Seeking help and advice

Me and my wife are having extreme difficulty dealing with our 7 yr old son. He is diagnosed with ADHD and we havent received any clear diagnosis of ODD. He matches all criteria for ODD. We are seeking any advice and information that may be offered. We are desperately seeking positive ways to cope and deal with his outbursts and behavior. He has been placed into special education because of his behavior, not because of learning disabilities. He is constantly in trouble at school and being sent home with bad daily reports. At home he has good days and very bad days. He yells, throws things, threatens self harm and attempts to run away. We have him in counseling for ADHD but it hasnt seemed to help. Please, we are seeking support, advice and help. We are desperate and love our son very much.
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Well-Known Member
I am sorry.

Take him for a complete diagnosis. Don't self diagnose. Get professional help. I like neuropsychologists best for accurate testing. You can find them at children's hospital and University clinics. Many disorders mimic what you think he has. Be proactive. Be smart. This isn't a phase and will likely get worse with no professional intervention and diagnosis.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
What the heck is an ADHD counselor??

Go to a neuropsycologist who is a high level diagnostician. Or at least a psychiatrist. He may not have ADHD. Have him tested by a very educated professional. A counselor has less education and is NOT allowed to legally diagnose anything which is a good thing. They don't have the schooling. Only a psychiatrist and neuropsychiatrist can legally diagnose in most states because they have the extra training.

Could be a form of autism, learning problems, processing issues, mood disorders,...only a very educated professional can pick up on the nuances. I personally would dump the counselor.

Love and light.


Roll With It
Have you ever imagined having adhd? Your thoughts run at the speed of light. Each thought is TOTALLY FASCINATING to him, but he has to work incredibly hard every single minute of his life to remember what he is supposed to be doing. Of course you cannot work that hard all the time, so just his inability to keep his thoughts on the topic at hand get him into trouble.

Then you figure in the absolute DEMAND of his body to MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE MOVE NOW NOW NOW all the time. Every single minute he wants to jump to go from one thought to anohter, and to move his body with it. But of course all that moving just causes him to get in even more and BIGGER trouble.

Then he is never ever out of trouble. So why even bother to try? No one try to understand you. They just want you to do what you simply cannot do. When you fail, as you will every single time, they are going to punish you and take stuff they promised away. The game is rigged for kids with adhd, at least from THEIR point of view. Many of them get to the point where they don't even bother to think about trying, they are that sick of the game.

Wouldn't that set you up to have ODD to? To hate the Authority that demanded this of you? It would me.

My son had adhd pretty badly. He is incredibly gifted. He could be rolling on the floor giggling about dinosaurs during a meeting and then stand up and tell someone what was said during the last five minutes of the meeting. This is at a meeting for something he did NOT care about. Of course if we made him sit still, all his thoughts were on sitting still. There was no room in his head for anything else. Too bad so many of his teachers just didn't get this. Not that he needed to roll on the carpet all the time, of course. But why was wiggling in his seat while he wrote a problem? Trust me, even if they don't bump anyone or fall over, kids who do this get marked as the kids who are "trouble". been there done that.

We insisted the school write and actually follow an effective IEP with accommodations for my son's need to move as he learned. He was not supposed to EVER have his fidget items taken away unless he was throwing them, hurting someone with them, or using them in a way HIS MOTHER found inappropriate. It took a while, but eventually they learned that HIS MOTHER didn't find much use of them that he did while seated and not infringing on other people's space or making noises about them to be inappropriate. That clause came after a teacher found that fidgeting with them while she was talking was an "inappropriate use" of his fidget items. Even the teacher admitted that he wasn't bothering anyone at all, not even her. She got a "But" out of her mouth after that and I shut her down.

You are going to have to learn to be your son's advocate. Sure you have to be his disciplinarian, but you have to see this from his end also. Part of the problem may be expectations at home. Many kids with adhd are just about done for the day after school. They cannot handle more time with schoolwork. They need to play and run and do sensory things. They do NOT need to do more paperwork or lectures.

Now you wonder how your adhd son can sit so quietly while he watches tv or plays a video game if it so hard for him to sit still and pay attention. Things that truly capture his attention and hold it are things he will hyper-focus on. Every single part of him will focus on it and it will be hard to break him away from it. Sadly, many of those things are NOT things that are great for kids in any great quantity. That hyperfocus is as much a part of the adhd as the constant motion is.

You need to have your son evaluated thoroughly. I would look for a private neuropsychologist. Ask the pediatrician for a referral. If that is who sent you to the adhd counselor, say you want more input and be pushy. If your doctor won't give you a referral, get a new doctor. Yes, it is THAT important. If you have to, google "Neuropsychologist" and your area. Then call and ask if they work with children. If they are at a Children's Hospital that is a given. If they are at a university hospital, they may work with kids or adults. Call the office and ask. If the office isn't available, call the office of children's psychiatry at that hospital and ask who they use as a neuropsychologist. There may only be a couple of them in your state. Tell your pediatrician that you want a referral. Insist if you need to. Or change doctors if your doctor won't do this and won't tell you how to get the referral.

The neuropsychologist will work to do hours of testing in short sessions so that it is tolerable for your son. This will give you a lot of information. NOT all of it. You also need an evaluation by an Occupational Therapist. Kids with adhd often have problems with motor skills and other things. One of those other things is the sensory stuff I mentioned. The term for it is Sensory Integration Disorder, but you may think he is just picky about food or noise or whatever. His brain processes sensory input differently. With adhd kids there is at least some sensory issue with proprioception, or where our body senses it is in relation to the world. There are things that can help. An occupational therapist can really help with this.

I would have a private Occupational Therapist (OT) evaluation done. The school will have occupational therapists but when the school therapist evaluates, they will evaluate only for how the problem impacts your son's life at school. This goes for ANY person the school sends to evaluate your son. A private therapist will give an evaluation of how your son's entire life is impacted. The good thing is that sensory issues can be helped and they are helped without medication. The help is side effect free, at least as far as the things most parents worry about!

If your son is in Special Education, I hope he has an IEP. You need to read through the Special Education forum archives here. There is a TON of very helpful knowledge there that will be a HUGE help to you. Most important, insist on measurable goals and accountability from the school. Know that you are a part of the IEP Team, not someone waiting to hear their decision. You are not the lawyer waiting to hear what the judge says. You are part of the jury and your voice has as much to do with the verdict as anyone else's. You can call a meeting to review or change your son's IEP at ANY time.

I hope some of this helped. It is hard to understand what it is like to be a child with adhd. Having raised one, and having been raised by someone with ADD, inattentive type, I know a little about it. I have also talked to them about it.

I don't know how you feel about medication. It is incredibly personal. For my son, it was a blessing. He was 7 when he took his first dose of generic Ritalin. WIthin 20 minutes he was a different child. Not only did we enjoy him, he liked who he was while he was on the medication. The great thing about most medications for adhd? They go into the body and work very fast, then they are out of the body. They don't linger in the body until you get into the longer acting forms. At least not the kinds they generally start kids on, generic ritalin or adderall. So if they are bad, they are bad for a day, not for weeks. My son is 26 and is STILL on medication for adhd. He has not ever gone off of his medications for more than a couple of days. He does not take a stimulant any longer, but he did for years without any addiction issues.

Oh, one quick and fast thing that I found really helped with the adhd kids I have known? Keep their protein levels high. Every meal or snack should have protein. If you are going somewhere right after school, insist they have a decent serving of something with protein before you go. Steady fuel with a decent amount of protein really did help a whole lot! I even kept protein bars in my purses, car, his cubby at school, just about everywhere. Why? WHen he got low on energy or he had too much sugar/high carb junk, he was a miserable little jerk to be around. Those are my son's words for his behavior, not mine. The protein gave him the fuel to cope with whatever he needed to do for at least a little longer. I looked for at least 30% protein, 30% fat and 40%carb like the Balance bars or Zone bars. More protein to less carbs was also just fine, sometimes it was even better if he was going into something very high stress.
I am just reintegrating back into daily life with my son. I may have misspoken when refering to ADHD counselor. He sees a pediatric psychologist. I was incarcerated for a few years and my wife has been shouldering responsibility on her own. I have been in a fervor picking up my parental duties and lightening the load she has been carrying. I am beginning to learn the proper terminology for things in this field of ADHD and ODD treatments and coping skills. Please bear with me. I truly appreciate the advice and information and am in pursuit of and researching pediaric neneuropsychologists that will be able to assist us.


Well-Known Member
I am just reintegrating back into daily life with my son. .... Please bear with me. I truly appreciate the advice and information and am in pursuit of and researching pediaric neneuropsychologists that will be able to assist us.
Good for you! For stepping up to help your son. Maybe your son has struggled with the loss of his dad. Maybe mom was under a lot of duress. Maybe he had various care givers during this time. Is there any possibility of alcohol use during the pregnancy?

You are doing the right things for your son. I hope you get the best help for him and find what will work best for him.



Roll With It
It is wonderful that you are right in there to work with your son. Kids truly need both parents. Your son is lucky to have such a caring father. Some of the outbursts may be due to the upheaval of the family. Not that your coming home is bad, not at all! Just that it is a big change. You are stressed from the change and so is your child. He is such a little boy, no matter how big he acts.

One of the best pieces of advice I got with my son was this:

Take an hour or so 2-3 times a week to do what your child wants to do. Not a big outing or something. Just interact with a board game or a toy that is NOT electronic and does NOT have a screen. Rather than focus on the game and winning or losing, focus on your child and what he is or isn't saying and doing. If you child suddenly wants to do something else that isn't electronic and involves the two of you playing and working together your son's way, go for it. Whatever you do, for that time, focus on interacting with your child, not on his behavior as far as if it is "good behavior" or "bad behavior". Don't let him get hurt or hurt others, of course, but let him lead the game or story. Often a game that helps you tell a story or something is a good way to start off.

I wish I had done more of this when my children were little. Not that I had spent more time making them do homework and sit still.

I am sorry I overloaded you with information last night.