ADHD Parents Together
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Daughter has severe tempers

My 11 year old was diagnosed at age 8 with Inattentive type ADHD. We have never medicated her and doctors, counselors have told us we shouldn’t have to, however I am at my wits end with her emotional temper outbursts. My husband and Zi both don’t won’t to go the medication route either. Does anyone else have a child diagnosed with Inattentive type ADHD? Do you experience severe temper tantrums with your child? It could be typical tween behavior, but I think most is due to anxiety she has with getting any sort of direction from us for tasks. We’ve learned over the years we cannot give multi step direction as it generally ends up in stress and outbursts of anger. We use checklists in the morning because mornings are always rough and this helps her get through the morning more autonomously and we don’t have to give direction-any other ideas on how you handle someone that gets high anxiety from taking direction and also looking for ideas on how you handle and cope with the severe temper/outbursts because I really am not handling it well. Thanks for the support!

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Hi Bonnmu01! My 6 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD Inattentive @ 3 months ago. Currently not medicating, but I am not opposed to it if his quality of life & friendships start to deteriorate.

Anywho, we're still figuring things out ourselves. But here are a few things that have worked for us:

SLEEP. This is the number one deciding factor to his behavior. He has always needed a consistent, early bedtime in a dark quiet room by himself to get good rest. I can tell by his behavior if he even misses 1/2 hr, and it takes 3+ days to get back on track.

ANALOG CLOCKS & TIMERS. This has helped IMMENSELY. He has no concept of time passage (and digital doesn't help much), so to him it always feels like he just started something & we're taking it away / nagging him why it isn't done yet. Analog clocks help with task completion & indirectly avoiding melt downs.

I see you have signs & charts. Those helps us a lot too. I also keep a full day's schedule on the fridge so he can see what is coming.

CALMING. We've made calming glitter bottles (fun craft day!) that help. After a few demonstrations / using it together, now I say "Why don't you get your glitter bottle & get comfy. Rejoin us once you are calm." Doesn't always work, but it helps. He also likes to do some mindfulness activists in the GoNoodle app, which can help.

I'd also love to hear what works for others!

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Hi there, I have an 11 year old daughter too. Not sure what 'severe' means at your home, but at mine it means all-out hitting and spewing vile from the mouth. Sure some of it's hormones, but much of it is from the ADHD. We too decided not to medicate until just this year. We have had quite a journey figuring out meds...and they will always needs to be adjusted, but I think we hit the sweet spot of late...Vvyanse and 100 mg Seroquel. I just spent 10 mins snuggling with her...I thought that was lost forever. We had to add the Seroquel b/c the out-bursts were just crazy. I mean, I don't know how the police did come to my door for all the screaming. I had bruises from trying to fight her off...it was awful. Anyway, not saying you daughter needs medication, but please listen to Dr. Barkley's video...It is my base in understanding this. I look at my daughter like a diabetic now. There are chemical reasons..an enzyme called comt to be exact that is on over-drive to kill the dopamine. Got this from a genetics test...any way, take a few minutes to listen to the good doctor. You may even want to jump to the point where he talks about meds.

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Thank you so much for sharing. My daughter is 10 and has all of the same behaviors. Multi-task directions make her explode or me finally getting fed up and angry when I've asked her to do something for the 10th time. Sometimes I'm patient and sometimes I'm not. My daughter frequently says very rude things in addition to some physical outbursts. The checklist in the morning is a great idea. We have also just changed her diet and cut out sugar, white breads etc which I hope will help with some. Playing baseball seems to lower her high energy and tendency for verbal outbursts, so maybe your daughter would enjoy playing a sport or participating in another extra curricular activity.

I sympathize with you. The temper is so difficult to deal with and I'm afraid as I'm sure you are too that it may get worse as they actually do become teens.

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Sounds like our house too. The anger can be off the charts. After one off her angry outbursts, when she was human, she said "i really can't think about anything other than hurting you when I'm mad. Hurting verbally and physically. ". I was blown away by the insight bc that is exactly what she does. There is no reasoning with after a certain point. My daughter does 12 hours if gymnastics and Volleyball each week. It does help..a lot. I don't know what will happen if she wasn't athletic. We should get em together for a play date...in a padded room. 😁

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Both of my grandson's have had anger problems with their ADHD but one of them has severe anger. It is under control it's Risperidone. Sorry I'm not going to have my house torn up and me hit.

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Don't apologise! Same decision here. I don't want her to have a police record at age 11.

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Same here. My son is 9.5 and he is medicated at the lowest dose in the morning to help concentration at school. I believe it wears off after 6 hours.

His outbursts are only directed at me or my husband which I guess Is good? Just in the sense that I don’t have to have a third party involved in this behavior. The down side of course is that this has such a negative effect on our relationship.

We have seen several therapists who all say that when he is in that state, do not engage. It is quite difficult when it becomes physical. I have taken to sitting on the floor, back to the wall while covering y face. This prevents me (hopefully) from being injured because I don’t want to be but more importantly I know that he would completely beat himself up over doing so for many years to come. I speak in a low quiet calm tone asking him to please stop. We have also talked to him when he is not in that state to tell him that hitting is not acceptable. Of course he still says things to me that are hurtful but I’m taking it one step at a time and trying to remember that I am his safe place to explode and the adult in the room.

It is NOT easy. I’m sorry if you’ve already done all of this. If so, know you aren’t alone!!

We are going to try CBT as a family soon.

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I've sat with my back against my bedroom door that doesn't lock to keep her from hitting me. Its awful. We decided to go to a long acting stimulant...bc the anger was worse coming off quick release. Also added Seroquel... Really didn't want to do b this, even thought about inpatient.. But the doctor said we need to try the anti-psychotics first. They are working and some days are really.."normal". You child should not be hitting you. I had to keep telling myself that. Good luck

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When my son escalates, my wife tries not to engage but also does not stay near because his outbursts are attention seeking behavior. So, slips off to her room with a book, locks the door, and waits until he seeks her out. That way, nobody to protest to and it quickly loses steam. Then when he is by the door she says, 'are you ready to talk to me calmly now?' Conversely, I put him in timeout and he has challenged me less & less over time. This works because the root of his behavior is power struggle, not uncontrolled rage. He's looking to test who is in charge. If you think that's the case, I'd recommend these tactics. My son is 10.

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My younger grandson is on Risperdone. It is the only thing that controls his anger. Anytime we try to cut his dose he gets worse. I hate having him on such a powerful drug but since we upped his does he has not had detention once.

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Thanks everyone who replied. Really appreciated all the feedback. Made me feel like I’m not alone here. It gets really tough sometimes and your feedback really gave me some good ideas, so much appreciated!

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