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I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I need opinions and I don't have anyone else to get them from.
My son Christopher has been diagnosed with ADHD since just before he was 7. We suspected it for some time prior to that, or at least I did. His father, now my ex-husband, didn't want to believe there was anything wrong with him. He has also been diagnosed with a non-specific learning disability, and anxiety disorder. I recently had him evaluated for Asperger's, but that was a no-go. It's very difficult for a psychologist to see in a one hour session in a clinical environment what I see at home. I just feel like there's something going on besides the ADHD. He's extremely immature for his age. He's 12, but most of the time he acts about 6 or 7. Intellectually though, he acts smarter than his 14 year old brother, Steven.
He's got a very violent temper and when he gets upset, he cannot control his impulses. He will hit or push or scratch (I have a hard time getting him to sit still for me to cut his nails, and I swear they grow about a quarter inch every night!) his brother anytime he says something that makes him mad. Very recently, Steven called Christopher an ugly potato (what does that even mean??) and he scratched Steven's face so bad, a clerk at a gas station actually asked if he had been in a car wreck. We have tried every "punishment" we can think of, from spanking, to time outs, to grounding, to taking away privileges. Nothing works. If we confine him to his room as a consequence for misbehaving, he will destroy things or write on the furniture.
He is also extremely sensitive, and gets upset over very minor things. I recently fussed at him for eating ALL of his and some of his brother's Halloween candy. It was a Saturday morning, and he hadn't had his medicine (Vyvanse, which works wonders) yet. I started to get it out, and he informed me that he wasn't going to take his medicine and I couldn't make him. I calmly told him that if he was going to act like that, he couldn't live with me. This was the first time I'd ever said anything like that, but he started screaming about how I hated him and I didn't want him because I was always telling him to leave (again, first time I'd ever said that). I tried explaining to him how the entire family bends over backwards to make him happy, giving him examples of things we did for him that we didn't have to do. None of it sunk in. He went storming out the door still screaming about how everyone hates him, and we all wish he would go away. "Everyone hates me" is a very common theme with him. As is running out the door. Thankfully, we live out in the country and he has plenty of room to wander around and very few neighbors to see his outbursts. He always comes back in after a little while and acts like nothing happens.
One time we were at a restaurant that had ping pong tables, and he had a paddle in his hand. I don't remember what was said, but I said something that made him mad and he acted like he was going to hit me with it. Another time, more recently, he was mad/sad again and got a knife out of the drawer. I made him put it back, and it was just the plain knife that comes with flatware (we call them butter knives, but it's bigger and slightly sharper than a true butter knife), but it was still a knife, and he has access to sharper, more dangerous knives. At his age, it's difficult to keep things where he can't get to them. I asked him later what he was going to do with it, and I never really got an answer. He went to counseling for a while, but he hated his therapist and wouldn't listen to anything she said. I didn't see the point in him continuing. There's only one other place close by, the county mental health center, and I've been reluctant to go there, because if I do, he'll have to stop seeing the behavioral/developmental pediatrician he's been seeing since he was diagnosed. The mental health center has told me if they see him for counseling, then they want to see him for everything. I'm about to the point where if it will actually do some good, I'm willing.
At school, he behaves ok for the most part, although he has had some minor issues with his teachers in the past. He receives academic support, and we both love that teacher. He is graded with accommodations, and takes tests in small groups. His grades for the first quarter were mostly Cs, with one D in social studies, and I can't fault him for that. His social studies teacher doesn't really "teach" he just basically shows them the material and lets them sort it out on their own. I have met him and am not fond of him, but the teachers teach in "teams" at that school, and in order to change social studies teachers, he'll have to change teams. He likes the rest of his teachers, and I don't want to make him change all his teachers because of one subject. He doesn't make friends easily, and some kids pick on him. This happens mostly on the bus, but the school is over 10 miles from our house, and I don't have the money to spend on gas to drive 40+ miles a day just to drop him off at and pick him up from school.
Since about the time he started school, I've been in school or only working part time, but I've recently started working full time, second shift. I only see him for about an hour in the mornings during the week. I leave for work before he gets home from school and I get home after he's in bed. My husband takes care of him and his brother the rest of the time. This is turning out to be more difficult than I originally thought it would be. With my current work schedule, I can't take him to counseling without pulling him out of school, and I really don't want to do that. He struggles enough with his work as it is. I went to the social security office today and made an appointment to apply for SSI for him. I applied once before, shortly after he was diagnosed, and was turned down. I didn't pursue it any further at that time, but his temper tantrums (for lack of a better term) have gotten worse since then, and he has had some therapy, so I'm hoping that her notes will help his chances, unlike last time when he only had the developmental/behavioral pediatrician's records for them to go off of.
I guess what I'm asking is does this sound like typical ADHD behavior, or do you think there are some other problems as well? I'd appreciate any feedback.
Last edited by litlcntrygrl; November 18th, 2013 at 10:21 PM.
Reason: Hit the wrong button and posted before I was finished
My son sounds very much like your son. Thankfully he is much better (knock on wood) with his younger brother, but he has very up and down behavior. My 10 yr old was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD and dsythmia with possible ASD. He is very smart and does well in school, but he has social issues, behavior issues, regulatory issues, maturity issues and meltdowns. He had a huge meltdown this morning because I asked him to pick up his things, and he wanted to play. We are on day 2 of Vyvanse and I'm hoping that things get better. I can see already though that his sleeping might be affected which worries me and his anxiety/irritability seems to be up. I took my son off of Concerta the beginning of Oct. to try the gluten/casein/dye free diet. His mood greatly improved, and he began sleeping really well again and his anxiety was down. He was not able to focus at school and pay attention though and his schoolwork suffered. So I guess what I'm saying is how much of it do you think is his behavior and how much do you think could be the side effects of the meds? I'm really in a similar boat because I feel like could it be something else going on. So sorry not much help, but know you are not alone. It definitely feels like so much more though then just ADHD.
It actually was a lot of help just reading your post. It's nice to get validation for my feelings. For the most part, his moods improve when he's had his medication, although the impulse control is still a problem. The meltdowns are *usually* before he has had his meds, or if he hasn't had them (his father isn't the most responsible person in the world and if Chris is spending time at his house, then sometimes he doesn't get his meds, and some of those days happen to be when he comes back to me). I think I'm going to take him to the county mental health clinic as soon as we get our medicaid straightened out. We never received a re-certification form in the mail and it was terminated because we didn't turn it in (hard to turn it something you never got and didn't know was coming!).
Hi my son is 7 and has been having similar problem since he was 3, He hasn't been diagnosed with anything, but his school head teacher has said something isn't right, and she believes he has something, although she isn't sure what. He has a child educational psychologist visting him at school, she has been twice so far. his teacher has suggested getting him tested for ADHD, but his doctor dismissed it after seeing him for the first time for 2 minutes, he said he stood to still, really that's what he said. He said he would speak to the school and send him to a psychiatrist to discover why he behaved badly and to deal with him bad behaviour, which he hasn't done, nor spoken to the school.
He doesn't sleep, is awake until about 11 every night even though he is in bed by 7.i have tried everything to get him to go to sleep earlier from removing all toys from his room to long lavender filled baths, nothing works. he is awake from 5 everyday and still runs around everyday playing his school know this an have said he doesn't act tired or anything there, so I know its not him being tired that causes his problems. I will briefly explain what he is like and then hopefully if you can give me any insight or suggestions it will be welcome.
He is a very bright little boy and when is teacher can get him to do work in class he is able to do work way above his age level, he is loves reading and knowing facts and he is reading is at a level normal for a 12 year old, in maths he works at a 10 year level but finds this lot more boring so his teacher struggles to get him to complete work.
The problem is other then sleeping he just doesn't stop, he is constantly moving around and not sitting still, he has huge temper tantrums, and is violent to me, his teachers and his older sisters, as well as his school friends. He has bitten, punched, kicked and thrown chairs at the head teacher.
He wont do as he is told and if told to do something he doesn't want to do he completely looses it and cries and screams then starts kicking etc. He knows he will always end up doing it any way so I am unsure why he does this. occasionally he will just do it but everyday task such as tidying his room cause huge problems and take him 4 hours instead of 5 mins as they is only a tiny amount of toys out. At tea time he constantly fidgets and swings on his chair, at school they have removed it for fear he will fall off it, so he stands and they find he does more work and he will fidget and move round while he works. His teacher is fantastic and has got him a box of things to fiddle with during class discussions, to help him sit still and concentrate. he is able to go to her if he needs to talk or calm down even if she is teaching another class. My worry is his next teacher wont be so understanding. Although his school have been very good and understanding, the head has told me one more incident and he will be expelled as they can not handle him when he kicks off, if he is violent I have to leave work to collect him from school, which he hates as he loves school. So I know he isn't just doing it to come home.
He is very sensitive and always kicks off if something in his eyes isn't fair, if his older sister calls him a name he will just cry and then hit her and wont understand why he gets into trouble. he cries a lot over silly things and I think he is immature for his age, I have 4 children 12, 9, 7 and 2 he acts like the 2 year old. He was the same before 2 year old was born and nothing in his life changed to cause it.
He does silly things without thinking, he has jumped down stairs causing a cut on his head, swong on safety gates which he fell and split his head open which I had to get glued, even though he still does this, he has put his whole hand on a iron, even though he know it was on and he said he knew it would burn him, etc. when I ask him why he just says he doesn't know and couldn't stop himself. I find him downstairs when I am in bed messing with the oven etc. I am so scared he will hurt himself I now lock him in his room whilst I am asleep. as he doesn't seem to understand the danger of what he does.
I am sorry this is so long I am just at my witts end and do not know what to do as I have problems with hime everyday and the other 3 children don't behave like this. Any advice or suggestion would be helpful. Thank you for your time.
I am a mother of 2 ADHD children. My son is 13 and was diagnosed at 7. My daughter is 9 and was diagnosed at 6. My son went through all the symptoms you are describing. He has been on numerous different meds over the years. For past 3 years he has been on Concerta in morning and takes Risperdone at bedtime. After years of calls from school and complete chaos at home, he is finally a stable mild mannered boy who is doing good in school and getting along well with others. I think you need to find another doctor and get him on the right meds before he hurts somebody. on't give up!! Eventually you will find what works for him. My daughter only has focus issues at school. She is also on Concerts. Good luck!!