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i have a 9year old stepson who I have raised since he was 2 1/2 . He had a rough start in his early years and was taken from his mothers care by social services . My husband and I could tell early on that something was going on with him and we suspected ADD. My husband was against medicating him so we agreed that if he was doing well in school we would try to manage his behavior on our own. Our son has done great in school academically, so well in fact that he has always been a couple grades ahead in all subjects since kindergarten. Once he got into 3rd grade his teacher told us that his behavior was negatively affecting his school work so we decided to give medication a try. He was diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, and we started medication. His grades went back up and he is having his best year behaviorally in school. His behavior at home is the problem now. He says no anytime we ask him to do anything, and when he gets time outs in his room for his behavior he kicks things, hits the wall screams, and says terrible things to us. I have also noticed that he tries to annoy people with making sounds , getting in their personal space, and being overly hyper . He does this anytime he loses a privilege. I am at my wits end and feel totally to blame for this because it is only happening at home. He has a younger brother and I worry about their relationship. His brother very rarely gets in trouble because following the rules is easy for him. I am terrified that they will not be close when they grow up and I don't want them to feel like one is the "good" brother and the other is the "bad" brother. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. I want our home to calm and loving, I hate that my oldest is having such a hard time. I just want to fix this for him.

Wiped Out

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Staff member
Welcome KatLG,

First off, you are not to blame. This is not your fault and you are working to help things get better. I know firsthand that sometimes it feels as if there is no hope.

Has he had a psychiatrist meet with him or is his regular pediatrician prescribing the medications. With my sons ADHD medications helped until he came off them and then he would get violent. In his case, he ended up being diagnosed with bipolar disorder (which doesn't mean that is the case for your son). For bipolar people they can't handle stimulants until they're stabilized and even then only maybe. One medication that helped my son with his ADHD symptoms (because he does have both bipolar and ADHD) was Clonidine which is really a blood pressure medication.

It wasn't a miracle medication but it helped some. What did help? Coming here, monthly appointments with his psychiatrist (for years), bi-weekly appointments with his therapist (for years) and a great team of school and other mental health professionals. By no means am I suggesting that your son will need all of this but I want you to know there his hope While he went through 6 hospitalizations you would not know he is the same kid. He is now 19 and doing much better. He isn't perfect and he still struggles but is no longer violent. Usually he is even a pleasant young man.

Through all of this, be sure to take care of yourself. Take time for you-I know this is easier said than done.

Sending hugs your way-glad you found us but sorry you needed to.


Well-Known Member
Did biomom use alcohol? His behavior sounds like my granddaughter. She was very bright in grade school...except for math. She was ADD/ADHD. She had lots of fidgeting, and tapping pens or pencils. I am sure the noise was a distraction to the class.

Her behavior was pretty good at school, but didn't make and keep friends. I think when she got home, she would have behavior problems. I think it was hard coping at school, and she would have moods and rages at home. Getting her to do homework at home was impossible.

As she got older, school was harder, not that she couldn't learn it, but she "forgot" to hand in. Writing projects were hard. When we had her tested, IQ was above average(87th percentile), but processing speed and executive function was low. 13th percentile for her age.

We tried medications, but they seemed to make her moods worse at home.

Has he had any testing done?



Well-Known Member
Oh...you mentioned "personal space". That was a biggy for my daughter too. She would give someone a hug, and then not let go. Other kids would try to wiggle out of her grasp...

Once, I asked her if she had the tantrums at school, and she said "no, that would be embarrassing!" But I think holding it together for 8 hours was just overwhelming... KSM


Well-Known Member
To me it sounds more like autistic spectrum is have him re-evaluated by a Neuro psychologist. You can't fix your son on your own. Don't try. Get a total evaluation and professional help.

He could also have attachment disorder due to birthnotjers neglect. If birth motjer drank while pregnant it could be fetal alcohol spectrum. Due to his past and behavior he needs a total evaluation. Good luck.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Welcome Kat:

I don't know anything about this BUT I did want to advise you to take one day at a time and NOT worry about if your sons will be close etc. That is just too much to try to wrap your head around.

Otherwise it sounds like you are on top of this and he is so lucky to have YOU in his life!

I have had to learn that for my own sanity.



Active Member

I have spent a lot of time trying medications with my son. Stimulants all made him violent quickly, which sounds like what you are dealing with at home. I have read that it is the effect of coming off of them. Which does make sense if you realize exactly what those medications are, i would suggest looking up the medications he is currently on to get a better perspective.

That being said mine did have the "good" effect for about 30-45 mins (which confirms the ADHD) and then it was all downhill from there. So far the only thing that has worked for him is abilify, which is a very heavy duty antipsycotic and very expensive. It does nothing for the ADHD but it helps him control his moods that lead to his horrible and violent behavior. Hes not snowed (like when on intuniv) and is still himself. Its definitely not the first go to medication for kids and I would caution anyone on giving it to their child until every other option has been exhausted. My son has had 0 side effects from it, but that's not the normal.

Also my nephew had a similar problem at about 10ish with his ADHD, he ended up on an all day version with a "booster" low dose fast acting of the same type of medication as soon as he got home from school and that worked well until puberty hit and then that's it own mess to deal with.

I would suggest bringing up your concerns with his psy, and maybe the school counsler they are there to help him and you. There could be other things going on at school that you don't know about and by the time he gets home he just cant keep it together any more.


New Member
Hi there, I'm new to this forum but I saw your posts and there are a lot of similarities between what you are describing and the symptoms that my son has and he has been diagnosed with autism and ADHD.

The getting in your personal space and irritating you on purpose is an ADHD behaviour, same with the temper tantrums and all of that. We tried medication for my son but found he was really emotional while taking them so we took him off the medication. But his "hyperactivity" and irritability/annoying others on purpose always seems to worsen after about 330pm... this happened wether he was on medication or not. It's still this way. And as with your son my son acts completely different when he is at school. Please KNOW this is not your fault whatsoever. Many children act out at home and not at school simply because they are more comfortable at home so they can be themselves. So it is not your fault. I would suggest possibly having your son tested for autism... with my son we caught it early on because of other symptoms he had and he actually wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until about a year ago. But many different doctors didn't believe that my son was even autistic... and he is. So it might be something you want to check out. Anger and frustration are symptoms of autism too. Does he seem very intelligent? When he likes something does he obsess over it? Like want to watch the same show over and over or know every detail about a particular subject?

I wish you luck on your journey... please don't blame yourself and biological mom or not you are his mom and you need to take care of you first ❤❤❤


New Member
Thank you to everyone that replied. It really does help to get advice from other parents who understand what we are going through. The support is very much appreciated :)