Anger outbursts: Hi my son was... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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Anger outbursts

JCBuff profile image

Hi my son was diagnosed with ADHD at 5yrs old. He is now 8yrs old. I am finding this age very challenging. He is very moody and has many anger outbursts. The Past month, He has been throwing things at me when angered. Today he hit me in the head with a toy. I remained calm and firm. He gets so angry when disciplined and yells, throws and tells me to shut up. I am distraught and very worried about where this might go. We stopped remote therapy a yr ago bc it was not helping. Any recommendations on a type of in person therapy or approach which has been successful beyond strictly behavioral therapy.


6 Replies

We welcome you to the group. We are all in this journey together. Parenting a child with ADHD is a challange. It is important to give children who have symptoms of ADHD 3 tools: educational plan, medication and thearpy.

Children at 8 years old struggle with behavior and don't have the words to express themselves.

It would also help to learn techniques on best way to parent. It is hard to understand, but children with ADHD don't want to misbehave. This is just how they Express themselves when they don't have the tools to cope.

Hope this helps, again welcome we are always here to support you.

Have you heard of play therapy? I would call your insurance and seek someone who specialized in adhd, aggression & play therapy. Does this kind of behavior take place at school? How do they handle it? Talk to your school counselor too. The counselor would probably also know of local counselors. The therapy is important because not only do they help your child work thru issues and learn coping skills but they can also identify issues needing medication to balance. A psychiatrist would write the prescription for what is needed. If he is being medicated for the adhd, then he probably already has a treating psychiatrist.You are doing great Moma. Staying calm when someone you love is throwing things at you is tough. Hugs.

When you stopped remote therapy a year ago, was it replaced with something else? I'm finally able to find a therapist for my daughter, but it will most likely be remote, so I can only hope it will help her. She has the same anger issues that you described about your son and is about the same age (she's 9).

I can't say the same for your son, but 9 out of 10 times for my daughter, if I take some time to think about it, I can identify a root cause for her anger (ex: her palatal expander was bothering her, and some other thing drives her over the edge; she wants to guess the clue for Wheel of Fortune but my wife and I are shouting out the answers before she gets a chance to try to solve). My point is there's opportunities to stop these angry outbursts before they stop, but it requires extra attention from us as parents.

Just like most parents on here, I'm learning as I go. I wish you all the best and hope you find a in-person therapist that can help you and your son.

Hello and welcome:) I have a 6y/o son with ADHD and anxiety.

American Academy of Pediatrics does NOT recommend talk therapy as a treatment for ADHD. What is recommended for age 6 and up is medication, parent training, and a good IEP or 504 plan.

If you have not heard of Ryan Wexelblatt (ADHD dude) give him a try. He has a great parent training course online as well as informative videos on you tube.

As an experienced child psychologist, who also has ADHD, I’d like to contribute to the narrative about the appropriateness of talk therapy for children with ADHD. I can strongly assert that I have great success using “talk therapy” with children, literally speaking. I am in an office setting where I talk with children (and usually parents, as well). All “talk therapy” is not created equal, and it’s important to consider what we’re talking about when we use this term.

But first…

Parenting a child with ADHD can be extremely challenging and emotionally exhausting. There are often many “in your face” types of behaviors, and over-the-top emotions, and it’s so easy for parents and teachers to just react, sometimes in a less-than-helpful manner. It sounds like you are doing a great job trying to approach your child from a place of empathy, recognizing that he is truly struggling. Staying calm is so difficult, but really crucial to your ability to respond effectively instead of react. Please make sure to give yourself credit for working so hard to control your behaviors. This is good for you, helps to not escalate the situation, and you are also showing your child by example how to regulate their behavior when under stress.

Now, back to the subject of talk therapy. I am in no way trying to refute the accuracy of this statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, I think it’s important to recognize that all talk therapy is not created equal. Therapy is as varied and nuanced as each individual therapist and each unique client. More than anything else, it’s a relationship, and it’s through that trusted relationship that growth and healing occurs. Any therapist who works with children, and is worth more than the paper their degree is printed on, should know that you cannot do “talk therapy” in the same way the term is used to describe conventional therapy used with adults (e.g., talk-therapy using traditional approaches such as CBT, DBT, psychoanalytic, etc.).

It does a disservice to children if parents are led to believe that a child with ADHD should not engage in therapy unless a therapist explicitly states that they intend to use a non-talk-therapy approach such as play therapy. For some children, ADHD or not, play therapy may be the best approach, and I often incorporate play therapy in my sessions. But I have found that even with the average 8-year-old, it’s usually very effective to spend a good portion of therapy time in conversation (thus, “talk-therapy”) with children and their parents to understand what the child is experiencing (which I then help “translate” into child-friendly terms to increase self-awareness), and to problem solve together ways to support the child. A key part of treatment is also to educate the child and parent (and often school folks) to help them understand how that child’s ADHD brain thinks, learns, and processes information differently than many other children. Talk-type therapies can be a very effective part of a comprehensive treatment plan. What’s important is for the child to feel understood, the parent to feel supported and empowered to help their child, and everyone to develop strategies to help make life better for the child and the family. And talking together about challenges, concerns, and hurts - as well as strengths and accomplishments, is one way to accomplish this goal.

What is most important when choosing a therapist for a child with ADHD is to find someone who truly specializes in ADHD. This will be a person who really understands ADHD, really understands what it’s like to parent a child with ADHD, and really understands the the world of the child. They need to know what it’s like to have ADHD in the school setting, AND understand what the child, at his or her grade, is being asked to do in school and whether they have the skills to do it. It’s a bonus if they can help you navigate getting appropriate services for your child in school, if that’s needed. That’s a tall order, but these can be the types of things that determine just how effective therapy will be for your child.

Luckylibra profile image
Luckylibra in reply to Dr-Mom

My daughter and I are in need of a therapist like you are describing in the Denver area. How do we find someone like you are describing? Where do we begin?

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