I am just going to jump right in and explain the situation. My son is 7 years old and ever since he was 2 years old he has been violent, EXTREMELY high energy, invasive of others space, rude and other such things. Now at 7 he is the most mouthy, non compliant, rammy person I know. He is a smart boy yet he displays serious issues with listening and proper social behaviour. He is going to a new Montessori school in the area and this is the second week and already his teacher has pulled me aside to explain her concerns about Ayden and how she feels that because of these over active behaviours and poor listening skills that he may get behind academically. Honestly, I am not too worried about the academics I am just worried about him on a social and emotional level. I feel like he is the source of soo much stress in our home, it is difficult to relax and have a enjoyable day when he is around. I really hate to say that but it is true, I just do not know what to do? Does anyone have experience with this? Is there any hope?
Has he been evaluated for ADHD?
I've posted a lot about our experience with ds (also 7yo) in the past couple of days so it wouldn't be hard to find (I think the threads are titled "ODD?" and "Violent".
The way you describe your ds is what my ds was like prior to starting medication and therapy for ADHD--Kindergarten was absolutely horrid. Though his behavior improved a lot immediately with medication he still had a lot to work through in 1st grade--my stress level went down about 80%. This summer, after a couple weeks adjustment, was pretty peaceful; also I didn't have to "interfere" much with him when we were at the pool. So far this school year his only issue has been impulsivity in the boys' bathroom after lunch.
Ds will be in the special education program this year primarily for social skills (social reciprocity and pragmatics) and for behavior, though last year he only had a 504.
I recommend finding a behavior clinic like this for a comprehensive evaluation--though since it can take 9-12 months to see a developmental behavioral ped/clinic you may want to consult with a psychiatrist for immediate help.
I forgot to mention other things that can cause or make ADHD symptoms worse.
Lack of quality sleep -- even if your child appears to sleep ok they may actually not be getting enough quality sleep. A sleep study can help determine if this is an issue. Difficulty getting to sleep and/or staying asleep is an issue for many ADHD children; it used to take anywhere from 40 minutes to 3hrs to get my ds to fall asleep--melatonin (over the counter supplement) helped a lot with this issue; we eventually switched to time-release melatonin to help ds stay asleep (it can be difficult to find in stores-we order it through Amazon).
Food allergies/sensitivities- Sometimes symptoms can be caused by/worsened by sensitivity to dairy/wheat/soy/artificial colors/artificial flavors/preservatives... Most people I've come across whose children were helped by dietary changes were "just" helped and still ultimately qualified for a diagnosis.
When ds was in K I read about a couple of small studies of children with Autism who were given a magnesium/vit B6 combo--half of the children showed behavioral improvements. When I tried it with Ds' (who had "spring fever" and was literally running in circles all day at school) it took the edge off his hyperactivity, in that he stopped running in circles and returned to his normal level of disruptiveness.
A good number of parents also find some success with fish oil. Ds doesn't like the oiliness regardless of flavor (Dr. Sears has a liquid fish oil that ds thought was good, but was too oily) so I switched to Sears' Omega-3 DHA chews which seem to "push him over the edge" into good behavior (with his medication).
My seven year old was evaluated for, and diagnosed with ADHD combined-type last year and displayed many of those behaviours. He has many supports in place now, including medication (Vyvanse, 20mg) and the changes are significant. He's done almost an entire 180 in terms of his behaviour and is as delight to be around. While it can be intimidating/ scary to get going on finding the source of the problem, I was enormously relieved to know what I was dealing with so I could get some supports in place. We've got a wonderful teacher, and a child who once again sees himself as smart and capable and "good." good luck on this journey...
Thanks so much for the responses. I feel better knowing that I am not the only parent experiencing this and he is not the only child feeling ths way. I am looking into psychiatrist now, hoping to find some local support. Thanks again!