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ADHD and Anger
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ADHD and Anger

My 9 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD last year (and CAPD) and learning disabilibites, however bright and alert he is in conversation, writing and reading were not easy for him.  He has been going to a special school for learning differences and it has made a huge improvement.

We decided that we did not want to medicate him for his attention disorder, we eat healthy, have a good lifestyle etc.  However he does have anger problems, he tells us after an explosive episode that he is really sorry but cannot help himself.  I asked him to come up with some solutions, hoping that his involvement would make a positive difference and it does help but when he gets really mad (mainly due to frustration) he lashes out at his siblings and/or swears.

Believe me, I have tried many different techniques to help him overcome his anger and swearing and they do work for a while but then it just comes back.  Do you have any ideas that I could try or advice?

Thank you for any help you can give.
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Hello,
  kids with ADHD and learning disabilities are at much higher risk for mood and behavior problems, and it is not wonder when you try to imagine how hard it is for them to meet behavioral expectations at home and school. For kids with ADHD, its especially hard because an essential feature of the disability is poor impulse control. They aren't malicious kids, but they have a very hard time exerting self control.

That said, you can teach him to handle his feelings in better ways. The most efficient would be to find a psychotherapist who specializes in treating kids with ADHD. Many parents of kids with ADHD are coping with similar behaviors, so you are not alone. Find a person who can provide you with training in behavior modification, improving your communication with him and spend some time teaching him ways of coping. If you can not arrange for therapy, here are some books that will give you other ideas:
Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents of Children with ADHD, by Larry Silver
How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk by Adele Faber
Taking Charge of ADHD by Russell Barkley
The Kazdin Method by Alan Kazdin

Best Wishes
Rebecca Resnik
2 Comments
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Poor impulse control is exactly it!  He seems to be able to control himself quite well outside of the house, at school, with friends but he certainly relaxes when at home and the control is gone.  I do understand that it is not his fault, I do not punish him for something he cannot control but we do have "talks" together, hugs, discussions etc.

I love reading so will gladly consult the list you provided and see if some of these methods can work for our son and family.

Thanks once again for "listening" and offering good advice.
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Tali Shenfield, PhDBlank
Richmond Hill Psychology Center
Richmond Hill, ON,
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Rebecca Resnik, PsyDBlank
MindWell Clinical Psychology
Bethesda, MD
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