Child Behavior Forum
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Avatar universal

What can we do?

My 9 year old son has ADHD.  My husband and I try very hard to disapline our son.  We have been through parenting classes and ADHD classes, and nothing seems to work.  Lately, my son's attitude stinks.  When he misbehaves, we used to put him in the corner (a minute per age), that worked when he was younger, but now it is getting worse.  Now that he is older, when he gets in trouble, he stomps his feet, bangs on the wall, sticks his tongue out, or worst of all, smacks his bottom and says, "Who's your daddy!!"  He also has started calling us names and saying that we can't make him do anything.  We have tried talking to him and asking him to behave, it works for a minute, but then he does it again.  We have also tried taking away his privileges such as toys, movies, and playing outside.  We took away his video games and Gameboy, I hid the Gameboy in my purse.  I came home and found out that he went in my purse and got it back, which got him in more trouble.  We don't like to spank our child, but we are thinking it is the only way he will learn.  It is coming up on Halloween, and we are debating wether we should let him go trick-or-treating or make him stay home until he learns to act better.  Also, he is in an after-school program at school and he is getting in trouble there too.  He is just helping himself to snacks when no one is around, thinking he won't get caught, but unfortunately, he did.  He also doesn't tell us the truth or mixes the truth up alot.  We have tried everything.  Is there anything we can do to get our son to start acting better?  Please help!!
9 Responses
242606 tn?1243786248
You've tried some sensible management techniques, and it's important now to settle on a uniform approach so your son will know precisely what to expect (good and bad) as consequences for his behavior. To tell you the truth, the systematic nature of what we do in response to appropriate and inappropriate behavior is sometimes more important than the specific tactic we employ. Is you son taking medication to treat his ADHD? If so, what medication does he take? If not, consider the use of medication as part of the intervention plan. Re: Halloween, I don't think it will be particularly useful to deprive him of this. In the long run, it won't make any difference if you keep him away from the festivities. I encourage parents not to employ special events as behavior management tools, simply because it's not an effective strategy.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply.  Yes my son is on medication for his ADHD.  He is taking Dexedrine, 20mgs in the morning time, and 10 mgs at lunchtime everyday.  It seemed to be working when he first started to take it when he was in first grade it was working, but now that he is in fourth grade, I don't think it works as well.  I have seen commercials and received information about Adderall XR and Concerta.  I was wondering if those medications, being one dose a day, lasting 12 hours, would be better for him.  Please let me know.  Thank you!!
242606 tn?1243786248
Yes, you should definitely have his medication regimen re-evaluated. There are a number of options, and certainly there is something to recommend the longer acting stimulant medications, of which there are several. It is likely he is not adequately medicated at this point.
Avatar universal
My daughter is 9 and exhibiting these similar behaviors and more. We have just completed a series of testing in school to rule out learning disabilities, I am waiting for the results and evals. She has already been tested positive for severe allergies and has been on a regime for 2 years now. She tested negative for lead. We are seeking counseling for social, depression, and/or ADD. She is highly creative, at times extremely emotional.  

In the initial evaluations of her for ADD, I was diagnosed, but she was not, (yet). My family history is ridden with depression and eating disorders. On the paternal side, I think her father has undiagnosed ODD and his sister may be bi-polar. Her father left when she was a small child with no contact after 2 years of age. We have been alone since.

She exhibits behaviors/emotions similar to a young hormonal teenager, the volatility peaks during growth spurts. I am also noting that the rage she seems to experience is exactly what I witnessed with her father when we were together (objects flying, books, tables, shoes).

The kindergarten teachers mentioned social issues, but there were never any serious issues until first grade. The 2nd/3rd teachers were a huge help in buckling her down after a horrid experience with the first grade teacher. The 4th grade teacher is coming in on the tail end of the evaluations, and while she thinks my daughter is a great kid we are both seeing undesired behaviors. I am receiving the brunt of it.  

My daughter is falling behind in school.
Academically: We have an hour of tears and tantrum when it is time to do homework. Her spelling is atrocious; she's behind in reading, behind in math (with the exception of geometry--spatial?) However, she excels in art, social studies, and science. Socially: She is starting to make friends again, and was just invited to her first b-day party (in 3 years).

She has no sense of responsibility, she does not own her actions, they are viewed as a result of other peoples attack on her.  She has gotten better at keeping her hands to herself, but this is sometimes and issue. She cannot/will not apologize.

She has no concept of time, the more hurried we need to be the slower she moves, particularly when I need to leave for work. However, if it to go do something she likes she is out the door and in the car before I finish dressing.  

She's lying, sassy, disrespectful, and argumentative, and I am REAL close to making her eat soap these days.

She doesn't remember simple-age appropriate requests I am constantly repeating them. Her responses are "I aaaaaaaaaam", I wiiiiillllllll" whiney-yelling-screeching responses, as if she too is tired of it. I mean simple as in taking care of her hair, face, teeth, socks, and shoes. OR packing and unpacking her school back, this girl will carry everything she owns back and forth to school everyday if we didn't make arrangements for someone to load and unload her daily.

The outbursts at home go something like this...
The door slams, I remove it, she has to earn it back.
She hates me, I respond with I love you.
She attempts to strong arm or kick me, I try to hug her back or leave the room to let her cry. Although I have taken her to the floor or pinned her to the couch on one or two occasions when she was thoroughly out of control. (She was throwing books and attempted to flip the dining table--no, she never saw her father do this, or me for that matter.)

What works today does not work tomorrow, my attempts for consistency in responses and consequences are often futile.

She won't talk to me; she won't talk to anyone about whatever is making her so angry. She may speak about it 2 days to 2 years later (seriously), but never when it is fresh. When she reflects on it she says, "remember the other day/last week when." Even after month or year has passes.

I am at my wits end with her (single mom with no one at home to intervene). I love my daughter tremendously but I am fearful for her. I think this is bigger than the both of us. I go back and forth wondering if my ADD chaos has caused this or if this is all her own chaos.

I wonder family counseling would be better than going separately. Particularly because she is more responsive when she sees that I have aligned with her other adults and teachers. So then I wonder if it is a respect thing with her and me? Am I just so close that she throws her best shots at me so that she can handle the rest of the world in a calmer manner?! Have I failed her somewhere in her mind?

I have explored and ruled everything I can thing of. Everything that I researched, with the exception of exposure to black mold. I think this may be a very real possibility in our home, and I understand that its affect are very similar to the characteristics of ADD. Is it a coincidence that we moved into this house the summer before kindergarten? That I have recently been diagnosed with ADD? Although my child/teen/20's years have shown textbook traits/behaviors of a person with ADD. My hair began falling out shortly after moving in, and severely sheds in July and August the? (maybe that's just my age or heredity, maybe not.)

I realize this is a lot of info and perhaps not the most appropriate forum to ask, but I can
242606 tn?1243786248
You are on the right track in having your daughter evaluated for some learning problems, and you'll have to proceed in the same fashion relative to her social, emotional and behavioral functioning. With the very strong family history of biologically-based emotional disorders, she is very much at risk. Mood disorder (depression, bipolar d/o) and ADHD are both very likely possibilities. While medication may well be in her future, she'd also benefit, as would you, from outpatient therapy (including parent guidance about behavior management). You are certainbly dealing with more than normal-spectrum childhood behavior problems.
Avatar universal
I posted under 9yo with behavioral problems last week, and have since received new info from school assessments.

Social Worker: Assessed our family life, medical, and historical background through meeting with J and myself independently. She observed for behavioral issues/testing and viewed J to be lethargic during their sessions, yawning and biting her nails, but highly animated when doing artistic therapy. J told her that she doesn't like Mom helping her with homework and that she doesn't like to clean her room and often starts an argument with Mom over it. J feels that she has some friends and shared some fun experiences, but she is afraid that some people don't like her. J said she likes her classmates and that she likes being mixed with 4th and 5th graders. Social Workers overall clinical observation was that J is well adjusted to her home and family life, but exhibits withdrawn and self esteem concerns when in other social environments. Her recommendation is further counseling with the family therapist.

Psychologist: Conducted IQ and further behavioral assessments. In all sessions, J remained on task and attentive, though she continued to bite her nails and complain of being drowsy. However, she did not show any distractibility concerns and succeeded to stump the Psych as her performance during the testing was not indicative of her classroom achievements and/or areas of concerns. The tests used were the WISC III, Woodcock Johnson III, Wexler and BASC Parent/Teacher Rating Scales. J's overall IQ was a 125, indicating that she is highly intelligent and somewhat gifted in comparison to her peers. Her Perceptual Comprehension IQ was 130, indicating that she is highly advance in processing information and details (again lending to my theory of spatial or visual learning), this score was based on verbal discussion testing. J's lower scores were in working memory (98) and short term memory (96), the skills used in daily classroom and home functions, but her long-term memory was again at 130, suggesting she does not retain information the same as other kids of her age or the same as Joe public.

The long and short of the Psychs assessment is that J easily becomes overwhelmed by the amount of stimulation presented in her day to day. She absorbs and records every detail and immediately begins processing and committing to memory, she is so absorbed with this mental process and therefore misses the social or academic cues that are being presented in the forefront. She has a hard time turning off the stimuli and often appears to be daydreaming or "zoning" or evokes a behavioral tangent to distract herself from the continual stimuli. J is a complex thinker but has difficulty with basic learning curriculum and milestones for mathematical, reading, spelling, and memory. She is within the State parameters for having a learning disability, and could be labeled as such for placement eligibility in special ed. Something else that was mention is Dysemia rather than ADD. Dysemia is a mild depression that has all the characteristics of ADD, and could be a result of J's logical thinking/processing skills in contrast to classroom expectations and teaching styles.

As a team we decided that we would not put her in special ed, but would continue working together to bring J's BASICS to an age appropriate level. We will reconvene in March for an update and progress assessment. They feel that further practice would be more beneficial to J's overall health and academics over special ed. We all agree that continuing session with family therapist will help J (and me) find better ways to cope with her learning style and resulting emotional needs.

I was pleased to note that everyone enjoyed their time with J, remarking that she is a great kid, so creative and intelligent. The social worker and psychologist were really impressed with our family dynamics and active involvement of our extended family. They have no concerns for her sense of security and love, they said she appears to be well adjusted and productive. Though they noted her sense of time is off (her minutes are actually hours) which does pose a problem in daily activities. They agree that our new puppu seems to be a positive factor in improving responsibility and social skills. Lastly, they want us to continue exploring the ADD or Dysemia traits.

So bottom line???? she is incredibly intelligent but has difficulty getting her thoughts down to the paper or verbally expressing them in an appropriate manner, which causes huge emotional outbursts, lowered self esteem, and the "rage" that she frequently exhibits at home or when under stress at school.

So how do I help her overcome this? And even out her stress and rages? What is Dysemia, there is not a lot out there on this?
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