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What to do about my violent nine year old son?

I am a single mom to a nine year old son and a five year old daughter.  My son is diagnosed with Asperger's and oppositional defiant disorder.  His Asperger's symptoms are minor but the ODD is extremely problematic, to the point that in my opinion it's turning into conduct disorder.  He is a very intelligent child and does well with school work.  His relationships with people, however, are disasterous.  He has been overly aggressive and violent for years, he has been kicked out of daycare and an after school program for physically harming people.  A month ago he hit my boyfriend's ten year old daughter in the face.  Last week he got mad because of something his little sister said, so he grabbed her and slammed her up against the wall.  In July he punched me in the leg and threatened to kill me because he was denied a treat that he wanted.  He was suspended from school on Friday because he won't stop leaving his classroom and wandering the halls, then running from staff and hiding in places like the teachers' lounge when staff try to take him back to class.  He has exhausted a very patient teacher and principal.  He has the whole school in an uproar on almost a daily basis.  After I brought him home on Friday I sat down and tried very calmly to talk with him about his behavior, but he began screaming at me to leave his room.  He then grabbed my cell phone out of my hand and smashed it into my forehead so hard it left a lump that is still visible today.  He showed no remorse and told his aide later that afternoon that I deserve to have every bone in my body broken.
He is not violent all the time.  He can be very humorous, interesting and charming.  He is a very tall, good-looking child who is capable of speaking very articulately about many topics. The problem is no one can tell when he's going to snap and hurt someone.  Also, even when he's not hurting someone he's very bossy, demanding, difficult, irritable and manipulative.  He lies and runs away and threatens people.  He is rude and refuses to follow rules. He makes every day a struggle. Other than this behavior, our lives are good: I'm almost done with a master's degree, we have supportive family and friends, a good place to live and I will soon have a good career.  I love my child very much and have raised him well.  Nothing I do helps.  He has had anger problems since he was two years old.  He sees a therapist weekly and has gone to therapy since he was four, he sees a psychiatrist, has a 504 plan, a behavioral aide after school, is on Zoloft and I do not allow artificial colors or flavorings in his diet.  I don't know what else to do.  I am afraid he will seriously hurt someone and I hate raising his sister in this chaotic environment.  I want to change him now, before he gets even bigger and stronger.  I left his dad five years ago and my children are not allowed to see him because he has been in and out of jail and prison his whole life and has a history of substance abuse, manipulation and violence.    Any suggestions on what to do about my son's behavior?  Should I send him to a residential psychiatric home for treatment or will that make things worse?
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Avatar universal
i know it's been a while but wanted to see if you ever figure out what to do with him. we're in a similar situation and starting to not know where to turn anymore.
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Hi samw5.  You know there are always people going through things like someone else so don't feel alone.  It would be helpful if you started your own post and we'll try to help or talk about it.  
Avatar universal
We tried having an aide with him at school, but his behavior became worse every day when the aide arrived.  He seemed overly excited and liked the attention he got from the aide when the aide would have to pick him up and carry him around.  I am thinking about trying again with a different aide, maybe someone who's on-call for the sole purpose of hunting him down and returning him to class.  I will look into behaviorists - his aide after school does some behavioral therapy with him but not enough. Fish oil is a good idea.  I do have a behavior chart where I reward him for each good behavior with a star and when he gets ten stars he gets a prize, such as a toy from the dollar store.  The grand prize, for earning 150 stars, is a pet cat.  He earned it recently but I have added on more slots to fill on the chart because his behavior is so bad I don't feel that he deserves a cat.  I'm not sure if this is fair or not on my part.  He also has a consequences chart where he gets an x for each negative behavior and ten x's results in a privilege being taken away.  His attitude has hardened to the point where he acts as though he doesn't care when he loses privileges, such as his Wii, even though it's his favorite activity. I would like to teach him some meditation, great idea.  Thank you for your help.  About the Zoloft, his psychiatrist said to wean him off of it completely - he believes it may be contributing to his recent misbehavior.  After it is out of his system we will try a different medication.
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Please, please think clearly and DO NOT award this child with a pet cat. This child is violent and if he's comfortable smashing a phone in your face, what do you think he's going to do with a creature smaller than him? This cat will end up abused.
Your child sounds like he has narcissitic personailty disorder. Children that like to hurt others could also be on the border of sociopathic/psycopathic tendancies, especially if he is cunning enough to dispay charisma and charm. This child needs help and a male figure in his life to set boundaries and dicipline. Please do not pawn him of on a defensless animal.
The post you're responding to is many years old, so let's hope the child grew up into a peaceful guy by now.  But I did want to say that a lot of children grow up with their Moms and while having a responsible male in one's life can't hurt, it isn't necessary, and males aren't any better at setting boundaries than females are -- some do it well, some don't, but the sex of the parent isn't the deciding factor.  If a man isn't in the picture, you can't just import one.  Peace.
we all do the best we can but I can say that if one is a single mom, it is helpful to find a male role model (uncle, grandfather, cousin, male friend) for the child.  Women can set boundaries and discipline for sure. but males and females are different.  I would say the same for a single dad.  Children need a female adult role model in their life as well.
Avatar universal
Is there anyway that you could get him an aide at school so that the poor teacher doesn't have to always worry about his wondering the hallways?  I know when I was in elementary school they had people who did things like this.  I think it would be worth looking in to at the very least.
About his hurting people.  Do you have a behaviorist you could take him, to?  That might help him out, and would be worth a shot.  
I might also say that fish oil might help him, too.  
Do you reward him for his good behavior?  You could say "Well son, if you don't hurt anyone for 3 months, I will buy you whatever toy you want."  If you do hurt someone then your 3 months will start over again.  
You could also teach him how to breathe when he gets upset.  Say ok let's try some meditation.  
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Avatar universal
Thank you for your suggestion.  Yes, Zoloft is the only medication his psychiatrist has prescribed.  He prescribed it because he thought my son had anxiety.  My son has been on it since July and in the past month his behavior has worsened.  His therapist has voiced serious concerns about a nine year old on Zoloft.  The psychiatrist wanted to try it first and see if it would help, but he said if not that there were other meds we could try.  I will google the side effects and see what I can find out.  
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535822 tn?1443976780
Yes the meds he is on may be having side effects for a nine year on zoloft I suggest you google for the effects is that the only med they have him on ?
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