Child Behavior Forum
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Behavioral Problems

My 7yr. old son has been experiencing behavioral problems in school since the age of two.  He was tested for ADD at hte age of 4 and 5 and the results came back negative.  He displays impulsive behavior such as hitting other children, yelling out in class, getting out of his seat, disregarding class rules, total inappropiate behavior.  He has been expelled from 4 schools since the age two.  All of he schools have been private christian schools.  He is very smart, maintains A's & B's in school.  He is an only child.  His father and I are no longer together; however, he does see him every other weekend.  I took him to a child psychologist on two occasions; however, they could not offer any real soulutions other than ridelin or me working with his teachers, which I've tried; however, at some point the teachers become frustrated and send him to the office which eventually lead to suspensions and expulsion.  I opted to keep in a private school because of the small class size.  Doctors suggested that I maintain him in a small setting.  I have tried discepline him at home spanking, taking away toys, tv, desserts, nothing seems to work.  I tried limited his sweets, giving him natural herbs to calm him at school.  I don't experience these problems with him at home becuase it is just the two of us.  However, he is father stated that he often displays inappropiate behavior when he takes him around his girlfreiend's family.  His father has another son who is a year old.  For the most part, he displays this behavior at school.    Can you please offer me some type of help or suggestions.
7 Responses
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Dear Michelle,

I wouldn't rule out ADHD, even with the prior results. This issue may bear some revisiting. But I would do it in the context of a broader child mental health evaluation, because he's showing some instability that is not typical of ADHD alone. I think it would be wise to seek a second opinion for the purpose of clarifying the diagnostic picture, collaborating with the school, and developing a systematic behavior management plan.
Avatar universal
My son is 5 and has acted in a similar manner as your child for the past year. This year he started kindergarten and is also becoming verbally abusive to his teacher and classmates!
In the past 2 months we have been working with a child psychologist and have found that positive reinforcement works a lot better with children their age than negative. Examples:
if my son is good on the bus and keeps hands to self he gets a snack as soon as he gets home from school.. His teacher sends home notes when he is good instead of bad and if he gets 3 notes in a row ( three days ) we go the the store and buy him a small inexpensive toy.. We bought him a penny bank, and pay him pocket change to clean up his room..etc. His behavior has improved a lot in a short period of time!!
P.S. I do not believe in putting a child on drugs to control their behavior..I think ADHD is a cop-out for Dr.s who don't know what else to tell a frustrated parent about their child's behavior. Hang in there!
Avatar universal
Actually ADD is a legitimate diagnosis.  Brain scans show differences in the brains of people with and with out ADD.  However, it is a diagnosis that takes time to make, and can really only be made over a long period of observation, and rarely at a young age.  There are a variety of different issues that could be involved here, and some of them could be of a physical origin.  Many disorders will not respond to typical, or sometimes any behavioral management if the core disorder is not treated first.  Keep asking questions and looking for doctors who are patient enough to help you find the answers.  Good luck.
Avatar universal
I would get a good assessment/evaluation.  He could have some type of learning problem that causes him to act out in frustration.  He could be in sensory overload at school. Some disorders that have nearly the same symptoms as ADHD are Non-Verbal Learning Disorder and Central Auditory Processing Disorder.  You hate to have your child "labeled" with something, but on the other hand school systems won't give your child the help he needs without a formal diagnosis.  

On the other hand, this may be a maturity issue.  My son, who is 6 now, was doing the same things as your son when he was in K-4 but is doing much better with his behavior as he has matured.  But I have worked with him on his behavior and discussed it a lot - how he feels, why he acts up, why he gets angry, etc. and the appropriate reactions.  I started giving specific praise for good behavior and using rewards for good behavior at school.  This helps to reinforce what you are trying to teach.  You can't go on forever with the rewards, of course, but just a few weeks should do the trick.  I have found that my son talks about everything under the son when I tuck him in bed and he tells me his problems, what he is worried about, etc.  Everyone needs someone to talk to and counsel them - even children.
Avatar universal
myreply is thisheisinkindergardentheteachersaidshehitssomeoneevrydayhehasbeentestedandfoundtobeokwhatcanido
Avatar universal
Bernice:  If he does this only at school it may be a problem with social skills with peers.  My 6 yr old has the same problem.  Therapy can help, plus you need to teach appropriate behavior.  I use every situation I can to point out good behavior and bad behavior.  Some kids have to be taught social skills and peer situations are big stressors.

Go to the Special Ed Director of your school district and ask for help and referrals.
Avatar universal
I have a 6 yr. old grandson who is in first grade now and twin sisters that are just 4 mos. old. He shows great ability in his learning skills, but not with following instructions nor listening when asked to do something at school or at home. He spits and hits the other children on the bus and at school. When he is at recess he will not come in when the bell rings. He got under his his desk one day and would not come out. Almost every day the teacher has called or sent notes home, and one day he even hid the note in his desk, and it has only been a couple of monthes since school has started. His first three years he did not speak a word, he did attend speech therepy in pre-k. The teachers in his class don't know what to do with him other than drop him back down into kindergarten. His parents nor I are sure this is the answer. We have even concidered a child therepist.
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