You said, “I agree his behavior was wrong, but my struggle is that I feel like once he is “set off” he cannot control himself…” You are right, his behavior was probably not in his control after a certain point. But, the discussion can’t stop there. He still has to learn to interact with peers and adults appropriately.
My son hit everyone for every little infraction his 2nd grade year, even if he felt that student wronged another student, having nothing to do with him. It was the only reaction he knew to anger and frustration. We applied a behavior modification system to the problem and, after 6-8 months and a lot of consistency, the behavior never happened again (that was 7 years ago). Here’s a detailed account of how we did this:
Here are more strategies for stopping hitting:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism