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ADHD Parents Together
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Anger Management

I lost it today. Literally flipped my lid and could not calm. After weeks and weeks of nonstop verbal impulsivity, anger, huge reactions, defiance, arguments, and meanness I am just raw. She is 9! 9!!!!!!! I am literally at a lose. She was just recently diagnosed. I’m in the process of looking for a specialist to discuss meds. She is in OT which is touching on Zones but to be honest she can’t use her strategies in the moment. And forget us helping her, she gets more defiant. I am also looking for a new therapist, one who understand s ADHD and can provide her with a different approach other than CBT. being the only non-ADHD member of my family (son and husband also have it) is taking its toll.

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Ugh. I get it. I really do. My daughter will be 9 in a few months and also dealing with a fairly new diagnosis...irritability, anger, impulsivity.....its SO hard. DO not be yourself up...she cannot control it and I did not understand that until we started the med and I saw a huge change.....its like she was normal....

Hang in there.

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What meds did you start for her?

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Hello, and Sorry for tough situation you are stuck. I had this problem with my son. He was in the second grade. Every morning , I struggled for going to school. On that time he was counselled with mental health behavior. Finally, for solving this problem, I prefer to start medicine. Almost it took two months. After that, Its effect of medicine made him worst. About three weeks after he punched and choked their classmate, I believed, it is the time to disconnected it. I did . Fortunately, I think with helping by concealer, and his school about interaction with others, and support by myself, we have better period. He loves school. At morning, His self controlling is better too.

So, you try to start medicine with his doctor. Every child psychologist with some experience about it is good. Because depended on your son that how response to one medicine. After he achieved his concentration, he need your support too. discipline, Martial Art will help you.

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Hi! First you are doing an amazing job!! Don’t forget that you are doing your best and forgive yourself when you have an imperfect moment.

My 7 yr old son was diagnosed with ADHD in April and we were also having severe behavioral issues at home. We worked with his pediatrician to get him on medication while of the waiting list for a medication management specialist. We started with 10 mg Methelphenidate and then boosted him to 10mg Concerta in August for school. It was a world of a difference in school, but behavioral issues at home continued. We finally got into the specialist and added 2mg Guanfacine to his Concerta. This did help calm him at home, but I think there is room for improvement so I will probably try something different. We are also going to do the Neuro exam to see exactly what’s going on and to make sure we understand what’s going on with him.

My advice - See your pediatrician to get your daughter on medication NOW. Also, read the book Reaching for a new Potential by Oren Mason before your appt. This book is an easy read and is has been my bible on the diagnoses, treatment and medication management process and I still refer to it often. It was recommended to me by my pharmacist who also has ADHD!

Good luck and reach out any time!

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I thought about starting with the pediatrician. My concern is that he will just suggest a med and not take all aspects into account. They aren’t specialists in that area

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Hi! I totally get it - it’s not perfect and it’s a little nerve wrecking. However, you know your kid best and should lead the discussion and treatment regardless of who you’re working. I spent a month researching, reading and talking to people (I’m in the pharmacy industry so I took advantage) before I did anything to make sure I understood what was happening, what to do, and to have a few paths forward in mind.

What I did - started with 5mg of methylphenidate, the most common ADHD med and usually first try for doctors. Nothing after two weeks but there were no side effects. Good. I called - can we try 10mg? Yep, no problem. He’s a little better! And no side effects. I called - let’s try Concerta, the 18 mg version with a 5mg AM quick release?since the mornings still suck. Sounds good. This is awesome!!.... You get the point....

Most doctors, books, etc will say to get the ADHD under control first so that’s where I started. Try something for two weeks, then try something else. By the time you try a few things, the specialist appt will be around the corner and you will have more information to give at that appt.

Trust your Momma instincts and read the book I recommended. Also tap into ADHD websites such as add.org. I really truly don’t think you will regret getting started now - you will thank yourself and things will start to come together quickly!

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I think in the back of my mind I was thinking what you said. Thanks for the nudge. I ordered the book last night. It will be here Tuesday (gotta love prime).

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Hi I would not waste your time with a pedestrian unless they were trained to handle ADHD. Finding the right medicine is a journey and sometimes multiple meds need to be tried before you find the right one. Your pediatrician can help you start with a med but I would work at the same time getting an appt with a child psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD. There may be a wait to get in with a child psychiatrist so start ASAP.

Take some time for yourself and know that u are not alone. My son has ADHD and my husband is bipolar with ADD so I understand your frustration. Medicine does help them control their symptoms so highly encourage you get professional help ASAP. Time to hit the reset button!

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You are an amazing woman for being able to handle being the only family member without ADHD. I know it feels like you’re not doing that but you are. I think you need time outs to cool down and clear your head bc you’re dealing with a ton of stress I’m sure. Even 5 minutes a day just to be alone and not think about anything- that would make a huge difference. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. My son has that plus sensory integration disorder, and my daughter has symptoms of sensory integration disorder and can’t process language well, with other delays. She’s just not diagnosed yet. What I’ve been trying is listening to binaural beats to try to calm myself down and clear my head. It doesn’t always work but when it does, I feel so much better.

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I have 3 boys with it and husband so I am the only one in my family as well. You sound exactly like I did before we started medication. It doesn’t solve everything but it definitely helps!! I still lose my temper but it doesn’t feel like I’m constantly in a battle. I get some reprieve. Mornings are still a challenge and bedtime. Try 123 magic if you haven’t already. It has been a great tool for me to help me not engage in arguments and stay calm and in control. It’s a book but there’s a DVD as well. Good luck. Pray!! Look for things to be thankful for. Celebrate every small victory. This is not forever 😊

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Oh my gosh I totally get it. My son will be 6 in 2 months his rage seems to have no bounds. he's also violence. He hurts us at home and hurts kids at school I'm humiliated almost every time we're in public he encourages his sister to act out. It's never ending I'm a single mom sister is almost 3 and is super high-energy but I don't believe ADHD. I could tell as early as one and a half that he was going to be different. And I've always been his biggest advocate for help. It has always been a struggle. After I started reading this actually he's started beating on the doors and calling me a "MOTHER!" He thinks he's so clever. And it was all because I asked him to try and calm down in his room because he was hurting his sister. He is on several medications but I have been afraid to try stimulants. I tried Vyvanse for a small period of time and it made him weepy during the day and when the medicine wore off agitated. So I've been afraid to try anything else. I feel just as lost and I lose it a lot. I'm sorry I'm not much help and I don't have any answers for you. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone.

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My son was also diagnosed with ADHD and ODD at the age of 3. He takes guanfacine Risperdal and Strattera in the morning Risperdal in the afternoon and Risperdal and clonidine at night to sleep. We just started the Strattera and she said it could take up to 3 months to get the correct dose working and to be patient. While reading what you were saying it made me think of my son's odd . Look into it. The medication definitely helps but not enough at all there has to be something better out there. Used to talk therapy and occupational therapy every week. We also have someone weekly coming to the house to help with the havior.

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She is in OT right now. She loves the one and one attention. The psychologist wanted to hold off on the diagnosis of ODD until she got OT for potential sensory processing. I’m pretty familiar with therapy and although I think she can benefit, OT is not going alleviate the difficulties we are seeing. She admits that her anger just takes control and she cannot stop. I mean the girl was could tell me that one part of her brain knows she needs to stop and listen and the other part just won’t let her. It’s so heartbreaking.

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Omgosh my son says the same thing!! He says " i tell my brain to stop and it wont listen". Wow! What is that?

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I think it’s the difficulty with impulse control and the deficits in the part of the brain that regulate emotions

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My son says the same thing! He said that it’s like something takes over his mind and makes him do or say bad things and he doesn’t want to but he can’t stop it. He said the medication he’s on (Concerta and Guanfacine) helps a lot so he takes it happily. We still have a lot of progress so his behavioral therapist recommended taking the Neoropsychological exam to figure out exactly what’s going on and to help fill in the remaining medication gaps. She believes he may need “intensive behavioral therapy” but I’m going to see what the exam says before I do anything like that.

Nlmom - how is the at home therapy working? I’m afraid to try it since my son is very finicky about any people in the house so I wasn’t sure if he would respond to it. What do they do to help? Do you think it’s working?

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Yes absolutely correct! How do you fix the brain? Medication is one way that shouldn't be ignored. Another is to PRACTICE self-control, just like we practice our muscles in sports. How do we practice self-control? The only clinically tested and proven strategy is the Pax Good Behavior Game for elementary schools. Pax lets kids practice being self-controlled and self-regulated in a safe way. Even non-ADHD teens do stupid things under two conditions - excited and with friends. Pax deliberately creates those conditions in school for short periods as rewards for having won a Pax game by being reasonably good for 3-5 minutes while doing work. After 15 seconds of doing e.g. the Chicken Dance, winning teams have to sit back down and get back to work. Doing that 3+ times a day most school days helps kids strengthen the prefrontal cortex decision making circuits of the brain. Pax incorporates physical activity rewards (not stickers, smiley faces or food) that lets kids burn off steam and then practice their self-control. Amazing benefits for ALL students and no one is singled out or humiliated ever. Pax GBG, find it. Get it in your school. Can be used by one teacher or entire school.

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My son also says it feels likes his brain is broken - that he knows what is right, but can’t do it.

Dr. Russell Barkley, an ADHD specialist who’s work I’ve found very insightful, also discusses this. (Trying to find a link...)

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My son has severe ADHD with ODD. The defiance began when he was young and only got worse as my wife and I continued to try traditional parenting tactics. We began Focalin after he started to have more disruptive impulse issues at school. The stimulant helped, but the side effects I believe make him more violent when he comes off it. We read all sorts of books, many conflicted each other. The ODD got really bad with us inconsistently trying tactics from the books, but mostly because my wife and I were also conflicted in style. The constant turmoil and conflict put HUGE pressure on our relationship. Eventually, our household became one big angry hornets nest! My son became more and more aggressive, especially toward my wife. I read a book that said to ‘hold him’ when he’s in a rage, but this made him wildly violent! We tried putting him in his room for timeout (another book), locked the door, but he got even worse! Trashing his room, the walls, his pictures, etc. We completely lost control of our home and our son. We finally took a course on parenting special needs kids, targeting kids with ODD. We learned how to get control of our home back! We learned what behaviors to ignite and which ones to punish. We learned that being calm, but showing confidence was CRITICAL. We recognized that he saw himself as an equal decision maker, or worse, the boss! Actually, since my wife & I were not working as a team, he felt the need to take control of this anarchy. It took us months to correct, but we got our home back. He still tests us, but he actually sits in his timeout chair. When my wife and I disagree, we try to do that in private. We slip up, but it’s much better now. My point in all of this is to persuade you that much of the worst behaviors may not be just the ADHD, but may be learned behaviors that can be reversed. So, while medication can help the bio-chemical driven issues, you need to address the situational and learned behaviors just as aggressively. I encourage you to attend a course that is designed to manage your family issues, because like in our case, this may not be just your kids problem. You need to become the therapist, not just mom. I think you’ll find this helps your own emotional state, which ABSOLUTELY has direct correlation to our kids behaviors.

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Thank you! Very helpful!

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Great advice! Can you provide more details on the class you took? It sounds like our household and I think that class would be very useful for my husband and I to better align.

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We went through a outpatient psychiatric clinic in Minnesota that offered the course. It was great because we were with other parents. It worked because it was just parents learning strategies without the kids. We shared experiences and ideas. Very interactive. There is a course called PMT, or Parent Management Training which is offered online. Same proven methods. However, I highly recommend finding a course where you can interact with other parents. That was really helpful in debating styles and solutions. I found I was being WAY too permissive, trying not to set him off, and my wife was being way the opposite. Recipe for disaster!

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Awesome. Thank you!

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I know the feeling. I have to do meditation before I get ready for the day and Prayers. I have learned to walk away don't give in to the defiance by allowing them to gain control. Horse therapy an ta Kwon do has just been started the past few months . 8 have been trying since 2013 with therapy, counseling, skills training weekly. Yes you need a great psychologist an psychiatrist. Counseling skills with both of you. I'm 70 and I have learned so much these past few years. I'm raising my great grand son age 10 I have had him since 2011. He was diagnosed first with ADHD, impulsive disorder, attachment an detachment. Last year post tramatic stress. Patience an perserverance an outside help for yourself. I'm keeping you in prayer knowing the right people will intervene to help you.

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I know Russell Barkley also somewhat rejects the idea of counseling for changing ADHD behavior. Like you said, people suffering with ADHD usually know what they should - they just can’t access it when they need it. He insists people with ADHD need interventions at “the point of performance” - where the problems occur. So, your school counselor / psychologist / might be a bigger help to you (they have been to us!) than someone external.

Barkley says:

“Given the above listed considerations, clinicians should likely reject most approaches to intervention for people with EF deficits that do not involve helping patients with an active intervention at the point of performance. The point of performance is that place and time in the natural setting of the person’s life where they are failing to use what they know – they are failing to engage effectively in EF (self-regulation). Once per week counseling without efforts to insert accommodations at key points of performance in natural settings is unlikely to succeed with the patient with deficient EF. This is not to say that extensive training or retraining at the instrumental level of EF, as with working memory training, may not have some short-term benefits. Such practice has been shown to increase the likelihood of using EF/SR and of boosting the SR resource pool capacity in normal individuals.”

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My dear friend first I want to tell you that you are not alone in this. I have been here and my grandson is 5 years old. I just got custody and he has adhd, odd, & lies and already know how to manipulate others. It has been through. Tonight will be my first seminar that is FREE through CHADD - online. It is from 7-9 pm eastern tonight if your interested. They have other class free too. ADHD has changed so much and they did not have these classes when my child was young. I made many mistakes and I am just learning new things. The research than was not like it is now. Of course internet was not a part of my life then. Don't be so hard on yourself. We all have to start some place. It takes a lot of courage and love to go through this and want to help our kids. You already started by reaching out and being honest. I felt so lost last week I wanted to give up. I have a rare illness that the pain is worse than having cancer or amputation. Hard to get help for CRPS because doctors don't know much about it. I am glad you shared. To know others are feeling like me helps me to get the help we need. Not to give up!! Anyone can do that!! I am sending you lots of gentle hugs. Looking to hear about your next step and what you learn about this situation. It may help us too. I am going to follow you because I am right where you are. I am not going to give up. It is going to be hard to do the seminar tonight with him but I am going to try to do my best.. ((XX)) <3

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