Is it ADHD or…..?

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    • #141139

      After being on here a while and reading post after post, I figure I should just jump in and write what we are going through. 2 Months ago, our son was diagnosed with ADHD. we’ve had difficulty with him in school since he was 2 years old. At daycare, he got in trouble for climbing on things, hitting other kids, doing things just to get a reaction from the teachers. As he got older, Kinder and now 1st grade, he has had severe tantrums, kicking/scratching the teachers, destroying the principles offices. aggression issues, irritability, moodiness. His teacher says he can be happy and sweet one minute and the next become completely pissed and off-hindged. His new thing this week is to be completely disruptive in class and shouting, rolling around on the floor, talking over the teacher. To the point where he got suspended yesterday. We feel so lost with all of this! We have tried to make sense of it all and just can’t. The thing we don’t understand is how he acts this way ONLY at school and we see nothing of this behavior at home. At home and everywhere else he is sweet, loving, compliant. We just don’t get it! Could it be something other than ADHD? I’ve tried educating myself on the subject and sometimes it feels like it might be and other times, not so much. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.

    • #141309

      This sounds like my boy. Exactly like my boy. He was recently diagnosed.
      But he got suspended from before and after school care from the time he was 2. He would draw on walls, kick things, push, hit, roll around, run around, hop, skip, jump, blurt out, and everything inbetween. The diagnoses in my case made so much sense, but I wasn’t trying to allow someone to tell me that he had ADHD at 2 because sometimes it’s just too early to tell.
      I did say though, if the issues persisted into Kindergarten I’d get him tested. Now we’re working on regulating medication, behavioral therapy, a 504 plan, etc. His teacher and administration have helped immensely with everything as well. His behavior in school has changed, and he’s no longer labeled the “problem kid”. With the diagnoses came understanding and a desire to help.

      I say get him evaluated. The worst case is that he has ADHD, and that’s not that bad.

      • #141429

        Thank you for reply MamaRaven. We had him evaluated 2 months ago. All this is just so new to me. Sometimes it seems like it is ADHD and other time I wonder if it really is. The impulsivity and aggression part definitely sound like it is. But hard to grasp why it only happens at school and no where else. I’m thankful that it only happens at one place, but still don’t understand how.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by bailleycat.
    • #141439

      I’m with you. ADHD is hard to grasp. I always feel like I never know what I’m doing.
      My theory is that there’s a lot more stimuli at school than there is at home. Too much too look at, to think about, too many people and a different set of rules. It’s uncomfortable for them.
      Do you speak with his teachers?

      • #141452

        That is exactly what the psychologist said.

        His school has been very very understanding. I think they’ve gotten to that point though, where they feel that this needs to be figured out and fixed. I think they’ve offered us grace because they know we’ve been working with therapists and recently started him on Straterra (which isn’t doing too much), so the therapist suggested a low does of Ritalin, in the morning. Just started him on that today. We shall see how that goes.

        Did you see a difference right away when you started him on meds? did it take a while? Do you feel the behavioral therapy has helped? I don’t think my son is in the “right” therapy. She shows him breathing techniques and they play.

    • #141467

      My son was just recently diagnosed with ADHD and I felt so alone. He was labeled the problem child at his school. It started with outbursts and progressed to hitting, kickibg, scratching the teacher. At home none of that took place. I agreed to enroll him into the school therapy program. It seemed to be working for about 3 weeks and the hitting, biting scratching started back up. The school therapist never mentioned a possible ADHD diagnosis. Just completely exhausted, stressed and drained for repeatedly having to leave or take off work I figured maybe if he had therapy more than once a week it would help. I kept getting he would have to be on a waitlist. I reached out to his pediatrician and filled out a questionare and on 2/5/2020 my son was diagnosed with ADHD. Until I came across this forum I just knew I had to be the only parent dealing with this issue. I have read the post and it gives me some relief that I am not alone. For the spring semester he is doung virtual school at home and hopefully in the fall he can start back attending a traditional school. I go back to his pediatrician in 30 days and finally have an appointment so he can start therapy. Thank you because although this will be an ongoing condition for my son I am pretty confident he can be successful in school.

    • #141317


      I am sorry that you and your family are struggling with this.

      My daughter had similar aggressive behaviors as well as her ADHD. I treated both with Crystal Apothecary.
      She is no longer on her medication and school report a much calmer child who is starting to interact well with her peers.

    • #141506

      Hi, I find the entire concept of ADHD quite interesting. My son was diagnosed just recently here in Germany despite it being ruled out twice in Australia by two different practitioners and also teachers. My son is intellectually gifted also and although I know the two can co-exist, they also overlap tremendously and ADHD is a very difficult disorder to diagnose especially in gifted children. The diagnosis we received seemed to come very abruptly and based on only an EEG and an attention test. It did not take into consideration any other possible causes. The Dr did not evaluate for any other disorder – ASD was ruled out by another psychiatrist via the ADOS. We started my son on a very low dose of a methylphenidate (5mg) and there was not a great deal of difference so we increased to 10mg. We have seen quite a difference in school but no real changes at home. We also only experienced difficulties IN SCHOOL. I would have your child assessed for giftedness. SENG offer a great checklist for ADHD v Giftedness. The Dr today suggested that there is no need to increase the dosage at this stage since he has improved. When I questioned the diagnosis and told her that she did not evaluate for anxiety, sleep disorders (which we are now organising a sleep study for), SPDs, PTSD (my son may be reacting to the separation from his father when the behaviours started and now moving to Germany – there are language and cultural frustrations, not to mention the curriculum is what he did three years ago!). There are a myriad of reasons why his attention and focus is affected. Anxiety for one. Methylphenidate has the ability to calm anxiety as the Dr confirmed. Also, methylphenidate will help ANY child focus, so the fact that he has improved in school is NOT confirmation that my son has “ADHD”. We are not increasing the dosage because of the side effects starting to impact him, like appetite suppression and affecting sleep. She is testing a few things via blood tests, like thyroid and iron deficiency and even Vitamin D deficiency, all of which can affect attention/focus and hyperactivity. I have started him on Omega-3 and improving diet. All of these could make a huge difference. He was already improving before the medication including sleep, so it could have only been a matter of time before he had a major turnaround.

      The Dr today told me that whether he has ADHD or not (hang on, which is it? And when she first diagnosed him she said he may not need the medication in Australia? So he only needs it here because they don’t want to provide him with a personalised enriched curriculum or differentiation, to make him conform and more compliant?), the medication is helping him, so we should continue. She said it may be that he will only need it for 6-12 months depending on how his German improves and this could make all the difference too! She said in two years (when we are due to return to Australia) that she may evaluate him again and he may NOT HAVE ADHD! All very dubious. The diagnosis seemed to come after a very negative call from the School Support Services who are concerned they may not be able to continue providing aide support and the school won’t take him without an aide! All very suspect.

      I did not see the symptoms at home, only at school and I don’t think my son is any more active than any other 7 year old boy. He does not meet more than two of the symptoms in both attention and hyperactivity in two or more settings as is the required criteria in the DSM-V.

      I just finished reading ADHD Does Not Exist and it is an eyeopener. A deficiency in a NT (neurotransmitter) does mean a child has what we call “ADHD”. The symptoms that give rise to “ADHD” can be caused my many other things. Let’s call a deficiency in a NT what it is. Treat the deficiency and the symptoms go away but the inattention and hyperactivity can be caused by some 20 other diagnosable disorders. Blood tests can determine which NTs are deficient! If nothing else, it gives parents a lot to ask Drs before accepting a diagnosis. ADHD should only be diagnosed as a last resort after everything else has been ruled out: hearing, vision (including behavioural), SPD, anxiety, sleep disorders, mood disorders (including depression), iron deficiency, thyroid issues… lots… ask questions parents, lots of questions, don’t accept a diagnosis if your gut is telling you something is amiss…

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by CatMax.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by CatMax.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by CatMax.
      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by CatMax.
    • #141510

      I know this can be a very difficult issue, and it’s hard to hear that your child is experiencing these types of issues. My son was very
      similar when he was in Kindergarten. We had him re-evaluated and it turned out that he also was had High-Functioning Autism. The outburst
      he was experiencing in class was due to Sensory Overload. At this age it’s very easy to mistake ADHD with High-functioning Autism.
      Also, pay attention to the foods he is eating. a lot of the dyes will cause this irritability.

      I wish you and your family all the best. Do give up, there is an answer out there for you and your sweet boy is worth the trouble to
      find it!

    • #141523

      Hi. I would just like to agree with Ninasim. The diagnosis of Autism with Sensory issues seems more likely than ADHD. Its so easy to throw the tag ADHD onto a child, because its the most convenient.
      We have 2boys. The oldest is 8, level 2/3 ASD with extreme sensory processing n anxiety plus ODD. We resisted medicating him until 18mths ago…best decision we made. He was violent, abusive, destructive and melting-diwn up to 20times a day,-i was bruised physically n emotionally… I couldnt cope n had minimal assistance. 3yrs ago in transition (kinder), he was the only child diagnised with SPD- not a teacher or friend had ever heard of it. Fast forward n they have a SPD room for children to function in filled with aids, resources n a special needs teacher.
      Our youngest has just started Transition. At home he is a devil, same as his brother prior to his medicating. School is new n overwhelming but the symptoms are already surfacing n worsening… I wont wait to medicate him, for his sake and mine! -because after chatting to my 8yo, he felt trapped, Tortured inside his own body n brain.
      Im a teacher of 25yrs n a psychologist, yet i struggled to have him diagnosed-i knew things were not right…it wasn’t bad parenting, food or any other things suggested by do_gooders It is.
      Good luck n keep your options open
      Patience, love and understanding .
      Good luck with it all.

    • #141527

      I also have a 1st grade boy who has ADHD, and I’ve always known it as I have ADHD myself. He is super sweet but has always had outbursts at home and none at school until this year. He was being handsy and became a physical with some of his peers (kicking, pushing) when he thought they were “bothering” them. There is a lot of anxiety with adhd whether you see it or not, and it could just be to fit in, focus, act normal or other things most people don’t think about or take for granted. In November our doctor prescribed a mood stabilizer because I felt that his behavior was escalating and I didn’t want him to become “that kid”. It has worked wonders in school and at home. He is still my sweet boy but is able to control his impulses and not rush to anger so quickly when he is frustrated or feels like someone is annoying him. We also do therapy so he can recognize what emotion he is feeling and what reaction he is having and if the situation calls for that type of response. I know it is a lot but it has really helped him. As someone with adhd I completely understand what he is going through but also didn’t want to medicate him so young even though I take Vyvanse (a stimulant) daily just to be able to be productive and function like an adult. I would definitely explore the mood stabilizers (he takes Trileptal) as the stimulants can make an already anxious person worse especially when they are kids and already have issues identifying their emotions. I hope this helps, and good luck!

    • #141597

      My 7 year old daughter is the exact opposite of the majority here. She is the picture of compliance at school yet the moment she gets into the car after school, she lets it all out! She’s said, “I have to be good all day long and by the time you pick me up, I can’t take it anymore!” She also says that she “has to be good to her friends or she will have no friends.” She is polite to her teachers and works very hard all day. Then she takes it out on her entire family at home. (We adopted her from birth & recently found out that her birth mom has adhd. We have a good, open relationship with the birth mom, who is a very sweet young lady. My daughter is sweet too, probably THE most loving, sweet child I know. She’s very empathetic and quick to give hugs & kisses.) However, this terrible irritability has escalated over the past two years progressively and in this last year has become violent. She takes everything out on her younger sister (our only biological child after losing 7 babies). She hits, punches, pinches, calls names, pushes, shoves, slaps and most recently has resorted to kicking….in the head. She used to kick her sister in the legs or stomach. Now it’s the ribs and head. My husband is a physician and refused to believe it was anything other than normal child behavior (sibling rivalry). It’s not sibling rivalry when one child is bullying and terrorizing the other. We had her “unofficially” diagnosed by a therapist because he doesn’t want her labeled. She and I see the therapist regularly and the therapist suggested evaluating for adhd. She hit every marker. My husband’s jaw hit the floor! I don’t know about some of you, but the moment she tested positive for everything on that checklist, I felt relieved! Relieved to finally have vindication and relief to have a name to put with what is happening to my family. Yes, this has affected my entire household, my marriage, my relationships with my children, their relationship with each other and how we function on a daily basis. We don’t function; we feel like we’re barely hanging in there. I feel like my entire family is drowning & I can see land, but cannot get us all to shore. I’m trying everything: essential oils in diffusers at night, essential oil necklaces, therapy for adoption and adhd. I’m on Wellbutrin. I’m drinking calming tea. I have her taking Smarty Pants gummy vitamins with omega-3s & magnesium. I’m trying to cut out all red dyes. She’s never had soda and drinks mostly water. My husband & I meet with an adhd specialist this Wednesday for an interview. Then we can map out a route of support. Also, there’s a different adhd specialist coming to her school to diagnose a group of kids whose parents want them evaluated. She’s got 8 hours of testing ahead of her in one week. There are days I feel like I have bi-polar disorder because her moods are all over the place. There are days I just cry. But mostly, I’m sad or angry. I’m scared for my youngest daughter. She was very calm, sweet, shy & laid back, like her dad. Now, she’s aggressive and has tantrums because she learned it by watching her sister. She’s no longer my sweet girl. She used to share everything and was a calm child. If she got upset, she’d go to her room and lie in her bed to calm herself down. Now, she kicks walls, doors, furniture. She upturned a 100lb table with a vase on top just the other day. Flipped it like it was a piece of paper. She’s 5. Scared us all. Her sisters behavior has turned our loving home into a house of horrors.

      • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by sosdesign.
    • #141621

      Thank you all for your replies. It really helps to hear that other people are going through similar experiences. It was scary to me to even think about putting him on any meds, but after going through this month after month after month, I felt it was time to do something. Anything! Getting the phone calls from school, or even anticipating them, made MY anxiety worse. I feel like I’m always looking at my phone, hoping that it doesn’t ring, for fear that it might be his school calling to say I need to come get him, or to tell me that he has done something bad again. Sadly, when he does get in trouble at school, it completely disrupts our home life on an emotional level. Like Sosdesign mention in her post above, it affects the entire household and its dynamic. It’s a major strain.

    • #141624

      Have you looked into Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)? Could be ADHD and some sensory processing issues that are triggered at school. ADHD and sensory kids are super smart. They know how to get out of situations their bodies can’t handle and many do this by creating disruption. For example, my little guy has ADHD and also some auditory and visual sensory issues. Every time I would go to Costco or the grocery store with him, he would run around like a crazy kid, yell and do whatever he could to cause issues. As a parent your immediate response is either ditch your cart and leave or go as fast as you can to get out of there with a shred of dignity. My guy had figured out that by causing problems he could get relief from the noise and bright lights. His sensory system was on overload and without a way to communicate that to me his only option was to act up. SPD can definitely impact how kids learn, and behave in school. The Star Institute has good info on their site and book recommendations. In terms of therapy, they’re in Colorado and extremely expensive. Good occupational therapy is more practical and can do great things for these kids. It’s also covered under most insurance plans. Happy to chat further if you have questions.

    • #141710
      Coral Bells 1

      Dear Friends,
      This series of comments reminds me of our granddaughter! She was fine most of the time at home, but the tantrums, screaming fits and impulsive behavior especially at her grandparents who were her babysitters since birth was horrible! I had just heard the talk on Focus On The Family on the Strong-willed child and she did meet a lot of those descriptions. They said to start first with the family doctor and work your way from there. I told my daughter when I spent the night, I would sleep on the bottom bunk and she slept on the top bunk since she was about 2 years old. She would wake me up with her tossing and turning all night! She would roll over, take a huge breath, sleep, roll over, deep breath, etc, etc. I suspected sleep apnea! Well, she brought her to the doctor and she had very severe sleep apnea!! They took her tonsils and adenoids out and she slept like a baby! Still stubborn, like refusing any pain medicine, but no fits and tantrums any more! Hope this helps!
      A happy Grandma!
      P. S. ADD and ADHD does run heavily in my family on my father’s side. I have ADHD, and my father and brother have ADD and my brother’s son has ADD.

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