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Hyper 4 Year Old

i have an extremely hyper 4 year old who honestly makes me batty at times. for months my mom has just said oh shes just 4. well she stayed over night last night now my mom says she needs to be evaluated. every where we go strangers say wow she has a lot of energy. it gets embarrassing kinda like they are saying wow chill out kid. anyway is it possible for a child to have add or adhd this young. im not really a believer in it add/adhd but my mind may be changing lol. i dont even know where to start with this do i just talk to her doctor? she will sit and watch tv or play quietly in her room if shes really in to something but any other time she is running through the house being super loud.... help!!

What can I do next?

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Hi E..
Food,additives, food coloring, sugar. These are things that can cause them to be excessively hyper. Food coloring wires my nieces little girl so badly she can't have it at all. I found this site and thought it might be a good starting point.
I hope this helps.
My best, W. from Indiana

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Hi E..
Food,additives, food coloring, sugar. These are things that can cause them to be excessively hyper. Food coloring wires my nieces little girl so badly she can't have it at all. I found this site and thought it might be a good starting point.
I hope this helps.
My best, W. from Indiana

2 moms found this helpful

Sounds like your daughter needs some regular and structured activities to put her energy into. But first of all, watch what she eats. Don't give her sweets, anything with extra sugar, or any artificial sweetners. She should be eating proteins and vegetables. Limit fruits to the less sugary ones like melons, apples, natural applesauce, peaches, etc. Bananas are very high in sugar, as are raisens. Even cut back on dairy products, so that she only has a couple servings a day.

It is YOUR job to feed her, so you determine what she eats. Kids will get used to anything, and they don't need sugar and junk to eat (we don't either!).

Just try it for 2 solid weeks and see if there is a difference.

I see and hear about too many children being put on drugs because "they are hyper" "they have too much energy" etc. I have a theory that it isn't them, but it is us who have less energy, time, and patience to deal with them.

When I was a kid, my mom could send me outside to play for hours. Today, we don't and can't do that due to all of the crime and perverts in the world. Its too dangerous to let your kids go out and play unless you are with them.. and our own lives and lack of energy doesn't afford us the time to take hours out of our days to go outside and play.

Does this make sense to you? Its a different world, and our little kids are starting to pay for it by being kept inside, given limited activities, and fed sweets and junk thinking it will appease them. They need fresh air and sunshine and to be able to be the kids we were who play all day and explore and run around using that energy they are blessed with!

I have 2 little ones myself and really am trying to practice what I preach. It DOES make a difference, so please don't let a doc put your daughter on meds to calm her down, dull her, and mess with her body and mind. Thats not fair to her. We (as a society) are medicating our kids so we don't have to be accountable for finding time to entertain them and GET INVOLVED with them because WE are tired and busy. Please think about it.

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I would also try diet and exercise/structured activities before meds. It is difficult at times to plan healthy snacks. I keep a snack basket full of healthy/semi healthy at least, snacks. I buy the 100 calori packs, he may choose one a day. The other snack is fruit or at the moment trying to push veggies. I keep things cut up and bagged or a fruit basket on the counter. Also, i know my son is young (only 2 1/2, but i enrolled him in a mommy and me gym class, and he loved it! I was beat. I am learning the more energy i try to have with him, and the more structured activities we plan, the easier the day is. Does she mind well? When my little one is being "2" and not listening, running around etc, there is one warning, then directly to time out, and no outside voices are loud inside. Good luck!

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Is your daughter destructive or disrespectful? If so, those are behaviors you should work on.

But if she's simply energetic, that's not something to worry about--except for the toll it takes on you. You should help her find ways to direct her energy. Can she sit and do a puzzle? Will she play a game? Maybe she'd like to run around outside during the day. Does she ride a bike? Do you have a backyard for her to play in? These can help.

You also may want to look into preschool activities. She could be bored. I would recommend a less-structured setting where she could interact with other kids and not have so many rules. At this age, interaction is more important than structure.

One more thing. What about her diet? Some kids react more strongly to sugar, and she shouldn't have any caffeine. Many (seemingly harmless) drinks do contain caffeine.

I suggest you pursue other options before having her tested. Too many kids, I think, are labeled as ADD/ADHD when something else is really going on. Oh, and as your daughter gets older and learns to channel her energies, I think she'll be able to accomplish much.

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I read your responses so far, and they're pretty much 'right-on'. First, realize that there's 'ADD' (attention deficit disorder, but that doesn't sound like your daughter), and 'ADHD' (attentions deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Not her, either), then there's simple hyperactivity which (as many others said) can be caused from a myriad of outside stimulants, allergens, chemicals, flavorings and colors, preservatives, flavor enhancers, pesticides, etc.

I discourage the use of medicines/drugs for anything, but I also know that sometimes they are absolutely necessary (if I didn't take a thyroid pill daily, I might as well be dead. I know, because I TRIED 'going off it'. Won't do THAT again!)

Try trouble-shooting, monitoring, & natural remedy first and it will probably help a lot! Keep an open mind, though, and don't dispair if she does need medical intervention (and I would also recommend a homeopathic physician if you have access to [and can afford] one).

If it IS lack of sleep, melatonin is a natural (over-ther-counter) sleep-help that's even recommended as safe for children.

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Honestly I would take a good look at her diet. If you can cut out a lot of the processed food and the RED DYE!!!! that could help a lot. White flour will turn into sugar in the body and it can raise her blood sugar levels.

Also I have been giving my daughter (who is also borderline ADD) something called body balance. It is a whole food suppliment. It is made out of sea vegetables and aloe vera. I have read a few different testimonies about how it has helped with ADD and attentions span.

Here is a few different links:

one is: www.areyoubalanced.net this is a website that has a lot of testimonials in it. (very cool to see all the things LF can help, you may know some else that this could help and it is nice to see who it can help)

and the last is the actually Lifeforce website: www.lifeforce.net/20718416 This is where you can look as see what they sell. (Click on USA, and then you will see a page of products. If you click on on, after you read what it says there, scroll down to the bottom of the page and there is a Data Fact sheet, click on that for more information.

IT is a little expensive, but honestly I think it is truely worth it. I have been taking myself and I have seen a big difference in my life. 1/4 cup of vitamins (that taste good) is so much better for you than a expensive cup of Jo!

Hope this helps!


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Hi E.. Add/ADHd is usually not officially evaluated until school because that ius when it becomes a big issue. However, recent evidence has suggested that exposure to the many toxic chemicals in our homes and schools is leading to the kind of behavior you describe. I have read numerous articles about this and know people who saw a big change in their child's behavior when they got the chemicals out of their homes. For more information please visit these sites:
www.melaleuca.com Then, if you want info on how to get these safer products into your home, contact me at cherybhealth.com or ###-###-####. Everythng is 100% money back guaranteed so you have nothing to lose in trying this out.

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First of all, ADD/ADHD are definitely real, legitimate conditions. I was a middle school teacher and have seen many, many cases of both, some controlled by medication, some not. However, not every child who is distracted has ADD, and not every overly hyper kid has ADHD. Every avenue should be throroughly investigated before medicating a child believed to have one of these conditions. If a parent and professionals check out everything first and the child still shows signs of these disorders, then medication can be a true blessing and truly necessary, but there are just so many things that can be mistaken for ADD/ADHD these days.

Yes, ADD/ADHD can be diagnosed as early as 4, but they usually aren't diagnosed any earlier than age 6. I've actually heard studies recently that state that sugar actually doesn't have anything to do with hyperactivity in itself, but that the food additives and dyes in most sugary products (candy, juice, etc) are the real culprits. Food dyes are becoming more and more known to cause severe hyperactivity in little ones. If I were you, I'd do a great deal of research and try her for a week or two on foods with none of these food dyes that cause adverse affects (no candy, juice, boxed mac & cheese, etc.). Also, make sure she's getting plenty of sleep; I've seen that cause major changes even in the children I taught at age 12 or 13.

If all of that doesn't work, then take her to a professional, let them know all you've tried already, and see what they think. I'd personally get two opinions before putting my child on any ADHD medication, simply because most of them seem to help the aspect of hyperactivity, but they have side effects that hinder other things like appetite, mood, or sleep.

Good luck!!

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you might want to check into sensory integration disorder. some kids have trouble processing lots of input from the different senses and it can cause them to be hyper. My son is almost 3 and he has issues with anything with lots of lights and sounds. he bounces off the walls. we had to remove lots of his noisy and lighted toys and have him do quieter puzzles and such. the sensory issues have also contributed to him not talking. we are having him evaluated for autism. but we have had him on the gluten-free casein-free soy-free diet for a few months and that helped out his behavior alot. he has calmed down a great deal since the diet. so those are some things you might check into. i've always been one that believed that kids diagnosed with add/adhd just needed a good spanking. i still believe that is the case with a majority of the kids who are diagnosed and then put on drugs. but i also believe there really are some kids who just are that way. they can be helped by dietary changes and being put on some good vitamins and supplements. if you really look at anything that goes into their body, you can find things that cause them to be seriously hyper. we did have an infringement on my son's diet in nursery at church one Sunday. they accidentally gave him a handful of goldfish. for the next 5 days or so, he was totally wild. he was a crazy kid. could not calm down and focus. he's been in speech and occupational therapy and special instruction. his therapy sessions that week were an absolute waste of time because of the delayed reaction to the goldfish. we tested his food sensitivities which are classified as IgG food sensitivities/allergies. these differ from IgE food allergies in that IgE causes the typical allergic reaction like the hives, difficulty breathing, vomiting, etc.. IgG causes delayed reaction such as behavioral problems, attention span problems, excema and the likes. my son's IgG results were off the chart crazy. We have removed the foods he was highly sensitive to which was about 20 different things in addition to putting him the GFCFSF diet. We also found that the red dye in Triaminic and other things was a problem for him. So I would recommend checking into dietary things like those first and also researching the sensory integration disorder. Definitely research every avenue before resorting to meds. Alot of kids these days only eat junk food and foods loaded with sugar and preservatives and junk. My son has never had a bite of Froot Loops or anything like that and he does just fine eating. Good luck!

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If you're concerned, definitely talk to your doctor. But it's possible that she just has lots of energy. As a child, I was also "high-energy", but never diagnosed as ADD / ADHD, etc. The doctor told my mom that hyperactive children normally don't sleep much - I would run wild all day, and then crash at night.

It's a good sign that she can sit and focus on something when she's really interested. Does she get to play outside much? That could help burn off some extra energy.

So many people today are quick to label a child. There are cases where medication is necessary, but I'm afraid that often, it's just easier to give a child a pill than to deal with it. Kids aren't made out of cookie cutter's. God made us all different for a reason.

I'm 37 (SAHM of 1 yr. old twins) and thankfully, I'm still "high-energy" - if not, I don't know how I would make it through the day :)

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HI, WELL try karate.. it sounds odd but try it my child was so hyper i did not know what to do we coud not even go out to eat she was so bad gettin up and down.. omg and at how it was like a holly terror was unleashed... my friend had a party one night and i ran into some people who had the same problem and they told me about karare .. ready to try anything we signed her lil butt up and omg within a few weeks we were amazed... she ran around at karate which they said was normal @ first but then after it all clicked with her it was a difrent kid.. it teaches them to listen and focous... another thing when u go to the store give her a lil list i know she probibly cant read but draw the pic on there for her.. if she has something to do @ the store she wont get bored and make you wanna rip out ur hair.... cut out all sugar also... even ice tea switch to dcaf... another thing is a book whick is awsome it is a girlfriends guide to toddlers it was written by mom's who have kids not some doctor that never had a kid

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I tend to think like your mom : she is just 4 but if she has changed her mind and you think she is too rambunctious and others say things about her energy, it wouldn't hurt to talk to the dr. If anytime I ever have a questions, I would always go and talk to the dr. Make an apt and go talk.
It could be anything from diet to thyroid to adhd. I don't know for sure but I have heard that adhd is usually hereditary. How were you when you were that age, and how was your husband when he was that age? I believe the dr will take all of that into consideration.

In the mean time, make sure that you cut out her sugar, red food dyes (anything that is red like hawaiin punch, red popcycles, etc), no caffeine, and try to make sure she is getting her vegetables and vitamins. Sometimes a diet has alot to do with it. Another thing you could do is get on the computer and type in hyper or rambunctious or energetic children and see what you come up with. They may give a diet or simple ideas that may help, and there may be something else to consider that no one has thought about.

Good luck.

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check with a psychologist that specializes in this. i had great success with therapy and medications in combination. lots of luck:)
and yes they are born that way.

lots of young children just need to run and play so they can unwind and rest at night and schools and teachers like to lable thease children as add or adhd and sometimes i truely dont think there is anything wrong with them.doctors like pushing medication and sometimes its necessary but sometimes the side effects are worse than the problem you might want to talk to your doctor but befor medication i'd get a secound oppenion.

I bet your daughter is also bright, creative, and fun, right? I think that too many kids are labeled with ADD/ADHD when there are other reasonable factors that should be considered. It could be too much sugar, dyes (as other mothers have mentioned here), etc. However, maybe it is just they way she is... Was she "high need" as a baby? A lot of high need babies grow up to be "spirited" children. Doesn't mean they have any kind of disorder. ..it's just their temperament. I think as adults we forget what it is like to be a kid with limitless energy, esp in a world that is go! go! go! all the time. I wouldn't worry too much about it at this point. Would you really be willing to put her on meds at this age, even if they said she was ADD? Instead, maybe you could find an outlet for that energy, such as gymnastics or dance (or helping around the house). :)

Of course a 4 year old can be ADD/ADHD. The first step is to look at what she eats. Many children have food allergies that make them hyper. It is also the easiest and cheapest way to begin an evaluation. Keep a food diary of everything and when she eats it. See if there is a pattern. Some culprits are: dairy, wheat, of course food additives and preservatives, dyes, and anything artificial. Cut out one thing at a time for about a week. Then the next step is to ask your pediatrician. Step three would be a professional evaluation. Does she go to preschool? Have her teachers mentioned anything?

Hello E.,
Seems to me that your little one is just a typical healthy 4yr old!
They are supposed to have a lot of energy at that age.I would be more concerned if she sat quietly by herself all day.And please remember there has been a huge change in her life recently,the arrival of a baby sister .Try as we do to make a new addition to the house as easy as we can on what was once an "only" child its a difficult time for them too.
Im of the old school Im afraid.I do not believe in rushing to put a small child on meds because 'other' people think they are hyper.
Your little one needs to be taught that 'running' around the house is not allowed,that she must use her 'indoor' voice'.
And that there are rules to be followed.
Many years ago I read a book called E for Additives because my son suffered terribly with eczema,it opened my eyes as to what colourings and additives were being added to even the simplest of food,and it changed the way I fed my family.
rule of thumb....if a drink is a vibrant colour and you know that there is no fruit bearing that, then its additives. Quick fix foods are the same and I know from personal experience that it causes havoc with little kiddies.
Best of luck to you,enjoy your little ones and take care.

My best friend has a 5 yr old boy. We are both convinced he is ADHD. When she took him to the dr for his well check she asked the dr to put him on meds for adhd because he will be starting kindergarden in the fall and she wanted him to get the meds figured out first. The dr refused. She said they would not do anything until the fall *despite the fact he had a lot of problems in preschool). The dr did tell my friend to give him fish oil (daily, I think). It seems to be working well but it is not 100% better still.

Yes, it's possible. My daughter was diagnosed at 4, and is on Daytrana. It's a patch of medicine that keeps her a little more mellow, and allows her to even out her personality, allowing her to concentrate. Her neurologist suggested she may have problems, so he had her evaluated by a neuropsychologist at Wake Med in Raleigh, NC. Results were that my daughter was ADHD, and they put her on meds. Now, I will tell you that we were told to only use the patch when she was in pre-school/sunday school to allow her to be calm and concentrate and 'focus'. She will rarely want to eat once the patch is applied, as it supresses her appetite. But, on a day where she's just a 'kid', she's a kid running around enjoying life.

Hope that helps.

I too would suggest fiengold.org before putting her on anything...

First of all that is when ADD/ADHD starts to show up. Most aren't identified until school b/c moms think "that is just 4". As the mother of a 9 yr. old with this, I encourage you to look into it. Just because you ask your pediatrician some questions does not mean you are trying to find the secret pill to quiet her down. Quite the contrary!!! Wouldn't you take her to the doctor if she had asthma? What if she was too lethargic? You are just trying to help. Wilmington has a lot of groups out there to help as well. Good luck!!!

E., Hi I know what you are going through only my child is a little older than yours. I beat my self up over this same thing for about two years only he had ADD where he couldn't do his work and I keept putting it off until this last October. He was falling behind in his grades. He would only be hyper when grandparetns were around it was awful, when they came over. I took him to the doctor and told him what the school was saying and then we done test checking for a learning disability and there was not one he just couldn't focus, or do his school work. I hated myself for this because I don't think you should put children on medication for this I think teachers don't want to deal with them. I think the sooner you check into this the better off you will be and don't feel bad about this like I did. Since he has been on medicine homework takes no time and his grades have improved very much so. At the end of school he made honor roll. where he didn't make it before he is 9 and in the third grade. The school had even sayed that he wouldn't pass his end of grade test but he did.

Please remember that just because your daughter is hyper does not mean she has ADHD. There is so much more to it than being hyper. It's a focus issue. Yes, you can see it in children as young as infants if you know what you are looking for. I agree with the ones who were saying something about her diet. Sometimes food coloring or even caffeine can cause this kind of behavior in a child. I watched a little boy once that if he got even a little bit of caffiene he bounced off the walls. If I were you I would evaluate what she is eating and start taking things out one by one and see if there is a change in behavior. I hope you can figure it out for both your sakes.

wow - you have had lots of advice - and i haven't read most of it - but as a preschool teacher (and/but against medicating children whenever possible) - i can tell you that it can DEFINITELY show up this early. but I can also tell you, from a friend's experience - her son exhibited signs of mostly just ADD, but occasional hyperactivity as well. she is a very health-concious (herbal remedies, vegetarian type) person, and started discussing things with their pediatrician as well as those in the herbal/health food stores and started routing out some problems in the foods he was eating. red dyes are a big trigger for some kids, and this was true in her son's case, but also she started getting rid of sugars in his diet, and buying NO preserved foods, etc... his behavior was up and down for a while, but has gradually calmed over the years, with NO medication - not even herbal supplements, other than vitamin type stuff. he is now 11 and is a very calm, attentive, and polite child. he also has dyslexia, which they attribute some of his attention problems to, but the hyperactivity was definitely due to him being hypersensitive to sugars and other food additives.

all my kids have been "normal" through their toddler and preschool years, but my oldest was even evaluated by his school for ADD, b/c as a third grader, he was so bored he couldn't stand it and was unorganized. my problem was with the school system not challenging the top kids enough, and just letting them glide by doing virtually nothing all day, and they were talking about putting him on medication! ridiculous! i am in no way a "health freak", but i even tried herbal stuff to get him to pay better attention, but as he got older, and we moved to a different/better school system, he was more challenged, and therefore became more involved in his own learning. he no longer had "ADD" - imagine that!

my point is to evaluate her ENTIRE environment - there are some kids who truly do need chemical or herbal based meds, but ADD/ADHD is way overdiagnosed and only feeds into society's mentality about having a drug for everything!

there are also lots of good books about having a "Spirited" child - I guess that is the more PC way of saying "Hyper", but parents generally know when their child is beyond the normal definition of "active" - trust your own instincts in this!


It looks like others have made great suggestions, but I just wanted to mention a couple of things.

I discovered by the time that my son was 2 (he is now 16) that red food coloring makes him hyper and wild. To this day if he accidentally (or on purpose outside of our control) eats some that he is a different kid and drives you crazy.

Also, you might want to check out some yahoo adhd groups and get some ideas from them.

My son is going to be 4 years old in October and we started him on ADHD medicine 3months ago. We just weren't able to harness that energy...no matter what we tried or lookers on suggested! It is very frustrating and we are still working through alot but during the day at preschool the teachers really noticed a difference and the difference at home with younger siblings is getting better everyday! Hope this helps.

I have a four year old boy. He also has alot of energy. I'm not sure about your daughter, but my son gets wild when he's around other children. It's like he doesn't know how to calm down. It drives me crazy! He's really good and will stay calm at home, but as soon as another kid gets here he goes wild. So, I struggle with the same situation. I try to watch his diet, but he's SO picky. I'm not sure what advice I have for you, I just wanted to say you're not alone. Good luck!

The first thing you should do is look at her diet. Sugar will make any child hyper, and also sometimes food allergies. Is she COMPLETELY off sugar? Do you limit her juice intake? (even though it's natural, it still has sugar). Also look at artificial dyes in her food. If you have taken her off sugar and dyes and she is still hyper, try taking her to an allergist to have her tested. I do believe that kids as young as four can be ADHD, but I also think it is VERY rare. I think most of the time it is something in the diet that can be changed. I would try that before you consider drugs.

Talk to your pediatrician and see what their recommendations are. What you are describing fits the profile of ADHD. I too didn't want to put my child on meds and thought he was just being a child but once diagnosed and put on daily meds he can live a more normal life and be accepted into society easier. Your battiness will subside some but not totally because when the meds wear off you get the symptoms back in full force.
Trust me it's better to medicate than to watch your child be labeled a bad/hard to handle child by caregivers/teachers. Remember you know your child better than anyone and stay very involved with her eduacation and fight for her rights as an ADHD student.

One of my 4 kids has ADHD. He is almost 11 and he started showing signs of it when he was 4. It was like he was on overdrive physically, mentally, and emotionally. When he was almost 7 and has finished K I took him to a child psychologist for a full psychological and educational evaluation. I had been in close contact with his school counselor and she had been monitoring him and suggested this. He has learning issues as well which was the main reason for the testing. However, the psychologist said he "looked" ADHD. We worked through the other issues over the next 2 years with various interventions and therapies. Once we got him back on track with those things he continued to be extremely active in all ways and very distracted. When he was 8 we did a trial of ADHD meds. We struggled with whether or not to do it but we are so glad we did. It takes a long time to find the right med b/c there are always new things coming out and his needs change as he gets older. But it has drastically improved his quality of life in so many ways. Good luck!
P.S. When he was 4 I just knew deep down that he was different and chalked it up to developmental. If she truly turns out to have ADHD you will have to follow your gut--there will be people who will tell you that you absolutely should not put a child on medication. But I can tell you that it has made a world of difference for my son and for our whole family.

My now 16 year old son was diagnosed with ADHD at the ripe old age of 5, but people at church and day care were after me for at least 2 years before that to have him tested. Sometimes if he was really interested in something he could be still for a good length of time. Other times he would sit on his hands to keep from acting out, especially in church, and then he was looking all around but not missing a thing. He could later tell you exactly what was said and everything that happened in the room. He still has some slight problems in school. He hates anything involved with reading, but has a super high reading level. He was at a 12th grade reading level in the 7th grade, but you couldn't get him to read without it almost being punishment. Get her tested. Just make sure you find a good child psychologist, not some hack who diagnoses everyone with ADD. We have an adult psychologist here in town that diagnoses EVERYBODY with ADD, no matter what their problem. Hope this helps. D. B.

I teach nutrition classes and one of the first things you can do is remove all the food dyes from your childs diet. For example Red Dye #40, blue Lake, etc. If that is on the label, throw it out. Second remove as of the refined sugars as possibble. Third go see a homopath, they should be able to help. If you have questions email me back.

I'm a child clinical psychologist with many years of testing and otherwise working with kids and their families. It is DEFINITELY possible for a child to have ADHD, and you would be seeing it at age 4 if your child has it. Go to a psychologist and get your child a comprehensive evaluation. Your insurance will cover it. Don't go just to a pediatrician; many of them will write you a prescription just to make you go away without testing your child at all, and medical tests are not going to answer the question anyway. Get your child checked out by a psychologist, and then, if indicated, see a child psychiatrist and talk about medication. A combination of medication and behavior modification (doing things differently at home and school) is the approved treatment. Go ahead and check out diets, food colorings, etc.; good-quality scientific research doesn't support them, but they have people who believe strongly in them, and of course you will want to check them out, and perhaps try some. Still, at least get a good evaluation of your child to start the ball rolling. And if you can find a chapter of CHADD (a support group for parents of kids with ADHD) or something like it, do that. You're in for an at-times challenging few years if your kid has ADHD, but there are plenty of good qualities of these kids too, and don't lose sight of your child's. Catch her being good! Good luck!

Does she sit on your lap, and listen while you read a whole story? My daughter at 4 could not do that.
I had her tested at a large teaching hospital, the psychological dept. They have specialists who do just adhd kids etc. We spent part of one day, and part of another. I had lots of forms to fill out. The yes answers over and over obviously formed a pattern. Good luck

If you are concerned, you should talk to your doctor. As a parent, it is important that we trust our instincts and observations when it comes to our children since we are with them more than anyone else.

However, if she is able to sit and watch TV or play quietly she probably doesn't have ADD/ADHD. Then again, you may want to cut back on her TV time since that tends to make things worse.

I have a son who will be 4 in a couple months, and he runs around yelling a lot, but if we have "directed playtime" where I sit with him and help him color or play cars or learn a song with hand-motions, he pays attention really well. I've learned that he can't be quiet all the time, so sometimes I just have to deal with the noise, especially on days when I'm trying to get stuff done around the house.

Dear E.,

I guess you have to have an ADHD child to "believe in it", but more importantly, if you understood what causes ADD & ADHD you wouldn't doubt it for a minute. Take a long thorough look at www.feingold.org. Feingold is a 30yr old non-profit organization whose purpose is to inform the public about petroleum-based (that's right - gasoline!) additives in our food supply. Artificial colors, favors and preservatives are made from petroleum and can cause a multitude of symptoms in children and their parents. My daughter was just like yours (and violent too) and Feingold was truly a Godsend for our family. We all follow the program and are very healthy because of it.(We don't us any prescription drugs!) Best of luck to you & your daughter.

L. B.

Hello E.,
I am sorry for your situation but there are a number of things that you can do to help your child.
I agree that an evaluation is one of the best ways to start. Many behaviors which cause a child to be overly active may not necessarly be due to a real attention-deficit/hyeractivity disorder.
I am a child psychologist and work primarily with preschoolers. If you would like to discuss her please call my office at ###-###-#### and leave me your name, numnber and best time to call and I will get in touch with you or else try my cell phone at ###-###-####. I will be happy to discuss my fee and how I investigate for an attention problem.
Here to help.
T. Hudson Huntley

Hi E.,

Have you heard about the Feingold Diet? This pediatrician's basic premise is pretty much what the previous posters have mentioned: all of the preservatives, additives and petroleum-based dyes, etc. that are put into food have a really adverse effect on some children. Followig the Feingold Diet DOES NOT MEAN that you have to spend a FORTUNE buying only organic, whole grain, etc., etc. food if this is not your normal diet. It just means that you try eliminate -- or at least reduce -- the amount of these additives in your child's foods and medicine (all that red, purple, orange liquid pain reliever)

A friend had the same issues with her daugter that you are describing, and I spoke to my daughter's pediatrician about the Feingold Diet, and she thought it seemed a great approach to feeding children. You can check out the Feingold approach at http://www.feingold.org/.

Good luck!

Is she getting enough rest? I read about a study where children being diagnosed with ADD were actually found to be sleep deprived because they were waking up so many times in the night. After prescribing sleep aids these children slept at night and symptoms of ADD were suddenly eliminated. Something to keep in mind if you seek medical advice.

Also, how do certain food affect her? Some children get very hyper when they consume foods with a lot of sugar, other children get very hyper when consuming foods with a lot of food coloring.

Hope you find a solution!


Sounds like you have heard a lot of what I was going to say from others here. I can tell you from experience that you should consider an evaluation. That doesn't meant that your child will need to be placed on medication. Some children do better with Behavior Modification or diet changes.

My children both have ADD or ADHD. While I didn't know what to do when it came to my daughter, she is now 32. I did learn quite a bit from the experience and when my son was diagnosed, I knew what it was and began to educate myself so that I could help him.

Good Luck and I hope things work out for you.

Yes it is possible to be born with adhd or add or any of theses problems. I know i have a grandson. When he was born i was so excited i said to my daughter lets keep him in the room. We were both so miserable all nith he went ah ah ah , he couldnt stand to be touch he didn't want to eat and he was miserable, he never took a passy either. This continued on forever. He is now 14 and bipolar with tactile sensory problems. So follow your instints always. Talk with your childs doctor first. Dont allow them to push you off request the name of a child phychistrists. Don't be ashamed be proud of yourself for taking care of your child. Im sure your little one is not happy with this chemical embalance in her litle braine and would love to have a calm braine. Only you can offer her that. We have wonderful doctors in fayetteville. Dr.cuzi,dr susan meyers dr lesica with mental health and there are other doctors through mental health equally as good. So good luck.

Why not put your daughter in something that will channel all that energy. She would probably be great in karate or gymnastics! I would also talk with her about acceptible behavior and what is not acceptable. Walking quietly with Mom acceptable. Running around all over the store, hiding in the clothes racks, etc (I've been there!) not acceptable. Also set up a reward for good behavior that works for her (Stickers, SMALL candy, point system, etc) My son age almost4-candy, my daughter age almost 6-point system) When she gives you the behavior you want reward her. when she doesn't say see this sticker (or whatever) you could of had this if your behavior was good. Maybe you can earn it next time! Good Luck!

YES, have her evaluated. Have you discussed her hyperactive behavior with your pediatrician before??
Several things could be the cause, not just ADD or ADHD. Behavior Modification with a specialist on working with young children might be an option which you might want to inquire about.
How do you discipline her when she's out of control or bouncing off the walls?? You may need to examine that as well. Has she always been like this or did it start recently??
Just questions to consider to help figure out what's going on with your dear little girl.
Best of luck, and yes she is old enough to be tested for certain conditions that may be contributing to her activity.


Sounds just like my three year old. This type of behavior indicates that your child is very interested in the world she lives in. Trying to learn new things, many times at your expense, but she doesn't mean to be. If you can help it at all don't put her on any meds. If she isn't learning well then I would re-evaluate... but until then she is just very interested in her world!!!
~Good Luck

I have a hyper 4 year old son and niece who is the same way, Sometimes I get so tired of repeating myself, I am a peds nurse, and most of the time they don't start evaluating that until they are in Kindegarden, I have some questions and maybe I can help you a little more, Does she go to daycare, What kind of foods or drinks does she get, does she have any habits? J.

she can have add this young, but before you take her to a doctor who will just want to medicate her, evaluate her diet. a lot of people blame hyperactivity on sugar, but that just not realistic. it is more likely caused by artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. artificial colors are actually petroleum based, and so bad for our children. reading food labels will disgust you, if you know what your looking for. just yesterday at the grocery i realized that all of the chicken broths but one organic one, had MSG. and all of the ketchups but the organic one had high fructose corn syrup. many of the kids yogurts have red dye # whatever in them(petroleum based, might as well feed your kid a glass of gas) a lot of breads have high fructose corn syrup as well.

Hi E.,
Yes, your child could be demonstrating characteristics of ADHD, but you also need to take a look at some other things. First, try to think of your parenting style as objectively as possible. Are you fairly calm when dealing with your children, or do you tend to be jittery and agitated yourself? Is your home chaotic or fairly organized? Your child's behavior MAY be a reflection of her environment. If you can't be objective yourself, ask a trusted friend whose parenting style you admire...but make sure it is a friend who will be honest in her answer to you.

Secondly, there are many other avenues to explore along with the possibility of ADHD. Is your daughter more active after eating certain foods...or at certain times of the day? Maybe keeping a journal with brief entries about behavior, environment, time of day and recently eaten food will help you see a pattern.

You should also contact an occupational therapist that is knowledgeable in the area of sensory integration issues. Sometimes children who appear "hyper" are really responding to their body's inability to use the information they receive from their senses. These kids often appear to be ADHD but are really receiving misinformation and over-responding to the sensory input they are receiving. A good OT will be able to give you lots of information regarding activities that will help your child self regulate and focus in a calmer manner.

Another area you should explore is in the area of Visual Development. This does not mean that you should find out if your child sees clearly or not, it means you should find out how your child perceives what she sees. An optometrist with the initials FCOVD after his or her name is a specialist in this field and will be able to give you the information you need. Many, many of the children who have been labeled with learning disabilities and adhd really have visual perception difficulties that can be remediated with exercises and guidance from certified vision therapists. An excellent web site is childrensvision.com Be sure and look under the tab "Vision and Learning"

I hope this information is helpful!

I agree with the both diet and getting her involved in activities. My daughter has been high energy since she was born I think. Play dates, gymnastics, dance, soccer etc... Will you be tired taking her places of course but it will help her out tremendously. There is quite a bit of information linking food allergies to behavior so you may want to consider getting her tested for food allergies. As previous post suggested watch the refined carbohydrates (sugars especially high fructose corn syrup which is in so much these days). Keep a food and behavior diary to help see if there are specific foods that affect her.
One of the things that may point you to further evaluation later is if she starts having trouble once in school with reading and/or math. For now, I would suggest working with the energy and finding ways to use it constructively. Good Luck!

Definantly get your child diagnosed by either your pediatrician or a psychologist who specializes with ADHD all three types. They will be able to let you know if it is typical behavior or if her behavior is ADHD related.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/symptom.htm -this is the CDC website that lists the criteria that doctors use to diagnose ADHD.

I get really fustrated when I hear others saying that diet will fix their behavior. There is no research supporting it.

There seems to be a biological link to ADHD, you might consider having yourself or your spouse evaluated as well.

There is a really good books/ parent guides that give you accurate info as well as websites that will give you real info instead of the trendy stuff. http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-guide-symptoms-t... , even stuff related to school and school work which you and your child are going to deal with in the next year or so.

http://www.chadd.org/ ~Chadd is the Children and Adults with AD/HD. This is a national organization and really has good info.

I have two daughters and an ex-husband all with ADHD. I thought I was going insane till I got a diagnoses for my oldest. I am still trying to get my oldests meds adjusted to the right dose she is inattentive type. My youngest I believe is combo type like her father. She has other challenges too like auditory processing (her brain just doesn't wait to hear a full sentence). My youngest responds very well to a very low dose of ritilan. her teachers were amazed and added that attenion affects her ablity to learn. (something they were reluctant to do before they saw the change that the meds made). She is still her sweet self just able to complete her work now, and able to finish projects. Her volume in speaking is better controlled, and she doesn't seem to be spinning in circles.

Even before meds my youngest was able to Hyper focus on things like tv, to the point she would not respond to me calling her name.

She still has trouble falling asleep which makes it difficult for her 6am wakeup call. (school)

No matter if your daughter is ADHD or not she may respond well to a strict routine and firm structure. you might try free website called Handipoints http://www.handipoints.com/
it might give you ideas about approaches to your routine.

Sorry this is so long but I felt like I should include everything, Good Luck K.

I have a pretty hyper 3 yr old boy. He has been loud and full of energy his whole life. He also will sit and watch a show if he is interested, and sometimes play quietly, but not often.
If it is something that you feel needs to be eveluated just talk to her pediatrician. They are educated on the signs of ADD and ADHD. If in fact your daughter does have these signs, medication is not always necissary. Sometimes you can change there diet or even find different programs for them.
In my experience, my son is the youngest of three. All of my children are so different. My 3 yr old is just very vocal, and he has a very strong voice. aka (very loud!)
So go with your gut, try not to compare to other children, because they really are all different. Talking to her doctor is a great first step. It will probably help put your mind at ease.

I have a really wild four year old as well, he is loud, talks excessively, interrupts while talking to you, repeats anything he hears in conversations and on television, runs and climbs on everything in the house, can play alone but usually is very loud playing, can watch tv if something is interested in but when a commercial is on; watch out, he is very smart and talks and looks much older then 4 years old. I love my little boy but he drives me crazy most days and I also have a 5 month old daughter that is breastfeed so I had to come up with a routine that fit most daily. Its a struggle everyday but I think its better then medicating a child for something like ADHD or ADD when most of the medicines that treat it have worse side efforts then what's already happening to the children. I'm not big on legal drugs and believe you should really work out something to get them focused before trying something that could make it worse.

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