Reply To: My 7 year old son with ADHD is violent and aggressive to me. I am desperate.

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#99002
fitz_clan
Participant

First off, I’m sorry for all you are going through. A divorce alone is difficult. Compounded with alcoholism and an extremely upset child, I can imagine that you must be exhausted. I have been through much of what you have. Here are some of my thoughts based on my experiences. Hopefully at least one thing will seem like it applies to you. Grab it & throw out the rest.

If your gut is telling you something is still not right with his diagnosis, his medication, etc – keep digging. Your instinct is rarely wrong. Since ADHD often co-exists with other disorders, it is possible your son has not yet received an accurate diagnosis. 7 years old is really young, and a lot of behaviors might not manifest themselves fully until he gets older.

You’ll often get bits and pieces of information from doctors/teachers that don’t seem right at the time. Later, you might realize they are a piece of the puzzle. Sometimes it’s because you’re just not ready to accept it. We are now seven years into this, and we’re possibly coming full circle back to a mood disorder. Even knowing that this might have been the case years ago, I don’t know that I would have been comfortable with a bi-polar diagnosis at 7. Medication is a big deal and we are always trying the balance the fact his brain is still developing – with the possibility that it might need medication to develop properly. As a doctor friend told us – you won’t know unless you try.

The divorce alone could be the thing triggering your sons’ outbursts. Check to see if there are some Parenting After Divorce classes you and your ex can take. Do not underestimate the importance of developing a low conflict post divorce relationship. It will be one of the hardest challenges you face, but it is usually in the best interest of your child to have access to both parents. I have no doubt that your ex has created problems for a long time, but remember that your son is half of each of you. As well, it’s hard on kids to have 2 different sets of houses & rules. Maybe if your ex hears it from somewhere else; he might be willing to reach a compromise to make the transitions easier for your son. It’s also possible your ex doesn’t have any rules because he’s feeling guilty about the effect his alcoholism had on your son. Here are some links:

http://www.UpToParents.org (for divorcing parents) or
http://www.ProudToParent.org for never married parents).

If you haven’t found a medical professional that you really feel confident in – keep looking. If you don’t see progress being made within a reasonable time period – leave. So much about therapy is having the right fit, and money doesn’t always buy this. Once your son finds this person, you will see results.

Check to see if your school district has any collaborative programs with a local hospital. They are often hidden in plain sight. None of the school administration told me about ours because they didn’t know themselves. Look through the school district online page for ‘school based clinics.’ They often advertise themselves as places to go for immunizations & physicals – but they usually do so much more. Ours does not charge us. If you have insurance/medicaid, they will bill them, but if it’s not covered, they absorb the cost. If your district doesn’t have these, check others nearby and at least use them as a resource for possible medical professionals. Ours has been a godsend.

Remember that parenting is a process. Parenting a child with a learning difference or mental health issue is even more of a process. Kids evolve and so do their needs. Accept that you are doing the best you can do right now. Later, you may find something different that leads you down another path. That is the process of parenthood. Keep reaching out to others for help, but be discerning of what you are presented with.

Good luck to you and your son!