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Ask Dr. G. Your Own Question
Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
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Our 6 year old very bright boy is on some days exceptionally

Customer Question

Our 6 year old very bright boy is on some days exceptionally rough and aggressive and clearly frustrated and unhappy. He is is rude and physically hits us when he does not get his own way - he often scrowls and refuses to join in games with others. He is obsessed by guns and fighting. He overacts to smells and noises and appears hypher sensitive and sometimes appears to have a panic attack when, for example, left alone in his bedroom to go to sleep although my suspicion is that this is largely acting. On other days he is charming, polite and delightful in every way. We do not know what triggers good days and bad days and time out appears not to improve his behaviour on bad days and we are at a loss as to how best help him. Apart from roughness in playtime the school have no concerns and describe him as a very bright and co-operative little boy although I know his behaviour at birthday parties has gained him a poor reputation amongst the mothers. I would welcome any advice.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 5 years ago.
So his behavior is different at home vs. at school? timeouts don't work so what else have you tried? Has he always been like this or has it recently started? Any family stressors at home? Anything change in his life that may be contributing to this? Finally, has he been evaluated by a mental health professional?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

He has always been fairly challenging in his behaviour but as there have never been significant concerns at kindergarten or school we have never thought to have him assessed but are now wondering whether we ought to do this given that he is 6 years old and his behaviour appears more unreasonable because of his age: he is having difficulty controlling himself. There have been no changes to his home routine or environment, he is the eldest of three in a very secure conventional happy home. He has one or two small eccentricities (for example will only have a bowel movement when naked as does not want to risk getting his clothes dirty.) The school are surprised to hear he can be such a handful at home.

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 5 years ago.
It is hard to say what is going on. Could be anxiety, could be bipolar with the mood swings, or it could be sensory deficits with the smells and noises. I think it would not hurt to bring him to a child psychologist for an evaluation and to get recommendations to help you and him. At this point it is just a guessing game. the good news is that you are catching the problems early so that they can be remedied. Get him in before school starts.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

 

if we were to arrange such an evaluation who do we go to (ie what qualifications are we looking for/what sort of specialist) and what information should we bring (school reports)

Expert:  Dr. G. replied 5 years ago.
You want a child psychologist or a counselor who works with children. School records would be helpful. The therapist may request to talk to the teachers or at least get a summary from them. The therapist may give you an assessment to fill out on your child. Basically, the therapist is going to get a good history of your child, strengths and deficits, and offer treatment recommendations. For me it usually takes about 2 hours for the interview. It may take more if the therapist gathers all the information from outside sources. You may want to write down some of your concerns and observations so that you can give the therapist this information and not leave anything out.