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Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 21445
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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My son is 7 going on 8. He is entering 2nd grade next week

Customer Question

My son is 7 going on 8. He is entering 2nd grade next week and I'm really afraid for that. He has been diagnosed as having ADHD and ODD is on medication and has been in group therapy for a year and while I do see many improvements I still see so many things that are wrong. He has been hitting other children in summer camp and when I try to discipline him for that when we get home it's just a horrible situation. I usually talk to him in the car about what he did and tell him to keep his hands to himself and tell him if I have taken away any privileges but then when we get home he is so angry or upset that he won't move. This has happened twice already in a short period of time and today I had to physically drag him in the house and he didn't even seem to care that his legs were dragging across pavement. I don't know what to do or where to turn. I feel like I've done everything I'm supposed to do. I've seen doctors and have kept up with therapy by hardly ever missing a session and I'm still having all these issues with him and I just don't know what to do anymore.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.

Hello, and welcome!

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with your young son. You're definitely done everything you should have, up to this point.

Is he in a special class at school or is he mainstreamed?

Has he been tested for any learning disabilities like dyslexia or others? I realize he's been diagnosed with ADHD AND ODD.

How did he do last year, academically in first grade?

Thanks for all your additional information.


Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He is mainstreamed and is not on a 504 or IEP as of right now because usually he is VERY high academically. However at the end of last year his grades started dropping due to him not being able to stay focused so I requested an evaluation so he can be put on a 504 plan but that is not in effect as of yet. I'm just very nervous because I see a lot of behaviors from when he was in kindergarten reemerging mostly issues with anger and I don't know what to do. He will be starting at a new school because we are moving and I am scared for how he will behave there and am worried that if he doesn't get in control of his anger he will get into a lot of trouble and I really don't want to see that happen
Expert:  Cher replied 2 years ago.

Hi again, and thanks so much for your very helpful and detailed reply.

I understand your fear of him starting school soon, due to his behavior problems, the fact that you are not seeing much improvement, but rather, regression to his behavior in Kindergarten with anger issues, and moving will be a change that might cause more issues for him.

I would recommend trying to find a different therapist either for him and/or for you, if the current one you're seeing has not been effective.

I would also recommend that when you want to talk to him about something that happened at school, you don't do it in the car on the way home, but simply ask 'How was school today? What did you do?' and listen to his answer. If he refuses to leave the car after you bring up inappropriate behavior before you get home, you have to fight with him and physically drag him from the car. If you wait until you're in the house, allow him to settle down from the day (of camp or school), let him have a snack and then 'conversationally' ask about the specific incidents that happened with him, involving inappropriate behavior that day, your discussion might be more fruitful and he may be less angry and on the defensive. Don't talk about privileges being taken away at the time, but explain to him that you know he knows his behavior was not acceptable and you will discuss punishments later.

I suggest more testing for learning disabilities, as I mentioned, other than ADHD and perhaps a change in medication. This problem needs to be tackled by a group effort of his pediatrician, therapist, you and your son, all working in tandem to identify the problems and institute modes of behavior modification to overcome them.

If you feel his schoolwork has taken a downturn, a tutor may be a good idea, either through the school/at school, or at home, and perhaps he learns better on a one to one basis. Every child has a way they learn best; some are in larger groups, some are in one to one situations, some understand better, with verbal directions, while others understand better with written directions. His anger issues may stem from frustration at not being taught in the way that's most efficient or comfortable for him, and this is causing him to act out.

Here is a great article on ODD, which is typically associated with ADHD and it includes very helpful suggestions: CLICK

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Warmest regards,