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Old 12-07-2011, 11:02 AM   #1
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Kid with ADD

My 14 year old kid was diagnosed with ADD and "executive functioning disorder." He was not doing well in school, and in some ways did not seem to care about whether he did well or not. He would forget to do his work (or just not bother to do it), not study for tests, do half the homework and then not complete it, behave in an immature and disruptive way during school, watch TV or play games rather than doing his reading, etc. Of course, his grades sufffered. When we told him to do his work, he would get angry (and then still not do it). Not a good situation. It caused a lot of arguments. After the diagnosis, doc put him on focalin (now 20mg -- started at 10mg and moved up). He is still far from a model student, but his behavior and performance in school have improved. What has not improved is his combative nature. He does not like to be told what to do, often argues with his mother (beyond normal teenage struggle for independence), acts disrespectfully, and every week or two has a hysterical screaming fit. A couple of weeks ago he even punched his mother. Is this sort of combative/argumentative behavior likely related to the ADD, or a separate problem? When we ask him, he sometimes says he cannot control his behavior, and he typically regrets it afterward. But then -- a week later -- back to the same things. He is in therapy, but it does not seem to change the situation much. Any thoughts/suggesitons?

This all is hard for us to relate to. My wife and I found school pretty easy, and success came without huge effort. Same with our other kid, who sails through school (and life) with straight As. We live in an area full of high achievers. We feel like we are facing something we are ill-equipped to handle. I would welcome any insights/thoughts/suggestions.

 
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Old 12-07-2011, 04:55 PM   #2
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Re: Kid with ADD

Issues with impulse control can absolutely be a manifestation of ADHD. As many parents can attest, homework time is difficult, and will likely remain so. The violence is a real concern though, and your son will have to learn that it's simply unacceptable, as that sort of behaviour toward loved ones can continue on into adulthood if not addressed (and the kind of 'time out' they give adults can severely curtail one's life chances).

As a child I regularly lied about my homework, and fought my parents tooth and nail over doing it. I don't recall ever becoming violent, but verbal abuse was certainly not uncommon. Unfortunately, I'm not qualified to give you strategies for addressing this, though I'm sure some of the parents on the board may.

 
Old 12-07-2011, 07:12 PM   #3
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Re: Kid with ADD

Violence is not a normal part of ADD. Some of us do have short tempers sometimes, and of course school troubles can be frustrating, but punching his mother is not acceptable. It may just be puberty, but it cannot be tolerated.

Now, it is incredibly difficult to have ADD in school. Imagine how awful it would be to work your very hardest, only to be told you don't measure up and you aren't trying. He may simply have given up.

Also, executive function trouble means it's hard for him to figure out how to start tasks, and ADD's organizational difficulties make homework very hard. First you have to know what the assignment is, remember to bring home all the materials, follow all the instructions, actually sit in a seat to do it for a long time, then get the finished assignments to the teacher.

ADD kids also have difficulty understanding and following complex rules and instructions, and their emotional maturity and self-discipline develops slower. Back in elementary school, I was sent to the principal's office almost every day. Frequently I had no idea why.

Bottom line: the Focalin is just the beginning of his treatment. You need to find a coach or therapist who has experience working with ADD kids. Coaching can teach him the study skills he lacks, and a counselor can address his rage.

Meanwhile, the right discipline is important. Where school issues are concerned, be open and listen. But you must maintain zero tolerance for violence or other seriously antisocial behavior.

 
Old 12-08-2011, 07:58 AM   #4
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Re: Kid with ADD

It could be temporal lobe ADD. He may need an additional med like neurotin. I looked it up in a book. "Healing ADD...6 types.."
by Dr.Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
I hope you find this info helpful.
From what you wrote it sounds like he is beyond normal teenage anger? It may be worth checking out this book. He gives others experiences. See if it relates to your own. Share it with your doctor. There was one with an 8 year old boy who had an issue and many people were skeptical. It may be worth considering.
In addition there is a chapter on parenting and family strategies.

Last edited by LessStress38; 12-08-2011 at 08:05 AM.

 
Old 12-26-2011, 07:48 PM   #5
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Re: Kid with ADD

My son was diagnosed in may. We were told that ADHD could be a surface problem, he may also have another disorder called ODD or conduct disorder. We have had similar issues and our doctor increased meds from 30 mg of Vyvanse to 50mg. It also could be the medication he is on.....don't be afraid to contact his doctor regarding your issues, mine has helped me tremendously!!

 
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:32 AM   #6
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Re: Kid with ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kavalos1979 View Post
My son was diagnosed in may. We were told that ADHD could be a surface problem, he may also have another disorder called ODD or conduct disorder. We have had similar issues and our doctor increased meds from 30 mg of Vyvanse to 50mg. It also could be the medication he is on.....don't be afraid to contact his doctor regarding your issues, mine has helped me tremendously!!
Great post!
you have a two good points...
it could be the conduct disorder as well as the med adding making him more irritable

Also,
to the original poster, I noticed your approach is often to "tell" him to do his homework etc.
It may be that you need to adopt different approaches to how you parent as he is different than your other child and needs more positive encouragement.
Again, the book in my previous post may be useful.

 
Old 01-06-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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Re: Kid with ADD

My daughter is only seven, but started Focalin about a year and a half ago. The impulsive behavior related to her ADD is quite dominant and often results in many arguments and somewhat aggressive behavior. When her dosage is right (adjusting for growth spurts etc.) she is an absolute darling. When her dosage wears off, she can become very angry (and very quickly I might add) and sometimes violent as she just reacts to her emotions without any logical thought process. I have been told that this is normal for kids with ADD that have a strong impulsive component. It is heartbreaking because she will just break down into sobs after an episode and beg me for forgiveness and say she doesn't know why she did it. Very similar to the behavior you are describing.

I am not overly impressed with Focalin as a med for my daughter. I am literally fighting her ped to explore other options that better control the impulsive component in her ADD. I could be wrong as we are still rather new to dealing with this, but different kids react to meds differently. Sometimes you need to try a couple of different options before you find something that works the best for your child. We have adjusted dosages, but not changed meds and I am done!

Hope that helped to know that you are not the only one experiencing the same thing.

 
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