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ADHD in Boys


My six year old’s behavior has got me at my wit’s end.  When it is he and I alone at the house, he is helpful and communicative, but whenever he is at school or around his siblings or around his step-father in my house or step-mother in his father’s house, he is combative and angry and accusatory.  It is very rare at this point that I don’t get a call from the school.  When I was a child, I was afraid of the school principal so the first few times she called, I had the same shaking in my boots feelings, but now I am on a first name basis with her.  I really never wanted to be there.  He’s on a short acting medication twice a day which has been adjusted various times over the last two years since his diagnosis, but mornings, especially are still awful.  When I took him in for testing, the psychologist said “give me 10 diagnosed children and I will show you 5 that were wrongfully diagnosed”.  Then promptly told me following the testing that my son was “severe” on the ADHD behavior spectrum.  All I could think was “I could have told you that”.  I know that I have good luck redirecting him because I learned some techniques before he was diagnosed and because I come at him from “discipline with love”.  I let him know I will always love him but swinging his backpack around was dangerous and he could hurt another kid.  When you talk to him, he responds well.  Most people get frustrated with him though and he seems to realize what their weak point is and go in for the kill, so to speak. I feel like I am the only person left that even likes him and I’m really not sure what to do to get him to behave “properly” at school and while interacting with others.  I know this is rather long-winded, but I’m rather overwhelmed.


I am sorry you are feeling so overwhelmed, it is truly exhausting for all involved.  Thank goodness your son has you and congrats on finding success in the way you are able to speak to him and his positive response to you.  I don’t have any magical words except a small suggestion to help with your mornings . . . I have begun getting up 30 min before my son and giving him his medicine and letting him go back to sleep for 30 minutes.  This has made our mornings “enjoyable” (never thought I would say that) !!  At school my son has had the most success with the teachers that he has connected to, the ones that he felt really liked and cared about him, the ones that “got him” . . . children have a way of knowing how people feel about them!  I wish you the best of luck and hang in there, I’m sure you are doing GREAT!!

Posted by JBagyi on Apr 30, 2014 at 6:38am

Thank you so much.  I think I’m going to try the medication then back to sleep idea.  I generally get up 30 minutes before him anyway for my quiet morning time before the chaos of five kids getting ready for school, so it would be easy to just add that to my routine.  Thank you for the idea!

Posted by pandorarn on Apr 30, 2014 at 8:02pm

wow!!! this sounds a lot like my situation also. I have a 13 yr. old son that I just won custody over about 1 1/2 yrs. ago..seems like no one understands either of us. By the way we were both diagnosed with ADHD about 8 months ago. HE was living 2 states away with his mom and I only saw him maybe 4 weeks out of the year. he was with her only since the age of 3 yrs…
  My wife does not have ADHD and its really hard for her to understand his behavior.It has caused so much stress between us. We differ on mostly all discipline issues. She was raised in a very strict household.
  When I look at my son its like looking in a mirror at myself when I was his age. He has been in trouble at school almost every week. Cursing ,throwing objects and just general disruptive behavior. He has no remorse whatsoever. will not say I’m sorry and blames everyone else. We have taken away privleages on every occasion and extra chores but to no avail..
  He is on focalin 10 mg 3 times a day and tenex twice a day to help with impulsivity. His mother left him with her mother for almost 2 yrs. when he was 5. No one knew where she was. Then when she does return she has given birth to a girl introduced to my son as his new sister..He is so out of control and has such a shell around him. I don’t know if we can ever get to his root problem causing this behavior.
sorry so long HELP…Mike

Posted by M.Pat. on May 02, 2014 at 12:13pm

As i read your posts, i get so overcome with emotion. I have an 9 year old son who i feel like you all are descrbing perfectly. Right now he is on focalin xr 20mg in the morning and 15mg of it at 1p. It had been doing the trick however just recenly within the past couple of months it seems like he has relapsed to behaviors we were experiencing when he was 5. When something doesnt go his way he has a meltdown (so to speak) nothing uncontrollable but i hadnt seen that in quite some time. But more concerning is he has been doing things like using inappropriate language at school and being physical with other students. It scares me to think it might progress to something different. He pshychiatrist put him on .5 mg of resperdal. She says it would calm his mood swings and in turn control his impulsiveness. Anyone have any knowledge of this med working to help with impulsiveness?

Posted by shrnsoto on May 03, 2014 at 2:14am

Yes, there’s some evidence that it helps with aggression, oppositional-defiant problems, but IMO giving a child w/ ADHD and a very short period of some increased negative (troublesome) behaviors an antipsychotic without first trying other things (behavioral & pharmaceutical) is just not prudent.

Risperdal was the first of the atypical antipsychotics, so it’s generally the least expensive, however it has the highest incidence of side-effects of the atypical antipsychotics—weight gain, diabetes, tardive dyskinesia (which is a permanent movement disorder), to name the biggies.  That is an awful lot of potential risk for behaviors that are not longstanding & have not tried other (safer) options—clonidine, guanfacine.

Posted by BC on May 03, 2014 at 4:17am

My son is 8 and when it is just me and him or my mom and him he is really good but when his dad is with us he gets angry and has violent outbursts.

Posted by mdasch on May 06, 2014 at 12:03am

My son is 6 and just got diagnosed with ADHD.. He has been so hard to handle and I feel everyone’s pain. He is starting on 27mg of concerta and I’m hoping this will help, I’ve heard wonderful things about concerta

Posted by Delaney6 on May 10, 2014 at 3:47am

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