New Member
Hello.... Im totally new here and I and needing help with dealing with mt soon to be 7 year old son. My heart is broken for him and I am just wanting my little boy back. A little back story. He has always been a very high strung little boy but his behaivors started to get out of hand around the age of 3-4. When he was 4 almost five i finally gave in and took him to the dr for help. He was diagnosis ADHD and ODD. I didnt want to send him off to school the way he was. Most of his behaivors are anger and impulsive control. Dr percribed Ritalin, along with suggested we take him for therapy... We tried the therapy which was a giant joke. The therapist basically told me that he needed to be medicated and to bring him back in a week. When we started the ritalin i brought him back where the therapist said he seemed much better and to contact him again if we needed him in the future. He was no help at all. My son was doing well on 15mg of ritalin 3x a day, but he wasnt gaining any weight and his dr was very concerned. At the time he was almost six and only weighed 35 pounds. So we tried aderall which was awful... It made his outburst and his rages MUCH worse. so after a month of trial we took him off and went back to ritalin for the rest of the school year. then he was put on intuniv working up to 2mg. we later added 5 mg of ritalin three times a day. After the new year for some reason insurance didnt want to cover his intuniv anylonger. Dr called and reported that he recieved a letter saying he needed to but put on something cheaper. I wasnt happy about this because my little guy was doing VERY well but agreed to at lest give it a try. He was then perscribed Guanficine along with his ritalin. Over the last two months my son has become increasing worse. He is angry ALL the time and is never happy. He has since started telling me how he wishes I was dead along with his older siblings, punshing himself VERY hard in the face, throwing things at everyone, and raging over the smallest of things... I cant take him anywhere nor ask anyone to watch him for any period of time. Last Thurseday while Raging over a toy that his younger brother had played with while he was at school he threw the toy at his brother hitting him on the head so i sent him to his room to settle himself down, he then threw a hand full of legos at me, went screaming to his room, about 45 minutes into his fit he started yelling down to me that he wishes he was dead and he should jump over the railing now so that he would die. (His bedroom is on the second floor of our house). It was at that moment that i decided that the Guanficine was done... That night i gave him his intuniv. I couldnt contact our dr until today because he was out of the office. While back on Intuniv he has been somewhat better but still not my little boy. At a birthday party Sunday he decided to throw a fit over his brothers new toy and almost hit my brother in law new truck with a training wheel off of his bike. When I took him upstairs he then decided to throw his lamp at me where the light bulb broke and cut up my husband pretty good (I removed EVEYTHING out of his room last thurseday when he was threatening to kill himself. The only things left behind was his and his brothers bed, his dresser and his lamp) . My house has been a nut house ever since he was taken off him Intuniv and now even it no longer seems to be working. He has been waking up in the morning raging, coming home from school screaming, it just doesnt stop! It is like he is always LOOKING for somthing to have a fit over and they last forever. Sometimes more than a few hours! When I spoke to his dr today he suggested Risperidone. He advised me to search for info about it and if I felt like giving it a try i should call and sechedule an appointment to bring him in. Does anyone have any experiences with this? Does it work well with anger issues and impulsive behaivor? Side effects? Dr said there is alot of blood work involved and monitering more so that what he has been on. This worries me that it could be harmful to him... but then again doing nothing is harmful to everyone involved. I am just trying to do the right thing for my little guy... I will be finding a new theripist for him as well. Maybe a new one will actually do something this time... He is thinking that maybe this may be more of a mood disorder... Bi polar etc... All I know is I am wore out, tired of the looks, even from my own family because they seem to "think" that I am doing nothing about it. And I do know that I want my baby back. I'm tired of feeling like im failing him!


Active Member
Good morning. I'm sorry that it's been so tough for you and your son. First I want to say that them therapist that you took him to should be strung up by his private parts and left for the vultures. I am not one who thinks that mess should be the first thing that is tried and he gave you no help at all.

Risperdone. My son, who just turned 14, has been on it for about 2 1/2 years. While life with difficult child is not perfect, and never will be, it has improved tremendously since he started this medication. Every kid is different. I know that at least one parent here said that it was the worst medication her child was ever one. For us, it helped to calm the tantrums so they happened with much less frequency, and when they did occur they were much easier to handle. The psychiatrist who prescribed it told us that it makes him hungry, so watch what he eats and he has to go to blood work every six months.


First off, I'm sorry you're going through this. My son was started on Risperdal about 6 months ago, right around the time he turned 8. He also had problems before going on medications, but something spun out of control when we tried Zoloft, which led to our having to put him on Risperdal. I'll be honest - it's helped. But I want him off it so desperately. He's gained some weight (which in your situation sounds like it's fine, but for me, I am doing my best to try to keep him from gaining any more and it's hard. Risperdal makes them SO hungry. He's also been having trouble sleeping through the night with-o peeing the bed. And yes, you have to do b/w to make sure he doesn't have any metabolic type side effects, which thankfully so far, has not happened to us. So, I don't know what to tell you. In discussions with-our own psychiatrist and a friend who is also a psychiatrist, there aren't too many options for us, so I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm praying that within a few months, maybe we could cut back on the Risperdal and see how it goes. Good luck to you.


Well-Known Member
Hi. Sorry you're having such a hard time.

What kind of doctor diagnosed and is medicating your son? in my opinion you need to get him totally evaluated to see if more is going on than ADHD. in my opinion it sounds excessive for just ADHD.If so, that would explain why t he medications don't work. Can you tell us more about your son, starting as an infant? Did he have chaotic early years? Is Dad around? Any history of mental illness on either side of his DNA tree?


Well-Known Member
I'm guessing that the docs are just tossing pills at your son to see what "helps", without really knowing what the problem is. It's more important to get to the bottom of what is really behind the behavior, because at this age, it really isn't deliberate.


New Member
His infancy was GREAT. He was a very happy baby with no real issues at all. He started to become out of control at the age of four which progressively got worse closer to five. After the birth of my fifth child was when things got REALLY out of hand. I remember all to well what made me take him in was when he started becoming more and more violent. One day we were at the grocery store and he was demanding that we buy him candy. This is when he grabbed the infant seat with my newborn in it and started violently shaking her seat with her in it trying to knock it down. It just happened that my baby had a doctors appointment the next day so I called and demanded that he was seen as well. I was worried that he would eventually hurt someone or him self... Not to mention my helpless newborn. (As a side note my youngest has some special needs. She was born with a rare genetic disorder and we almost lost her around the eighth day of life so I can't help being overly protective of her as she requires constant care and multiple therapies a week). He no longer takes his anger out on her tho. He didn't have any chaotic early years. His father and I are together and have never been apart. We have been together since i was 16 and he is the father of all of our kids. However at times he works crazy long hours (he drives a truck locally. However he is home every day and makes special time just for him as we know he has these issues) while I am a stay at home mom and have been his whole life. I am 100% dedicated to my kids and between my son and my youngest there is NO way I can leave them with anyone. Sadly there is a history of mental illness on both sides I just don't know what. My father in law has been in and out of mental hospitals over the last almost ten years after trying to commit suicide. And my husband grandfather (dads,dad) Did commit suicide and died when my husband was around 10. However my in laws are a strange bunch and refuse to honestly tell us exactly what he is diagnosis with. Even while knowing about my sons issues they still refuse. All of their medical issues are kept secret and they even got very upset with us while I was having a conversation with my husbands cousin regarding my youngest genetic disorder. Explaining that it could happen to them because my husband is a carrier as am I. And anyone in either of our families could be a carrier as well. My mother in law lashed out towards me demanding that no one in their family has it and there is no way what I was saying is true. Ugh!! And she was very mad at me for discussing my childs medical issues saying that i was blaming her family etc... Then on my side my bio mom was/is a real piece of work and I have NO contact with her since I was 17 because of this. She refuses to have contact with me for no reason what so ever. The last time we spoke was when my youngest was diagnosis and I was looking for answers. She told me that I bring too much drama, refused to tell me anything and "blocked" me on facebook. Whatever... Our pedi is medicating my son. He hasn't had a complete evaluation and I am planning on mentioning that to him at our next appointment. The biggest problem I have is that we have an HMO insurance and our doctors office is more than an hour from home. We live in a very small farming town. So all specialist seem to be even further. The therapist we was originally sent to was a giant piece of work. I mean I know my son was bouncing off the walls and demanding/angry when I took him in but geez. He was no help at all which is why I am hesitant to take him to another one. It was a giant waste of time, energy, and money. So we have just stuck with our pedi. Our pedi goes above and beyond in my opinion. And difficult child isn't his first case. I am in constant contact with him regarding my little man and we both want nothing but the best.
Does anyone children go from perfectly pleasant one day (or a few days in a row) then go right back to being angry and mean for a few days. I feel like my son does this back and forth. Last night the kid was a saint. Sweet as can be. I now find myself just waiting for the next strike to happen. I'm so torn not knowing what to do. I don't want to make the wrong decisions for him. Any othe side effects experienced with the risperdone? I'm not worried about weight gain as he can afford it. He will be seven next month and only weights fourth pounds. My five year old weighs more than he does... Sorry this got so long : /


Well-Known Member
Here's what we did: do your own research. Don't just look up clinical data, read real-live biographies of people with various dxes. For example, books by Temple Grandin (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)) and John Elder Robinson (Asperger's) provide an insight into how those dxes operate in one person's case. There are some out there for various MI and mood disorders, etc. Each person is different, but... we found that the clinical descriptions didn't seem to fit but the real-life examples of how they think... was a much closer fit.

Start a parent report (it's somewhere in the site resources). Pull together all your observations etc., all prior data, what's been tried, what worked/didn't work/why, etc.

Pick up "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It's a different approach to challenging kids.

Some specialists are easier to get in to see than others. Any chance of an Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation for motor skills and sensory issues? Those challenges can result in various mysterious melt-downs that don't make sense ... until we understand what the "overload" triggers are. It's not usually one particular trigger, but an accumulation, and one final event "seems" to trigger the melt-down but really, it's a lot more than the "trigger".

Is he in pre-school? i.e. did the challenges seem to ramp up with the start of school?
OR... is your home fairly noisy and chaotic?
The reason I'm asking is... APDs don't really show up much until toward school age (can't be diagnosed accurately until about age 7). If he has problems with auditory figure ground or auditory discrimination, then group environments make 'hearing' a major challenge, and can make effective listening almost impossible. This makes the child seem oppositional when in fact, they are not getting the message... and/or are mentally exhausted from trying to get the messages all day every day.

Just some ideas...

Tell us more about him - things he likes to do, what he does with same-age peers, any special interests, any talents... the more you tell us, the more the rest of us might recognize some trends too... not that we can diagnosis, but it might help you and the pediatrician figure some things out.


New Member
My son will be seven next month and is in the end of first grade. He didn't attend preschool because of where we live. I live in a very small farming town (population of 700) with no preschool options besides early childhood and he wouldn't have qualified. So he just went straight to full day kindergarten. He is rarely a problem at school. Everyone tells me how great and sweet he is. All the teachers and staff adore him!! He even get good grades. he will Complain about having To go or so his homework But at tge end if the day it isnt a problem. He is much smaller than his peers but seems to get along with them for the most part. He did play team soccer this year and seemed to really enjoy it. Until his games were over than he would find reasons to have a fit. Mostly he spends his free time playing with Legos, reading, riding his bike, swimming, jumping on the trampoline etc... He is very active and changes gears quickly. It is rare for him to stick with one activity for any length of time. When I watch him play with friends he has to be in charge of whatever the game may be and he enjoys playing rough games and tends to take it to the next level with someone being hurt. So I don't allow it. He has a five year old brother that he has a love/hate relationship with. One minute he wants to play with him and the next he is lashing out and hurting him. You just never know which child you are going to get. There is a GREAT loving awesome little boy that we get to see only a few days a month, the rest of the days it seems like he just looks for reasons to pick a fight or to have a fit. I can actually see him looking for something to fight over which turns into hours of him raging out of control. And when I try to redirect him it doesn't work. He will just keep poking until there is a reason for him to loose his cool.

I truly appreciate all of everyone's input. It is so hard dealing with him while on lookers just have negative comments toward me. I am doing the very best I can do for. I don't have much if a support system in place besides my husband.


Well-Known Member
Do you live in the US? If so, usually the pediatrician isn't very good at diagnosing childhood disorders. Also, lots of us traveled a few hours to have evaluations. in my opinion it's hard to know how to treat your child if you aren't sure what the problem is. I'm in a small town area too and we always have to travel. Not fun, but we did get a lot of help. seeing a neuropsychologist and Occupational Therapist (OT) would be a good start.

I'm really sorry about both your family (I had mom who was a PITA too) and your husband's family's refusal to tell you what diagnosis. there have been. It would be so helpful if you could get their cooperation...but ya can't make 'em.

I really do think an evaluation would give you a lot of answers. That isn't the same as a pediatrician's guesswork or a therapist. The testing is intensive and from 8-10 hours and in all areas of function. We learned a lot about our son.


New Member
Hi, I'm typically here just as a learner and haven't posted yet, but your son sounds so much like my 8 year old daughter I had to! My daughter's challenges started earlier than your sons, but otherwise I could be reading about her. Every child is different so this is just for your "research and maybe try" list, but for my daughter 90% or more of her behavior I can now attribute to diet. It's been a several year process, but we now know that she can't have dairy, gluten, any artificial dyes or additives to eat or on her skin (the Feingold association has been a great resource for this one) and we are now testing eggs - I've eliminated them but haven't reintroduced them yet. This past month (after we pulled eggs) she has been near perfect - and then last week she had a gumball and we lived through 4 days of raging, hitting, throwing (the old world)...and yesterday she was back to easy and happy again.

She has sensory processing disorder (SPD) (Occupational Therapist (OT) helped, diet helped more), vision issues (she was seeing double - who knew? Vision therapy has helped, but it took a lot of work to find a good doctor), and dyslexia. I suspect Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) - but this summer we are treating her dyslexia so all my money is going to that. An Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) assessment has to wait. Knowing all these things has helped understand her avoidance reactions - which can also look like defiance or hyperactivity. It also helps her teachers understand her, which means she come home less stressed.

I wish you all the best as you figure out what is going on with your son. I can hear how much you love him and how worried you are. I know exactly what that feels like...


Member you really are going through a difficult time! But you are doing the best you can under sircumstances!
You say that your son is doing well in school? Is this with or without Ritalin? Ritalin helps for attention, not hyperactivity.....does he have both? Can he function without it at school?
My son is 9 yrs old now and we also went through the rollercoaster of maybe ODD exct. Regarding ADHD there is a standarized Conners questionaire that his teachers can fill in to determan if he has ADD or ADHD( sorry, I know there is new termanoligy for this diagnosis)....
I agree with other members that its very important to get an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment to see if he has any Sensory Integration dysorders....because sensory seeking behaviour can look like hyperactivity....and sensory avoiding behaviour together with overload can cause meltdowns that looks like ODD behaviour.
Then...find out if he has any Auditory Processing dysorders? Get an ST assessment...because this can look like inattention and can cause plenty of frustration in him resulting in tantrums.....
The explosive child book was a HUGE help to us!
Regarding the ups and downs.....My son is like that! He has emotional dysregulation....The psychologist strongly thought about BD...but the psychiatrist and neurologist agrees that he has a very mild form of Asperger syndrome...
Things that will put him on the autism spectrum would be...poor social quality interaction with peers, or socializing being very stressfull....sometimes, always wanting to be in control is the way this kids try to lesson their anxiety.....Repetitive behaviour, obsessive thoughts, for example struggling to switch geers or get stuck on a topic....poor qaulity eye contact, mostly with strangers.....Sensory sensitivities...and more( maybe do some reading on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD))
my son was on Risperdal, but very low dosage....sometimes we thought it made a difference and then sometimes not...I think the therapy, us learning how to handle things differently and mostly him becoming emotionally more mature helped alot.....He is also on Cypralex, its an antidepressant for the obsessive behaviour...
My son picked up 10 kg on Risperdone, so we stopped it without the doctor knowing....he is a bit more tearfull and stuff, but his selfesteem was so low because of the weight gain! Seing the doctor in June again...He also had bedwetting, side effect from Risperdone....He was also more irritable....
Hang in there....once you get the right diagnosis and treatmentplan things might start to get much better! Hugs coming your way!