I'm not sure how to ask this, but we have reached a point where our entire family is at a loss.  My son is 7, but has had severe headaches since he was old enough to tell us about them.  He has also had digestive problems (much of which manifest as severe constipation) since he born.  We have been to doctors and still, no answers.  An allergist was unable to get a good test because he did not react to the control.  This past winter he had his tonsils and adenoids out after a sleep study and some specialists.  Even after putting him through all of that, he is really not any better. 
All of this comes together and turns into these crazy rages.  He screams at the top of his voice, says terribly hateful things, throws and kicks things, crys and generally just melts down until he has been alone for awhile.  When he was little he would give himself time outs to feel better, but he seems to be less in control as he gets older.  The worst part is that he seems to understand that he is behaving this way and feels helpless to stop himself. 
We are not spoilers, I promise and most of the time he is very sweet and funny he is a very affectionate child and has many stuffed guys on which he dotes.  We have tried everything from talking to punishment (though we do not spank, another big argument between us parents, it is just not something I find useful) 
Has anyone ever seen this type of behavior?  I don't know where to begin in speaking to his doctor, I'm pretty sure he things I'm exaggerating his behavior, but we really don't do that.  He is a very bright child and, like the begining said, we are all just at a loss, but want to help him. 
Thank you all for any suggestions you might have for where to look for more information or how to attack this issue with him.

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I would try Pro-biotics, there are strengths for children though I have used full strength on my daughter and my dogs and never had any bad side effects.  Doctor's won't prescribe them for the most part, but if you ask them about it they will almost always say yes that is a good idea.  Go to a health food store and get the good ones like Jarrow or Udo's.

I get sever migraines with any amount of artificial sweetener and it is in everything, not just sugar free or diet products. It can be the last thing on the ingredient list and I'll get a debilitating migraine. It is even in most chewing gums (yes, the regular kind). Both Nutrasweet (Aspartame) and Splenda (Sucralose) cause them. I haven't tried very much Stevia or Acesulfame K so I'm not sure about either of them (Afraid to take the chance that it might cause a migraine). And migraines can cause horrible moods... So that might be the root cause.

BTW Xylitol doesn't seem to cause me problems so by going to a health food store I seem to be able to avoid the ones I do have issues with (I don't think I would have problems with Stevia but I stay away just to be safe).

What is really bad is they sometimes use Splenda as filler for Rx meds.... and trying to get the ingredients on those are a pain.
Dear Laura,                         
Stevia is not really an artificial sweetener but a natural plant used for hundreds of years in South America.  It can be bought in health food stores in bulk as a pure ground leaf. 
The artificial sweetener companies kept it off the shelves for years until they could market it themselves.  THAT is what you see advertised and sold in grocery stores. The grocery store brands mix in something so it can be measured by the teaspoon. The pure green stuff in health food stores is SOOOO sweet, that it is hard to measure a small enough pinch .  It is easy to oversweeten things.   I touch a dry toothpick to it and whatever sticks is plenty.  No guarantee, but is is so different from the fake stuff that it is unlikely to cause the same problem for you.  Buy the tinyest amount you can.  One teaspoon will last months! I wish you well!

So, we went to the childhood psychologist and were not shocked to hear ADHD with some Anxiety.  Mostly because his dad also has very classic symptoms of ADD and I have some of the more aggressive ADD behaviors. (We are a fun household, truly)  It was almost a comical light-bulb moment listening to my husband with the family questionnaire saying "but that is normal kid stuff" and me replying "maybe for you but to me telling an 8 year old Antonio, 'do you have your shirt on yet?'  'Where are your socks?'  'Why don't you have on pants yet?'  'Antonio did you brush your teeth?' etc. all morning long instead of 'get ready for school' everyday is a bit much"

It also goes a long way towards explaining why those two (Dad and son) bicker the way they do.  We will see how this goes, I know it is a common diagnosis, but it fits so well.  For now we are treating the ADHD and getting some parenting help (when & when not to "help" him) in hopes that this will resolve the anxiety to a level that he can manage on his own. 

I have been forced to become more organized as a parent (I never was pre-kids). School mornings are all about routine: breakfast, brushing teeth, getting dressed, pick up room, study upcoming quizes (spelling, math,etc), and if the kids have done everything they watch TV, off to school.


We treat TV as a reinforcer for work. Work first and well then get TV.

I understand Andrew, but this is all while upstairs, in his room, where there is no t.v.  Most of his morning routine is up there for that very reason.  His bedroom has very little in it outside of the bed and cloths, but distracted kids seem to find a way.

Does he like animals? Most kids around here love em'.. try the DVD of Milo and Otis. Kind of borderline on the animals follies but, my kid has learned to talk from it and calls out all the names; etc..

check my last comment too on the group main-page

take care

Hi Michelle

My daughter has not been diagnosed with anything ... She is six and mornings are always a battle ... to help her get ready for school I bought an autism behavior chart and it is working wonders with her .... it is visual and interactive. http://www.kensonparenting.com/proddetail.asp?prod=804879003955

Best of luck!

I'll second the idea of seeing a psychiatrist.  Also, play therapy can be really helpful, but, like anyone working with your children, you'll want to vet them some first.  Another thing that might help a little on the fringes is coming up with a coping strategy list with him.  After an outburst, when he's completely calm, talk to him about how he feels when he loses his temper.  Validate his feelings - especially that he might feel scared when he loses control.  Then talk to him about what things help him calm down.  For example, when he goes to be alone maybe he's holding a stuffed animal or staring at a picture in a book or even just zoning out staring at the wall.  Help him to make a list of the things that calm him down.  The next step is to be ready to help him get to his calming strategies before he escalates.  It'll take careful management for a while, but you may find that if you can help him have a few successes at  calming down before he's completely out of control that he'll have more confidence that he can control his anger.  This may actually reduce how often he has the tantrums.  For some kids, the tantrums are exacerbated by fear that they're going to lose control in another tantrum.  By giving him some successes at heading the tantrums off, you may lessen that fear and, thus, reduce the behavior.  Eventually, after a few months or so, you may even be able to help him go through his calming/coping strategies in his imagination.  For example, after he's spent a while avoiding or deescalating from tantrums by holding his teddy bear or hiding under a blanket, he may be able to take some deep breaths and imagine holding the bear or hiding under a blanket and get the same feeling of calm and safety.  

Good luck!  Remember, patience, love, support, and time almost always pays off in the end.




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