How can I get help for my son with ADD/ADHD?

I have a twelve-year-old son who was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD four years ago. He has violent temper tantrums and trashes his room or whatever is around him when he does not get his own way.  When he is in school, we get 2-3 e-mails a day letting us know of his bad behaviour. When he is at home, he can be very rude to us and to his sister. It is a constant fight to get him to take his medications. He is very active, he is in a summer paddling program and plays hockey in spring and fall, he loves both of these sports and we encourage it. I dont know what to do, I hate to hear negative things about my son, I am hurt, I am afraid that he will get too violent with me or himself and hurt someone. I talk to him in a calm manner, I dont argue with him and I listen to him, my husband seems to push his buttons, he will give him the discipline, and when he loses his privilidges, it is for a longer time than I would give. We are both at odds on how to handle it, my husband is “old school” thinking a kick in the butt or firm hand will take care of it but I don’t think it will, it has not so far. I feel that the schools are not prepared to take care of kids with ADD/ADHD. I have done research online, I have sought out many Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Doctors, Social workers, etc. I don’t know what to do, I am so exhausted. I love my son, we both do, we are willing to do anything, please, is there anything we can do?

It sounds to me that you are doing many things exactly right. You have sought out professional help for your son. You have him in lots of extra curricular activities. You are positive and hopeful.

He clearly needs more help than he is getting.

Speak to your family doctor about day treatment programs that are designed for children like your son.  Maybe you will need to get your member of the provincial legislature involved to help push for the right care.

As you know, a firm but calm approach that is mostly positive is best for kids like your son. Pick out what your husband is doing well with his son and focus on that. It is very easy for parents of children with problems to become overly negative.

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