Terrible Tantrums! Please Help!!

Carmen - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Hi there. I've known since my son was about 18 months old that he wasn't like most other toddlers. He was exceptionally busy and would throw terrible tantrums when he didn't get his way. These tantrum would last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. During that time he would be inconsolable and hard to restrain (at 18 months!). My son was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 and the diagnoses was no surprise to me as I'd suspected it for quite some time. When he was in kindergarten we started him on Clonidine as he was constantly getting into trouble at school. His teached said he couldn't get him to focus, he was disrupting the class and when he lost his temper he would throw massive fits which would lead to kicking and hitting any adult that got in his way. He is 6 now and continues to have "melt downs". That is what we call them now. He can be just fine and then something will set him off and there is no reckoning with him. He will yell, scream, cry, and kick or hit the wall. We often have to carry or even drag him to his room because he is so hard to restrain. We've just moved into a new house and he has already kicked a hole in his door because we have to lock him in his room when he gets like that. We have a 3 month old baby to worry about now too. We don't think he'd hurt her because he doesn't hit children just adults, but he does upset her with his horrible tantrums. They are now getting to the point where they have lasted up to 4 hours! Does anyone else have these problems with their ADHD kid?? And if so, do you have any suggestions on how to deal with them? We've tried everything we can think of from ignoring him, to baragining with him, trying to diffuse the situation, locking him in his room, spanking him even (which just escalates it)! We're at our wits end and none of the professionals that we've spoke to seem to have any other ideas for us either! It's taking its toll on my relationship with my fiance (step-fater) who feels like a lousy parent because he can't handle the situation. Please Help!!!

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Angela - posted on 06/17/2012

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My 7 yr old son is diagnosed with ADHD and Bipolar he is on Stratera, Risperdone, Clonidine, and Seroquel. He is still experiencing "fits" extreme anger and rages whenever things do not go his way. We keep increasing the Risperdone to no change as of yet. The only reason we medicate our son is due to his extreme impulses and the danger that it poses to himself and to others. He is too big for me to restrain so I have to hold the door shut to his bedroom to get him to calm down. He has now broken his bedroom door. He is an angel at school and shows no sign of voilence there. He also sees a therapist to try to curb some of these behaviors. Nothing seems to be working. It will be interesting to see what challenges we may face this summer. Good luck to anyone who has the same struggles.

Lindsay - posted on 06/16/2012

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I know this was posted some time ago but I'm sure other parents are in your same situation. Your son's story practically MIMICS my son! Your son may not be able to control his behavior because his BODY won't let him. PLEASE take a moment to read my son's story and consider it as an option. It may prevent a lot of frustration! http://mypickyglutenfreekid.blog.com/201...

Shelly - posted on 04/13/2010

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My 7yo dd acts the same way. Most of her "fits" are at home. If you look at the Straterra posts I told a little of what we're going through. Its a day-by-day thing. I'm, with the therapist, are going to dd med check next week and seeing about more testing. Also I'm looking at a possible med change. If it shows she is definatly bi-polar then the one med she is on could cause more manias. As if I really need that!! Hopefully things will start getting better us and for all that have to suffer with this. Good luck to all.

Carmen - posted on 04/12/2010

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We're waiting until the summer to try different medication so that we don't disrupt how well he's doing at school. It's just at home that we're having the major issues. Nobody has ever even suggested bipolar but I'll look into it. His mood is often quite stable though just with wicked bad temper...Thanks for the suggestion.

Shelly - posted on 04/11/2010

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Have you tried a different kind of medication? What about more testing for bi-polar? My 7yo dd acts the same way these are the things we're trying.

Carmen - posted on 04/11/2010

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Thanks for the response ladies. Firstly, Tammy, we've tried those things too which when he's on the verge of a melt down just serve to make things worse. Some times I'm able to head them off at the pass with distracting him to other things but even that only helps sometimes and it depends on my mood. No matter how hard i try to be the epitome of patience, there are times that I just can't deal with the melt downs and make things worse by responding. We just bought a new house and moved in less than a month ago and he's already put a hole in his door.



I think you're right Michelle that he is on the wrong meds and we are going to make chnages during the summer so as not to disrupt things at school since he's doing very well there now that he's ina behavioural management class. He's done so well that they want to re-integrate him back into a regular classroom in the fall. I've discussed the possibility of ODD with both his pediatric psychiatrist (yes he has seen one) and his pediatrician who specializes in children with neurological disorders such as ADHD and neither seem to either want to label him as such or beleive he has it..which option I'm not sure though. He is normally a very sweet, gentle kid that wants to please but he goes through cycles where he is very difficult. I don't know if you're son goes or went thourgh cycles like mine or if he was difficult on a regular basis...



Thank you both of you!

Michelle - posted on 04/08/2010

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First of all I don't think his medication is right, I would be going back to the dr.and ask if there is anything else you can try. Second of all has your son seen a pediatric psychiatrist as they are the ones who should be doing the diagnosis of ADHD and from the sounds of it your son is like mine was at age 4 and 5 and he also as a disorder that goes hand in hand with ADHD it is called oppositional diffiance disorder and it requires and totally different meds then the ADHD
Here is the definition of ODD

In children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), there is an ongoing pattern of uncooperative, defiant, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that seriously interferes with the youngster’s day to day functioning. Symptoms of ODD may include:

* Frequent temper tantrums
* Excessive arguing with adults
* Often questioning rules
* Active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules
* Deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people
* Blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
* Often being touchy or easily annoyed by others
* Frequent anger and resentment
* Mean and hateful talking when upset
* Spiteful attitude and revenge seeking

If this sounds like your son talk to your Dr. about it as my son did a complete 180 when he started his meds and now is an above average student in school. Also on another note my son takes Adderall xr for the ADHD and Risperadone for the ODD and there are very few side effects and is doing very well on them hope this helps.

Tammy Jo - posted on 04/08/2010

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My 8 year old has awful meltdowns - not as often now that he is medicated - but he still has them from time to time. Before the meds, they were daily and could last up to 3 - 4 hours. Nothing worked. We couldnt do 'time outs' because he wouldnt stay in the time out chair. If we put him in his room, he would come right out. The whole time he is just wailing at the top of his voice - kicking - stomping - pushing the furniture around - and saying horrible, hurtful things. It was awful.



Now what we are doing is taking his things away [video games, tv time, outside play time, etc] after warning him to settle down or we would take it. Usually the thought of loosing something he values will nip it in the bud...but there are those times when even that doesnt work. Still, the melt downs dont last as long now when they do happen...so I have to try to remind myself how far we've come.



It is still very stressful when it happens, as it seems to happen at the worst possible times. [i.e. when I am sick, or have work to complete for my job, or we have plans to be somewhere at a certain time].



I dont know if I've helped you at all, but I understand what you are going through. :-(

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