10 year old son newly diagnosed

Nicole Jones

New Member
Its something I should have done years ago but couldn't bring myself to do until this past month......let the dr know how out of control my son is. It was awful...so vulnerable and so heart breaking watching my son watch me tell the dr all of our family secrets about his explosive behavior. When it was all said and done he was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Adhd combined and ODD. He was prescribed 1mg to start with of intutiv. We go back in two weeks for a medication check and to up the dose. I am praying to God this works because I dont know how much more i can take at home. His behavior is tearing my family apart. My husband and I only fight about his behavior but when we do its explosive. He thinks he is just a spoiled brat but I know and have known its way more than that. Has anyone had any experience with this medicine and any positive (or negative) stories to share? I really want to believe there is a light at the end of this tunnel.


Well-Known Member
Has your son been evaluated and tested or just diagnosed based on your description? Was it a psychiatrist or a neuro psychologist? I would not trust a pediatrician to diagnose behavioral disorders. They are not trained in that area intensively enough to diagnose. He could miss things like mood disorders or forms of autism.

I wish you luck. We were afraid to diagnose our daughter so she never got the proper help and at 33 is still a mess. Get your child the best diagnosticians and doctors that you possibly can in spite of your husband. If not, your son could end up like our daughter. Please dont let that happen. We have so much guilt and regret

Nicole Jones

New Member
Our peds office has a behavioral health department so a psychiatrist diagnosed him. This is all so new to me. My son does so well in school. He is a really good hockey player and is over all very athletic. He has a good group of friends and gets along with most kids very well. He does have a hard time paying attention at school so he is lucky that it comes easy to him. The adhd I can see in him. But anywhere he is comfortable he throws temper tantrums. I mean he is like a different person. We call it his evil twin. It can last for hours.


Well-Known Member
Our older adopted granddaughter struggled at that age and older. She seemed to hold it all together while at school and would have meltdowns at home. Once I asked her if she yelled and threw things at school. She said 'No, that would be embarrassing!"

I think some kids just get overwhelmed...and can't hold it together 24/7. She's 21 now. Over the years we had the ADHD, anxiety and depression, ODD, mood dysregulation, and finally, bipolar.

I hope the medications help your son. Ksm


Hi Nicole, I have a son who is now 18 and had been on Intuniv for about 10 years for his adhd. It was used to supplement his adhd medications (I think Concerta at the time). Later he took it with Vyvanse and through the years his dosage was increased to 4 mg. Initially It was added when his adhd medications didn’t seem to be effective.

He was able to focus better at school with the combo of medications but to be honest, with my son, adhd medications only took the edge off and he still had issues with impulsivity, staying in his seat, being disruptive in class, etc. I think it is due to his biological mother’s use of crack and drinking during her pregnancy. He never responded to adhd medications like a typical child does. His behavior at home was challenging, though tolerable, at least until he hit puberty. (He’s been with us since age 3-1/2.)

The drug might make your son a little sleepy, although you may not notice as much with such a low dose.

I will say that even though Intuniv is not a controlled substance (it actually began as a blood pressure medication), my son in the last year started abusing it, unbeknownst to us, and would take 2 or 3 to get high. He could barely keep his eyes open and if he hadn’t finally told me what he was doing, I wonder if his blood pressure would have gotten so low that his heart would have stopped! I knew something was going on but I thought he had to have been smoking pot or taking an opioid drug or something. Needless to say, when the doctor found out what he had been doing, he was Immediately taken off the Intuniv.

There’s a lot more to my story—I haven’t gotten around to telling it here yet—mostly have been “lurking” but learning so much from others who have similar experiences with their kids.

I wish you the best in finding a medication that works to help get your son’s behavior under control. Sometimes it’s a bit of trial and error, with adhd medications, but it sounds like you have a responsive doctor who is willing to work with you. Please keep us posted.


Well-Known Member
My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, heavy on the H, at about that age. She had trouble with friends, difficulties with school, I got regular phone calls about her behavior ( Phone rings, I answer..."Hi, Mary, it's Chris." "Hi, Chris, what did she do?") We had her tested at school, she went briefly to therapy...I say briefly because she seemed to be quite unaware of the havoc she left in her wake. Self awareness was not her strong suit. We endured, through junior high and high school and college, until she chose to attend a college 800 miles away.

She has matured into a delightful young lady, though there are still holes in the wall in her old room, no bedroom door because she tore it off the hinges and threw it at me, and I'm missing tiles on my kitchen counter from a tantrum over mac-n-cheese. She is a college graduate, works full time, has been married nearly 6 years, and seems to be doing well.

There is hope. It sounds like your doctor is willing to work with you, and I hope the medications help him.


Well-Known Member
Grandson, almost 13, took Intuniv for awhile. The sleepiness goes away after a couple weeks. It didn't help all that much other than a slowed down kid was easier to live with, even if it was temporary, which it was. After trialing every ADHD medication, plus other classes of drugs and still wasn't seeing the kind of results that the drugs were supposed to bring about, we had the genetic testing done. I know it's a somewhat controversial subject, but since the insurance company paid for it, we figured the test must have some veracity. The results helped guide us in what medications to try, and what not to bother with because of his genetics. He's now in a therapeutic day school, not on any medications, and is doing better than I ever thought he would. The school specializes in kids like this. There is appropriately trained staff at all times, etc. But it's been a long road, not gonna lie. We've read, studied, gone to group therapy, family therapy, individual, worked hard to implement and support positive behavioral support, etc. It takes a lot of work for everyone.


Roll With It
I know exactly how hard that doctor appointment was for you. It is so heartbreaking, but you have to do it or else there is no help. Given basic fairly consistent parenting, most kids will thrive. When a kid doesn't, there is a problem. One member here some years ago liked the phrase "Kids do well when they CAN." She meant that if your kid isn't doing well, something is wrong and your kid needs help. The earlier you get help, the more good it can do.

Is your son sensitive to light, sound, taste, texture, a picky eater? Wants clothes that are too loose or too tight? One thing that can be a real struggle for kids is sensory integration/processing disorder. This is when their brain isn't handling input from the senses in the way it should. The entire world is "too" or "not enough". My kids all have this to one extent or another and I have it pretty bad. I simply cannot handle some things. Thankfully my mother had her own issues with sensory stuff (unknowingly) and made sure I never had to wear anything itchy (I totally cannot cope with that) and she did not force me to eat more than 3 small bites of new foods. She did make me eat those 3 bites, and that was a battle at times. But overall she understood that I wasn't choosing to be difficult even when I couldn't put the problem into words.

Many (if not most) kids with adhd have sensory issues, according to several doctors I have worked with. I can tell you more about this if you would like.

My oldest has Aspergers (or whatever it is now called) and he had a lot of the symptoms of adhd that you are seeing. Medication was heaven-sent for him. While we didn't use Intuniv ever, he was on various forms of ritalin and adderall. I had SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many people tell me that he would grow up to be a junkie if we put him on stimulants. Guess what? He is incredibly anti-illegal-drugs and at almost 28 he still takes his medications daily. Why? They help him be in control of his life. He never runs out in a month, there are zero signs of addiction. I believe that without medication for his adhd and moods, he would have sought out illegal substances to make him feel better. WIth the use of prescriptions, and with listening closely to him to hear when he said a medication was causing a problem, we were able to help him create a MUCH better future. Of COURSE this is super personal and it is a decision that you have to make according to what you feel and believe to be right for your son. I just wanted to let you know that in spite of what some people will say, medication can be extremely helpful.

A couple of things that really helped our family cope were protein and realizing that we just couldn't do everything that others could do. If my son didn't have a fairly high amount of protein each day, the outbursts were horrific. If he had a lot of sugar and no protein? OMG it was even worse! I learned to keep a stock of protein bars at home at ALL times. I never went anywhere without protein bars or enough cash to stop and buy one at a gas station. If we needed to go to the store on the way home from school, my son would be okay at the store almost always. BUT if he didn't have a high protein snack either before we went to the store or while we were in the store, he would just fall apart when we got home. He was just unable to cope and it took the form of a total, incredibly violent meltdown. If I gave him a protein bar or got popcorn chicken or whatever that had a fairly high amt of protein? I had a very different kid unless something awful had happened at school.

It is frustrating, but they fall apart only around those they trust the most. So he will likely NOT fall apart around strangers or those he doesn't trust for some reason. Around Mom? Bring on the awful meltdowns! It really stinks, but it is because they trust us to love them no matter what. Getting a handle on a higer protein, lower bad carb/sugar diet may be of some help. Not everyone here sees it the way I did with my kids, but the change can be super helpful. Of course I have a brother who is still that way. I would rather be around him drunk than after a candy bar on an empty stomach. And he is a mean drunk. My son wasn't nearly that bad, but there was a definite improvement with a higher level of protein at regular intervals.