new and afraid

lori t

New Member
please help me, im new to this and i think i messed up the first time. I have a 7 yr. old son who has ADHD,and ODD. he is in counseling, he is on strattera, but nothing is helping. I have even had to go on paxil for anxiety and depression. Today, his third day at school, he was in group but away from the other children and he had his penis out, along with a pencil. very disturbing behavior for a 7 year old. but at home all i really have problems with is his inability to listen. am i doing something wrong? im scared that if i dont do something now he will get way worse or the state will take him away. please help me any way you can!!!!! thanks


Lori, welcome! I'm glad you found us.

Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will help us point you in the right direction.

What kind of doctor diagnosed your son with ADHD and ODD?
How long has he been on Strattera, and how much does he weigh? Has he ever been on any other medications?
How does he do in school, both academically and with peers?
Any sensory issues (sensitivity to clothing tags, loud noises, food textures, for example)?
Any developmental or speech delays?
Any excessive worries or fears?
Any substance abuse or mental health issues in the family tree?

Again, welcome. You will find a lot of support here.


Active Member
Hi! There will be more experienced people on soon. All of this stuff is truly overwhelming but not unheard of. Some of the questions you'll be asked will be:

1. Who gave you the diagnosis? A psychologist, psychiatrist, general practitioner?

2. Who prescribed the medications?

3. Is he in counseling?

4. Has he had a neuropsychologist exam (we're in the middle of this - I would never have known they existed without the wonderfully knowledgeable people on this forum)?

The answers to these questions really help the people on here give you some good insight to their experiences.

If you have time, fill in the stuff on your profile (My Stuff located next to the Forum List). It's easier to keep track when its listed after your signature and you don't have to retype it every time you post.

You found a great place!



Well-Known Member
I'm just wondering if anyone has suggested that the ADHD/ODD combo may actually be child onset bipolar. I ask because if so, the medications he's on wouldn't help, may even make things worse. Perhaps you have a wrong diagnosis. It's NOT you.
If it were me, I'd take this child to a neuropsychologist or Child psychiatarist (with the MD) for a fresh evaluation, especially if mood problems or substance abuse is in the family tree on either side. Childhood mania looks a lot like "severe ADHD" but stimulants and STraterra (which is an antidepressant) can make things worse, not better, and Paxil is also an antidepressant. Therapy often doesn't work with kids until their core problem is medically stable. NeuroPsychs do the most intensive testing of any professional. I highly recommend one, although you'll likely have a long waiting list. We've been victims of wrong diagnosis. for my son twice, and I always think it's smart to get a new evaluation, as comprehensive as you can get, if the current treatment is a bust. Good luck! (Be sure to pick up a copy of "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene while you wait for your child to stabilize.

lori t

New Member
he was diagnosed by a psychotherapist,
he has been on strattera for about a year
he has had numerous "disruptions" at school
he has a wonderful,outgoing personality,and does very well in school academic wise but when there are too many kids around, he loves to try to "entertain" them by doing things that aren't
very entertaining.he will just walk up and hit someone for no reason, talk about his penis, just not normal things.
he is in counseling, i have books on how to handle and punish
him but i almost want to give up at times.
his 3 year old brother is starting to do the things cody is doing
as well.
so now i have 2 hand fulls.I talk with his councilor, weekly
his teachers daily.
what more can i do?also i need help with my signature thing
like the abbreviations mostly.
thank you for replying to me also
i really need the advice before i go nuts!!!!


Well-Known Member
I just posted then saw your post back. Suggestion: Have him re-evaluted by a neuropsychologist, but also consider High Functioning Autism as well as childhood onset bipolar. Both of these types of kids will not respond to regular, typical behavioral interventions and, again, it isn't your fault. Their brains are wired differently. Taking the penis out reminds me of forms of autism because these kids have NO social skills. NONE. They may have a friendly demeanor, but have no clue how to appropriately interact at grade level. They just don't pick it up, like most do. A seven year old should know that this is inappropriate, but one with high functioning autism may not. A friend of mine has a son with Aspergers Syndrome. As a teen, when he liked a girl, he'd try to touch her chest, and had to be text book taught that this is inappropriate. He doesn't do it anymore. Literally, these kids don't "get" it. But don't get a set diagnosis. in your head. Go get another evaluation. in my opinion ADHD just isn't enough for this type of behavior. I'd want to move on. I know I'm repeating I've just been through so many horrible, wrong diagnosis. for MY son who IS on the Spectrum, although he is very bright. He has improved A LOT with interventions. Please try again to find somebody who will "get" your son. If he does have either bipolar or a form of autism, they are both hereditary so watch the younger child too! There is good help for both conditions and for any condition, but find out what you are dealing with. See a neuropsychologist. I would not trust a therapist without the Neuro in front of it to diagnose. They just dont' run enough tests. My son was tested for twelve hours in two hour increments. (((Hugs)))


Well-Known Member
Here is a link to the FAQ/Board help section of the site. You will find instructions on doing the profile, a list of abbreviations & acronyms and a very good read called The Chandler Papers.

I can 'hear' the panic in your post. I know the feeling. I am willing to bet we all do. This is how most of us found the site - a desperate search for help.

Has the strattera been helpful for the entire year? It seems your son is still quite impulsive. That is the big thing that ADHD kids have problems with. It hurts them socially, too.

Does your son have any supports at school? What did the teacher do when son had the penis and pencil incident?



A few thoughts for you:

Strattera is dosed by weight, so if it's not working, your son may have outgrown the dose over the last year;


Strattera may not be the right medication to treat your son's ADHD symtpoms, and another medication may work better (our psychiatrists believe that Strattera only works in 40 percent of ADHD cases);


Strattera may not be working because your son may not have ADHD;


Because Strattera is an antidepressant, it can increase impulsivity and disinhibition and actually cause kids to behave inappropriately (such as the penis episode).

Psychotherapists may not be the best professionals to diagnosis complicated childhood mental health and neurological disorders. Like MidwestMom, I agree with the need for a new evaluation, preferably with a neuropsychologist. Neuropsychologists can be found at children's and university teaching hospitals. It might not be a bad idea to throw in an evaluation with a child pscyhiatrist as well to assess for mood issues (anxiety, depresison, bipolar disorder).

I hope you get some answers soon. This is not about your parenting. It's about identifying your child's challenges and then putting the proper interventions into place to help him.

lori t

New Member
AUTISM? wow i never thought of that! this is the scared phase im going through now.I am at a loss for words....
how do i go about getting him tested? do i tell his pediatrician about the neurologist? or do i just call them myself? It is a relief to talk to parents going through this same stuff THANK YOU ALL SOOOOOO MUCH


Ask your pediatrician for a referral to a neuropsychologist (not neurologist -- there's a difference). If he doesn't know of one, call the children's or university hospital in the largest city near you.


Well-Known Member
Kids with high functioning autism (and I don't know if he has it or not, but it would explain the penis!) are NOT unable to speak and can act friendly (although they don't really "get" how to make friends unless they have interventions) and are often very bright, although they often need some special education. But they do tend to improve with time, especially if given LOTS of school help. medications can help with symptoms for 50% of autistic kids, however they wont' help the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) itself. IT's strictly the interventions.

My son used to pee on his trampoline. He is still an odd duck at 14, but he is so much more "with it" and is no longer a behavior problem. He was hyperactive off-the-charts as a toddler, but now he's a couch potato. It's hard to get him to do things outside of the house. He enjoys school, but at home he prefers to do stuff alone and is hardly a typical teen. He's the easiest teen I ever

Don't worry. Just see a neuropsychologist (and it's VERY different than a Neurologist). Neuroligists missed it with my son. They don't do the same sort of testing. A neuropsychologist will give you some sort of idea of his strengths and deficits and what may be causing his strange behavior. Here's an unofficial online test you can do to see if your son fits. You may want to print it out and take the results to the neuropsychologist, although our neuropsychologist didn't want to see anything--he wanted to do all the testing himself, with no prejudices

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Popping in to offer you my welcome - there is a great deal of knowledge here. Take what you can use & leave the rest.

In the meantime, when at all possible, find time for yourself. Any type of respite needs to be your number one priority.


Well-Known Member
Welcome aboard. You have gotten good advice. Do some exploring
of the site and read over the parent report suggestions as well as the suggestions for getting a complete neuro-psychological evaluation done. Getting a good diagnosis is the most important

My boys have tried Strattera and it did not help either one. They
are both certificably ADHD. Each person reacts differently to
various medications so what works for one may not work at all for another. My older boy actually took Concerta (an effective stimulant) at the same time he tried Strattera. Go!

I'm very glad you found us. This is a super caring group of people. Although no one else has mentioned it yet, I am a bit
concerned about your 3 year old. If your older boy is acting out
and including sexualized display...please make sure he does not have access to your little boy. Strange things can happen when
there is no diligent adult supervision. Some of our CD family members have had sad occurances. So...if they share a room or
there is access with-o your observation, I would suggest that you
be extremely careful until after you have a full professional
diagnosis and interventions in place.

Sending supportive thoughts and hugs your way. All of us can
relate to your fear. Congratulations on reaching out so well to
find guidance and support. DDD


New Member
Lori, my 7 year old does similar things. He urinated on another child. He walked out of the bathroom with his underwear and shorts around his ankles. He's chased a kid with scissors. He was on Foclin and just recently wheaned off of it. We are seeking the help of a neuropyschologist now and they will go through more testing this week. I have 3 who behave differently than the norm, so all 3 are going to be retested.

He doesn't behave this way at home either, like your son. We had CPS (the state) called on us, but were fortunate enough that the pyschiatrist he was seeing spoke with them and said he is being medicated through them and seeing him monthly, so CPS dropped it.

I don't have much advice, as I'm learning along with you. But I definately understand how upsetting this all is and how scary it is. I hope knowing someone else is going through it with you helps.


New Member
I feel you, I am going through the exact same issues with my son. I have run the gammit as far as specialist, but I have an appointment with the neuropsychologist. We'll see if they can give me answers. Good luck and if you need any help or support, Just ask



New Member
My son was on Strattera prior to his Bipolar diagnosis. He took 40mg Strattera and 36mg of Concerta for his ADHD. He now just takes the Concerta for the ADHD and Depakote for Bipolar.

Just curious for anyone else reading this...can't provocative behavior be a part of Bipolar as well?

I agree with the others, have a neuropsychologist. Evaluation done. Your son's Psychotherapist should be able to refer you.