagnosis! Your family is in my prayers!

Marlee - posted on 01/30/2009

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wow, i totally feel you right now my daughter just turned 4 and she is going threw the same thing, since she was born she lived with me and her dad visited mostly everyday now we live together finally and i'm not sure if its because she isnt use to living with him but like i said they saw eachother mostly everyday which makes no sence to me, Also in Aug we had another baby so that could also be another thing bothering her. I have tried talking to her and spending as much time as I can with just her when the baby sleeps and when dad is home from work because I take care of them all day because im on maternity leave right now and im finding it extra stressful she freaks out and screams and cries jumps up and down and stomps her feet when we ask her to do the smallest things we have got to the point where just about everything we ask of her when know its going to be a battle before we open our mouths. The other day I asked her to put her coat and boots on and she freaked out and pulled my hair, bit me and threw herself on the floor. She has also slapped me across the face and we try to be as consistant as we can by putting her in the corner for a 4min time out because i was told one min for each year older and the time doesnt start until she sits facing the corner as asked and its even battle just trying to get her to sit there she usually tries to get up and get toys or run away usually takes us 10-15mins before the 4mins initionally starts. Im fed up and i donno what to do anymore and im having the same problem shes too young for medication or anything but i can only imagine that its ADHD because her dad has it, other then that shes a great kid lol

Emma - posted on 01/30/2009

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my heart goes out to you. this is very simular to my son, who has thankfully grown past this stage. keep strong keep the boundrys firm, and let the services know regulary what is happening they will soon help you.... it does  get better. my son is now 9 and tnow akes concerta he has been on this medication for only 2 months and has increased his concertration at school.



when he wasnt on meds i used to give him regular fish oils and plenty of outdoor activities! good luck

Lisa - posted on 01/30/2009

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If it helps...go to your local mental health clinic..we did and they were able to get the ball rolling..we had to take away all fighting games, toys, cartoons...then since his medication has taken he can play with those things and is fine..good luck to you!

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I do not know if this will help, but your story sound svery similar to mine. My son is not adopted but we have had alot of the same problems. My daughter who is 5yrs older than him has no aggression issues. I took pictures of the distruction my son was causing and took them to the doctor with me. It helped them to see that I was not overreacting. I also put my son on Mona-vie, which is just 19 whole fruits in a juice. He is on Concerta know as well. The Mona-vie seems to help with the aggresion and the Concerta seems to help his attention span. I do not know what the answer is for your son but I will keep your family in my prayers. Sometimes it just helps to know you are not alone.

Jennifer

Renee - posted on 01/29/2009

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My heart goes out to you. I would suggest contacting your schools committee on special education if he has iep hes in thier system already and ask them for the names of some recommended developmental pediatricians in your area. My son was diagnosed at 3 so 5 is not to young however most pediatricians acknowldge that its a favorit term used by schools and is not always correct. A developmental pediatrician will now all the things to test for not just adhd. Good luck hang in thier your his best advocate.

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