My son is struggling with violent outbursts..

Kortni - posted on 02/07/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My son (7 years old) has always had complex medical issues that have made even simple things seem very frustrating. At first it was being expelled from every school and daycare through kindergarten and now he seems to be doing better at school with medication (Focalin). He has been fighting with me on everything from brushing his teeth to sitting down in a chair. He now gets so frustrated he screams and attacks me. He is 50lbs and over half my size. He has stared charging me, hitting, kicking and biting. Over Christmas he did this at a Christmas musical and left bruises on my arms, and now he has started attacking me with toys as weapons (plastic swords,etc). I have taken access to video games and TV away from him and have taken away any swords etc he has from halloween costumes. I have tried EVERY discipline measure in the book. Any thoughts on what I could do? He is diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, and possibly bipolar disorder. I also have a new baby at home that I worry about. She is only 7 months old and I dont want her to get hurt during one of his outbursts. I love him very much and want everyday to not be such a struggle for him.

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Katie - posted on 07/20/2012

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My 8yr old is ADHD, ODD and Mood disorder with aggression and right now we're on Intuniv and seroquil. We tried Concerta a couple days ago and he went into a rage that ended us up at the ER at the childrens hospital because he tried coming thru a glass door at me with a shovel. He just woke up with another rage that he says he just woke up angry and has no idea why other than he was mad that I somehow got him calmed down from. I'm not sure if its the seroquil thats causing it since he's only been on it a few weeks or what. We start school on the 8th of August and I'm praying we have an OK school year this year. Anyone else have issues with Seroquil? He's on 300mg.

Dawn - posted on 02/11/2010

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Please consider behavior modification. Examine your own reaction as well. Somehow he thinks he has the upper hand. My daughter was a head banger and biter and was kicked out of 3 daycares and I was investigated for her having a black eye from hitting it during a head banging tantrum before I finally gave in to putting her on meds. It took a social worker empathic to my plight begging me to do so to get it done. Thank the dear Lord I did. I almost put her in a foster home feeling I had failed her. Now we are fine. But it took changing my behavior and following thru on disipline as well as learning and testing out various ways of modifying behavior. I now use a system called CHIPS where she earns chips of different points (I use poker chips and assign them different point values) that she can cash in with me for privileges. I have a list of priveleges she can pick from. This includes a set amount of time for TV, listening to the Ipod, going to the park, 20 minutes of my undivided attention doing something she wants like painting her nails-doesn't have to cost anything. When she doesn't do what she's supposed WITH the attitude I expect, I take chips from her instead. That means if she still does her homework but it's with whining and complaining and taking an hour to a 15 minute worksheet, she doesn't earn a chip and quite possibly gets one taken away. Be very consistent and routine. Make lists for his morning, after school and bedtime routine. Make him come up w/ ideas about how to handle situations and his feelings so he's prepared next time. Let him know he has choices and some are better than others. Bad choices will lead to consequences. Get his teacher/principal in on this as well. My daughter's teacher did a behavior sticker chart at school which worked well with chips at home. Hold him in your lap during time outs. I also have my daughter taking Tae Kwon Do with terrific results. You may be reluctant like I was w/ a violent child learning that but it burns off physical energy but it teaches respect, discipline, self reflection and making responsible choices. I also enlisted my daughter in training our dogs, helping and being responsible for another being helped teach her kindness and gave her an ego boost knowing they depended on her. She also reads to them as well to help her with that. I have lots of ideas if you need more. Ask your school about getting him an IEP or EAP evaluation, can't quite remember what it's called but something like that. Don't know if I got the letters right but they should know what your talking about. They will evaluate him for disabilities and work with you on a plan for him.

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Jennifer - posted on 08/17/2012

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I too have a seven year old how has the violent outburst. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD but there have been signs of Aspergers syndrome from what i have been told. They ruled out bi-polar and a few other things. We have also had a problem with him pooping his pants. We thought it was the meds he was on. We started on risperidone and then went to metadate and he seemed to get worse. They had him on abilify with them and there was no chance. Now he shakes and attacks me when i tell him no and says he hates me and that he wants to run away. Nothing i do ever helps. I have tried time outs as well as taking things from him and making him stay in his room for hours at a time. We are now at the point where we have everything out of his room except his bed for him to sleep on. Even then he dont sleep and takes medication to sleep. He does fine at school for the most part and he does fine sometimes when we are in public but it seems to be when i tell him he can not have something or do something he wants to do is when it all starts. I feel like i have done everything i can to try and chance the behavior but also feel like im being sent in circles with the drs we have been seeing. We even went to childrens to try and see if we can get more testing done and everyone keeps telling me its just adhd and i feel as it can be more. As a parents i fear that something else maybe really wrong with my son.

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Sounds like a lot of struggles. I have two kids with ADHD, one with more anger and frustration issues. They are both on meds. 6 year old on Adderall XR and 7 year old on Medadate. Meds are working, but what really has the most impact is their diet. If we make an error in the diet I can tell! THe 7 year old gets load, frustrated and angry. The diet is the key. We do the Feingold program. I highly recommend it. We have been doing it for about 2 months and the kids have been educated along the way on what foods are healthy for them and what they are not allowed to have. And in my amazement they enjoy the diet wayyyy more than I thought they would. We did not cut out all junk food...it is just all natural and organic 'junk food'. Good Luck and please check out Feingold.

Shelly - posted on 04/08/2010

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I too have a violent ADHD child. She is 7. She, Jennie, went after my oldest dd,14, with a butcher knife and said she was going to kill her. Jennie also hits, bites, and choked my 3yo dd. She throws temper tantrums, whines, thows things, disrespects, and defies and lies constantly. Jennie hasn't been diagnosed as bi-polar yet. I have bi-polar severe depression, borderline We have a therapist that comes into the house. Jennie is on Straterra and Risperdal. She also has a psychiastrist and regular dr.. They are trying to rule out a personality disorder too.
I read on another site that Risperdal increases/causes more manias. I'm planning on getting her med. changed. I'm also going to push for more testing. I've talked to her school about getting her tested for a LD. the school counselor should be calling me soon. They have 45 school days to do it.
If ya'll wanna chat about this I really could use it. I feel like things are moving backwards instead of forwards. The therapist is "still getting to know her". Give me a break! I want this to move a little faster. I know it takes time but,...

Nicole - posted on 03/25/2010

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YOU ARE THE PARENT! DON'T FORGET IT! TAKE CONTROL! That being said, try Risperdal (generic- risperdone). Get your child in therapy, and then anger management group. Yes- they do have them for kids that young. My son was just in one. I do feel your pain. I have 3 kids with ADHD/2 have it combined with ODD. You'll get through this just take it day by day and get him on the right meds for him. Good luck!

Jeannie - posted on 02/27/2010

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I agree with all the behavioral management techniques. I did several with my son when he was younger. We did the STARS program and when he got a little older the CHIPS program. Through a counselor, we found out that a lot of times our ADHD children are not being challenged enough. I had to keep something going ALL the time. I called it "Moms deep pockets". For every five mins of the day, I had something new to do in case he got bored, sometimes that wasn't even enough. Also these children don't always know how to express thier feelings correctly or have failed in the past getting thier point or feelings across and get extremely frustrated. I did find that counselling helped in so many measures for my son, and after I found him holding a hammer over his younger sisters head one night getting ready to bash her a few times, I broke down and took him to counselling. Thank God I did when I did. It helped greatly! Good luck, sure you can find some great suggestions in these posts, they seem very helpful from everyone!

Dawn - posted on 02/18/2010

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If I can find my bible for ADHD in children that my daughter's doctor gave me, I'll post the title. If I could afford to give this book to every parent who has a child with bipolar or ADHD, I would. It has the chips system in it that I use. We also use role playing, deep breathing, imagery. Time ins and time outs. Time outs w/ ADHD kids aren't the same. We use gentle restrain if necessary. That means doing the time out with them by quietly picking them up and sitting them in your lap with your arms around theirs. Usually I just say sshhh over and over until my daughter is calm. Some ppl say this is fluffy, my doc says when you have a child whom is temporarily out of control, the goal becomes doing what's necessary to bring them back to logic. The method doesn't matter just the fact that you help bring your child back to calm so you can reason with them is what counts. Calm them first so they can think, then talk, discipline, whatever you need to accomplish.

Kortni - posted on 02/15/2010

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thanks for all the advice! I have alot to consider and appreciate your wisdom!

Toni - posted on 02/10/2010

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BIPOLAR SOUNDS LIKE MY SON TO A T-- AND HE WAS DIAGNOSED IN 2001--WITH ALL 3 PLUSE DEPRESSION...HOWEVER IT WASNT UNTIL HE STARTED TAKING LITHIUM THAT HE BECAME TOLERABLE AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE HAD A FEW GREAT YEARS WITHOUT WALKING ON EGG SHELLS...TRY IT OUR SON WAS 6 WHEN THEY STARTED MEDICATIONS BUT HE WASNT STABLE FOR 5 YEARS AND NOW HE IS A TEENAGER AND STARTING TO BECOME OUT OF CONTROL AGAIN..I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO AT THIS AGE...GOOD LUCK
TONI LEE

Priscilla - posted on 02/09/2010

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Hi there? Did the aggressive behaviour begin before the meds or after? My son exploded after we started him on Ritalin He was also 7). He attacked me physically on a regular basis and time out or any other discipline had no effect - in fact made it worse! He also became suicidal and extremely unhappy. I eventually took him off the meds even though it helped with the school work because we could not live with the behaviour. Over time the aggression lessened and now (he is 11) it is much better although he is still more volatile than his older brother (who has to bear the brunt). The school work is still a major problem and I am taking him to be tested again to see if there is any change in the areas that he struggled with.

Good luck.

Tanya - posted on 02/08/2010

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Sounds more like my oldest rather than my child with ADHD. My question is have you considered counselling? Counselling and behavior modification can help tremendously! i also suggest that you see if any agencies in your area do respite care for children. I had respite for my son once a week and it helped tremendously. An adult kinda like a big brother or big sister would take him for 1-2 hours just to give me a break which lets admit all of us moms need from time to time. Plus it actually helped his behavioral issues because he would get rewarded with special outings with other children in the program if his behavior was up to par. You son isn't bad his behavior is a call for help and he's doing it mostly to you because he knows your safe to vent on. Continue to love him and look into some programs in your area. I wish you the best of luck.

Anitta - posted on 02/08/2010

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i struggled for years and found most af the discipline crap didnt work. i tried everything imaginable! routine works, give him a place to vent his tantrum outbursts like a rug. if he hits you with one of his toys, explain that it is wrong to hurt mummy or whoever he hit and take it. hide it if he takes it back but return it when he has proven he is responsible. try brushing his teeth in the bath, and medication is more effective when used with diet control, we have a few no-nos in our house like red cordial. when my child was younger we banned most lollies like skittles and m&ms, certain fruits, all fizzy drinks except 1 brand of lemonade and all potato crisps except 1 brand. diet control is all trial and error so keep a food diary so you remember what set him off. wishing you all the best

Melissa - posted on 02/08/2010

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I feel for you. First, who gave him his diagnosis? Pediatrician? Psychiatrist? I guess I would go and get an appt. with a behavior specialist to rule out anything else. I am a special ed. teacher and find that the ADHD, ODD and Bipolar "cocktail" gets diagnosed way too much. It could be anything else, so I would get another opinion even with an autism specialist just to rule other things out. I would also try doing behavior management charts. E-mail me if you want some suggestions---kidsfirst6@yahoo.com. I can help you set them up, give hints for home, etc. The other idea I have is to chart his behavior. Take a blank calendar page and write in the time, event, etc. that led up to his outburst. You may see a pattern. Again, feel free to e-mail me for advice, support, etc. Take care!

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