How do I try to correct aggressive behavior in my six year old with ADHD when he does not get what he wants?
My son is 6 years old and in Kindergarten. He is having some major behavior problems mostly at school but at home also. He was diagnosed with ADHD. He has gotten written up twice for spitting in another child's face, hitting a girl in the face with a book and threatening to cut another child up. He is fine when he gets his own way but if he has to listen to any rules look out! I do not give in to his demands so I don't know where this is coming from. Although his father has some issues when things don't go his way, like screaming yelling and having a fit. His father does not live with us anymore. My son does have a TSS and a mobile therapist and is on medication. I have tried everything and I am at my wits end. My son would show me his fist and tell me I am a bad mommy. He can be good and show love. He is gentle with our pet cat. I asked him why and he said "Onyx likes me". My son also thinks that everyone is staring at him or laughing at him. Any advice???? Help! He was colic, have tubes in his ears and had his tonsils out a year ago.
Up to 45% of all boys with ADHD have some other psychiatric issue and often it is oppositional-defiant behavior such as your son manifests. Many of these boys argue with parents and teachers. Good for you for initiating therapy, medication, and dealing positively with school. That is a great start.
Now for the behavior. First work with your therapist on behavior modification at home. All adults in his life should show good behavior. Second, seek out a pediatric psychiatrist to help. Your pediatrician should know of someone in the community who will help. Third, learn positive attention to gain compliance. Give effective commands. Expand your use of time out. Set up a reward system at home, and reward for good behavior in public places.
The consulting psychiatrist may be able to manage the medications to improve behavior while you employ your own management skills.
Keep at it. The rewards are there in the future.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics