Mothers of ADHD or Gifted boys...Help!

Updated on July 09, 2009
R.L. asks from Broken Arrow, OK
10 answers

My question is to moms of ADHD or gifted boys...Can you tell me some behaviors they showed at various ages that you look back on now as being red flags? Any age would be great! My son is 3 and a half, and I'm curious about some of his quirky behaviors. He obviously can't be diagnosed now, but if I can educate myself and try some things now, that aren't medication, maybe he will be easier to deal with in the future.

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So What Happened?

Well, ladies, thanks for all of your comments. I'm still not sure what to do...I don't have medicaid or soonerstart insurance, and my son goes to in at-home daycare while I work throughout the year. I am a teacher, so I've seen both ADHD and gifted children, but have not seen the child as a preschooler after diagnosis. I guess time will tell and I will continue to immerse him in activities. We started him in a sports skills class, which I am shocked how well he does. He listens to the teacher, attempts to follow through with the activities, and is really pretty good! The other boys seem to get distracted before him, so maybe he just needs to be involved in activities constantly! Thanks again, and I would love to hear any other ideas to keep my little one busy!

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answers from Birmingham on

Hey rachel my name is K. and I dont know too much about add or adhd but they thought my son had it he is almost 8 now and he is so much better. I work at home with a great compnay about health and wellness. It can help you. Go to for more info.
about me: IM a 30 yr ols wahm of 3 kids. I love being with my kids.

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answers from Tulsa on

I have two little boys, the eldest not quite two. My husband has ADD, but has found ways to cope without medication, since he found medication (during his teen years) killed his appetite and mellowed him out so that he didn't quite feel himself. I know sometimes ADD/ADHD will be diagnosed when a child is merely active and curious, rather than actually having a medical problem, and boys tend to be more physically active and have a harder time in a traditional school "sit-down-and-learn" setting than girls do, so they tend to be overwhelmingly diagnosed as such. I read something in "A Family of Value" by John Rosemond that says that children with any form of medical condition - whether ADHD or diabetes or anything else - are perhaps 10% that condition; the rest is a child like any other, so it's important to not make the 10% the center of your focus or the child will perhaps feel he's "defective" and/or try to use his "condition" as a reason for not being held to proper standards of behavior and schoolwork. This does a disservice to the child. And Rosemond does give examples of parents who were told their child had ADHD and would need remedial tutoring, who took it upon themselves to deal with the "problem" in a common-sense way and lo and behold, the child wasn't "ill" at all but just needed a reminder that there are consequences for inappropriate behavior.

Also, my mom tells me that when my younger sister (who possibly has Asperger's, undiagnosed) was very young, she would not sit to eat but would always get up and wander away to play and go back and forth this way. So my mom told her, if she got up from the table, that would mean she was done eating and Mom would put the food away until the next mealtime (or snack time). And my sister did NOT like this the first few times my mom followed through, but then she learned and there were no more problems at meal time.

And kids are just quirky in general, just like us grown-ups. :) I think our society tends to emphasize "victimhood" at the expense of resilience, and so we tend to get the message that our children are either damaged or gifted (either of which are preferable to being "average") and therefore need early diagnosis and special attention if they're not going to wilt. At any rate, continue to enjoy your children - they sound lovely!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pine Bluff on

Yep, your life will be very interesting. I raised a gifted son and daughter (school tested-not my diagnosis, only a year apart in age and all I ever had). The testing is the answer. Contact a reputible school and ask about having your child tested for one or both. Ours were tested by the school after they got into the last part of 1st grade. You may have to ask for it.
Being from a long line of school teachers, one of my aunts insisted I have our daughter (she is the oldest) tested at 4 because she had learned to read, I guess by osmosis. I certainly did not teach her. A certified psychologist, recommended by the local university, gave her a battery of 4 tests, at our expense, and identified her as a gifted child. At that age the only advice he gave me was to let her try anything in the way of dancing, music, theater, etc. that she showed an interest in. He also told me to let her drop whatever she found was not interesting to her after a 6 wks to 2 months period. He also told me it would be expensive and he was correct. They do not let you join those classes for 6 weeks, usually it is for a year. Actually she didn't really want to drop out until further into anything so it wasn't to bad. It did keep us in the road a lot.
Since I knew before she attended school, I was very concious of having an excellent school program which was available in our area. You may need to supplement that part of her life depending on where you live.In Kindergarten she became the teacher's helper as she was in most elem. grades but in 1st she had a cracker jack teacher that challenged her daily which was exactly what she needed. Most of her teachers did that and she also took AP classes as soon as they were available.
Our son was not tested until he was in school, mainly because I had figured it out after her testing. He was not as interested in joining things as she was and actually was more of a loner.That however may have been because we lived on a farm and he loved the outdoors. He did develop his own interests, mainly building and exploring which is fairly commom to most boys.
He too was active in the theater and a better actor than she, her theater experience was mainly singing but she is also an excellent pianist. She had lessons for years, began them at 4 1/2 at a local university and has a natural gift for it as well.
That may also be of help to you if you are near a university and can get a professor (hers was a music professor and later a vocal coach) to understand you have a gifted child that has an interest in their particular field and will work with you. Schools are so the local school may fulfill your needs.
Educationally both did extrememly well and have excellent careers. Allow your son as he gets older to try different things you may not think are importan and keep good books and film media that is appropriate in front of him. Also take him to museums, science labs, art shows, etc. Anything he shows an interest in.
If I can answer any question for you please contact me. I was very unaware of the opportunities available. Check things out through your school and stand up for your child.
I do not have any experience in the ADHD but sometimes they can go hand in hand and not all educators understand that. You will have to stand up for him if that is the case and stay close to his doctor and school if it is. DO NOT LET HIM BE LABELED AS A BAD CHILD, HE IS NOT. You will have to be his main advocate along with his father in either or both cases.
Sorry this is long but I have been there and would have loved to had some advice early on. As he grows older, if you branch out he will meet other gifted children and you will meet their mothers. Then you will feel more secure in you adventure. Good luck, God bless, that little mind is growning rapidly, your job is to open up the windows for him.

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answers from Dothan on

3 1/2 is an incredibly difficult age, no matter what "other things" may be added to the child. 3 1/2 year old children tend to act very different from their three year old selves, or their four year old selves. 3.5 is a time of breaking down physically and emotionally before they can rebuild and become bigger, better, and more in control. It's rough on child and parent and everyone!
On the other hand, it can be around this age that certain quirky behaviors start to really come to light. Can you expand on some things that you see that you feel might warrent your concerns?



answers from Tulsa on

Looking back at my 8 yr. old's behavior at age 3 (when we first got him, as he is adopted; and my 33 yr. old's behavior at age 3, I can tell you that both boys were "fidgety" to the point of exasperation! ALWAYS on the go from the time they got up in the morning, to the time I put them to bed at night! The older son used to spin on the floor, and then bang his head, too (he called it "Pow Pow!"). The younger one was/is very emotional when things don't go his way. Now both guys are VERY artistic and LOVE to draw--even the 8 year old is quite good! I even have artwork from both of them hanging in the house for all to see! My oldest won blue ribbons through 4-H involvement in the arts, rocketry, small engines, and animals.Giving them good, wholesome outlets seems to help them. Although my oldest was never on medications, my youngest is on Abilify as he has run through the gamut of most all ADHD meds, and also has an autism spectrum disorder. The Abilify seems to be the most helpful of all--that and therapy, and actually taking time with him. He was in DHS custody from birth to age 3, so that also plays a role in his disorders. As for my oldest, he is now well rounded and seems to have "control". I know this was wordy, but I hope it helps.



answers from Tulsa on


Our oldest son, now nine years old, is in the gifted program in our local public school. He was the youngest child ever tested (kindergarten) and when the testing was done, it was found that he was reading at a sixth grade level! His reading level now is college level.

His quirks, now that I can look back on them, were many. At 18 months you could ask him to go get the letter "A" from the refrigerator (magnetic letters) and he would. He knew all his letters at that age and by the time he was two he knew the colors, shapes, etc. I thought this was normal since he was our first one! He was obsessive about his quest for knowledge and has only in about the last year or two quit asking, "Why, why, why?" He went through what I called phases of doing stuff like coughing repeatedly, doing flicking motions, chewing on his fingernails, chewing on his toenails...all for about six months, no matter what I did to curtail them.

I suppose if he were in public school he might have been labeled ADHD but I wouldn't have medicated him if he were. His activity level and inquisitiveness, though they surely are a trial to me, are WHO HE IS. He is attending a small Christian school right now who work with him keeping him stimulated and busy. If that eventually does not work I'll homeschool him.

I don't know if I've helped or not but these are the things I've noticed with our son. We have a daughter who is totally normal and another younger son who doesn't show the same traits that the older one does. And you know what, that's just fine.




answers from Oklahoma City on

I am not a mother of ADHD or gifted boys but I am a mother of 2 wonderful sons. In hope to answer your question there are some tests that can be given by a Child Psychologist that will help determine if there is ADHD involved. The test is called a Conner's The parents fill out a question and answer sheet and also maybe a preschool teacher or another adult that is around your son. The answers are then scored and it will help determine if ADHD or gifted is involved.
I hope that you find the answers that you are looking for. Best wishes. H.



answers from Little Rock on

When my son was 3 he was always in to things and active. he would sit down and watch tv. but when he lost interest he would get into things. How I found out how he was, When we put him in Pre School he always got into trouble. He would not keep his hands to him self and would do things with out thinking. He was implusive. He was 4 years old when we put him in pre school. Then when he went to kindergarden he done the same thing. It wasn't until like February when they realize something had to be done.
I hated that it took so long for them to figure it out. So we had a referal to take him to the childrends developmental hospital and they discovered he was ADHD.
Be aware they are different types of this. When your child starts school you will be able to tell more about it. I'm not sure what the best age to have your doc give you a referal to the childrens doctor. Do you have Medcaid? They call it arkids here. I'm from arkansas. What ever help you can get that you qualify for will be very helpful. My son is now taking adderall 10mg. Right now it is hard to tell how it is doing for him. He also has counsling to. She said it was hard to tell to. Since it is summer and they get to play. But when it comes to certain areas, I can tell it is helping. But I won't for sure how well until he goes back to school. Do your research, Check what meds you think would be best. I don't really like giving my son meds, but it does seem to help out.
Some kids may just use one med. while others use more then 1. But with any med, you have to watch for side affects. Last week my son was not feeling to good. he was complainling about a headache and tummy ache. and had a tempature of 102.5 I gave him childrens tylenol to help keep his temp down. Then first thing the next morning i took him to the doc. We were told it was the side affect. and It should go away. I'm still watching for those side affects and if they keep on and do not go away be sure to tell the doctor. They will work with you on what medicine to give you child. What works best for him. and also they say some meds case your child to have an appitite loss. (my child is picky on that) it is hard to tell if it is the meds or just him. lol. Another my doc told us was give him the med for 4 day and let him rest the rest of the week so he can grow.
So far with my sons weight, he seems to be doing well and gaining. I think he is just picky on what I cook. LOL. Not sure if this has helped you or confused you. I just wanted to share that with you if you child does have ADD or ADHD. they say they refer to it all as ADHD, but they are different types of it. Talk to your doctor. He may say he is just being a Boy. (I think most boys are hyper, but for school they have to be more calm. ugh.) But anyways, Best of luck to you.

All in all, Talk to your doc to see what they say. If you can get him tested that is cool. It might take a couple more years to find out for sure. Just be patient. It is a learning process to. as for him being gifted, Not sure what you mean on that, My son is seems to be very smart even though he is being distracted he still learns and once they can get him to calm done a bit, I think he can learn more.
Best of luck on this and keep us updated. If you have any more questions or need some support we are here to help out.



answers from Baton Rouge on

Well I have a full house for that one LOL. My 5 year old son is definitely hyperactive, always has been. I knew when he started walking and started climbing out of his crib, then over the "childproof" gates. He is very impulsive, never stops moving or talking, learns fast and moves fast, may turn out gifted when the grade schools get ahold of him. He can't sit through a tv commercial, gets up 80 times from the dinner table, stays in trouble for getting into everything and touches everything. There is a LOT you can do to help him. Regulate his schedule, keep him away from sugar and high carbs, encourage him to focus...I haven't put my 5 year old on medication because so far his teachers have loved him and put up with his antics LOL I just work around him and avoid bringing him anywhere I may need to concentrate, because he'll always be into what he shouldn't. But there may be a time that he will need meds, but I'll cross that bridge then. It is annoying when he pulls out ALL of his toys and books, but I try to let him know he'll have to clean it up. I put double keyed deadbolts on the doors to keep him from running out of them constantly.
My 15 year old boy is gifted, he's working on a novel. Basically it depends on the child, but mostly they need to be challenged academically or they can lose interest and fail. A good deal of encouragement is always a good thing and let them try new things, keep all kinds of books and supplies to let them learn and express themselves in their own way. My gifted child is quite sensitive to criticism, so let them know early that some failure will happen, most things will have to be worked on, and its ok, they don't have to get everything right the first time. I think the pressure can get to them. They start off with such high expectations of themselves. But it was obvious from the start that he was gifted intellectually. Always loved books and learning. I'm enormously proud of them both, but I don't get much rest LOL.
Best of luck and have fun, it'll be a great ride for all of you.

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