Hyper Active Child

Updated on April 14, 2011
I.W. asks from Garland, TX
11 answers

Good morning Mama's! I have a 4 year old son who's behavior has been getting worse. His teachers feel that he is ADHD. I have scheduled an appt with his Dr to see if this is the case. He has a very HARD time staying focused on anything! He barely finishes his work at preschool but yet he knows all of the material so his teachers said they know he doesnt have learning disability. He cant stay seated and he is just all over the place. He over talks adults and I have been trying to get it under control. I have been trying different methods of discipline and I have noticed that spanking dont work for him at all. I have put him in karate and baseball but even at these things he is unable to fully participate because he has a very hard time listening and following instructions. My mom told me I need to change his diet and that there is a natural supplement that I could put him on that will help his mind focus. I am not sure what type of diet I need to put him on or what foods I may be giving him that is not healthy and if anyone has any methods on discipline or on how to deal with him when he is bouncing off the walls and if there are any natural supplements that will help him. Answers Please!!

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So What Happened?

Hey mamas! It has been a few months since I posted this question. I wanted to first thank everyone for all their input and suggestions. It was really helpful. I was able to have a starting point on what to do. Well I had him evaluated by a child psychiatrist and she did diagnose him with ADHD. She was also tryng to promote putting him on medication. When I asked her about other alternatives as far as supplements and changing his diet she said that diet has nothing to do with ADHD. I told her I was not going to put my 4 year old on meds. She has a worker that is suppose to be working with Zion on different ways to focus and listen better come to my house once a month. That has been pretty good. I contacted the school district to get him tested for learning disabilities but because it was summer and he wasnt yet attending the school, they advised me I had to wait until he was a student and then see how he does before they do any testing. Since he is only 4 it will be hard to pinpoint any learning disability so early. What I have done is totally change his diet. I researched all the suggestions. I took out all artificial dye and flavor. I have taken out foods with alot of added sugars and syrups. Taken out cereal other than Kix on some occasions the only cereal that doesnt have any artificial coloring or flavors. I took out all of the juices because most of them still have alot of sugar and coloring. I am trying to take out all the added perservatives. I buy fresh fruit and veggies weekly and i found snacks at the whole foods store with no preservatives and no added flavor or coloring. I even found chips like cheetos since those are his favs that have nothing added in them. All natural. I substituted the juices for water and let him add flavor. I found one called propel Zero that had no dyes or artificial flavor all natural flavor. So he thinks its juice and he is drinking more water and milk now. I took out yogurt which I see helps. I also found all natural jello as well..I found a supplement called Manna Bears that have the phyto nutrients and is all natural to help his cell communicators and give him omega 3. He started pre K at the public school a month ago and he has gotten happy faces every day!! I have put him on a more consistant schedule as best as I can with my schedule as a single mom working and going to school. I make sure he gets a good nights rest and I see a huge change in him and the people he is around also have told me that they see a difference. He is still his goofy outgoing self but less bouncing off the walls. He has been listening better. I found I just have to be real firm and keep reminding him what it is he is suppose to do. One helpful thing the psychologist told me is that ADHD with young boys can wear off. They may always have a hard time focusing but it does get better. I told his teacher what I was trying to do and please watch him and let me know his progress and any behavior issues that he has. Hopefully things will keep going this way! Thanks everyone for your help! I also got him a lil teacup yorkie!! He named him Spike..he keeps asking me for a brother or sister and since that isnt going to happen anytime soon..Spike is now his best buddy!! lol

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answers from Chicago on

there is no one treatment plan that works for everyone. For my son we are non meds, we use tools given to us from the OT, speech therepist and other specialists. We have a team of people that are helping us daily and that includes the school district. See as many people as possible before you conclude the diagnosis part and have him evaluated by the school district's special needs team as well.

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answers from Columbus on

First off, he is in preschool...his teachers KNOW nothing about his status as far as a learning disalbity, unless they sent him to have a full, multifactored evaluation, and even if they had, he is in preschool, so you still don't know.

What they should have told you is that this is a smart boy. They should have told you that he has attention issues and that he has trouble following directions. They should have told you WHAT they see, not what they THOUGHT about what they see. Sorry, had to get that out, it is just infuriating that teachers, let alone preschool teachers, make diagnostic suggestions to any parent.

They had every reason to tell you that you should consider getting an evaluation. You need an evaluation, and this is not something that you can or should get from your pediatrician. You need a Developmental Pediatrician. You need a full developmental evaluation, one that will inlcude his intelectual processess, his academic acheivement, his motor skills, his sequencing skills, his speech and langague processing skills...and anything else that may be relevant to your son. Let the Developmental Pediatrician tell you what, if anything, he may be diagnososed with. Maybe it is not ADHD? You have a reason to have a Developmental evaluation, getting an 'ADHD" evaluation is illadvised. Let me put it this way, you do not go to the doctor to see if you have cancer, you go because you have a pain here, or a twinge there, or a symptom...you tell them what bothers you, and they ask you questions, send you to a specialist if you need it, and they run tests and they tell you what is wrong. As CAWriter said too, you can use a Neuropsychologist and a psychiatrist as well, but you may need to add in things like OT and speech.

There is no evidence that the natural supplements or diets work. Unless your doctor suspects an allegy to a particular food, you should not be chasing this because it will not be helpful, and is only first line treatment for those with an identified allergy.

Remember this: Brain disorders (like ADHD) are not DIY pojects. They are seriousl business, and you not only need a full evaluation to idenify what, if anything, is going on, but you need an expert to help you develop a treatment plan that is appropriate for your son, based on his data and medical needs.

If this is a PUBLIC preschool, your teachers have just obligated the local school district to also conduct a public evaluation of your son for ADHD, and you can request that it include more than just ADHD if you suspect it. You need both public and private evaluations. If this is a private preschool, go to your local school district and tell them that you suspect that your son has a disablity, and ask them to evaluate him. Again, you need both public and private. You should never know less than a school district about your son, or what he needs. The school may be obligated to provide services to your son such that he is functional in the school enviornment. You should negotiate for as much as you can, then provide the rest privately so that he can reach his full potential.

Good sources of information are for ADHD are CHADD, www.wrightslaw.com, additudes magazine, and any book by Dr. Mel Levine or Dr. Russel Barkely. If it is something other than ADHD www.wrightslaw.com is your bible for learning to navigate schools.

Good luck. Get a full evaluation from someone other than your pediatrician. If your son needs medication, it should come from a doctor and a pharmacy, not the internet or the supplement isle in the whole foods store. If he needs medication, it should be used to make all his theraputic services more accessable. Medication is a tool, it should be accompanied by many hours per week of play therapy, cognative behavioral therapy, social skills classes, speech, OT, vision theapy and developmental optomitry services, and extensive behavioral supports at home, and school and educational accomodations.


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answers from Denver on

I would cut out any and all processed foods. I know it sounds impossible and that a prescription sounds easier- but truly- food (processed) is the root cause of most disorders of this type. Processed foods are foods that don't look like the plants/animals they came from. Cereal is terrible. It's full of salt and sugar. Juice is sugar. Pasta is white flour which the body has a hard time processing. Cereal bars are all sugar and dyes. Fruit snacks are too sugary too. Basically if the food comes in a bag, box, can, or plastic packaging- you shouldn't be eating it.

You can make satisifying nourishing meals out of meats, animal fats, and fruits and veggies. You can also eat whole grains, like brown rice, bulgur wheat, and quinoa.

It takes some adjustment, but the difference in your sons focus will be night and day.

My brother had asthma as a kid- and his asthma attacks were triggered by a red dye- which always sent him to the hospital.

check out a book called nourishing traditions. it's excellent and debunks a lot of USDA garbage regarding dietary needs.
Best wishes-

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answers from Sacramento on

When you meet with the pediatrician, mention your concerns and ask for a referral to a child psychiatrist or neuropsychologist (will depend on your health plan which one you can see). A developmental pediatrician can also evaluate you son. These are the professionals most qualified to assess for conditions such as ADHD.

If it's ADHD, changing diet, using vitamins and other techniques will not "fix" him. Please visit the website for CHADD, the advocacy group for families like mine dealing with ADHD every day for factual information about ADHD.

You want to get advice from medical experts, not the general public, should your son get a diagnosis and need treatment. Do not try to play doctor right now. Supplements are not government regulated, so you don't know what you're putting in your child's body. Really listen to what the doctors have to say. They really do understand ADHD (and any other condition it might be) well.

Best of luck to you as you begin this process!

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answers from Houston on

A lot of sugars, processed foods and the like contain preservatives and color dyes (namely red #40 and yellow #5, #10, #6) that make hyper activity worse. These colors can be found in almost everything (fruit roll ups, cereal, apple sauce, gummy snacks, goldfish, juice, carbonated beverages...), so read labels.

It is being studied that omega 3 fatty acids can help with adhd children.

lots of good advice on diet here:

It's good that you are taking him to a Dr, perhaps he/she can offer some help. Supplements and diet can only do so much, sometime, meds can help and in some cases, it's necessary.

Dr. Sears has some good advice for discipline and behavioral tactics. Be sure to scroll down the page too for more specific advice:

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answers from Dallas on

Hi I., I have a friend whos son had same issue, we put him on kids nutritional supplement with Omega 3 and other brain food for kids and he is off medication and doing well. You can go to http://foryourhealth.reliv.com and click on products and check the kids products.

Let me know if you have question.

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answers from Appleton on

Make sure he doesn't get any MSG. Watch his dairy intake, cut back on dairy foods and see if this improves his behavior. Yorgurt is especially bad for some hyper kids. He can have the Silk products since they are soy and not dairy. Have you had him tested for Autisim? He may be a high functioning Autistic.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't know how a 4 yo can be considered hyperactive - especially the boys - they have so much going on, so much energy and to ask one that age to stay focused is IMHO asking for the moon.

The first thing I would check is his diet - too much sugar maybe? I do know that Vitamin B complex helps with hyperactivity. Does he get a good daily vitamin?

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answers from Daytona Beach on

i used to work in daycare with a boy that had ADHD. he was on meds that didn't help at all. (he was the violent type:() anyway, my mom also watched a little boy that was super hyper! what we were told to do with both of the boys was to try to give them a little mountain dew, because with children with ADHD the caffeine actually works opposite, it calms them down. it worked with both boys. i would try and see if it worked with your LO. i would still take him to the dr, of course. the little boy that my mom used to watch ended up having high functioning autism. or your son just might not be interested in these things. my son will get up right in the middle of playing a game and just say, i don't want to do it anymore.

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answers from Dallas on

My 11 yr. old daughter has ADHD. She started medication last year, but along with that I have used some techniques that seem to help her tremendously as well. I keep her intructions short. Even at 11, I only use 2 step instructions. I frequently ask her to "repeat what I just said". This keeps her listening and reminds her she has a job to focus even if it IS hard. When I cut out all food dyes, I saw a HUGE improvement as well. There is a lot of this in the news right now, but it isn't really new information...my mother-in-law was instructed to do his when my husband was diagnosed as a young child (28 years ago...when he was 10 years old). I give her a diet high in anti-oxidents and supplements including omega 3 (which protects brain health). Check with your doctor before any drastic changes to his diet or giving him supplements. Good luck

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answers from Dallas on

You may also want to research and check with your son's pediatrician about sensory processing disorder (SPD). My 4 year old son has some of the symptoms you mention and receives occupational therapy twice weekly for it. SPD is often misdiagnosed as ADHD.

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