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Raising a Child with ADHD

I have a ten year old grandson diagnosed 6 years ago with ADHD. He is on medication, and it helps, but his behavior is terrible. I don't know how much is the ADHD, and how much is just bad behavior. He is argumentative, beligerent, confrontational, deceptive, and talks back almost all the time. He can be kind, loving, and sweet. You never know which child will respond to any given situation. He argues with anyone (adult or child), and if you tell him "No", he has a tantrum.
I need some help. He is straining our family to the max. I need some advise on how to calm him down, and help him get along with others, and stop constantly agitating
everyone. I'll be grateful for any ideas, or anyone's experience with this type of problem.

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I have heard that some children with adhd have food allergies and have had considerable changes in behavior when they were taken off of foods with red food dye wheat and high processed foods. It maybe worth a try to take him off all foods that are processed for 2 weeks and see if there is a difference.

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I am a 68 yr. old g'ma also with a g'son with severe ADHD. I can't tell you but my daughter has extensive info on this. Her answers will suprise you. She is working two jobs so is very busy and wouldn't have time to join this site. But if you woul email her I know she will eventually help you. her email is ____@____.com

If the child can sleep through the night without waking up he doesn't have ADHD, he has a poor diet. Most kids don't need medication they just need proper nutrition. My nephew is the same way. My sister and I have good'ol fashion wooden paddles when the kids act up. Anytime there is a tantrum, talking back, bad behavior, etc... they get swats. It doesn't take many, they just need to know that we mean it. Along with a low sugar/high protein diet they rarely misbehave when we let them know that when we go somewhere that they will behave or get swats. If he's had too much sugar(or hardly any) it's hard to keep him under control. When the swats aren't very effective, we take privileges away or items they cherish along with swats. It works for us very well. Hope it helps.

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Look into DORE Achievement Centers. There is one in Grapevine on 121...I believe they are listed in the business area of Mamasource.

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Hi S.,
God Bless YOu!!! I know it must be hard. Have you tried limiting sugar? We go to a homeopath in Dallas who really can help with those issues and there are no drugs involved. Its alternative medicine and we have seen wonderful stuff with my son. My son is not ADD but has autism. If you google ADHD or ADD and alternative medicine , you will come up with some good info.
Good luck to you!!!!!

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My son was diaganosed and put on medication when he was 7. They changed meds a few times to get one that was going to "help." Although the meds helped him focus, he became aggressive about 6 mo after taking the one that appeared to be working for focusing. I found out after the fact and after research that a side effect was increased aggression. When I found that out, he was 13 and I decided to taok him off it - both he and I were glad. The counselor I took him to (not the one who prescribed the meds) specialized in ADHD/ADD. The first thing he told me is bad behavior is bad behavior and that I should discipline my son. Second, kids with ADHD/ADD need very stable and consistent daily routines. I also found out that many meds used for this condition are the same kinds of drugs used for depression - this is scary to know as so many drugs for depression have ill side effects. So first I would ask you to check and see if ANY side effects to the meds could be increased aggression. If so, it would be better to have him hyper and unfocused (which most boys are that way when they are young anyway) than to have him be aggressive. Most schools put kids with ADHD and behvavior problems in classrooms that have no consistant routine which doesn't help the behavior or the ADHD. My son began hating school because of this. Your grandson isn't any happier than you are with his own behavior and if it is allowed to continue, when he "outgrows" the need for the ADHD meds, his aggressive and beligerent behavior will remain because it became a way of life for him.
If I had to do it all over again, I would NEVER have put my son on medication for this. He is 19 yrs old today - a hard worker and intelligent and he tells me he wished I hadn't either.

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I highly recommend joining CHADD. Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. You can look it up on line. They have support groups where parents can share experiences. I also recommend counseling. I adopted 3 boys that had ADHD and the counselor along with medication saved my santity. The counselor would talk to the boys, and then to me. She helped me to understand what they could control and what they could not.
the school or your doctor may be able to help you find a good counselor that deals with children.

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S., God blessings to you and your family! First if all, his behavior has nothing to do with ADHD. His meds may be causing it! They ARE mood altering drugs! I would get your grandson off the meds, get him involved in sports, or at the very least walking every day with you or the dog, and making him run 3-4 times a week. He is only 10, so he is still sweet and open unlike a teenager! A lot of people just want to place labels on people, or solve every problem with a magic pill, when what they really need is attention, guidance, prayers, and good parenting. You guys need to go to a Christian counselor to talk with your grandson and get to the bottom of his behavior. (Peter Kahle in Grapevine is very good; he is with Crossways Counseling.) Your grandson has obviously had to deal with serious issues at a very young age if he is not living with his natural parents. I commend you for raising him and for seeking advice on how to make his situation improve! I know raising kids can be hard and especially at your age! I have 2 stepkids and six biological kids ranging from 19 to 23 months old and one of each acted difficult and confrontational at times, one of them very often. The behavior changed based on what my husband and I did, on how we reacted, our consistency, love, guidance, church involvement they were in, etc. It has to do with what they feel and of course with sometimes manipulating to get their way... Change doesn't happen immediately, it is a process. But it keeps getting better! Don't despair and seek professional help, and really, let him be a person, himself, get him off the drugs, make him be physically active, do things with him, and get him talking. Best wishes!

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S., I do not have any experience with this, but have you read the book "Is this your child?" by Dr. Doris Rapp. Her information is primarily based on food and environmental allergies and sensitivities and how it affects behavior. It is very good knowledge even if it does not completely solve the ADHD issue. Good luck.

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My heart goes out to you. I also reared an adhd child, adopted at 5 days. Pediatrician put her on meds at 2 years of age. At age six, we learned about vision therapy and how vision problems can cause adhd. I know not all are like this, but mine was. There was a total transformation in her once she was in therapy to correct a convergence problem in her vision. No more meds after 4 years!!! (THEN the pediatrician tried to tell me she was never ADHD! Well, why the meds, then?) Doctors do not consider alternative causes, so you have to take the initiative to learn about them. A qualified optometrist who specializes in vision therapy can evaluate your grandson and tell you if he suffers from these types of vision problems that prevent him from gaining any meaning from what he sees. I also agree with one respondant that you should have him tested for allergies. That also affected our daughter greatly, and later, her son, whom I reared. For you see, I also reared 2 grandchildren, so I know that burden, too. You didn't mention the parents' circumstances that caused your having custody, but if drugs were involved, especially during the pregnancy of your grandson, that too, could be part of the problem. I will pray for you. Before taking custody of my two, I asked a sweet grandmother, who had finished the same task, how she felt when her daughter brought the 2 children home to her. She said they were devastated, but now that it was over, she thought it was worth all the sacrifice and effort. She died a few weeks later with cancer. I considered it a conversation with an angel. I am now where she was then--through with my task, and I can say that there were blessings and heartaches, but God is faithful and will sustain you in ways you cannot imagine. May you be blessed, too. J.B.

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Hi S.,

A good pediatrician who works with kids with ADD/ADHD with nutritional/natural therapy is Dr. Deborah Bain, MD in Frisco. Her website is www.healthykidspediatrics.com. She specializes in these problems and heals 80% of cases with nutrition alone.

Good luck!

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Contact an HerbaLife distributor and purchase some NRG tea. (You can put it in Jello!) This will even out his moods, and you will be able to tell if it is the ADHD, or just plain ol' behavior problems. If it is the ADHD, this NRG will work for him - without the prescription meds! (I used to be a distributor, and this is the ONLY thing I believe in. Try it. You won't be sorry.)

If it is behavior problems, try to sit him down and talk to him. Ask if he misses his parents, if he is mad at them or you and your husband. Maybe he is not getting enough positive attention, and is acting out just to get any type of attention. Have you tried a therapist? I personally don't think they work, but some people have had success with them. How about letting him plan a weekend day out. (Play at the park, have a picnic, then go to the dollar movies... etc.) It will give him a sense of control. Let him have more control at home - maybe it is time to sit down and re-evaluate his chores. Sports - that helps with many children, no matter what their problems may include. Maybe he is having trouble in school, with either comprehension or bullies. Maybe he feel treated unfair by a teacher.

Then... there is the other side. I would use this alternative for last! Perhaps he just needs some tough love! If you have already tried all of the above, then get tough with him. Make sure he does what is expected of him, or punish him where it hurts. (Like take away his favorite things.)

I am sorry you are having such a hard time with your grandson. You are doing a wonderful thing by raising him. He will thank you for it when he is older. Much older. :)

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Hello S.

First of all, God Bless YOU for taking on this great cross and love that you are giving your grandchildren. I have raised a son with ADHD and it brings many many moments of frustration and sadness for all. HOWEVER, if you begin to understand where this young man is coming from (how he is thinking - or better - not thinking, it will help you understand why he does what he does. There is so much to say that I could not possibly say it in this response. My advice is to go to the library and begin to study and read about Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity so you will know what you are dealing with. These children need clear rules (what's okay and what is not okay) and they need as little stimulation as possible.

I believe diet also has a big impact on how they do each day and I suggest you eliminate sugar in all forms as much as possible - this would include white bread, white potatoes, chips, etc. and most processed food which always contains high levels of sugar. Fruit also has a lot of sugar as well as all fruit juice drinks so give sparingly.

Also, know that these children usually do better one on one and even with you, his grandpa and his sister he will feel compelled to be the one who should get the attention, always.

Have definite routines for how things are done. At ten,you should have definite daily routines, he comes home from school, he has a rest period (remember he has been sitting still all day at school and it drives him crazy to sit in one place and be still) so, give him a couple of hours to play and unwind from his stressful day. After dinner have a period of time you or grandpa, or his sister help him with his school work. You will probably have to sit with him doing something else yourself so you are both there together as he completes his assignments. Always praise him for what he is doing right no matter how small as he is getting told how bad he is constantly by his family, his friends (which he will eventually have few of) and his teachers. It does not take long before he is convinced he is the bad child everyone thinks he is.

These children needs tons of love and patience and they need to be told very often how much they are loved as they are getting so much negative feedback from everyone.

Try to get him into some type of sport which will help him with his excessive energy, such as soccor, basketball, baseball, at ten, it is not to late to start this. ADHD in my opinion is a mal-function of the brain where the neurons do not contact as they should - you and I have a thought and we think "Oh, that would not be a good thing to say", unfortunately the ADHD child thinks the thought and because of the mal-function - eithers says the thought (which may be socially unacceptable) or does the act which is also socially unacceptable) either way he loses. After a while it is very difficult to keep explaining away these happenings.

The good part...these people (I am married to an adult ADHD) grow up to handle many things at once, they are usually highly intelligent (have higher IQ's than average) and are capable of great things. They do not do well in school settings but once out and into the world where they can focus on things they desire they do quite well; it takes a while before this happens however, 25+ years.

There is a school in East Dallas called DALLAS ACADEMY on Buckner, which is a private school for children with these issues, they will help your grandson feel good about himself and oftentimes turn these kids around and into successful students. They have a completely different approach to schooling. I highly recommend you check them out and do whatever you have to do to afford to get your grandson into this school.

My son who has the ADHD is adopted so he did not inherit his attention problem from his father, it probably has helped me understand him since I have watched how it affected my husband. My son, now 25, is the most loving, kind, patient person you could imagine, his youth and his troubles have made him tolerant of all people and their issues, he accepts what comes his way with maturity and love. He knows how it feels to be unloved and teased so he gravitates to the less fortunate.

Good luck to you, get to the library, learn all you can about this, and God Bless.

L. R.

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I have heard that some children with adhd have food allergies and have had considerable changes in behavior when they were taken off of foods with red food dye wheat and high processed foods. It maybe worth a try to take him off all foods that are processed for 2 weeks and see if there is a difference.

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Like alot of others said, there may be other issues going on besides the ADHD. My son is 11 and is currently on meds for ADHD and bipolar meds (to stabilize mood swings). The school also had him in Special Services for "Learning Disability and Emotionally Disturbed". In his last ARD meeting they said he no longer qualifies for LD but will continue counseling through the school for ED. Just keeping the emotions in check with counseling and working with his teachers has made a world of difference in our lives (and his academically). You need to stay in contact with his teachers and principal and let them know you care and are concerned with what goes on in school. He has a behavior chart his teachers fill out and send home daily (one of the goals is "accepting no"). Find a good doctor that deals with pedi psych to do proper testing and then do counseling and adjust meds accordingly. If you need one just send me a message. Also online there is a website for ADHD kids, www.adhdroadmap.com. They can send you a Success Kit to help you get through some of the issues. Be consistent and follow through. Good Luck...it gets better.

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I have 2 boys with ADHD, one is 6 the other 7. I know what your going through. We (the boys)and myself go to Dr. Susan Gifford. She has a web site, just google her name. She has been so helpful and is so very knowledgable in this area. Good Luck.

I feel your pain! I have a son that will be 19 next month, and it has been so difficult raising him. He too has ADHD. We tried every medication there was when he was willing to try them. We also tried Neuro-feedback, which helped a little. He went to a private school for a while, then finally home schooled with a tutor that came to our house. Finally he said he wasn't going to do that any more, and he went for his GED. He passed with no study preparation with basically only a ninth grade education. Currently he is delivering pizza. If I could go back, there are a few things that I would change. First of all, no matter how much he protested, he would be in after school sports (something very physically active) because we could see improvment in his mood after he was working his body, but he didn't want to be in any sports and we let him win on that. Our mistake. Second, I would take him to a good counselor so that he could talk to someone who would be impartial. We did this for awhile and it was helping, but our insurance changed, and when we got back on that doctor's list, our son refused to go back. Another mistake. We live in Rockwall, the doctor's name is Napier. He's young, christian, and very good. I would also have chores for our son to be responsible for, especially physical, then I would reward him either with money or a treat that he would appreciate. Lastly, I would not let any X-Box, Nintendo, or Game Station games in the house!!! A key thing to remember is that a child with ADHD is emotionaly and socially immature. At 19, he is really about 15/16 emotionally. The anger isn't as bad as it was, but he's still difficult to be with at times. He is very bright, but lacks motivation, focus, and drive. I pray everyday that He will bless our son. Hopefully soon he will find a job, trade, or career that will motivate him to succeed at whatever it is. Good luck with your grandson!
Catny M

Please educate you and your hubby with NAMI.com. It stands for National Alliance for mental illness. Your Grandson has a mental disorder. My daughter is bipolar and has many other problems including schizophrenia. Nami is the only thing that helped us. You can get free classes, advice and suppport.
God bless you and good luck to you. I must tell you to hold on tight b/c the road is very challenging when you have a child or adult with a mental disorder.

Has he ever been tested for lactose intolerance? my step-grandson was thought by Castleberry School District to be adhd for years til someone thought to check his lactose tolerance level. Turns out--that was the real problem. My thinking is that the teachers and administrators 'jumped the gun' and just lumped his acting out as adhd without even bothering to really fully test him. Sadly, most districts do that.

Your grandchildren are very fortunate to have grandparents who love them enough to raise them. This cannot be easy for you both.

Sometimes medication for ADHD needs to be increased or adjusted as the child grows (my nephew has this and they just had to adjust)... or may need to try a different one if this one is not working. However, behavioral issues may need to be addressed with counseling- he may be dealing with some issues that he does not fully know how to verbalize (abandonment, insecurities, etc). Perhaps you talking to the counselor and setting up times he can go talk to the counselor (if that doesn't help then he may need to see someone professional who can help him sort out his feelings and control) (my son was dealing with some anger issues a couple years ago and having the counselor at school to talk to helped).

Also as "parents" you and your husband need to be on the same page and be consistent in discipline at home. Do not tolerate tantrums or disrepectful behavior and follow through, even if it gets worse... with consistency he will learn his boundaries (because children need and want to know how far), and will become more secure and probably feel more loved.

Dr. James Dobson has a revised book called Raising the Strong- willed child (good stuff) also Dare to Discipline.

good luck and again I commend you for giving them a loving home they can go to.

I recently read up on High Fructose Corn Syrup and its effects on kids with ADHD. I can not say from experience on the ADHD but I know that I now read labels and avoid food with this listed as an ingredient in it. It has made a difference in how we feel. It is hard to find items without this in them and I have turned to more natural foods and even organic foods to try to avoid the HFCS. It was very interesting to read of all the harm that HFCS can do and I know I did not have a clue about it until I read more about it and realized how many foods that it is in. Good luck to you.

Hi S.,

Good nutrition can make a huge difference. Make sure he is eating 9-13 servings of fresh, raw fruits and veggies every day. Let me know if you'd like some ideas on how to make that happen.



I think most of it is bad behaviour, because he knows he can use the adhd as an excuse.
i have 3 sons, and personally, i don't believe in adhd. that doesn't mean that i judge others, i just think that public schools (and society have unrealistic expectations for boys) try to make them sit to still and don't like the natural tendecies of boys to squirm etc. we homeschool, and i keep mine busy. but when they are not, we have a lot of whining, bickering, and just in general grumpyness. we go to gymnastics for 1 1/2 hrs twice a week, have swim team practice once a week in pre-season, now up to 4 times per week, and they ride their bikes, skate board, trampoline, etc about 2-3 hours a day in addition to the organized time, with plenty of free time for play to release their energy. we frequently take breaks for them to ride their bike for 10 minutes and then come back and finish math etc. Even with all this, I don't tolerate bad behaviour because they didn't get to play. I just try to focus and funnel their natural tendecies to positive areas.
i heavily advocate a book called "To Train Up a Child" by Mike and Debi Pearle. I think that you would find it very handy.
I have also been reading recently on the web that kids diagnosed with ADHD have found that it is a maturity problem. They have found that the part of the brain that controls impulse(?) and focus is several years immature behind some peers w/o diagnosis. that is the reason most adhd kids outgrow their symptoms. (almost a direct quote from article) and seem to be caught up by about 13-14, but the article also said that the brain continued to mature at a normal level but it was noted that meds helped the brain mature properly, and that kids not on meds did not mature as fast or as well.
i don't care what your diagnosis is, i don't think that you should tolerate bad behaviour. you are welcome to email off-line if you want to. we live in Stephenville if you are close, they can play at park of something. it might help.
good luck,

I too was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I took medication up until my 8th grade year and then stopped. I am not sure how severe of case I had but I can still feel it at times, ADHD/ADD I am not sure. I wanted to right to tell you that in my opinion some of it sounds like ADHD other sounds behavioral. You said he agitates others, this is because he is bored and doesn't know what to do with all his energy. My parents had me in every sport. Get him involved with activities that he could move and use all his energy. When you are in a car, make sure you have a gaming device he can play with or something to do so that he doesn't bother others. I think if you keep in mind that his brain needs multible things to look at and do when he is sitting idle that it may help you understand where he is coming from and help you get him what he needs to be more peaceful. I hope that helps!

Sounds like his diagnosis might be wrong. On medication, most ADHD children just blend in with the rest. Talk to his doctor about the behaviors and ask if there is some further testing they might do to find out what is causing him so much trouble.

Good luck.

Wow! Much prayers go to you for all that you are stretching to do for your family. Your grandson sounds a lot like my son when he was about that age. It truly was a struggle each day and I was also a single mom with no help either. I was real rigid with him and his schedule and timelines and consequences. This seemed to make things somewhat easier for us as he always knew what the boundaries and consequences for his actions were. Needless to say, we had a lot of work. I sat him down and gave him actions and exactly what the consequences for them would be and worked very hard to never stray from that regardless of where we were. It did not take him too long to realize that good behavior brought good consequences and negative behavior did not pay off.
I also got him on Vyvanse which seems to really help with the self control. I'm not sure how you feel about meds but in order for him to stay focused in school, it was my only option. My prayers go out to you and if you need a sounding board my email is ____@____.com

Much Blessings to you and your husband!

Hi S., This sounds like my daughter! I took her to her Dr. who refered me to another ____@____.com they told me my daughter had oppisional {mis}defience diorder. I'm having a hard time spelling today,too many distractions.Look on the internet or google "op.def.disor. check it out it may not pertain to him, it may.Thought I'd put a bug in your ear,I know I had never heard of it. My daughter is 23yr old and we just got her through school with her GED last week.She is also filing for disability wish us luck! Counciling and meds are the only thing helping her but she still is horrible some days.It doesnt improve too much but with counciling she has learned some life skills.She is very smart so she caught on quick much to my relief! I love her so much and am glad God gave her to me because these are the type of kids that end up being abused because a parent thinks they are being stubborn. Good luck and God bless

We don't have patience like we did when we were younger, but don't give up.
My stepson is 15 and lives with my huband and me. He has been on medication since I met him and at times it gets rough, but God steps in at just the right time and takes us to our next step.

The doctor (psychiatrist) changes his meds about twice a year. It seems to be working. When the attitude starts up we let the doctor know and we let him make the decision about his meds.

Do you live in Wills Point?

If you don't already have a church I want to invite you to New Beggining Baptist Church on 859 in Edgewood.

I'll say a prayer for you.

Many doctors neglect to tell parents that ADHD is aggravated by many common household and personal care products. Removing all spray air fresheners, glade plug ins, carpet cleaners, bleach, ammonia, anything with perservatives such as quaternium 15 found in most soaps, shampoos, etc
and you should notice a considerable difference.
I am a toxin awareness educator and have many email testimonials from parents who have helped their children by simply converting there homes to safer products and using vitamin and natural supplement support. I would be happy to forward you some info if you email me your email address or visit www.LiveTotalWellness.com/texas to learn more.
It does not cost more to have a safer home environment.
God Bless you it sounds as if you really have your hands full and I wish you and your family the best :)

I also now have custody of my 7 yrd old grandson. He has not been diagnosed yet but the school has rejust requested that he be tested. He's had problems all year. His mom has ADHD (diagnosed at 7 yrs old)& is also BiPolar w/ anger/depression (diagnosed at 16)& she was on Ritalin first then a couple of other meds. Side effects were numerous w/ her. Wellbutrin sent her up the wall, was very destructive to self & others, even her grandmother. She was on that only 2 months, we & she couldn't take her on that one! As an adult she has chosen to not take her meds so she has had a lot of problems.
It sounds like his meds are not adjusted right yet. I would take him back to the Doctor.
Also he needs very structured life or it gets very frustrating & scary for them. The least amount of choices the better. If my daughter or grandson has 2 choices they are ok but if you put 3 or more in front of them its like they short circuit.
Email me back I will be glad to talk w/ you. I'm 47 w 3 raised children & one 13 yrs old plus my 7 yr old grandson. I also now have my oldest daughter living w/ us & her other 2 yr old son in Dallas.
Full house, over & over again! Let me know if I can help!

I firmly believe that Love and Logic is the answer. Oyu can look them up on the web or you can look in to your local schools. If you are in the Dallas area i also recommend Patti Villalobos at the Center for Family Development. The number for Patti is ###-###-#### and the website is www.c4fd.com If you are not in the Dallas area she may be able to refer you to someone who is. She is a great ally for the family.
I will alos pray for your family and your grandson.
B. Porter

Even if the behavior is caused by ADHD it is not acceptable. He has to learn to manage and cope with his illness in an acceptable way. Does he get in trouble at school and other situations or just at home?
Many times, kids with ADHD also have underlying problems that need to be looked into. You need to ask yourself if the behavior was as aggressive before the meds or just now. There is a really good child psychologist in Plano named Dr.Tran. They take insurance and it would provide you with answers and support.
I have dealt with this personally and professionaly so please feel free to write back anytime. Everyone needs support when dealing with these issues.

God bless

Hi My name is L. S. My son is 12 years old and diagnosed with ADHD. He also talks back, gets angry when told what to do, He seems to have regressed to when he was 3. It is very annoying. He was on medication, but I took him off when he started saying he wanted to commit suicide and became increasingly irritable and emotional. It has been a struggle. He is now on homeschool for the rest of the year because he could not deal with bullies and is seeing a therapist. The advice I've been given is to be consistent with discipline and not to be afraid to correct them. They are very smart and can take advantage. Sometimes with my son I get nervous that he is going to hurt himself, but I still have to correct him or he'll just run the house.

Dear S. B,

I am so sorry for your situation. It sounds like your grandson has had a lot of changes in his life. You didn't say why you and your husband have custody or if the boy's parents are in his life at all, but nevertheless, there has to be some reason you are the ones raising him. Whatever that reason is has most probably had some effect, possibly negative, on the boy and his siblings. The behavior you describe sounds very similar to the way my step son behaved when he was that age. The number one thing you have to have is unconditional love, followed closely by patience. I also highly recommend family counseling. The boy needs to learn the effect his behavior is having on others. He also needs to learn coping skills and other ways to express his feelings without acting out.

I have already said a prayer for you and your family. I can tell from your message that you love this boy, and you and your husband must be wonderful people for taking these children into your home. Please know that the situation WILL improve. It certainly has in our case. My step son is now a dad himself. He and his children are doing well.

Stay strong and loving.

Deb D

I applaud you for taking in your grandchildren. Many people don't realize how these situations can turn the household upside down. I do as we took in my husband's great-niece/nephew. I could tell horror stories but not now. The niece is like your grandson. It turns out that she was bipolar along with other problems. Is he in counseling? If not I would get him there quickly. The therapist will be able to get to the root of why his behavior is how it is. It sounds like he is internalizing something and his behavior speaks to his pain. Continue to be firm and let him know his behavior is not allowed but you want to help him help hisself. Discuss his medication as it might need to be increased, decreased, or changed all together..

Be patient and loving as this is a situation that will have good days and bad.

I too have a son with ADHD along with autism. He can be the same way when it comes to behavior. One minute he can be very loving and the next the complete opposite. His behavior would mostly stem from the word "NO" or when we ask him to do something. There are so many things that can contribute to ones behavior. Diet, allergies to food or just knowing when to push the right buttons. In the past, we would try to speak to him in a calm voice, sometimes raising our voice but raising our voice only made him louder so we knew that technique didn't work. The best thing that worked for us was to ignore him. He hates when we don't pay attention to him and then he would stop. Even when he threw a tantrum we'd ignore him. We might see something fly across the room and sounds of walls being kicked and we might even get something broken but these things can be fixed or replaced. So, we would wait it out and now it takes a few minutes and then he's done. He now understands that we're not going to listen when he does this. In the past, we would try to stop him or punish him with a time out but it didn't work. Maybe after an hour it might after all the yelling and arguing but that was way too draining. It's taken a while to get him to where he is and we have seen a huge difference in his behavior. He still back talks or at times raises his voice but we are at the stage where I just need to look at him in a stern way and he say, "yes mom". I am looking forward to the day when it stops completely. You might want to take him to an allergist who knows how to test for allergies contributing to ADHD. By changing the diet for a child with ADHD can make a huge diffence in behavior. If you do decide to see a doctor, make sure they specialize in ADHD. My son's pediatric doctor ran some test that I requested and all test came back fine but when I took him to a DAN (Defeat Autism Now) doctor, I found out my son is allergic to gulten and dairy along with other things. We also found out that his meds (Strattera) he was taking had no benifits on him. Basically, he was taking it for nothing because his levels for neurotransmitters were way below the normal range. Even while on his meds. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take him to a specialist over a pediatric doctor. In no way am I putting down the skills of a pediatric doctor but I am speaking from my own experience. My son is nine and I wish I had started a lot sooner but it is never too late to start. My heart goes out to you and your family. It's not easy raising a child with ADHD but by you reaching out and getting help for your grandson is the first step so he can get the help he needs to live a happy life. I wish you and your family love and happiness.

I am a teacher in an elementary school. What you're describing sounds like it needs to be diagnosed by a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. He could be having emotional problems, but what you said reminds me of one of the students I had. He was affected by ADHD, but also had something called ODD -- oppositional defiance disorder. He was hard-wired to buck authority, and get attention any way he could. He didn't deal well with "no," and some days he would come to class and be cooperative, while others he went out of his way to oppose any directions any adult gave him.

I have two boys on medication for ADHD. They both have responded beautifully to the medication without any side effects. (They both have mild cases and little evidence of the hyper-activity.)

I have a friend, however, whose son had to try a number of meds before they found the one that would work for him. She noticed that some of the meds made him angry and confrontational (sounds like your experience). I do not know the name of the medication he is on now, but I would definitely talk to your grandson's pediatrician. It might be that another prescription could be your answer.

Prayer helps too!!

About me: I am a 43 year old mother of 3 boys, (12,10,8) wife to a great man for 17 yrs. and self-employed.

If he is on meds, and the behavior is not changing, he needs to see s therapist as well. He may be on the wrong meds (my sons was on four before we found the right one for him)and you having custody is a good thing, but he may wonder why mom and dad do not want him any more. Please re-evaluate him. Six years ago is a long time ago,and many things have happened in the field of ADHD. Good luck, I really feel for you, I am dealing with the same beast, and it is so hard to know they can be good one minute and so rotten the next!

My nephew who has ADHD took medication starting at age 6.
His behavior was similair to what you described.
He went to live with me and my Mom when he was 9.
My Mom was never satisified with the medicine treatment.
She found a doctor (MD) who specializes in accupunture for all kinds of things. My nephew started accuouncture and vitamin/herbal treatments and became a much more peaceful child. He told us that the treatments made him calm and able to concentrate better. Dr. Lee is Arlington at Ace Acupuncture ###-###-####. I saw him for weight loss and lost 55lbs, and for allergies.

i agree a lot with Lynzie O.
ADHD is just as hard on the child as it is on the family. I raised 2 out of 6 children with it. However my oldest was only ADD he did not have the hyper part.
This is not just a label for your grandson, it is an illness that has to be treated with love and sometimes medication. Keeping him busy is the best treatment. My middle daughter had it and is now 18. I keep her involved in several out of school activities. She loved volleyball, basketball and cheerleading. She did school sports and competitive cheer. Cheering at school was boring for her and she seemed to get into more trouble with school cheer so we took her out of it. She would practice everyday for hours. (2 to 3 hours) I keep a good relationship with her teachers because it really helped once she started getting older. I demanded teachers that had patience and knew how to deal with kids like her. It is a stuggle and it will be hard. However, as parents we can not just let our kids be labled. We have to stand up for their rights and help them through this. My daugther finished school a year early and is now about to going into nursing school. She had to find her passion to be able to focus. Remember most of it is not because he wants to act up. He just gets board. He really can't help it. If these kids could they would. Not to say they can't be punished but just be careful. You wouldn't want to punish a kid for coughing too much due to asthma would you? Get some books and read them, talk to people who have the same issues. I would talk to parents who have raised children with this, not just parents who are in the same place you are.

I have a son who is 11 and is also ADHD. I am seeing a lot of similar things with him and several people have told me that this is common in ADHD boys who are beginning to start puberty. I am a speech therapist and I work closely with our school psychologist. He told me that sometimes the medication will also make this worse and that my son might need a small antidepressant to help balance this out. I have an appointment this week to talk with my doctor. Another important thing I found out...many times ADHD symptoms overlap with other things such as depression and bipolar. It would be important to visit with your doctor to make sure you have an accurate diagnosis. Hope this helps!!

Sounds to me like a good bit of it is just bad behavior, and he knows he can get by with it since he has adhd. He can have it explained to him that certain behavior is not permissible, and if he does it there will be consequences, and then be sure and follow through. there are also foods that make adhd worse. Read labels, as yellow and red dye are in a lot of things and this makes it worse, as does koo-aid, sugar etc. which I am sure your Dr. has maybe told you about.
But if he behaves that way when puberty comes he will really have trouble & maybe even with the law. I hope there is some service with a health nurse or something that can give you better information as how to help.


Here is a link to check out. My nephew was test for this recently and sometimes it goes hand in hand with ADHD. Hope this helps. God Bless

My son is 5 and has severe ADHD, sensory integration disorder and has mood problems. Yours may have Bi polar or is possible having a side effect of the medication. I will say that mine takes ritilan and a mood stableizer called Tri leptol. it has helled with the aggression and temper with him but his Rittilan is not strong enough but because of his age the neurologist wont switch him to another drug.

I know I know many will read this and be against mecidation but our son is so hyper active he was hurting him self and us and our other children and he would run around the house all day in circles he could not calm him selft down at all and it was nessissary for his safety and ours. His aggression was so bad we could not take hiim any where and could not have people over and could not take him to pre school. We tried to get help from the school districe but he also has PDD/NOS and is extremely intelligent and they school districe said that even though he does have the ADDHD and other issues, it does not affect his ability to learn. (an unfortunate loop hole the school district uses to keep from having to help brilliant children who have behavior problems). He already knew everything he was tested on and we could not afford to hire an attorney to fight it when we were denied. (we are in McKinney by the way)

Check with a neurologist to see if it may be bipolar or if a mood stabelizer will help.
Good luck- PS I was typing so fast I missed typed many words but I dont want to go back and fix them...
A. J

I have 2 children with ADHD and the key is consistency and always always always follow through with the consequences you say will happen if they don't follow the rules. Tough love is the only thing that works with my children - also minimum TV and making sure they eat before taking their medicine which helps absorb it into the blood stream faster. Also watch them take their medicine sometimes they like to hide it. Make everyone involved in a guidance or parental role (ie. teachers, church leaders etc.) aware of their diagnosis and make sure they follow through on punishing the child if they do not follow the rules. Treat them like every other child no special treatment becuase they are ADHD you don't want them to use it as a crutch later on - if you don't no one else will either. Help with homework may be needed as well but enlisting teachers before and after school helps alot. Try not to over stimulate them as their brains are already over stimulated and this is what prevents them from focusing.

Hi S. - I don't have experience with my kids being diagnosed. However, my brother has been diagnosed with and several people I know have children with it. Here are my thoughts for you:
1. Pray for strength - as you know, it is difficult for everyone involved.
2. Look into medication - make sure that you know all the pros/cons though. My brother was put on concentra (after trying some others) - it helped in some ways, but there were side effects. It may have to do with dosage too, so be sure you stay on your doctor if you see anything abnormal. His personality would change - he didn't really display emotions. When he got older, he chose not to take the pills and would hide them.
3. Try changing his diet - there have been recent studies linking foods that help. One good resource is Dr. Fuhrman's Disease Proof Your Child. There are other books out there, but the basic premise is to stick to natural foods and limit dairy products. It looks like you are a busy family with little time, but maybe you could look into this.
4. There may some other things going on too - maybe try to get him to a counselor or a children's support group. You could go through the school for a referral, but it seems like they are so busy, it takes them forever to help. His doctor should be able to recommend a good counselor or group. I'm sure Cooks Children's has some kind of program.

Good luck - I hope that you find some good ideas to lift your and your family's burden.

We have a five year old foster son that behaves(ed) exactly the same way. He, too, was diagnosed with ADHD but also Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder as well. His therapist told me that depression in young boys doesn't show typical...sad, tired, mopey. With young boys it's symptoms are belligerent and anger. That explains the outbursts, the anger, tantrums when you tell no and not knowing which child will answer...the sweet loving one or the angry one. He was put on an anti depressive Prozac and Risperdal. It was a little scary for me at first to give the ok for these once I read about them, but he was as miserable as our family was with his behavior. They have made a world of difference for him. He is almost always the sweet, loving boy. You have to see a psychiatrist, though, for it. Hope this helps.

Hi S.,

I am a mom of a 12 year old with ADHD. He has severe ADHD, and we had a lot of problems over the year (kicked out of day care at 3 - tons of visits to the school, etc.). It sounds like the medication your grandson is taking is not working properl (even if it is helping some). I original went to my pediatrician for help with my son's ADHD, he was out of control, just as you describe your grandson. We tried medication and could never get it to really work properly. It did help some.. but we still had episodes of terrible behavior. My son ended up going to private school at the Shelton School (which specifically for kids with ADHD, dyslexia, etc.) They mentioned to me that they could see that my son was out of control and provided me with a list of pschiatrists that specialize in ADHD children. After I started seeing the Dr. they recommend, my son slowly started to improve. He had to get on the right medication that worked with his body, etc. (not all the medications work for everyone) I had to change the way I was responding to some of his behaviours, etc. We have come a long way, which is not to say that we don't still have difficult times - but my family is happy and my son is happy too. I would suggest you find a psychiatrist that works specifically with ADHD children. We use Park Cities Psychiatry, but I am sure you can find others... It can sometimes get expensive, but it is worth it for your family and the future of your grandson. Some of your grandson's behaviour is out of frustration and just basically being out of control because of his ADHD. Try to be patient and understand (which I am sure you are). Good Luck!

I am a 68 yr. old g'ma also with a g'son with severe ADHD. I can't tell you but my daughter has extensive info on this. Her answers will suprise you. She is working two jobs so is very busy and wouldn't have time to join this site. But if you woul email her I know she will eventually help you. her email is ____@____.com

I have a son with ADHD and I know (trust me) what you are going through. Have you tried changing his medication? We have tried all different types and some actually made him real aggressive when he was coming down from them each evening. I've changed peds since he started on medicine and one of the things I liked about the new doctor was all the other medicines he had tried where all methylphenidate based (like ritalin). Instead she tried him on Adderall which has a different base and we noticed an improvement immediately. He has now switched to Vyvanse (spelling?) the new and improved Adderall.

Something else to consider is taking him to a pediatric pyschologist. There could be of issues there that are making him act out. My son tends to get teased and picked on in school. He is also very impulsive which gets him into a lot of trouble. He also has a very big heart and everyone is his friend whether the other kids like him or not. This also gets him picked on and in trouble because sometimes other kids will blame him for things he doesn't do.

Well - I hope this helped. I wish you the best of luck and you all will be in my prayers.

I'd have him tested for food and environmental allergies. Allergies can have an ENORMOUS impact on children's behavior. In fact, ADHD can frequently be entirely controlled without medication simply by altering a child's diet. This is not always the case but it is definitely worth looking into.

Frequent bad behavior triggers can be: food dyes (particularly red #40), wheat, corn (and corn syrup), dairy, chocolate, and refined cane sugar.

I, my siblings, and all of our children, have negative reactions to each of these items, and it IS quite possible to avoid all of them and still eat a varied, well-balanced diet. The difference in behavior with the kids is absolutely amazing and each of us feel is is WELL WORTH the effort of altering their diets.

You may want to try and change the medication he is on. My nephew is the same way and it took us 3 years to find a medicine that worked for him. If it is Adderol he is on the agitation and impatientness is a side affect. He may also be having other issues in school. Talk to him and ask him what is going on at school. Maybe ask the counselor to speak with him, they are there for a reason. Let them help you! Good luck, I hope you get it under control,

P. D.

My son is ADHD and 16 years old. You might check his medication. Some can have adverse effects. Some medications made my son weepy and sad all the time. You might try another one to rule that out. Also, when my son was 10, he lied OFTEN. He's the most honest, sweet guy now, and was before he was 10 - it was a phase. Obviously he needs to know that's unacceptable, but I think kids go through that. Also, I don't know the situation about why his parents don't have custody and when that change occurred for him, but that may be attributing to his attitude. Boys just can't express hurt feelings or sadness - often times they act out in anger.

Dr Kevin Leman was just on t.v. with a book on How to Have a New Kid by Friday. He was so funny and yet seemed practical. He and his wife raised 5 kids so he also has had personal experience. I wish you God's grace

Wow, sounds like you have my son in your house. He is 8 yrs old and was diagnosed this year. I think the behavioral problems are just a stage at this age. He acts that way even on the medication but mostly when he is off of it. I basically tell him to go in his room and get away from everyone if that is how he wants to act. He constantly tells me he wants a happy home when I am punishing him so I mention that to him as well by asking him what makes a happy home and if this behavior is contributing or defeating that desire.

Of course, my 4 year old daughter acts the same way and she is not ADHD... and pray never will be.

As mentioned, some medications do have that side effect so making mention of that to his physician would be beneficial as well if he acts this way while on the meds.


If the child can sleep through the night without waking up he doesn't have ADHD, he has a poor diet. Most kids don't need medication they just need proper nutrition. My nephew is the same way. My sister and I have good'ol fashion wooden paddles when the kids act up. Anytime there is a tantrum, talking back, bad behavior, etc... they get swats. It doesn't take many, they just need to know that we mean it. Along with a low sugar/high protein diet they rarely misbehave when we let them know that when we go somewhere that they will behave or get swats. If he's had too much sugar(or hardly any) it's hard to keep him under control. When the swats aren't very effective, we take privileges away or items they cherish along with swats. It works for us very well. Hope it helps.

You have just described my son to the T!!! He acts exactly the same way and he is currently on medication for ADHD. He gets angry over the silliest things. Let me know what you find out. I am contemplating whether I should take him to a neurologist.


My son is also diagnosed with ADHD and on medication. It is important to discuss the behavior with your doctor. If the medication is working you should see a significant change in his behavior, if you don't either his dose is not high enough or it is behavior problems. I do agree that if his parents blame a lot of his 'issues' on the ADHD, he feels he has free reign. My son is like a different person on/off his medication. My daughter who is not ADHD is a handful. (second child syndrome!) I have chosen to seek out parenting advice and have stumbled upon the Love and Logic parenting classes. I highly recommend them. These class help with children who are very strong willed etc. It may get worse for just a bit, but I have seen it work and change my daughters behavior. I'd say it's time to set boundaries and say No to your grandson, without fighting, screaming or getting mad. This only encourages his behavior. Good Luck! If your in the Keller area, the L and L classes are going on now. There are 4 more. Contact the Little Gym in North Fort Worth for more information.


I don't have a childwith this, but my best friend does, They have battled it also, you might consider changing med's. Talk to his ped. to see if he may be of some help. They also have tried counsling.

Dear S.,

I have a 23 year old with ADHD. He was diagnosed in kindergarten and put on medication at that time. He stayed on medication until high school when he more or less learned coping strategies for his ADHD. He was difficult to get to behave but he did not talk back and was not beligerent. He was always respectful and well mannered. I believe part of the problem is your grandson's ADHD and part may be parenting. I suggest getting professional help as soon as possible. My son went to 4th street project in Arlington for several years for play therapy and counseling. They did a great job with him teaching him how to get along with other children and learning impulse control. We also attended parenting classes specially for ADHD children which taught us discipline strategies. You have to be firm and consistent with consequences. You also need to provide a lot of structure in their lives.
My son still has issues with getting along with peers although he does have a few friends. He's about to enter law school at Baylor. He's never been on drugs or gotten into trouble so everything worked out in the end. Hang in there.

My advice: make sure he truly has adhad with head scans! Sometimes doctors just give medicine with no real testing. They told me that my son was ADHA but he was actually had food allergies. So check with that as well. Very hard to do since you have to do elimation diet which is very hard with kids. Mine is preservatives and food dyes. Also he needs a very structured school and home life. Good luck, K.

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