First, it would be wise to arrange a second opinion about his treatment. While ADHD can certainly be diagnosed before the age of seven, extreme caution must be undertaken because development has not yet had the 'opportunity' to run its course and many children who appear to display ADHD at the age of five look very different by the age of seven. Re: ODD, that is almost never diagnosed at the age of five and, in any case, there is no single medication approach to its treatment. Volatility can certainly be addressd with Abilify, but it is not usually prescribed for a child of five. Most important, the recommended intervention re: ODD is a sytematic behavior managment plan. It may well be that your son will require a self-contained special education program designed for children who display serious behavioral difficulties. It sounds like his current school program is not suitable for him.
Don't you think he is rather young to be on drugs? Usually such diagnoses are not made until a child is at least six. And it is well to note that most diagnoses of ADD/ADHD are erroneous.
Look at this list of differences between ADHD and bipolar and see which category your child fits in. This is often misdiagnosed and ADHD meds are harmful for a child in a manic state (even caffine).
1. Destructiveness may be seen in both disorders but differs in origin. Children who are ADHD often break things carelessly while playing (“non-angry destructiveness”), whereas the major destructiveness of children who are bipolar is not a result of carelessness but tends to occur in anger. Children who are bipolar may exhibit severe temper tantrums during which they release manic quantities of physical and emotional energy, sometimes with violence and physical property destruction.
2. The duration and intensity of physical outbursts and temper tantrums differs in the two disorders. Children who are ADHD usually calm down in twenty to thirty minutes, whereas children who are bipolar may continue to feel and act angry for up to four hours.
3. The degree of “regression” (baby talk) during angry episodes is typically more severe for children who are bipolar. It is rare to see an angry child who is ADHD display disorganized thinking, language, and body position, all of which may be seen in angry bipolar children during a tantrum. Children who are bipolar may also lose memory of the tantrum.
4. The “trigger” for temper tantrums is also different. Children who have ADHD are typically triggered by sensory and emotional over stimulation, whereas children who have bipolar disorder typically react to limit-setting, such as a parental “no.” There are actual trigger sentences. My son's was "I'm going to call your parents" and he'd fly off the handle.
6. Disturbances during sleep in children with bipolar disorder include severe nightmares or night terrors often with themes of explicit gore and bodily mutilation.
7. Children who are bipolar often show giftedness in certain cognitive functions, especially verbal and artistic skills (perhaps with verbal precocity and punning by age two to three years(they joke alot).
8. The misbehavior in children with ADHD is often accidental and usually caused by oblivious inattention, whereas children with bipolar disorders intentionally provoke or misbehave. Children with bipolar like to manipulate. Some bipolar children are described as “the bully on the playground.”
9. The child with ADHD may engage in behavior that can lead to harmful consequences without being aware of the danger, whereas the child with bipolar disorder is risk seeking.
10. Bipolar children tend to have a strong early sexual interest and behavior.
11. Children with ADHD usually do not exhibit psychotic symptoms or reveal a loss of contact with reality, whereas children with bipolar disorder may exhibit gross distortions in the perception of reality or in the interpretation of emotional events.
Bipolar symptoms in kids differs for symptoms of adults. These are basic common symptoms:
During a time of mania, children and teens may:
Feel irritable and throw violent temper tantrums.
Seem extremely happy and have high energy levels.
Touch their genitals, use sexual language, and approach others in a sexual way.
Not sleep much and go about the house late at night looking for things to do.
Talk very fast.
During a time of depression, children and teens may:
Say they feel empty, sad, bored, or down.
Complain of headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or fatigue.
Often spend time alone and may easily feel rejected or criticized.
Move very slowly.
I agree with allmymarbles drugs are horrible for these kids. Bipolar and ADHD can be treated naturally if your homework is done right. It means making sure your child is actually sleeping and not waiting until you go to bed and walking around all night displaying anger. When a child has sleep deprivation they have a "second wind" as my grandmother called it. They will fight sleep because of nightmares. It can take weeks to make up the deficit. Also over the counter cough syrups and flu medications state on the back warning: do not use if you are taking medications for or have a psychological disorder. These medications double their symptoms for as many as 3 days after taking it. My child would sleep while taking the medication but if i sent him to school the next day there would be a temper tantrum for sure. I boil thyme on the stove and let my kids inhale the vapors to relieve stuffy noses. They can also drink or gargle it for throat irritation.(works great for nail fungus too)