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10yr old adhd son violent,uncontrollable, normal avenues failing

Please read abt our family to get a clear picture of the problem.  Got kids back from mother this summer (who ran off.with them and was bad enough. She isn’t. Allowed any communication with them or allowed to be alone w.kids for 15yrs. )  despiite professional help, 5mg ritalin AM, consistancy, love and our best efforts, our 9yr old son is increasingly violent, angry, uncooperarive to the max, and threatens serious bbodily harm as well as name calling, swearing, and flipping over every tiny thing.  Evenings are usually loaded with these behaviours and make home life stressful and loud.  Its placing stress on his 8yr old sister as well as his dad and I, and we are increasingly worried.  Its affecting all aspects of his and our lives. Does anyone have any behaviour modification tips? We are getting him help for underlying problems as well as the ADHD and possible ODD, but need help to decrease these behaviours asap.  We need help to help him. Advice?

Replies

I am so sorry to hear about your situation.  Remember - you are not alone!  Our son also went through a very violent phase, similar to what you mention.  He would “hold it together” at school and then “let it out” at home.  Punched holes in walls, hit us and siblings.  Dark days…

I don’t know what is right for your child, but this is what we did:  He went to weekly therapy with a Child Psychotherapist..  This helped quite a bit.  But our biggest help was starting him on meds.  He took (and still takes now at 14 years old) Concerta, which is a slow release form of Ritalin.  (Ritalin only lasts for 3 - 4 hours). Concerta lasts @ 10 hours and there is no “rebound” effect when the medicine wears off.  You might want to talk to your doctor about different options of meds. I also hear that Adderall is a good slow release medicine.

A couple of good resources are:  “The Explosive Child” by Dr. Ross Greene and “Taking Charge of ADHD” by Dr. Russell Barkley.  Actually, my favourite ADHD resources is a YouTube video titled “Essential Ideas for Parents” by Russell Barkley. He is the leading ADHD specialist in the U.S.  Just google the title in YouTube to find it. It is long but well worth watching.

Oh - we also had a series of family counselling with a Social Worker that our Child Psychiatrist recommended.  That helped both us as parents, and siblings. It all very hard on the siblings, isn’t it?

Hope this info. helps. Good luck!

Posted by staypositive on Jan 31, 2014 at 7:12pm

I strongly second the recommendation to read, “The Explosive Child.” My son is not really explosive but it changed how I react to his behaviors and changed our family for the better. For some quick info, you can reference his website at http://livesinthebalance.org. He also did a webinar for ADDitutdeMag.com last year and you can listen to the archive here: http://www.additudemag.com/RCLP/sub/10272.html.

Hang in there and keep working at it. Show him empathy and understanding to start with, and that will make for instant improvement. Understand that he likely has low if any skills for handling frustration and begin teaching him the appropriate ways to handle various situations. It will take some time to undo his reactions, but consistent calm reactions will get you to a better place eventually.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 31, 2014 at 8:54pm

Maybe you heard this in a previous post, but 5mg is not a lot of Ritalin for a ten-year-old. The maximum dose is 65 mg. Ever since my son got on a 20 mg Daytrona patch, oppositional defiant behavior has all but disappeared. We are also giving him an additional non-stimulant medication, Intuniv XR, which helps to calm him and improves social functioning.

You can also try 200mgs of l-theanine at bedtime to help calm him and sleep better. In addition to that, you can try up to 3 mgs of meletonin, 1 hour before bed.

My son takes all of this and it helps a lot. It doesn’t make his ADHD go away, but it helps him sleep at night so he isn’t over tired. It also helps him think before he acts and not just act on impulse.

If all that doesn’t work, there is klonopin is also for children with violent tendencies.

On the non medication side, you can try anger management and social thinking (social skills) training or speech therapy. You could also consider counseling to help your son deal with any hurt feelings he may be experiencing since his mom left. You may even be able to get a lot of this stuff through your son’s school.

In the meantime, you need to give yourself a break. All of these problems didn’t happen overnight and they won’t go away overnight either.

Hope this information is helpful to you. Good luck.
Susan in PC, Ohio

Posted by SueH on Feb 01, 2014 at 2:21am

I also reccomend The Explosive Child. My son was experiencing alot if anger/violent episodes mostly at school and at home for a while too.  He’s improved alot by taking 15mg of Focalin XR and attending weekly therapy sessions with a wonderful licensed clinical social worker who communicates with us, his school psychologist, and his pediatrician to help set the best plan for him to be successful.  This book really helped me gain insight and develop my own parenting perspectives and reactions which has been very beneficial.  Noticed such an improvement in his behavior and decrease of violent behavior that i think we are going to talk about reducing him back to 10mg.  Hang in there and keep searching for answers.

Posted by angiebaby on Feb 02, 2014 at 12:35pm

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