ADHD

Question
Posted by: Liezel | 2011-10-18

Q.

I want to run away

We did so good taking all sugar away from my 4 yr old ADHD son, Ruan. I did everything you said. I changed almost everything. He drinks diluted 100% fruit juice only or HALLS.

We saw a huge difference in Ruan and everything went well, but recently he began with temper tantrums, rude behaviour and aggressiveness. He doesn’ t want to go to school no matter what I say. He will ask me all the time if it is school tomorrow and if I say yes he will throw a tantrum. In the morning when he opens his eyes, he will ask again and start with tantrums if I say yes we are going to school. When I drop him off, very sympathetically and giving lots of hugs, he will run after me when I leave, even after the car if the gate might be open that instant. I will get out, explain everything again and leave him in the hands of the crè che people while he carries on screaming and kicking.

He doesn’ t speak to me or ask nicely for something, he will shout at me asking for juice or a cookie and scream and throw tantrums if I say not now, we are having dinner now or whatever. He hurts his little brother (almost 2yrs), as if he is taking his aggression out on him. He is extremely angry and aggressive towards us for some reason.

The teachers told me today how difficult it is for them handling him the last few weeks. The children will get a project to work on and he will throw it in the air and run around the classroom for 2min, disrupting the whole class. He think he is funny as all the children are laughing. They each got a small jug with water to do something, and he threw it in someone’ s face. Yesterday he strangled another child with his hands around his throat while sitting at the breakfast table. Last week he spit on the other kids. He lifted up a girls dress embarrassing her. He throws rocks and stones. He doesn’ t want to listen or pay attention, he is suddenly totally uncontrollable again.

He is so difficult at home, he doesn’ t want to do ANYTHING we ask him to. Get dressed: NO! Lets bath: NO! Let’ s eat: NO! It’ s impossible! I have to use force most of the times, hurting myself in the process, and I am disabled as well (artificial leg). I don’ t pay any attention to his tantrums, he must come to me and ask nicely for something. While he is acting out his tantrum and rude behaviour when he wants something, I try keeping my voice calm and steady. My little one is now copying Ruan’ s behaviour although he is not ADHD. The teachers at school begged me to put Ruan on medication (Risperdal) as there is 2 other children with ADHD using medicine and they are very calm. My husband feels the teachers want to make their own lives more pleasant giving my child medication. The principle of the crè che told me how sorry she feels for Ruan as he has no control over his sudden bursts of energy and impulsive behaviour. Getting punished for all of this makes him aggressive and we start the whole vicious circle all over again. Of course as a mother I want the best for my child, I want him to grow up having a great self esteem, confidence, good manners, patience, personality, self-trust etc and I want it fixed asap before he starts school and gets a teacher that doesn’ t want to walk the extra mile with him and doesn’ t want to understand his problem and punishes him for it, making him feel targeted.

I don’ t know what to think. My husband is very strongly against any medicine for ADHD and thinks it can damage his brain and change his personality. He thinks doctor’ s writes a prescription for ADHD children way to quick, not even trying alternative methods. He feels we can make a turn around by changing his diet, supporting him more, hitting him less, taking him places. I feel so confused I don’ t know which way to go.

I am afraid I am damaging my son’ s self esteem by losing my temper beyond control.

1. I have changed his diet (less sugar, more nuts, biltong, fruit etc)
2. Being aware of all the E-Numbers and certain colorants and preservatives he may not consume
3. He gets Omega 3,6 (ADDVance) and a Multi Vitamin (ADDVance) every day.
4. I use a substitute for sugar (Xillitol).
5. Absolutely NO Chocolate or Caffeine
6. Been in contact with Hannah Kaye (Nutritional Therapist)
7. Been in contact with Hannelie Kemp (Neuropfeedback: BCIAC=BCIA-EEG Associate Fellows from ADHASA online)
8. Been in contact with Dr Adri vd Walt (Peatrician/Neurologist) Panorama Hospital

I am extremely exhausted and worn out and I want the best for my child, I don’ t know what to do anymore. One doctor suggests a Child Psychiatrist, the other strongly suggest Risperdal, the other rather the natural more healthy foods and change of diet. Another doctors suggests we test my child for allergies and do a whole lot of blood tests. We did test his thyroid, it was fine. My husband will throw out any ADHD medicine in our home.

I just want to run away for a year.

Expert's Reply

A.

ADHD Expert

Dear Liezel,

My heart is breaking to hear of everything you are going through.

If you can afford it, having the blood tests done to determine if any allergies are present may put your husband's mind at rest; however, bear in mind your little boy will have to give blood probably more than once.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though you have exhausted all the natural treatments; having parents with vastly differing ideas on treatment is a very difficult place to be. I wish I could offer something more concrete and helpful.

I know your main concern is for your children, however, my main concern right now is your well being. Please take the time to care for yourself, seeking professional assistance if need be. You cannot care for others well until you have cared for yourself.

Best wishes,
Delia

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

3
user comments

C.

Posted by: Linus | 2011-10-19

Dear Liezel - well you have tried just about everything and you still have a problem and by the look of things they are going from bad to worse. Does your son give you any reasons why he does not want to go to school?

I assume from what you say that he has been diagnosed with ADHD - was Ritalin ever given to him for any length of time like 2 weeks and if so what were the results?

What is going on with your son is he is acting up because his needs are not being met  i.e: he is having problems with things that you are not fully aware of yet. And if you and his dad are not coping its because your needs in this situation are not being met as you have not developed a full understanding of whats going on and what to do about it. As for your husband refusing his child medication that will potentially help here is understandable but very misguided.

His anger and aggressive behaviour could be part of another disorder and by the look of things he is also developing Oppositional Defiance Disorder as well. You need some urgent medical intervention in this situation before things get worse.

Kids diagnosed with ADHD are often wrongly diagnosed in that all that is recognised is the ADHD meanwhile the ADHD is only a part of a much bigger problem. His behaviour suggests that he may be autistic  i.e. on the high functioning side of the autism spectrum, also known as Aspergers Syndrome.

I hope this helps and all the best..

Reply to Linus
Posted by: BMJ | 2011-10-18

Dear Liezel

I feel for you. I have 2 children with adhd and I know how you feel. My one son is medicated, my other one is not. When we initially started seeing how completely out of line his behaviour was compared to the effort we have been putting in - we had to accept that he has adhd. I grieved for months, feeling like an absolute failure. I tried all the natural routes - spending thousands and having only minisucle results. Eventually we gave in and tried Ritalin. We had a MIRACLE before our eyes.

A book that was very easy to read and answered my questions on medication and had traceable sources. It is written by dr Christopher Green and Kit Ghee, called Understanding ADHD. - a parents guide.

Insist that your husband reads it as well.

Good luck to you.

Reply to BMJ
Posted by: ADD/ADHD Expert | 2011-10-18

Dear Liezel,

My heart is breaking to hear of everything you are going through.

If you can afford it, having the blood tests done to determine if any allergies are present may put your husband's mind at rest; however, bear in mind your little boy will have to give blood probably more than once.

Unfortunately, it sounds as though you have exhausted all the natural treatments; having parents with vastly differing ideas on treatment is a very difficult place to be. I wish I could offer something more concrete and helpful.

I know your main concern is for your children, however, my main concern right now is your well being. Please take the time to care for yourself, seeking professional assistance if need be. You cannot care for others well until you have cared for yourself.

Best wishes,
Delia

Reply to ADD/ADHD Expert

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