Really is this normal for ADHD/Anxiety? Aggressive Behavior

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by geekparent, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    Well, my difficult child is at it again. She is hitting other students (lashing out when angry/frustrated) and her teacher.

    I can't seem to get a straight answer regarding whether or not this is actually "normal" behavior for her diagnosis. (By normal I mean that it is somewhere on the spectrum of behavior even if it's to the far end of the scale occurring in a small percentage of children)

    By the same token, if anyone is experiencing this, how do I respond and/or discipline as a parent? I know she's not purposefully attacking and not trying to hurt anyone, and she feels very remorseful afterwards. on the other hand, she has to be told that her reactions/behaviors are not acceptable and there have to be consequences, correct?

    Thoughts? Advice?
  2. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Does she have an IEP? My difficult child had anger outbursts, not hitting anyone though. That was not part of ADHD with him. He was(at that time) just diagnosis'd with ODD. Then came the mood thing. Realized that whenever he was frustrated and felt not in control or overwhelmed, he lashed out verbally. In his IEP we had stated when he feels frustrated, or when the teacher realizes he was getting to that frustration breaking point he had a "cool off" pass. Either he or the teacher could say it is time to use your pass. He was then go to a predetermined room(supervised room) where he would take some time to cool off and regroup, then he would rejoin the class. Avoiding the disruption in the classroom. However, you must be careful. difficult child's are very bright. Mine decided to say he wasn't calmed down and was missing the entire class. When in fact the pass was meant for 10-15 minutes to regroup. NOT then entire class.

    He also started a mood stabalizer medication. Lamictal. This worked wonderful for him. But that was for him. Sometimes it takes a lot of trials to find the right medication. Most ADHD medication can cause anxiety. Most did not work with my difficult child. But my difficult child is just different. Everyone else i know had good luck with stimulants.

    Good luck. If you don't have an IEP, look into one. there are many accomadations you can have to help your child learn without disrupting the learning of the other students. That is a win win situation.
  3. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT had (still has, actually) anger issues. I can't even count the number of phone calls I got from school because of this. Her room has several holes in the wall that I refused to fix, no door because she tore it off the hinges and threw it at me, and my kitchen counter has a huge chunk of missing tile because she slammed a pan down on it...broke the handle off the pan, too. Risperdal was a godsend, but she's no longer taking it because she doesn't have insurance, and won't look into any of the medication assistance programs.

    For Miss KT, logical consequences worked best. She is horribly embarrassed by the holes in her bedroom walls...too bad. She is ticked that she has no door. When she was younger, I would keep her home from things, pointing out that since she didn't demonstrate self-control by hitting/kicking/whatever, she would need to stay home from this event. Karate was also a good outlet for her, helping with her self-control as well as giving her an arena for controlled punching.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I have two children with (initial) diagnosis's of ADD, ADHD. My son? Classic ADHD. Trouble with organization. Impulse control issues. Fidgety, fidgety FIDGETY!!! Never, EVER lashed out and attacked anyone, however. Yes, he has trouble controlling himself - BUT never puts his hands on others. His impulse control issues manifest as speaking/yelling innapproprtiately, not sitting still - that sort of thing.

    My daughter, on the other hand, was in initially diagnosis'd with ADD - but clearly had other issues. She was VERY angry. Had angry outbursts all the time. Constantly hitting, tripping, pinching other kids...kind of a "mean bully" toward other children.

    If you are seeing a lot of aggression, anger, hitting that sort of thing - I'd be willing to bet that "ADHD" or "ADD" is not the whole story...
  5. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Sometimes medications can make things worse. I've heard other stories from parents that Intuniv can cause irritability, anger and aggression. Perhaps that's the problem. If it is, it's not your daughter's fault and she shouldn't be punished for it.

    My two favorite books on parenting challenging children are The Explosive Child and Parenting Children with Love and Logic. Have you read them?
  6. geekparent

    geekparent New Member

    Thanks for all the replies and responses.

    The Girl (TG) was and has been doing fine on the Intuniv through all of summer, then school started and wham! We're right back where we were before. It's almost like she can't take the added pressure and expectations of a classroom environment, which really suck if that's the case because she has to be in school. No place else for her. That being said, she was like this BEFORE the Intuniv. The only thing the intuniv seems to help with is that she actually sleeps (more frequently) at night and she isn't completely bouncing off the walls or running around like a wind-up toy constantly.

    I know she's not doing it on purpose, I really do, but where does one draw the line? She's smart, so if she comes home and we say "Oh you're not doing it on purpose," she will milk that and use it as often as possible. I don't want to ignore the behavior, even if it isn't purposeful because I don't want to give her fodder for later. On the other hand, I don't want to discipline too strongly because I know that it's not all her fault. (However, planting herself in the chair in the principal's office and flat out refusing to pick up a pencil and complete her math worksheet was willful disobedience)

    Anyway, the aggression only shows up when she's angry or frustrated (which can happen very easily with her over the slightest minutia). She's not always aggressive. At home, she can stomp off to her room, though she has been known to throw things. In school, she simply hits and kicks and attacks. I've only seen her push/hit/kick one of her friends about three times, but that's a home situation where we can usually defuse the situation before it gets that bad. The problem is that it shows up with probably 50% more regularity (maybe more) in school than it does at home.

    TG takes karate, but to be honest, I haven't seen any change in her aggressive tendencies. I feel like I'm watching money go down the drain every time I watch her at karate and then have to deal with a day like today and yesterday.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Has she ever been tested for Aspergers? That's what it sounds like to me.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    O we tried that route, too. Tae kwon do was supposed to be GREAT for ADD issues and a good outlet for angry energy. NOT!!! Instead, difficult child began using her new "moves" on the kids at school...

    I'm not saying this is what's happening your child - but for us, we learned that difficult child was being willful and stubborn on purpose, to a point. It was her remedy for feeling angry. If she was angry, upset and frustrated - then by golly she was gonna make sure that the people around her ALSO felt angry upset and frustrated. For difficult child, this was "fair".

    So she wasn't getting angry and frustrated on purpose, but boy o boy she sure was acting out on purpose.

    With couseling, we have learned that instead of "punishment" or "imposed consequences"...we need to ignore her. She can get angry and upset and frustrated and yell and scream and cry - but we are not going to let it ruin our day.

    And if it happens at school - we point out in a sort of "not quite a conversation" way...."Gee whiz - I wonder if that person will still be your friend after being treated like that? I wonder what you'll have to do to make it up to them?" and then we leave difficult child to figure out on her own that maybe that wasn't a good idea. (Wheareas, if you do try and sit down and have a rational conversation, difficult child is likely to just yell at you that of course the person will be her friend and you don't know anything.)

    Find a good counselor who can help your child figure out a better way of handling her anger and frustration.

    (And JMO, drop the karate...)
  9. isocuda

    isocuda New Member

    I was just poking around the internet doing my periodical research on my own conditions and stumbled on this thread.

    I'm 25, Male severe ADHD, ODD, Mild Bipolar, and Aspergers Syndrome..... <- the latter becomes obvious from my formality, yet lack of sentence structure

    Martial arts is good for discipline once you have learned self control, horseback riding is a better bet. Worked for me, but not all. Best way to tell is if your child seems to have a fondness for any kind of animal.
    The flip side, is some people with any of my conditions can be somewhat abusive to animals because they see them as lesser creatures. Some what of an over rationalization of things.

    Another point, sometimes our outbursts are actually bottled up opinions. For instance someone whom we normally get along with does a series of annoying or rude things to us or even someone else that we witness, at some point we lash out in frustration because we're going over days worth of stuff all at once. Which when asked "why are you upset?" it's usually MUCH more in depth then we let on. Yet other times we're just ****** off because we over planned something and it didn't go our way. My mother a major in early childhood dev, one thing she did with me was to give me a journal (when I was of age to clearly write in a notebook, sadly my handwriting has yet to improve since then haha), but when I was younger she would just have me tell her all about my day in school while she took notes.

    To focus on Aspergers specifically, best way to understand how we see things is to go on Netflix and look up the BBC's "Sherlock" the visuals and dialog are pretty much spot on in how we view the world, although much more extreme.

    Lastly, Buy LEGO's and K'NEX whenever it's on sale. It's quite possibly the best creative outlet, not sure if girls are inclined to use them, but most females with similar conditions I've met are enjoy them.