3-Year Old with ADD?

Updated on April 09, 2008
S.F. asks from Bellefontaine, OH
15 answers

I have a 3-year old son, Gage, who is set to be 4 right before Christmas. While a great little boy who is full of energy and brings me joy... I'm kind of stuck with regards to his behavior. Shortly after he turned 3, he's been acting out at home and daycare. When he gets angry, he will throw things, yell and scream, or just constantly cry and exclaim that he's "tired and wants to go to bed" - I must hear that 12 times a day. His actions at daycare have been far worse - kicking teachers in the face and neck, throwing chairs at other kids, and refusing to listen and follow directions. This behavior has had him 'expelled' from one daycare already and luckily there was another one in our area, but now he's starting this behavior at the new place. We've tried every reward system under the sun, even bribery with toys, candy, etc. yet nothing. He can be happy-go-lucky one minute, then like a light switch - turned from Dr. Jekell into Mr. Hyde for no reason whatsoever.

A few examples... I asked him what he wanted for breakfast the other morning and I asked him what he wanted and he said "cereal please Mommy." So I made him the cereal as he sat down at his little table. I placed the cereal in front of him and he just went BALLISTIC for NO REASON - screaming, swiping the cereal off the table, uncontrollably crying, and using the yet again excuse "I'm tired!" And yes, he gets PLENTY of sleep at night, that is by no means the issue. I don't know if he's just PHYSICALLY exhausted or what? And what really pushes me towards ADD (as well as my best friend who has a 3-year old of her own that's the polar opposite of my son... very calm, content, and polite) is we will be for example getting PJ's on, and while I'm changing his sister and brother's clothes, I'll ask him to take his clothes off from the day. He'll begin to take his pants off, they get down to his knees, and then he gets distracted. It must take me telling him 10 times if not more to take his clothes off. When I get on his eye-level and tell him to look at me so I can talk to him - his eyes NEVER focus on my face... they are constantly wandering - no matter how stern I am. The doctor's say it's too early to diagnose ADD - which I think is BS, and I by no means am one of those parents that just want to dope their kids up so they don't have to deal with them. I'm at my wits end and I can't have him hurting other children and himself, or I can't afford for him to get kicked out of another daycare - being a single mom and there's nowhere else in town for him to go. I've sought out conselors, and they've observed him many times, but... of course... everytime they observed him, he was acting like "Dr. Jekell" and behaving like an angel, so they were almost no help.

So my question is... has anyone had a toddler/pre-schooler with these type of behavioral issues? What was used to curb them? Anyone have a child diagnosed with ADD or ADHD that could shed a little light on the situation for me? I'm at a loss. Thanks to all that read - I know this was a long one! :)

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone SO MUCH for all the helpful advice! I wrote it all down (books and websites and all) and am going to start to get to the root of Gage's issues. I won't give up, no matter what! There's a "good kid" in him somewhere, and I'm bound and determined to find it!! Hopefully something curbs sooner rather than later. The support in and of itself has eased my mind tremendously. Thanks again! :)

Featured Answers



answers from Dayton on

Hi.. my son was 3 as well when he started ths behavior.. he started medication at age 4 1/2... hereis the list of what we know so far.. ADHD, ODD, and sensory issues.. he is also in 1 on 1 therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy..

Hugs, H.

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answers from Louisville on

I have a 3 year old son named Gabe who sounds very similar to your son. My husband tells me every day that we need to get him help but like your situation the doctors tell me that he is fine. My son doesn't focus very much on things and when it comes to listening to me it seems like I can never get through. I haven't put him in daycare or preschool yet because I am afraid he will hurt someone when he has a melt down. He loves other children but when it comes to adults he's completely different. My mother tells me his behavior is from me and his father being divorced but that happened when he was 1 year old so I'm not sure how much that has to do with it. He has a great step father and visits his father every other weekend so he has good male role models. I'm sorry I can't tell you a way to deal with this but I can tell you that I completely understand and I know how much stress the situation can cause. Maybe our sons should get together since they probably understand each other better than anyone else does.



answers from Youngstown on

First of all, kudos to you for being able to handle all this. It takes a very strong person to do what you do. Second of all, I am no doctor so please don't take my awnsers for truth.
I read over your letter several times and it reminded me of one of friends. She has a daughter who is now 8 and while the violent outbursts weren't as bad, she displayed a lot of the same symptoms. My friend started doing so much research it was like we were back in college. She asked the doctor and it turned after many tests that her daughter had ADD/borderline Autism. She said the lack of eye contact and the "always tired" really tipped her off. I don't tell you this to scare you but I wasn't sure if the thought had entered your mind. I know as a mother that's the last thing I would want to comprehend. I have lost touch with my friend so I couldn't tell you what she's done to help her daughter but every case is different and no matter what there's always support somewhere. Good luck and I'll keep you in my prayers.



answers from Cincinnati on

Wow, girl! You have your hands full! I just want to add a few things to what's already been said. I agree with Amanda that you need to have your son tested and find out what services your school district and/or county can provide for him. It doesn't really sound like ADD to me. I used to work with autistic kids and the avoiding eye contact sounds more like autism. I wouldn't try to force him to make eye contact right now though. If he does have autism, there are a lot of ways to help him. I recently saw a program where Jenny McCarthy talked about her son being diagnosed with autism. She actually wrote a book about her experience of healing his autism through diet and therapy. The name of the book is Louder than Words: A Mother's Journey in Healing Autism. You can also look at a few websites to learn more and see if this sounds like your son: www.tacanow.org, www.cureautismnow.org, www.autism.org. Good luck and God bless!



answers from Grand Rapids on

It is so very tiring to live with a "diffiult" child, isn't it? I live with a Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde myself. He is 4 now. I also have a 2.5 year old and a 10 month old. Luckily I have a spouse, an out of town traveling for work alot, but a spouse none the less. I tell you this cause I feel your pain and frustration.

My first thoughts. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done mama. You are asking for help. You see a problem and are seeking a solution. No Gage is too young for a "true" ADD/ADHD diagnostic testing. He is not developmentally at an age where he can withstand the testing process. But I cannot recommend a developmental evaluation enough, diagnosis or not. There might be something more going on here. Have a heart to heart with your pediatrician.
I do not know you or your situation. I do not have enough information nor have I observed your child, but I make the suggestion none the less. Pick up a copy of the Out of Sync Child. You don't have to read the whole book, but leaf through and do the tests. See if any of it rings true. Some of the behavioral triggers you mention suggest there might be an element of Sensory issues. Maybe not. But my Jekel/Hyde was diagnosed at 2 with having sensory processing disorder, which is neurological in nature, but manifests itself with behavioral symptoms. I see many similarities, and I am influenced by my experiences, which is why I suggest the book.
Bless you and those kiddos. I empathize with what you are going through. Look into those community reasources and talk to your pediatrican. Get that evaluation. Good luck.



answers from San Francisco on

Your doctor is right, MOST medical proffessionals will not diagnose ADD untill the school years. It does sound like you might have a problem though. I'm not saying i agree with medicating children, BUT i've been there my dd is 6 and not biologically mine, when she came into the family at age 4 it was very very difficult, she is 6 and was medicated for almost a year for her anger, not for ADD but for ehr temper and outbursts and it was the only thing we could do to allow us to have a normal family life and go about taking her places and spending time with the other kids as well. She has since been diagnosed with an adjustment disorder and any amount of stress, a new class at school, trying or learning something new can still set her off but she is in therapy and dealing with it well at this point. here is soething i copiedoff a message bored i frequent
ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children. Boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it, though it's not yet understood why. Children with ADHD act without thinking, are hyperactive, and have trouble focusing. They may understand what's expected of them but have trouble following through because they can't sit still, pay attention, or attend to details.

Of course, all children (especially younger ones) act this way at times, particularly when they're anxious or excited. But the difference with ADHD is that symptoms are present over a longer period of time and occur in different settings. They impair a child's ability to function socially, academically, and at home.

The good news is, with proper treatment, children with ADHD can learn to successfully live with and manage their symptoms.

What Are the Symptoms?
ADHD used to be known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD. In 1994, it was renamed ADHD and broken down into three subtypes, each with its own pattern of behaviors:

1. an inattentive type, with signs that include:

inability to pay attention to details or a tendency to make careless errors in schoolwork or other activities
difficulty with sustained attention in tasks or play activities
apparent listening problems
difficulty following instructions
problems with organization
avoidance or dislike of tasks that require mental effort
tendency to lose things like toys, notebooks, or homework
forgetfulness in daily activities
2. a hyperactive-impulsive type, with signs that include:

fidgeting or squirming
difficulty remaining seated
excessive running or climbing
difficulty playing quietly
always seeming to be "on the go"
excessive talking
blurting out answers before hearing the full question
difficulty waiting for a turn or in line
problems with interrupting or intruding
3. a combined type, which involves a combination of the other two types and is the most common

Although it can often be challenging to raise kids with ADHD, it's important to remember they aren't "bad," "acting out," or being difficult on purpose. And children who are diagnosed with ADHD have difficulty controlling their behavior without medication or behavioral therapy.

How Is It Diagnosed?
Most cases of ADHD are treated by primary care doctors. Because there's no test that can determine the presence of ADHD, a diagnosis depends on a complete evaluation. When the diagnosis is in doubt, or if there are other concerns, such as Tourette syndrome, a learning disability, or depression, a child may be referred to a neurologist, psychologist, or psychiatrist. Ultimately, though, the primary care doctor gathers the information, makes the diagnosis, and starts treatment.

To be considered for a diagnosis of ADHD:

a child must display behaviors from one of the three subtypes before age 7
these behaviors must be more severe than in other kids the same age
the behaviors must last for at least 6 months
the behaviors must occur in and negatively affect at least two areas of a child's life (such as school, home, day-care settings, or friendships)
The behaviors must also not be linked to stress at home. Children who have experienced a divorce, a move, an illness, a change in school, or other significant life event may suddenly begin to act out or become forgetful. To avoid a misdiagnosis, it's important to consider whether these factors played a role in the onset of symptoms

First, your child's doctor will perform a physical examination of your child and ask you about any concerns and symptoms, your child's past health, your family's health, any medications your child is taking, any allergies your child may have, and other issues. This is called the medical history, and it's important because research has shown that ADHD has a strong genetic link and often runs in families.

Your child's doctor may also perform a physical exam as well as tests to check hearing and vision so other medical conditions can be ruled out. Because some emotional conditions, such as extreme stress, depression, and anxiety, can also look like ADHD, you'll probably be asked to fill out questionnaires that can help rule them out as well.

You'll also likely be asked many questions about your child's development and his or her behaviors at home, at school, and among friends. Other adults who see your child regularly (like teachers, who are often the first to notice ADHD symptoms) will probably be consulted, too. An educational evaluation, which usually includes a school psychologist, may also be done. It's important for everyone involved to be as honest and thorough as possible about your child's strengths and weaknesses.

What Causes ADHD?
ADHD is not caused by poor parenting, too much sugar, or vaccines.

ADHD has biological origins that aren't yet clearly understood. No single cause of ADHD has been identified, but researchers have been exploring a number of possible genetic and environmental links. Studies have shown that many children with ADHD have a close relative who also has the disorder.

Although experts are unsure whether this is a cause of the disorder, they have found that certain areas of the brain are about 5% to 10% smaller in size and activity in children with ADHD. Chemical changes in the brain have been found as well.

Recent research also links smoking during pregnancy to later ADHD in a child. Other risk factors may include premature delivery, very low birth weight, and injuries to the brain at birth.

Some studies have even suggested a link between excessive early television watching and future attention problems. Parents should follow the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) guidelines, which say that children under 2 years old should not have any "screen time" (TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games) and that kids 2 years and older should be limited to 1 to 2 hours per day, or less, of quality television programming.

What Are Some Related Problems?
One of the difficulties in diagnosing ADHD is that it's often found in conjunction with other problems. These are called coexisting conditions, and about two thirds of all children with ADHD have one. The most common coexisting conditions are:

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD)
At least 35% of all children with ADHD also have oppositional defiant disorder, which is characterized by stubbornness, outbursts of temper, and acts of defiance and rule breaking. Conduct disorder is similar but features more severe hostility and aggression. Children who have conduct disorder are more likely get in trouble with authority figures and, later, possibly with the law. Oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder are seen most commonly with the hyperactive and combined subtypes of ADHD.

Mood Disorders (such as depression)
About 18% of children with ADHD, particularly the inattentive subtype, also experience depression. They may feel inadequate, isolated, frustrated by school failures and social problems, and have low self-esteem.

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders affect about 25% of children with ADHD. Symptoms include excessive worry, fear, or panic, which can also lead to physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, stomach pains, and diarrhea. Other forms of anxiety that can accompany ADHD are obsessive-compulsive disorder and Tourette syndrome, as well as motor or vocal tics (movements or sounds that are repeated over and over). A child who has symptoms of these other conditions should be evaluated by a specialist.

Learning Disabilities
About half of all children with ADHD also have a specific learning disability. The most common learning problems are with reading (dyslexia) and handwriting. Although ADHD isn't categorized as a learning disability, its interference with concentration and attention can make it even more difficult for a child to perform well in school.

If your child has ADHD and a coexisting condition, the doctor will carefully consider that when developing a treatment plan. Some treatments are better than others at addressing specific combinations of symptoms.

How Is It Treated?
ADHD can't be cured, but it can be successfully managed. Your child's doctor will work with you to develop an individualized, long-term plan. The goal is to help your child learn to control his or her own behavior and to help families create an atmosphere in which this is most likely to happen.

In most cases, ADHD is best treated with a combination of medication and behavior therapy. Any good treatment plan will require close follow-up and monitoring, and your child's doctor may make adjustments along the way. Because it's important for parents to actively participate in their child's treatment plan, parent education is also considered an important part of ADHD management.

Several different types of medications may be used to treat ADHD:

Stimulants are the best-known treatments - they've been used for more than 50 years in the treatment of ADHD. Some require several doses per day, each lasting about 4 hours; some last up to 12 hours. Possible side effects include decreased appetite, stomachache, irritability, and insomnia. There's currently no evidence of any long-term side effects.
Nonstimulants were approved for treating ADHD in 2003. These appear to have fewer side effects than stimulants and can last up to 24 hours.
Antidepressants are sometimes a treatment option; however, in 2004 the FDA issued a warning that these drugs may lead to a rare increased risk of suicide in children and teens. If an antidepressant is recommended for your child, be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor.
Medications can affect kids differently, and a child may respond well to one but not another. When determining the correct treatment for your child, the doctor might try various medications in various doses, especially if your child is being treated for ADHD along with another disorder.

Behavioral Therapy
Research has shown that medications used to help curb impulsive behavior and attention difficulties are more effective when they're combined with behavioral therapy.

Behavioral therapy attempts to change behavior patterns by:

reorganizing your child's home and school environment
giving clear directions and commands
setting up a system of consistent rewards for appropriate behaviors and negative consequences for inappropriate ones
Here are some examples of behavioral strategies that may help a child with ADHD:

Create a routine. Try to follow the same schedule every day, from wake-up timeto bedtime. Post the schedule in a prominent place, so your child can see where he or she is expected to be throughout the day and when it's time for homework, play, and chores.
Help your child organize. Put schoolbags, clothing, and toys in the same place every day so your child will be less likely to lose them.
Avoid distractions. Turn off the TV, radio, and computer games, especially when your child is doing homework.
Limit choices. Offer your child a choice between two things (this outfit, meal, toy, etc., or that one) so that he or she isn't overwhelmed and overstimulated.
Change your interactions with your child. Instead of long-winded explanations and cajoling, use clear, brief directions to remind your child of his or her responsibilities.
Use goals and rewards. Use a chart to list goals and track positive behaviors, then reward your child's efforts. Be sure the goals are realistic (think baby steps rather than overnight success).
Discipline effectively. Instead of yelling or spanking, use timeouts or removal of privileges as consequences for inappropriate behavior. Younger children may simply need to be distracted or ignored until they display better behavior.
Help your child discover a talent. All kids need to experience success to feel good about themselves. Finding out what your child does well - whether it's sports, art, or music - can boost social skills and self-esteem.
Alternative Treatments
Currently, the only ADHD therapies that have been proven effective in scientific studies are medications and behavioral therapy. But your child's doctor may recommend additional treatments and interventions depending on your child's symptoms and needs. Some kids with ADHD, for example, may also need special educational interventions such as tutoring, occupational therapy, etc. Every child's needs are different.

A number of other alternative therapies are promoted and tried by parents including: megavitamins, body treatments, diet manipulation, allergy treatment, chiropractic treatment, attention training, visual training, and traditional one-on-one "talking" psychotherapy. However, the scientific research that has been done on these therapies has not found them to be effective, and most of these treatments have not been studied carefully, if at all.

Parents should always be wary of any therapy that promises an ADHD "cure," and if they're interested in trying something new, they should be sure to speak with their child's doctor first.

Parent Training
Parenting any child can be tough at times, but parenting a child with ADHD often brings special challenges. Children with ADHD may not respond well to typical parenting practices. Also, because ADHD tends to run in families, parents may also have some problems with organization and consistency themselves and need active coaching to help learn these skills.

Experts recommend parent education and support groups to help family members accept the diagnosis and to teach them how to help their child organize his or her environment, develop problem-solving skills, and cope with frustrations. Parent training can also teach parents to respond appropriately to their child's most trying behaviors and to use calm disciplining techniques. Individual or family counseling may also be helpful.

ADHD in the Classroom
As your child's most important advocate, you should become familiar with your child's medical, legal, and educational rights. Children with ADHD are eligible for special services or accommodations at school under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and an anti-discrimination law known as Section 504. Keep in touch with your child's teachers and school officials to monitor your child's progress and keep them informed about your child's needs.

In addition to using routines and a clear system of rewards, here are some other tips to share with teachers for classroom success:

Reduce seating distractions. Lessening distractions might be as simple as seating your child near the teacher instead of near the window.
Use a homework folder for parent-teacher communications. The teacher can include assignments and progress notes, and you can check to make sure all work is completed on time.
Break down assignments. Keep instructions clear and brief, breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.
Give positive reinforcement. Always be on the lookout for positive behaviors. Ask the teacher to offer praise when your child stays seated, doesn't call out, or waits his or her turn, instead of criticizing when he or she doesn't.
Teach good study skills. Underlining, note taking, and reading out loud can help your child stay focused and retain information.
Supervise. Check that your child goes and comes from school with the correct books and materials. Ask that your child be paired with a buddy who can help him or her stay on task.
Be sensitive to self-esteem issues. Ask the teacher to provide feedback to your child in private, and avoid asking your child to perform a task in public that might be too difficult.
Involve the school counselor or psychologist. He or she can help design behavioral programs to address specific problems in the classroom.
Being Your Child's Biggest Supporter
You're a stronger advocate for your child when you foster good partnerships with everyone involved in your child's treatment - that includes teachers, doctors, therapists, and even other family members. Take advantage of all the support and education that's available, and you'll be able to help your child with ADHD navigate his or her way to success.
and here are some links, i didn't go through them but they are on the same board and might have some useful information for you. good luck if you would like any more info or jsut want to talk feel free to get in touch.







answers from Dayton on

I too have a 3 year old going through the exact same thing who will be 4 in April. He throws chairs, kicks teachers, hits the walls, and will sit on other children if he feels the need. And yet at the same time he can be very loving and affectionate. I tell him being cute is the only thing that saves him. Personally, I agree with your doctor that says it is too early to diagnose ADD. From others that I've talked to, it's best to wait until they are closer to starting school. I too went to counselor's for my son. I've been lucky. My daycare did not throw him out, but have been working hard with me to try different options to curb his rash behavior. He's getting better with his behavior. Don't lose hope!! If you continue to work with him, he will get better. Just remember to stay consistent. I think that's what has saved me from losing my mind. Your son has learned a pattern and that pattern appears successful to him. He's not really tired but has learned that saying that phrase gets a reaction. He's learned that throwing things gets a reaction. Your son sounds similar to mine in that they crave constant attention, good or bad it's attention. I really believe that if you care enough and work hard enough with discipline and consistency they will grow out of it. You have to find what really hurts his feelings. My son hates it when he can't have a snack or can't watch curious george with me in the living room. Enough of missing those things is teaching him that if he listens he gets a high five and can do some things he wants to do. Remember you're not alone and there are many of us going through this. I too am a single mom. Sorry for the length but it was because I can relate all too well!!!



answers from Lexington on

Hello S.. Before you believe he has ADD/ADHD, I would do a couple of things. As a teacher, I know the county has some resposibility to you. If Gage has a behavior disorder such a ADD or Oppositional Defiant Disorder, then he must be diagnosed with it. He has to see a doctor and a psychologist, but since he is nearing the age to go to school, he is eligible for help. Just as students from birth who are developmentally delayed recieve help via the county. Go to the board of education and speak with someone about having your son tested. If he does have problems, the sooner they are dealt with, the easier school and life will be for him.



answers from Cleveland on

Hi S.:
I saw a great program on 60 minutes a few weeks ago that talked about very difficult children. It detailed the pros/cons of medicating diagnosed mental disorders for bipolar and ADHD in children as young as 3 years old. You can watch it in the 60 minutes archive: http://search.cbsnews.com/?source=cbs&q=bipolar+child...
Also, you didn't mention you or the father's medical history - ADD is proven to be genetic so if someone in Gage's immediate family doesn't have it, ADD is not likely to be the case. My husband has severe ADHD, so we're keeping a close eye on our little one! I really hope things get better for you...



answers from Lexington on

I work with a child that has extreme ADHD, and his symptoms are nothing at all like those of your son. The only thing off to me that could be a warning sign is the lack of eye contact. It sounds like your sons behavior is more from frustration than anything. If he always says he's tired and acts out, maybe he's not feeling well? What does he eat? Foods with additives, artificial colors, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, and other processed things can seriously interfere with a child's behavior. Is he getting low blood sugar? Maybe more frequent high protein snacks would help him even out. Have you heard of the Feingold Diet? http://www.feingold.org/pg-faq.html

You might benefit from reading the book Raising Your Spirited Child. My 15 month old is very high needs and this book helped me so much! It has scales for each section where you can rate your child's behavior to better know in what ways they are spirited so you know how to meet their needs. It also teaches you how to think of their behavior in a positive light and not to provoke it. Really great book.

Another book you might find helpful is How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen and Listen so Your Kids Will Talk. It is an easy read, even with cartoons, that helps you learn how to respond to different situations so that you don't cause them to escalate into huge ordeals, and ways to talk to your child so that they'll talk to you in return instead of getting upset.

The book Unconditional Parenting might be helpful too. It offers alternatives to discipline rather than punishments and rewards. Maybe your son would respond better to some of those ideas.

I wouldn't jump to ADD as his problems. There are so many more things to investigate first!



answers from Toledo on

Hello there,
I also have a three year old about to turn 4 in Feb. alot of these things that you are explaining, I am seeing in my child too, any thing you figure out please let me know because I am also at my wits end with her behavior too, thank you!



answers from Lexington on

Hi Stephanie, You have a tiger by the tail it seems! I do not understand why you have recieved so little support from counselors etc. I think it is time for you to call the nearest regional medical center or teaching medical facility and ask for a referral for a child psychiatrist. Something is wrong, and there's no point is you and Gage being miserable. His behavior probably already affects the mood of the household, which is bad for your other two. No doubt with three to handle by yourself, you are desperate for relief. Do you have anyone who can share the load--could your mom or an aunt or friend come and stay with you for a week or two and just lend a hand and a hug? My youngest son has a personality disorder called Oppositional Defiance Disorder. It's tough on him and tougher on us--his parents! It may help to tell him that you understand he is "tired" sometimes, but that he will have to help with any messes he creates. This means he cleans up the milk and cereal--just give him a pan of sudsy water and don't let him run off to play until he's attempted to tidy up. (Of course the clean up will be inadequate, but wait until he's in bed to remedy that.) He may not be able to control his rage, but he'll feel better about himself if he helps clean up. Also, from time to time, ask him for help with picking up toys, folding laundry etc. Anything that builds his self esteem! God bless you, and hang in there!



answers from Cincinnati on

My son didn't do that at school, but did act out at home at about the same age. They are trying to push their limits and see what they can and can't get away with. I don't know what the living conditions are, but is there a way you can have a sm. bed set up somewhere in the house that has nothing at all but a bed in it. If he wants to act out and say he is tired then put him in the bed until he calms down. Time outs didn't work for us unless I held him there because he wouldn't sit at all. It is a little young for them to really look you in the eye, at least that is what I figured because I would get on his level hold his face to look at me but he would not. It's scary to see you so mad, they don't want to see that. We also found that he would say things that I said. So If I often said I had a headache to get out of something, within a week he would say "O no. I have a headache, I just can't clean up" (OR in a more temper tone if he was a blown up tantraum). Keeping your calm will help him calm down faster. Making him sit while you clean up the cereal mess, while he works on calming down, but not saying a word to him might help. If he is not hurting anyone ignore him. I would hold him in him out and then allow him to sit and try to calm down. If he didnt calm down in 5 minutes I went back and held him and helped him calm down. Punishment works. He should still be getting a good 12-14 hours of sleep a day, and daycare can be a lot of extra "stress" on a child. Now at 4, we are back to an angle most the time :) It did pass, without a diagnosis of any sorts! Best of Luck!



answers from Louisville on

Hi S. - first off it is too early to diagnose ADHD/ADD. The child can't be properly testeed until they are at least 5. Second, I have a daughter who is ADHD to the max. The only symptom that you described that fits into ADHD is the getting distracted easily. However, even with my daughter it doesn't take 10 mintues to redirect her. As soon as I remind her what she is supposed to be doing she picks up where she left off. I may have to to this two or three times before the task is completed, but it does get done. As far as the violent temper tantrums, the claiming to be tired, and the not focusing on you when you talk to him; none of those are symptoms of ADHD. It does sound like something that needs to be evaluated and maybe some sort of counselor could help assess the situation. The Bingham Child Guidance Center would be a great place to start, in my opinion. My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD in the 2nd grade and was put on medication and it completely changed her behavior. It was a wonderful decision on my part to have her tested and medicated. But you don't want your child mis-diagnosed and you don't want him medicated if it is not needed. But like I said, this sounds nothing like ADHD to me at all. I hope this helps.


answers from Columbus on

What type of home do you live in? If it is an older home, I would recommend having his lead levels checked. Lead poisoning presents itself almost exactly like ADD, but it is an easy cure. almost half the homes in Ohio have high lead.

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