21 answers

ADHD In 3 Year Old

We have been observing our 3 year old for the last year and 1/2 for signs of ADHD. Well her symptoms have escalated in the last month. She is very defiant, gets frustrated very easily, is very impulsive and tests us on everything. She is "hyper" and won't sit still, but that is not a problem :0) can't ask her to do something I'm not capable of. She also goes hysterical at times when you try to show her how to do something or tell her no.

I have ADHD and my husband has ADD, we have learned to cope with it and lead normal lives without the aid of medications. We believe that each of these "disorders", if focused properly, can be very helpful. The problem is, how do you help someone that is this young deal with the effects of ADHD.

This is not an issue caused by vaccinations, since my husband and I have decided to not vaccinate our children. We have done extensive research and determined the risks out weight the benefits.

My direct question is: Do any of you have ideas how to cope with this in young children and guide them and teach them to deal with it. We do not believe in medicating and would only do so in an "EXTREME" case. In the end I think the coping mechanisms I am looking for are for me. I have learned to deal with my issues with ADHD (on most days), but am having trouble dealing with it in her. I would be grateful for any suggestions.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Guys, keep the advice coming :o)!!! It has been very encouraging to see how other people have helped their children through this stage of life and came out on the other end well adjusted and having great coping skills. Even if she isn't ADHD and is just a normal 3 year old, the advice I have received will he ME cope with her until she comes into her own and stops pushing us so hard. I am hoping my level of patients with her will increase after the baby is born, running a little low these days, I am due in just over 2 weeks. I know patience is key when dealing with this type of behavior.

Thank you all so much and God Bless


Featured Answers

Have you read the ADD Solution. I think it was mentioned on Dr. Phil. Maybe his website has some helpful info, like with diet and different ideas.

For my son I tried changing his diet first. Really limiting his sugar intake and giving him more protein. It has helped us.

More Answers

I believe that your question is on the minds of many parents these day, because I believe that more and more children will be seen as ADHD. I am in the process of trying to answer your question. One amazing source is:
http://wholeness.com/ I have invited Scott Shannon MD to come to Salt Lake in May. I believe he understands more about this than any other doctor out there.

I am also in the process of reading several books from
the library including:
Healthy Child, Whole Child
Smart Kids with Learning Difficulties
Getting Rid of Ritalin
Perhaps one of these books will also assist you.

With my whole heart, C.

Founder of WHOLE family: With Hearts Open to Love Everyone.

1 mom found this helpful

Hey M.,

I know of some GREAT products that are all natural and safe you your sweet 3 year old that might help with the ADHD! I applaud you and your hubby for going the natural way. These products have also helped me keep my ADHD in check without the harsh drugs the Dr.s want me to take. I can show you how to get these products direct from the manufacture and with a 30-40% discount! E-mail me or call me ###-###-####, I'd love to show you what I've found works for me and my family!


1 mom found this helpful


Merry Christmas! There is a book that I highly recommend. It is called, "Is This Your Child" by Dr. Doris Rapp. She is an Pediatric Environmental Allergist, and her theory is that many children with ADD or ADHD are actually experiencing allergic reactions to various foods. My neighbor has a son who was very much like your daughter at the same age. By the time he entered school, he was out of control. Like you, Mom refused to put him on medications, knowing that there might be something else she can do. She came across this book and it was a life and sanity saver for her. There is a section about a rotary diet, where you basically eliminate everything from the diet and reintroduce it and watch for reactions. My friends son, who is now a Senior in High School, is allergic to corn, wheat, dairy, citrus, soy, legumes and garlic. She says that in retrospect she knows that there were allergy symptoms when she started him on formula at 4 months. If you check the label of most formulas, the first two ingredients are soy and corn syrup solids. He immediately started having ear infections and terrible eczema. I believe that he was about 2nd Grade when she did the rotary diet on him and discovered his food allergies. He is a normal, very intelligent child when these things are eliminated from his diet, but turns into a monster when he eats them. He knew immediately how much better he felt and how these trigger foods made him act and didn't even want to eat them. He occasionally eats them know, being a teenager, but still is very careful and controls the quantity that he consumes. Dr. Rapp also has another bood called, "Is This Your Child's World" about environmental allergies present in our homes, schools, public buildings etc. Many times the formaldehyde present in carpets, particle board, laminate furnishings, cleaning supplies etc. can cause the same reactions as ADD/ADHD. White Board markers are also very toxic to some people. Do your research and don't give in to the "medication route" unless all other options don't work. There is an Environmental Allergist in the Denver area that my friend has taken her son to for many years. His name is Dr. Nicholas Nonas and comes very highly recommended. Dr. Nonas also works with National Jewish Hospital. Best of luck to you and your daughter. Make sure you read labels, almost every prepared food contains corn syrup solids and citric acid which many people are allergic to.

1 mom found this helpful

Check out www.interactivemetronome.com. My mom is a provider who does very well with ADD and ADHD. You're right. Both can be a huge asset if properly directed. This program helps do that. My mom would love to talk to you if you're interested. She's in SW Denver. Let me know and I can give you her contact information.

1 mom found this helpful

HI, M.,
Setting up an clear plan for behavior and limits is critical to managing ADHD. The first step is determining if this is ADHD or simply appropriate toddler behavior. Consult a good psychologist who is experienced in working with young children and experienced with ADHD. You can contact me directly if you want to talk about this. I do this type of intervention with parents regularly. (I'm a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in working with children and families) There are assessments you can complete to determine if this is really ADHD or not. Since you and your husband both have ADHD, it may be difficult to see normal toddler behavior and realize it is normal. A good parenting plan can still be helpful in managing the behaviors. Medication is rarely needed in children this young except in extreme cases.

take care, S.

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't read any of the responses but I've got a child w/ADHD & another one I'm fairly certain has it too-his preschool teacher noticed the same symptoms we saw in big brother. I'll be bookmarking this one for my own use-thanks for asking!
I've read a lot about it-especially when the nurse who diagnosed him said Ritalin to me. He's been on Concerta for 2 years now & he's a different kid. We still have homework issues now & then but he looks like he's happier on it. When he's not medicated he has a vacant look-the nurse explained it as him being able to see the veins on the leaf on the tree, but he can't tell you there's an entire forest there!
None of us were ever diagnosed but what my mom calls her "scatterbrain" I can now see as ADD or ADHD. Like me, she works best under the gun & can't even function w/o her daily lists. At least one of my 3 sisters is the same way & we all have "episodes" of it. We all hyperfocus on the details & can't do the big picture very well.
We did therapy-not really occupational, she was a regular therapist. We played a lot of games-he was dx at 5-that mainly dealt with expressing our feelings. She would make him stop everything, she would point to her eyes, wait until he was focused on her, then give him instructions. That works well for him. Also, she & the nurse both said that we need to give him one thing to do at a time-overloading will just cause failure & frustration on all sides. We have raced the timer to get chores done-teeth, making the bed, picking up the room, etc. I've ready a few studies that say frequent breaks are best-when she starts to get frustrated, tell her to race around the backyard three times (since she's 3). Puzzles are my son's favorite treat-he could work 100 pc puzzles by age 5.
Tips for you-stiff drink (lol, just kidding!). You take a break & run around the backyard. Or put the babies in a safe place & go work a crossword puzzle, read a book, work a puzzle, do something that focuses your mind off of the kids & onto something totally different-for 10 mins. I crochet.
Focus on the good stuff-I read an article (can't tell you the link, my computer crashed & I lost all of my great ADHD articles) titled either "the Positive side of ADD/ADHD" or "the upside...". Empathy, sensitivity... they listed 5 qualities that are amazing in AD/HD people. My youngest is 5 so I can escape for longer periods of time but my biggest coping skill is escaping-I crochet, I work a logic puzzle in my book...
And keep the kids outside as much as possible. When I told our therapist-she was my mental release as much as she was my child's therapist-that we had a trampoline, she said basically that he needed to "shake his sillies out" (as that wise ole preschool song goes) & the trampoline was a great place to do it. He could literally bounce his frustration out & come back a calmer, more focused kiddo.

I typed a lot.
Basically for her: exercise breaks (1o mins is what the article said), "use your words", lists-pictures of a toothbrush/bed/toys to put away-that she can use stickers or dry erase markers to check off her progress, race the timer, "focus on my eyes" to talk
for you: escape! Set up the kiddos in a safe place & go do something else when you know they're safe for a bit-something that takes your brain power, exercise-yoga is great & you can do it w/lil Missy too, but don't be too put out when she can out-downward dog you! lol
Somebody once told me (probably Mom) that the traits in yourself you don't like are hardest to deal with in your kids. Not that AD/HD is a trait, but the same basic principle applies.
Good luck Mom!

I am so impressed that you and your hubby have been able to function in what your opinion is normal lives. I have been told that some of the most successful people in our world have this disorder and it was, in the end, to their advantage. We found that having a reliable schedule and using natural supplements worked well for us with our son who struggled. The 'routine' was what was emphasized the most by our MD. We also learned that if your child is having difficulty focusing, it is OK to take a 10 or 15 minute 'brain recharge' break. This was a tremendous help with things like homework and chores. We also learned that the diet we offered wasn't always providing the best options for optimal performance. High protein, vegs, and fruits and low in the sugar and empty carbs. Our son has since learned to recognize when he is zoning out--most of the time--and is handling his situation quite well according to his teachers and others who are aware of this struggle. You can help your child and it is just a mater of patience and time. Hang in there! I hope you get some other good advice and can find some methods that can be adapted to your lifestyle and make for a successful future!

Good Luck!

3 years old is too young to get a real diagnosis yet, but since you and your huband both have forms of ADD it is likely that your child does too. I would suggest contacting an occupational therapist who could work with both you and your child. You may even qualify for free help through the state, I have a cousin who used to work as an OT and his job for a while was to work with kids on day to day living and social skills, he loved his work and helped allot of families. I wish I knew more details for you, maybe your pediatrition will know contact information for you. Good luck! I had ADD when I was a kid, and I guess I still do but I don't like people to know about it because so many people don't understnd it or have any patience for you. It is so tough sometimes.

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