Help W/ a Trouble Child

Updated on November 14, 2008
D.T. asks from Andover, MN
18 answers

My son 6yrs old son has been getting it trouble at school, and will not listern to us or do what we say. They want us test him for ADHD. is there anyone that is giong though this or can help my find out how to controll him.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the responses. We started testing. see what happiens from here. D.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My stepson went through that when he was in Kindergarten and he ended up on medication. There are other treatments other than medication if he is indeed diagnosed with ADHD.



answers from Minneapolis on

The Alexander Center in Eden Prairie would be a great place to start for advice. They specialize in children with behavioral issues.

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answers from Omaha on

Imagine a radio tuned between stations, where you can hear two or three at the same time, through loud static. This is what a kid with ADHD deals with 24 hours a day. It's exhausting and frustrating for them.

There seems to be a lot of stigma attached to ADHD, which is really unfortunate. My 7 year-old son was confirmed as being ADD this summer and started a low dose of medication just before school. I cannot tell you the difference this has made in our lives - his stepfather and I are far less stressed, he's catching up to his classmates academically, and he's making friends.

Take your time and ask a lot of questions. Do a lot of research, being careful to rely on reliable sources. Don't feel pressured to accept one solution over another. Most of all, be patient with him and yourself; this is a process that should take some time. No one is at fault for this condition. It's a brain wiring problem, not a fault in your raising of the child.

Meanwhile, establish a set routine every day. Children with ADD symptoms need the rigid control that routine gives them; their brains are chaotic enough - routine gives them a sense of security. A nap might help - just before dinner, my son would be exhausted but completely unable to calm himself. Forcing him to stop and take a break made evenings a bit more manageable. Break instructions down into single, simple steps. Get his teachers involved - they will provide a lot of information for your doctor to use in the diagnosis.

Good luck! There IS light at the end of the tunnel.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

Him not doing what you say, isn't a symptom of ADHD. If you ask him to do something and he has trouble finishing it...maybe. I would start with some strict behavior modification. Start a chore chart, hold him accountable and have a routine.



answers from St. Cloud on

Test him. The only thing that helped my son was a combination of counseling, meds and a phyciatrist. Good Luck. IT is a never ending battle even with all the steps we have taken. IF you want more info feel free to email me. J.



answers from St. Cloud on

Try chiropractic care. Find one that takes special training in these types of kids issues. It won't hurt and just may be the help you're looking for.
Also, do you set boundaries and follow through with consequences. He may just be testing his limits at this age. Just a thought.....



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi D.,
My daughter went through the same with her son, he is 5. They took him to a behavioral therapist where she gave them all helpful ideas on how to control his behavior before they tried medication. (he was diagnosed with ADHD). They did this for a long period of time, but he has some pretty bad anger issue's, so before he started kindergarten, they put him on a low dose of medicine, and it is really helping. My daughter tried everything she could before medicating him, but nothing else was really working.....I know it is hard to know what to do in this day and age when they label the kids so quickly. You just have to do what you think is right for your child. If it were me, I would get several opinions before putting the child on medication....Best wishes, CK



answers from Minneapolis on

I would have him evaluated and then maybe even get a 2nd opinion. He might have ADHD and you can get him the help he needs, he might have something else, or he may just be a "spirited child." Both of my boys have had some level of sensory processing disorder and at times have had some, but not all, symptoms of ADHD. With my youngest son we are finding it helpful to strictly limit the amount of time he spends playing video games or watching TV. We make sure he gets daily exercise and we are limiting artificial sweeteners and colorings in his diet. He is also undergoing occupational therapy at a pediatric rehab center. He's had some chiropractic care as others have suggested, but that is a very small part of our routine. All of this hasn't made him a completely different person, but it has helped and I've had people tell me he seems much calmer this school year. Some helpful books are "Raising Your Spirited Child" by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka (a MN author and educator) and "How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk." Good luck.



answers from Green Bay on

I would have him tested for both ADHD and a learning disorder. Many kids are misdiagnosed as ADHD and they actually have a learning disorder. What happens is that they are having trouble understaning the material presented in class, so to cast attention away from that they act out or disrupt the class. Please check out both areas, I would hate for him to be on a drug for the rest of his life if he only needs some tutoring to help help him understand what is going on in class.



answers from Madison on

Whether or not your son has ADHD or any other diagnosable conditions, you need a good patient and experienced doctor to talk to you about your options and testing for this. Every child is so much different. As a mom of a difficult child, an early childhood/kindergarten teacher and a family child care provider for 16 years, I suggest just one thing that can do the most amount of good for any family. You just have to read it or get it on audiotape. "How Your Child Is Smart" by Dawna Markova. Used copies are on amazon for 4-5 bucks shipping included. I know you are talking about behavior but since its happening at school, learning is connected. This will help you to truly support your child and focus on what is RIGHT with him. This book is a quick and easy read and well worth anybody's time. You will feel the change in your life even though it "cures" nothing. My best wishes and good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

D. - this will sound like a really strange response but personally, I would take him to a chiropractor that specializes in children. Behavior comes from a lot of different "events" in our life. It can include the food we eat, to the toxins around us, to the fact that our bodies are not well adjusted. Chiropractic care can help with all of these. You might be amazed at the results and to be able to change his behavior with natural methods as apposed to synthetic drugs is a real positive for the body.

If you live in the south metro, I can recommend a couple of different offices.

Before you add medicine to his body, check the definition of ADHD. Do some research and find out the long term affects of these medications. If you choose supplements, do the research too. Check out Lyle MacWilliam's comparative guide on supplements.

good luck




answers from La Crosse on

I do think getting a (ph.d-level) clinical psychologist to examine your son will result in the most clear and concise diagnosis for your son. Remember, the school cannot at all diagnose your son with anything. IANAD but I do know that a doctor can diagnose your son with ADHD if he does in fact have ADHD. Keep in mind that putting your son on medication if he does have ADHD is not the only treatment method available out there. Neurofeedback is a safe, non-invasive and permanent treatment option for many people with ADHD.

I think you need to read as much as you can about ADHD and talk to a clinical psychologist about it before deciding how to proceed. Good luck with everything. I hope things get better for your son.



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

I suggest getting the Total Transformation Program. You can go to -- the program is great for all problems. We use this program for ADD and opositional defience. Good Luck, I will say a prayer for you. The other thing you can do is find safe cleaning products like Melalueca or Shaklee. The other thing is to find out what your child is allergic to and keep them away from it as much as possible.



answers from Minneapolis on


My oldest son is diagnosed with ADHD. I would suggest you go to Wrightslaw (an excellant website dedicated to special education law)
( and review their resources. IMHO, the most important fact to remember is that even if your child is diagnosed with ADHD, the school, by law, can not require that your child take medication.

"Sec. 300.174 Prohibition on mandatory medication.

(a) General. The SEA must prohibit State and LEA personnel from requiring parents to obtain a prescription for substances identified under schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) for a child as a condition of attending school, receiving an evaluation under Sec. Sec. 300.300 through 300.311, or receiving services under this part.

(b) Rule of construction. Nothing in paragraph (a) of this section shall be construed to create a Federal prohibition against teachers and other school personnel consulting or sharing classroom-based observations with parents or guardians regarding a student's academic and functional performance, or behavior in the classroom or school, or regarding the need for evaluation for special education or related services under Sec. 300.111 (related to child find).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(25))"

If this seems too daunting a task to handle on your own, I would suggest contacting PACER at ###-###-#### and ask for an advocate to assist you. If you would like to email me with any question or need more help, please feel free.

Good luck.

Pam Wendt



answers from Milwaukee on

Well I work with children with different disablities and I can undderstand plus I have a nephew that is ADHD. If this testing is in the public schools they should have a team then with your permission have a plan on what to do with him where to place him in a class that can provide services for him such as if he is having trouble in reading or math. At our school I have a child that I also watch in my daycare that is 8 now and is on meds but is in a regular 1st grade class and is pulled out for reading and math. There also different levels of ADHD children. Some kids are very bright and can learn at a fast pace and others often miss what is being taught to them because their mind is racing a mile a minute. Think of someone who is running but there are actually standing still. This is how their mind works.
Hope this helps.

Caring for kids daycare/ MPS early childhood teacher



answers from Minneapolis on

My son has Sensory Processing Disorder and we have done the following things with great success:

Cleaned up his diet (no artificial dyes...especially red dye, no high fructose corn syrup, extremely limited processed foods)

Multivitamin and fish oil (he won't take fish oil anymore but likes a flavored flax seed oil which has also helped his behavior)


6 months of occupational therapy (and now I do a lot of the things they taught me)

Time outside wandering in the woods (read Last Child in the Woods for great information how unstructured time outside helps kids with ADHD and other issues)

Personally I think it is worth having him tested, doing a lot of research, trying some of the solutions above and then trying medicine if still needed.

Also worth talking to a nutritionist. These folks are fantastic!



answers from Appleton on

I would say have him tested. He may also have a learning disability and should be tested for that too.
Watch what he eats. My granddaughter is ADD-ODD-and slightly autistic. If she has MSG her behavior becomes horrible, violent moments, running around, not listening, etc. As a parent of a special child you need to do a lot of research and tap into whatever community assistance offered to you. You also have to take foods and food additives out of his diet and put them back in and watch his behavior and take notes. MSG is bad for special kids but so are artificial flavors and colors, sometimes dairy and wheat. Discuss his behavior with his doctor and take the notes with you. If you have a note from the doctor the school lunch programs have to provide him with a meal he can eat.
Good luck with him and enjoy him, being the parent of 2 special children I understand the trials of raising them but remember there are a lot of joys there also.



answers from Minneapolis on

Hi D.,

First and foremost, I would first clean up your son's diet, if you haven't already. No colors, additives, preservatives, or high fructose corn syrup. That has done wonders for so many people! Read the food labels on what you are serving him. There is sooo much junk on the market today. If you don't know what an ingredient is, don't serve it to your family.

I would also try giving him some fish oil supplements. You can do your own research there, but I know some adults who have taken fish oil and said it really helps with their concentration.

Before you put him on ADHD meds, ask yourself if his school environment is doing him justice. Not everyone has the make-up to sit indoors for 6 hours, listening to someone lecture. I don't know why we think a one-size fits all approach to schooling is the answer. Is your son more of a hands-on kind of guy? We have wonderful charter schools in MN to suit different child's needs.

Also, he may be bored with his course work, or maybe the course work is above his head.

Has his hearing and vision been checked?

I second the idea to take him to a chiropractor.

Good luck!

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