Your son's school performance, particularly given his age, makes it unlikely that ADHD is a major feature of his makeup, if it is present at all. Sometimes we see young children who do display ADHD, do well early in school (e.g., first-third grades) in spite of it, and then show more problems as the curriculum demands increase in fourth, fifth grades etc. Do the school personnel suggest that your son has a speech or language problem? It's not likely he could be receiving all A's in school if he has any significant S&L problem, but check with them to see what they think. Also, address a question to whomever diagnosed the ADHD: if the condition is anything but minor in severity, how is he able to succeed at such a high level in school? Now, it's not impossible that the two (i.e, ADHD and good school performance) can go hand-in-han - it's just a bit unusual. Is it being suggested that you try your son on some medication? A several-month trial would be reasonable to see if it is useful.
It is because of his behaviour at home (has a short temper, is ultra-sensitive to criticism and lately wants to hurt himself) that his dad and I took him to see a psychologist who diagnosed him with ADHD and suggested medication. The psychologist did extensive testing on him (questionnaires and asked my son questions for 4 hours). My son score on the I.Q. Math part of the test was over the charts but it was average on reading comprehension (my son only took 20% of the I.Q. test. The psychologist did not think he needed a complete I.Q. test because he said my son was very smart. He got this information from another psychologist he first treated my son 5 months ago).
I am not a psychologist but I suspect my son might have a learning disability as well as some emotional problems. His dad got married a year ago (we separated 3 years ago).
I want to make sure my son indeed has ADHD. I am reluctant to drug kids for a minor problem.
If your son displays any serious learning disability he would be unable to achieve at such a high level at home. Your description of his behavior indicates that it is his mood, more than his activity level/attention that poses a problem at home. If this is so, he might indeed benefit from medication, and a medication like Wellbutrin could both improve his mood/temper and ameliorate the ADHD-type symptoms you observe at home. You should definitely continue your evaluation/treatment process, and a next reasonable step would be an appointment with a child psychiatrist. The doctor can make his/own observations and also make use of the evaluations that have been completed already.
Thank you for your comments. My son will be seeing a child psychiatrist in a couple of weeks. He has already seen two child psychologists: one believed he had oppositional behaviour and the other diagnosed him with ADHD.
I am writing because I am curious about the opposing nature of the behaviors described. Your son exhibits one extreme at home, and the other at school. I would be very careful of jumping to conclude that medication is THE remedy, when it is difficult to even pinpoint the cause of his varying behaviors. I also think it is wise of you to consult yet another child psychiatrist. Especially for children, answers are not black and white or cut and dry. I wish you the best.
A related discussion, ADHD
A related discussion, could my son have ADHD