13 answers

My 9 Year Old Daughter Needs Help.

My daughter is 9 years old and she has been diagnosed with ADHD. However, among the typical symptoms of this special need she is also having anger issues, lying issues, and I continually catch her stealing from school or or local grocery store. Plus, I have noticed that depending on whom she is spending time with her MOOD and PERSONALITY greatly change. She recently admitted to me that when she plays with her younger sisters that she finds herself getting so frustrated with them that she begins to tremble. When asked why she just didn't walk away and find something else to do. She replied by telling me that she was trying to calm down on her own. However she never is capable of calming herself before something happens. Like spanking them or yelling very meanly at them or even going as far as hitting in the face or pushing them. We have open communication and we talk often. I've tried talking to her about the things that she does and problems that she may have and her feelings but she never seems to think anything is wrong. I don't agree with medicating my child and for that I don't give her the medication for the ADHD. It makes her a zombie! Can someone help me by maybe giving me an idea about what might be going on. She has a tattered past and I know there are some issues that might be depression related but I have a horrible feeling that it's something more.

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I just want to thank everyone for there advice and stories. You have all been a wonderful help and I hope that we will soon find that my daughter will finally shine as who she truely is. I wish you all the best in your journey... Thank you again.

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M., I have raised 3 boys who were all diagnosed with ADHD. I had the same feelings about the medication initially, and honestly thought ADHD was a "crock". The school finally gave me an ultimatum, either I take my son in for an evaluation, or they would contact cps. After taking my son to three different specialist, who all had the same diagnosis I had to accept that my son had issues. We tried eliminating sugar, red dye, dairy products etc. We tried everything possible short of medication, but nothing worked. Finally after a lot of research, and a little bit of trial and error, we have found a medication we are happy with. I only have one child still on the medication, and it makes all the difference in the world. The biggest reason for the anger is simply frustration most of the time. People who are diagnosed with ADHD typically score a bit higher when given an IQ test. Just imagine being in the middle of the most exciting part of a book or a movie, and you keep getting interrupted, by you. Frustrating!

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I am so sorry to hear about this, she is so young to be this troubled. I have 4 children, 3 of which are boys. All 3 have been diagnosed with ADHD. I really struggled with the notion of medicating them or not. Their grades were really suffering and they were getting into trouble at school, so we tried different medications till we found the right one for them.
My boys do not act like "zombies", they are still full of life and I really feel that now that they are on meds we can really see their personality shine. Once we got all of the impuleses under control, and they were able to control themselves they really have made great progress in school too.
My oldest son is soon to be 16, my middle son is 11, and my youngest son is 9. We have gotten someprofessional help in the past, so we as their parents would know how to teach them the right way, and to learn what is to be expected from them. And so they would have someone to talk to besides mom and dad. Some one they felt like they could confide in with out getting into trouble. I would recommend getting professional help for the both of you. For the support you need, and the parenting skills needed in raising a child with ADHD. My prayers go out to you.
God bless,
J.~~Abilene, TX

M., please find a doctor you can trust and do all the research you can. I wish I had the information that is available today about Bi-polar which shares some of the systoms of ADHD. I briefly share my story so you don't find yourself where I am today with my daughter. From the time my daughter could express feelings we noticed her sudden mood changes. They can even be seen in family pictures and videos.

My daughter is now 20 and when she was younger the information I searched for just didn't come together and the doctors were not too familar with these issues. The lying really threw me off track because with the information I found it didn't connect to bi polar and its other systoms such as the mood swings at the time. The lying only got worse and I felt there was no where to turn. My family and I sacrificed so much as I felt I had to be able to be available to my daughter 24/7. My other children especially my other daughter suffered from her lying. It affected our community inaction because her lies spread. My husband ended up getting transferred when she was 18 and senior in high school. We are a close Christian family and now that she was about to be out of that high school cruelty period we thought she was growing out of the lies, but later we found out it was being new to the community that we didn't know anyone, so we were just not hearing the lies she was telling at high school.

She got pregnant four months later, told many lies there as well, the father and she could have had a good relationship except she destroyed that relationship with lies too.

The lying is destoying her life as she does this and makes bad choices in her life. It is amazing now that I am finally able to find the help I need, now the problem is now that she is 20 getting her to the help she needs and being extremely concerned for my grandson's care from her. She did some abrupt changing in the past month and like up quit her job and moved in with a man she knew we were very concerned about, and taking her son who has only lived here with us. She lied and hid things from us and we had thought she was doing well and then "slap" there it is. She didn't out grow it after high school. Sadly it is that I can research and find exactly what I have always been looking for and then look back and put things together today and much easier than living in the midst of it all those years.

She was on medication that did help but she became pregnant and we were not sure of its affects on the baby at the time so she stop taking it. So she hasn't been on it since. I am a health freak and like you I am not too keen on the idea of medications. But you need to realize that there are possible levels in your daughter that are lacking, like with my daughter possibly serintonin levels in her brain that are not meeting what they should and it causes my daughter to lie among other things. I tell my daughter it is like a diabetic who needs insulin and has to take a shot to replenish it. There is nothing to be ashamed of, it is honorable to get the help that is needed.

I hope that this has encouraged you to be open to more options in helping your daughter. I will keep you in our prayers. Good luck.

Our daughter is also 9. Will be 10 this year.
Spouse was against giving her little girl medications while I was for it for a year ealier. Our child did well in Kindergarten and 1st grade but in 2nd there was some indication of her shutting down in and out of school. We learned parenting skills of such kids needs to be mostly postive not negative, they get enough negatives all day long. We chose Focalin over Ritalin and it has been a wonder drug. We were able to decrease the dose in one year by having her go through LearningRx. She went from a low level reader to a 4th grade average reader ready for 5th grade which is a big deal. Our child has ADHD diagnosis around 2nd grade and when she started the medication it helped very quickly when at the right dose. As the work gets more challenigng use of the brain the dose may need to be increase. It is very short acting so don't worry about it building up in the body. LearningRX helps children create new pathways in the brain to get around the ones that are overactive or "jumbled" have been proven to exist at Yale Univ. Brain scans and proof is why ADHD is considered a disablity and a right to extra school help. Our child also has mild Aspegers! Which the school helped up on and is giving help with but has to deal with the ADHD hyper kids even more since She is inattentive type of ADHD how she respond to it. Our child hardly needs to bring home work home and gets it done in school Before that it was a nightly struggle to 10:30 at night to get work done. Medication and LearningRX and School help and tutoring and learning new parenting skills do help. Good Luck Now! Oh and we get what we deserve not mediticating. The drug is a "drug" to others without these issues but for those that need it it has the OPPOSITE effect which is why they may slow down so maybe a smaller dose could help and counseling. What keeps your child in balance and when out of balance. Where, Why When with who or how. Our child went from not wanting to go school to loving it! Aspegers is a trick diagnosis and even is not a single condition but can be in a number of forms. A hot term now is Sensory Intergration. Look it up! One of our friend did not believe in medication her her child used very strong timeouts to help her child and it does seem to help her. Her child would do very bad things so for example when she was in timeout the other kids could watch tv but she could not, or they got to go to the zoo and she had to stay home. In other words real "consequences' of timeouts and the child's behaviour is improving we hear.When the child learned and figured out the consequences for her behaviour the behavior improved. Being a girl with Adhd and Aspergers make her pretty rare and special as far as the world knows presently but studies are coming out that many girls are misdiagnosed as it is pretty easy to tell in a boy but not in a girl! Our child received social skills training which she we hear is excelling at learning which other kids learn naturally. Again Sensory Integration for trying to understand your child could help! And a child psychologist or chlid psychiartrist. Since you are doing it "on your own" then your responsible are you an Expert? I guess not yet. I do hope you find a non-medication route too. But taking medication can help find that non-medication route and help diagnose it! That is the best thing of ALL. My child claims the one chld that goes wild in her class with the littlest bit of sugar will make her react to it. Read the book Sugarbusters for help that way. She even told us not to give her cake if invited to a birthday party but give her own dessert just for her. She was an attention getter to the extreme.

One of my spouses friends kids has a very rare anger management issue dealing with his bodies reactions to things and some other reasons.

Maybe she is a thrill seeker so have do activities that are thrilling like wall climbing, But teach her to control the thrills she seeks. Because people who do that may Skydive too. But she is trying to get your attention and sure is succeeding at that. Now your job is what will reduce her need for attention what increases it. Usually is frustration that builds up into anger.
Getting even with society. Best of luck!

M., I have an 11 year old boy that has ADHD since he was 4 years old. I hated medicating him but I had no choice. I am very thankful that the DR talked me into giving him the meds. He takes Concerta and we switch every few months to Adderall due to weight issues. My boy has very good grades, is well liked but he like your daughter has one person that ticks him off. I am that person. I cry myself to sleep because I feel my son hates me. He says, "Mom I don't hate you, it's that I love you and I get fustrated because I want to be perfect for you.

M., he has the teachers asking him to help them wioth special projects, the Principal asked him to help with the Parade and coaches begging him to play sports. He loves to please. The Dr.'s in Florida told me kids with ADHD are pleasers and need to be very involved in activities such as sports or scouting, or voluteer orgasnizations to help burn that extra energy they have. I notice my son very different when he is involved. The medications also saved us. His grades were so low and he could not read. Now he is in the excellerated readers program, A/B Honor roll and without medication he could not concentrate. Please look at this website and I hope it will help. Concerta.com... Wish you and all moms with children with ADHD lots of Luck, respect, patience and love. Everything our kids need. Hope this helps.
Tessue

Hi M. my name is A. , and i go through a little bit of what you are going through with my 5 year old and my 14 year old . I have found that finding something that they are really into helps with the anger issues a little. I did not believe in medicating either until my daughtere ( 14 ) got older and the anger outbreaks got worse. It left me with at one time a broke rib and at another time with a fractured hand. Then at that moment i knew i had to do something to help my child and that is when she started going to the therapist and now she does great. There are a few outbreaks now and then but nothing like before. And it had gotten to where she was very viloent with her 5 year old brother. But they diagnosed her with adhd and bipolar. Now my 5 year old is having sever outbreaks and he is starting to see the therapist this week. If you ever need anyone to talk to you can always email me at ____@____.com A.

ok, so this is a really touchy subject and i completely understand you not wanting to put your child on medication. however, it sounds like she has a "biological misfiring"in her brain and cannot control the behavior on her own. my nephew has the same issues as your daughter. his parents have also tried skipping meds because of the side effects, but it just wasn't worth it in the long run. he is a much happier kid when he is on the medication because it helps him to control behavior that neither he nor his peers or parents like. that being said, have you looked into homopathic medicine? Fish Oil (they make for kids also) has been a really good behavior and mood controller my children as well as my nephew. i deem it the wonder drug it does so much. i suggest researching it on the internet and see what you think of it. it comes in pill or liquid form. i highly recommend it.

M., I have raised 3 boys who were all diagnosed with ADHD. I had the same feelings about the medication initially, and honestly thought ADHD was a "crock". The school finally gave me an ultimatum, either I take my son in for an evaluation, or they would contact cps. After taking my son to three different specialist, who all had the same diagnosis I had to accept that my son had issues. We tried eliminating sugar, red dye, dairy products etc. We tried everything possible short of medication, but nothing worked. Finally after a lot of research, and a little bit of trial and error, we have found a medication we are happy with. I only have one child still on the medication, and it makes all the difference in the world. The biggest reason for the anger is simply frustration most of the time. People who are diagnosed with ADHD typically score a bit higher when given an IQ test. Just imagine being in the middle of the most exciting part of a book or a movie, and you keep getting interrupted, by you. Frustrating!

Hi M..
I, too, have a9 year old Daughter. I feel for you but my heart goes out to your Daughter. Did you get more than one opinion on the ADHD diagnosis? Did you talk to a Counselor/Psychologist/Psychiatrist not associated with the school? I ask because I do feel that too many children are hastily diagnosed and also because you mention that she has a "tattered past". Nine is a very sensitive age. Most 9 year olds are already egocentric and stuck in the middle of being a "little girl" and being a "tween". Her anger and her violent outbursts do need to be stopped but that won't happen until you find the root of her anger and frustration. My Daughter at 8 and a half began displaying horrible behavior that I could not understand or handle. It was constant screaming, yelling, fighting and tantrums. A friend of my Husband's, who is a Pshychologist, gave us some advice and assignments to try at home. To our amazement, we got our little Angel back!! We didn't think we'd ever get over the constant stress. Maybe your place of employment has a program which allows you and family members receive counseling. I would start there. If not, call city offices to see if they can help. Once you find the root then you'll be able to work on getting back to "normal". Who knows, it may be as simple as you spending one day a week with just you and her doing "girly" things.
Take Care and just be patient. It will get better.
D.

Wow. Sounds like my life all over again minus the younger siblings. I have been there and it is a constant battle for my family. My son is 14 and has been diagnosed with ADHD since he was 4 years old. I did not agree with the ADHD meds either but when my 4 year old was thrown out of 2 daycares...I made a decision. He also has the anger etc issues. He is in counseling and on the meds because without them we would not have a normal life (not that our life is normal). Please do the research. Before he was ever put on any medication, I researched it and I think that I knew more than some of the doctors we have seen. Also, please find a therapist and yes, a psychiatrist. Your child will need them. They will become your lifeline. You can also go to any nutrition store and find over the counter products that may help you. Not guaranteed. One that is really good is Melatonin....cut out sugars and caffeine as that only feeds the anger. It is a long road, patience is a must and time alone with your daughter is a must. Also if she is a zombie on the medication, it is not the right dosage for her. She should appear to act normal on the right medicine. One thing I had to learn is that the medicines don't change your child, they just are there to help them make more rational decisions. They help them focus so please consider the medicines for school purposes. You will notice a difference in attitude and grades. My dealings with ADHD have ended with my son feeling different from others and trying to use ADHD as a handicap. Don't allow that. They are the same as anyone else, they just a little help to make good choices. Schedules and routines are a big part of dealing with this also. Open communication is great but a child with ADHD will shut down on the things that are really bothering them, which is the reason for the therapist and psychiatrist. These professionals should be trained to work with children though. An adult trained doctor is not going to be as effective. Also, I as the parent went through a period of what did I do wrong as a parent...it is not your fault. It is just the way that your child's body is and she needs medication or something to help her. It is hard to handle and even harder to make her understand. Oh, for the calming down part, when my son was in one of his rages, I had him take 3 deep breaths and he had to blow them out. When they don't blow them out the anger remains and it is so hard to calm them. Once they get the oxygen circulating within their body it is much easier to calm them. When they are in a rage unless they are calm your talking to her or punishing her will have absolutely no effect. I would always make my son look into my eyes and take his deep breaths while speaking to him about something else. It did no good to try to talk to him about whatever happened while he was upset. Now of course, being ADHD he could and still cannot see what he did wrong and that is part of my job to try to get him to understand. If you need moral support, give me a call ###-###-####. I have been there and done that and at times still there and doing it and it is a real struggle to handle. Also if you are having trouble with her in school, get on a one to one basis with her teachers, the principals, counselors and whoever else has contact with her. Our schools are designed to help these children. ADHD can be a disability and with doctors backing you, you can get additional help from the school district. My son is very severe so within our school district he is classified as a 504. Meaning that there are a few guidelines that can be reduced. He is in contents masterery class and this gives him more one on one time with a teacher to help with his classes. There is so much information out there. Please use it. It has helped me greatly. I never would have made it this far without the resources we have. OH, one final piece of advice, if you decide medication is the way to go, please don't allow them to put her on adderall. Adderall is not designed for children with anger issues. Of course, every medicine affects everyone differently, but I have run into many parents who feel the same about this drug. By the way, my son is on 5 medications to help. The right combination can do miracles.

I am a classroom teacher and my husband is a doctor. We have both found ourselves working with children that need a different approach to daily life.
You mentioned that your daughter has anger issues, possibly depression and rapid shifts in mood. Have you looked into the possibility that she may be showing symptoms of Asperburger's Syndrome. This medical condition encompasses several mental illnesses to varrying degrees. I have a family member with this condition just a few years older than your daughter. Your account of her is very similar to him.
He is medicated for the ADHD but he also attends weekly therapy and receives special education services to help him with life skills like anger management, organization, appropriate social interaction etc. He is not academically challenged so he attends regular classroom instruction but pull out time for the behavior issues.
This may not be the case for your daughter, but it couldn't hurt to speak to your pediatrician about the possiblity. Also take advantage of the resources available to you through your daughter's school. The counciling office should have a wealth of information they can share with you regarding ways to cope with ADHA off meds.
I hope this is helpful information for you. Good luck!

The advice everyone else has given is great. I myself have not had problems with this issue. My kids are still young. Hopefully, we won't have to suffer through this like you are. However, a friend of mine who is a teacher told me of another teacher friend that had a kid in her class with similar traits to your daughter. Her parents were ready to start her on meds, but they had a conference with her teacher first. The teacher asked them numerous questions. Eventually she asked about the child's sleep. The parents said that while the child went to bed at 8 PM, they would wake her up at 10 PM when Dad got home so she could spend time with him. Dad left early each morning for work and didn't get home until late at night. Then the little girl had to get up at 6:30 AM to get to school by 7:45 AM. The teacher told them that she thought this may be part of the problem. Elementary aged kids should be getting about 11 to 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. I've read this myself in several books. So the parents started putting her to bed earlier and not waking her up. Sure she missed time with her Dad, but she was a much happier little girl. Also, the time on the weekends was better for the whole family. This may not solve your problems, but it may be one strategy to help. If your daughter is not getting adequate sleep due to late bedtime, awakenings (dreams, noise etc.) it can affect her personality severely. Just think of how you feel when you don't have enough sleep. Could you overreact? Be angry and grumpy? I know I am.

that sounds more like bipolar or some other mental condition, the frustration is more severe than ADHD. i would talk to the psych. person at her school and see if they could talk to her. it could be a number of disorders, but ADHD sounds a little wrong for all her symptoms

Bipolar disorder runs rampant through my family and your description of your daughter's behavior does not sound like bipolar disorder. There must be SEVERE depression cycles lasting more than 3 days followed by a "normal" period where she displays no symptoms and then followed by a cycle of SEVERE hypomania. This is a very run down description of Bipolar.

BiPolar disorder is a very specific disorder. There are other things that could be at play causing your daughter's aggression that has nothing to do with a mental disorder. Have you considered asking her if she feels resentful toward her younger siblings? Is she angry at you? Is school frustrating?

I think the biggest mistake parents make is thinking that because their children display signs of aggression and anger their children need to be medicated for some disease.

Inappropriate behavior can be corrected with open communication with her and yourself or with her and a therapist and without medication.

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