6 year old behavior

Posted by Kristie @kristieb, Oct 17, 2022

I have a 6 year old boy. He is a toe walker and recently got molded braces to correct it and he is also knock kneed. He used to be so polite and well mannered. Always said please, may I and thank you. Roughly 1.5 years ago, it all drastically changed. He JUST got diagnosed with adhd last week after negative findings for autism. He almost got expelled in KINDERGARTEN! He's defiant more often than not, and explosive in his negative emotions. He refuses to listen unless there is something on it for him that he really wants, refuses to help clean up or look for anything he's misplaced. He's usually fairly well bavhaavedd for other people, but is such a terror for me that it brings me to tears at last once a week. I'm doing everything and anything I can for this child, but he treats me like I'm the evil step mother. I don't know what else to do anymore. Hes already in counselng and waiting list for Intensive Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services. What did i miss or what am I doing wrong?! Pic of me and my son during a brief good part of the day

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I just wanted to send some love and support your way as I am a 100% solo mom of a 6.5 year old boy who can also be really tough, and the behavior comes out almost exclusively with me. What I've been told is that if we are receiving their big feelings it's because our children feel safe enough with us to let go. It hardly helps though when we're living it day to day.

When my son experiences frustration/anger/sadness he can fly off the handle and get violent (throwing kicks, punches, objects, screaming...) very quickly. Sometimes when he's in that state, if I am dysregulated myself and can't help him calm his nervous system, he will just keep coming at me and it seems like he's actually trying to provoke me and push me over the edge. I too have moments where all I can do is collapse in tears. The hardest part for me is the violation of my personal boundaries--I can't just say, "please don't come in my room for five minutes" and have him comply--and no ability to escape the abuse (only one door locks in our house and if I try and hide in the bathroom he will kick the door until I open it).

We have not had any evaluation or mental health support because we've been dealing with other (possibly related) physical health issues, but I suspect ADHD is at play here too! We are also on a waitlist at a clinic. It is so so hard.

What kinds of things are you considering to manage the symptoms? Are there things in your daily life that you know can help? What are you doing to manage your own stress?


Some people advocate for using omega-3 supplements for ADHD.
I'm not a boy and not a child, but I have found that a docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplement helps with my mood generally, although it is not an instant fix. It took a long time before I could really feel the difference.
I take more than the recommended dose. I buy it as a liquid (an oil) that comes in 250ml bottles in unflavored, or rosemary (not for a six-year-old!), or lemon. I find it easy to mix with food. It's expensive but for me it's worth it.

Another consideration is soluble fiber, which is good not only for gut health but also for brain health since the latest health buzz has it that our microbiome influences our neurotransmitter balance.
I love oatmeal and enjoy it several times a week. I have a relative who doesn't like the runny texture, so she microwaves it nearly dry, moistened just a little with some canned crushed pineapple to give it a chewy/crunchy texture.
Most fruit is also good for getting soluble fiber. When there are no other options available, fruit is a tempting snack, whatever your age, in my experience,
One more thing that helps me is a small amount of lecithin granules (1/2 tsp per day) because it has choline in it, which is another nutrient that is good for the nervous system.


I'm very sorry to hear your child and you are struggling. I would suggest you look into inflammatory brain disorders, including PANS/PANDAS. It is not unusual for those with mild to moderate forms of it to be able to suppress some symptoms when around others. My child has this and medical treatment got them in remission (not CBT or other therapy, all of which was ineffective). Here are a few links with more information:

(note that ocd can be hard to spot in some cases and can include hoarding/refusal to "clean up" see iocdf.org for a complete list of how ocd can present).

A list of the differential diagnoses is on this page: https://neuroimmune.org/clinicians/digital-pans-guides/#differential

If you think think PANS/PANDAS needs to be ruled out or in, it's important to get a qualified and trained MD to do that. Neuroimmune Foundation has more resources for families, including a clinician directory.

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