Need Some Help with My 11 Yr Old Son

Updated on January 13, 2011
T.B. asks from La Coste, TX
14 answers

My son is 11 years old, and he is ADHD and has been on medicine for some time. He has been pretty bad but it just seems like it is getting worse. I will give you some examples of some things he has done over the last couple of years.. Last summer he was spending the summer with his grandma (my mom) and he through a lot of fits when he didn't get his way, or something wasn't going right for him, one of the times he got so upset and literally punched a whole in the wall. My son has stolen money out of my wallet, and just recently he stole my credit card and went on his psp and dsi that he just got for christmas and bought things on there. This is getting ridiculous, I don't know what to do, he is grounded right now from the credit card and he doesn't have any thing in his room left to play with just his bed and clothes everything else is gone. So today since he is still grounded I have him doing chores for me so he can work off some of the money that he owes me . He did really good today and I had told him if he does good then he could earn a day of restriction off. So he was suppose to be outside trimming vines from the fence and I am walking outside and my youngest daughter (4) yells to me, "momma dawson caught the dog house on fire" I didn't know what to think. I asked him what was going on and he said he didn't know, I asked my other daughter who is 6 and she said she didn't know, so I asked my 4 year old and she said that her brother got the lighter (one of those long ones you light candles with) and caught the dog house on fire. He was there trying to put water on it to put it out. I don't know what else to do with him, my husband and I have tried everything. We know he is going in the wrong direction and we don't know what to do. Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated. I am looking into something like a boot camp school but haven't found one yet that will take 11 year olds. Any suggestions?

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answers from Houston on

Try play therapy and/or counseling. Hope things get under control. Muck luck to you! Parenting is hard!!! Hang in there!

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answers from Columbus on

When you say "everything" do you mean that he had play therapy, cognative behavioral therapy, psychiatric care, OT, Speech, social skills classes and educational and behavioral interventions at home and school? What has his psychiatrist said, and what does hiscongative behavioral therapist (whom he should see weekly) say about the issues that have been building for so long?

If none of this sounds familiar to you, I would suggest that you back track some. Go to a Neuropsychologist and get a full evaluation, then ask your psychiatrist to suggest any other evaluations he may need (speech, OT) and have the psychaitrist give you referals for some intensive therapy. You probably need to have his medication evaluated, and if you have been seeing a psychiatrist, you might consider finding a new one, a board certified child and adolecent psychiatrist, one who will work with you very closely, as the medical needs of a child who is entering puberty can be very difficult and usually require adjustments, and sometimes, wholesale changes from what has worked in the past.

I strongly suggest that you look into the possiblity that your son has comorbid psychological issues, because your sons behavior is extreem for ADHD. If you have not discussed this with the psychiatrist, or if the psychiatrist is not recoginizing any additional issues, please seek out more appropriate psychiatric care. The evaluation will also give you more clues about appropriate interventions.

If punishment was going to help a Neurological issue, none of us would have children with ADHD or any other psychiatric disorder. I really doubt that you are going to get him the kind of help he needs in boot camp, but it is a fantasy for many of us who have been at the end of our ropes with a child who has these kinds of difficult issues. I would not send him anywhere without the recomendation of a psychiatrist whom I trused implicitly, and it really does not sound to me like you have that. I would seek out that kind of care and relationship with a doctor first.

I would suggest that you read a couple of books by Dr. Mel Levine. One is All kinds of Minds, and the other is The Myth of Layziness. I think you will see your son in these books, and realize that he needs some intensive therapy.

I hope you find him what he needs.


10 moms found this helpful


answers from College Station on

I have to say it, but your 11yo issues are NOT ADHD related. He may have some serious psychological issue that he needs immediate help with. PLEASE see a therapist with your son.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I would take him back to see his psychiatrist, & let him/her know, that the medication is not working for him. A lot of times a child/adult gets misdiagnosed with ADHD, and it ends up being Bipolar Disorder. I have Bipolar and when I'm cycling, I can be VERY "HYPER". I used to hit my walls, slam doors. yell & cuss my mother out, throw/break things, and take risks. I am on 2 antidepressants & on Lamictal. There is no cure, but at least it's under control. Left untreated, can lead to disaster. I've been through hell and back, because my mother & father were in denial. When I was about 21, my Bipolar became full bloom, & I had to be hospitalized with heartbreaking results. It ruined my 1st marriage, & almost cost me my 2nd marriage. Please get your son help ASAP!!

Good Luck, and contact me if you have any questions, or just want to chit chat. If you like, you can look me up on Facebook. Send me a message, if you would like to connect with me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Your son may need a psychiatric evaluation and counseling, but most definitely he needs a lot more attention and supervision than he's getting from you and his father. First and foremost you need to spend time WITH your son and when you see him making bad choices than have an open conversation with him about what he's doing and why. By conversation I mean 2 sided...ask lots of questions and listen to him and try to understand what's going on. Your son sounds like he could really benefit from getting some good, honest attention from his parents...medication is never the fix all. It is painfully obvious that you are not addressing all of his needs, but instead expecting a pill to "fix" the problem.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

As the step-parent of a child who was EXACTLY the same way---I beg you to get some professional help and not from the school counselor. My stepson began by destroyingl things and moved onto setting his home on fire two different times. I was terrified of him and finally refused to allow him around my son. It was heartbreaking. His mother and father (my husband) refused to see his problems and let him continue to disrupt everyone's life--including his. Please help him and protect youself and your other children (and pets).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

God Bless you... and your son. That sounds horrible. I can't imagine. I completely agree with the advice Martha R gave you. I have a now 15 year old son that has ADHD. He was diagnosed over 4 years ago, and with the help of medication (we tried and tried to find other ways, but in hinesight wasted so much time and energy trying to avoid medication), he is a different kid/person. Medication is not for everyone and certainly there are many kids that are on medication that should not be. For our son, it was night and day. Regarding academics, self esteem, relationships with peers and/or family members, EVERYTHING etc..

I really wanted to just let you know that finding the right psychiatrist (and/or other doctors/therapists, etc..) is priceless. I looked up La Coste, TX to understand where you are located. Our pediatric psychiatrist is in Houston/Klein/Spring area and unfortunately, not close to you at all. He is FANTASTIC. In case you do not have someone in your area, or know of someone to start with, maybe you could call Dr. Steffek's office and ask if he has a counterpart that he would refer you to in your area or the San Antonio area. You never know, it's worth a try and better than chosing someone out of the "yellow pages". I have met patients in Dr. Steffek's waiting room that drive over an hour for their appointments. Also, we have waited on ocassion 2 hours to get into his office, I realize that is borderline absurd, but the bottom line is that he is THAT GOOD... no one would do that if he wasnt. His office # is: ###-###-####.

Good luck and I'd love to hear a follow up.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Hard to trump Martha's advice below.

But my 2 cents is that his diagnosis sounds way more like Oppositional-Defiant Behavior and is on the way towards some socio-pathic tendencies. He is way more deviant than the standard ADHD kid and that is NO excuse for his choices and behaviors anyhow.

This scenario is becoming scary and dangerous and you need to respond strongly. Call in your support: school counselors, doctors, child pscyhologists, family counseling, church clergy - anything to instill permanent change. Before he outgrows you all.

Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

COUNSELING ASAP!!! All 3 of my sons have severe ADD or ADHD, and none of them have had these types of problems.

Call your child's pediatrician, and ask if there is a child psychologist that they can recommend.

We've taken one of my sons to a wonderful counselor for other issues, and it was a God Send! Be open minded, and realize that change doesn't happen overnight. It took almost a year to see major changes, but it worked!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I agree with the last 2 responders. If you are unsure of wheree to start begin by talking to your vchild's school counselor on where to start finding a psychiatrist or counselor. Call your insurance or if you don't have insurance there should be county resources.

I agree this doesn't sound like ADHD. I ditto Op Def disorder with other major implications.

Lots more needs to be tried before just shipping him off to boot camp.

Given his tendencies, PLEASE watch your other children with him carefully. It would be a tragedy for them to get caught up in something he does and to get hurt.


answers from Jacksonville on

What were the consequences to him when he punched a hole in the wall?
" " " " " " " stole money from your wallet?
" " " " " " " used your credit card without permission for the games?

Why does he have access to your credit card to begin with?

Before anyone can give you and solid advice, there needs to be more background on what you've done (or not done) in the past.



answers from Boston on

Read what martha r. said. She is a very smart women!


answers from Modesto on

"Mom, Dawson just caught the dog house on fire"..
Holy Mackerel.
I so wish I knew what you could do. I have a nephew who is now 23 and was the same way and still is and still lives at home, good luck.

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