Is my child too young to have adhd??

Ashley - posted on 12/06/2009 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My child will be 2 in a weeks time but i have had concerns about her since she was around 14 months old, she has never stopped i just put it down at first to her being inquisitve and smart but im not so sure now, she cant sit down to eat and nvr does as she is told, she really does know what i am saying, i am constantly told by doctors she is just being a toddler but she cant consentrate and can be quite horrible towards other children especially her sister which i know is normal, she never stops from 8 in the morning until bed time at 7 unless she has a nap, it is beginning to become soul destroying and i am doing my best if any one has any suggestions i would be extremely grateful thanx

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Mira - posted on 12/18/2009

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Your child is a bit young to be officially diagnosed-typically schools won't diagnose until 2nd grade. I was in a similar boat and 2nd grade seemed way too far away to make a difference now. So, I started reading everything I could get my hands on re:ADHD and we began implementing strategies in our home that are typically used for ADHD children because really, they work for all children. Things like routine, behavior midification charts, staying calm, etc. Most "treatments" for ADHD do not need a dr's approval or Rx (except meds) so do your homework and just start using some of the methods you read about even if you think they sound like hogwash - it can't hurt.

One thing we started this past August that I wish I had known about when my son was a baby is the Feingold Diet. Basically - no artificial preservatives, no artificial flavors and no artificial colors, there are other nuances so to buy the program is well worth it (shopping guides, support, recipes, etc.). There are replacement foods out there at regular grocery stores that both my kids like, it just took us a while to get past no M&Ms and pop tarts but now that we have found foods the kids like, we are fine (took many a trip to the grocery store and a few mostly full boxes thrown away after my son said NO to the taste). Check out the web site www.feingold.org - it is amazing how it helps. We notice it most when he does have something with artificial flavors or colors (usually cake at a b-day party or snack at a friend's house who doesn't know he is on a special diet) - he goes bonkers. We tell people he has allergies so they won't give him things and I provide him with a snack if I know he is going home with someone from school. Our extended family has had to learn too that when he is around we can't have certain foods - I keep lollipops in the car that he can eat and chocolates on hand that are not off his list so he never feels deprived if we are somewhere with others whose kids get that "treat". We have learned it is no treat to see our baby boy so out of control and you know what, he sees it too and tries to stick to his list. He is only six and was asking everyone while trick or treating, "does this have anything artificial in it?" it was too cute. We donated all our halloween candy to the troops and he got to pick out a special toy he has been wanting - a small bribe but worth its weight in gold. Good luck!

Bridgett - posted on 12/08/2009

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Hi Ashley



I can totally relate, my son was very active then most his children his age. Is ADHD were very apparent as early as 2, Daycare teachers, loved him, but also mentioned how active quick and active he was. My son never napped. The one thing I would suggest that is so important in my son's life, is structure. If you do activites with your child, try to do the same things at the same time everyday. Children who are ADHD, do very well in very structured environments. It's possible he may outgrow this energy when he enters preschool. Have you spoken to a pedetrian? If your Dr believes the child is acting as a toddler, then seek a psychologist. Very few would prescribe medicine for you, but sometimes their is therapy you and your child can take, for tantrums. My son was diagnosed at 3 years old. He is now 6 1/2. My son's benn and still is on lots of medicine. It's scary at times to have him seen by douctors, because he gets added another diagnosis, despite the ADHD. He currently has combined ADHD, ODD, and last month had a nerological evaluation and they added CD, oh ya has generalized axiety and possible depression. He aslo had acid reflux and allergies to dust and dogs. So I can you we've been thru alot the past couple of years. I wish I can say it gets easier, but for me that has not been true. So do your homwork and get 2nd opinions. I was very persistent in decisions that I did not agree with. Especially in K3 & K4, when they kept dening my son Special Education Services. I wouldn't expect their decision, they said nothing was wrong with my son. Despite their decision I pushed and pushed because no one knows your child better then you. As it turned entering K5, he was put in 1/2 day in Special Ed, Outside evauatlons kept saying my son had a lauguage delay, but school thought in Speech was fine. Until he was tested they found him to have a Laugauge Delaly, which sadlly is worth then a speech delay. So if your gut says theirs a problem take it into your own hands to get the help he needs, the sooner the better. Be Persistent. Good Luck and Take Care.

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Tammy - posted on 04/12/2010

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I was told my daughter couldn't be diagnosed until grade 1 or 2 as we took her when she was 4 and I was told all her behaviors was normal for a 4 year old and I knew that was wrong as I know my daughter more than anyone and I knew her behaviors were not normal but the doctor would not listen and said she could not be diagnosed with anything at that time. Now in second grade was just diagnosed 3 weeks ago by a different doctor.

Roxane - posted on 04/09/2010

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take her to the dr and let them be the judge. either she is or she inst but the thing is finding out soon enough before it gets out of hand. U just want to be sure for her. she doesn't know whats going on but it can become a problem later with learning and being able to focus.

Sharon - posted on 04/09/2010

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I feel your frustration. I started seeing signs of adhd in my son around 21/2 3 yrs of age and the dr said he would have to be in school and others would have to notice the signs other than me. I put him in a pre-school program and they also noticed not to mention his father was on rinilin(sorry spelling) in adulthood. We started him on meds and he is now 7 yrs old and I must say though I was very leary of putting him on meds it was probably one of the best things I coulda did not just for me but for him. I tried counseling and everything and meds were my last resort. He is now an active 7 year old but a contolled and more concentrated 7 yr old. Good Luck:-)

Mena - posted on 04/07/2010

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actually Kelly , if you read my post I was agreeing with you and wishing you luck.....

The only thing I don't agree with is that your daughter isn't "normal" .... I dislike it when kids with issues are dubbed different from "normal" kids ... normal by whos definition? ALL children are different , even twins aren't the same, what a boring world it would be if all kids where cut from the same cloth.... *shrug* they are just kids .... and they will, on their own tell you they know and feel they are "different" .. my son just wants to be the "same as all the other kids" so we never refer to him as anything but normal *shrug* have a good night

Cidalia - posted on 01/12/2010

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She's too young to be diagnosed, but she's not too young to have adhd... it's something you're either born with or you're not. If you can get anyone to help you once in a while so you can get a break, do it.

Mira - posted on 01/11/2010

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Quoting Rhonda:

Hi Ashley,

I was reading everyone's posts, and there is one thing they all seem to leave out...ADHD is a brain disorder...if your child has this condition, she was born with it, and it is a genetic disorder. Everything will be fine. Seek medical help. I recently was at a information session, as I am an Educational Assistant and have a 6 yr old with ADHD/ODD, and this Dr. specializes in ADHD, she said that special diets don't do anything for an ADHD child as this is a chemical brain disorder, but she never discourages it either because we can all eat a little healthier!! We started documenting behavior in Daycare at the age of 2, because he became a biter, I started seeking more help when my child pulled the fire alarm on a preschool trip to the Geology Department at our local University, during Final EXAMS!! I cetainly can laugh about it now, but know he was ADHD from about 1.5 yrs old, and his sister seems to be the same way and she will be two in a few weeks too...I hope this helps...please continue talking with your doctors and record everything, daycare too if she attends or any extracurricular activity.



Rhonda - I know it is a disorder within the brain. A chemical imbalance. But, science has proven time and again that what we eat affects the balance within our brains. The Feingold diet is not just about eating healthier - there is plenty of junk food on the diet if you want it. The diet is about not poisoning our minds and bodies with artificial additives that can do us harm. I am not suggesting to go it alone with the diet - doctors and behavior modification and IEPs at school and kind nurturing family, friends and teachers all play a HUGE role in our son's life. And the earlier the intervention the better (we too started noticing at age 2 how different his behavior was compared to other "active" boys but behavior mods, meds, etc. are meant for older children whereas the diet can be started asap). The medication he is currently on is a life saver. The Feingold diet would not work on its own but, it does help my son.



Like any allergy sufferer - the additives affect different people to different degrees. My son is allergic to dogs and yet we can have one in our home. I know people whose allergies to dogs are so severe they can't be in the same room at a friends house. The same goes for sensitivities to additives in our products. My daughter is not affected the way my son is. But, she eats the same food he does b/c that is what is in the house.  And you know what, when she does get colored icing on a cake at a party, there is a difference in her behavior also, despite her not having ADHD.



So, take it as you wish, do with it what you want. I am simply putting information out there that has worked for us - that what this exchange is all about. It can't hurt, it is worth a try and like your expert said, it's just healthier eating habits if your child isn't as sensitive to the additives as mine.



By the way, did you ever think your expert dr. is trying to drum up business for herself and the drug companies? (Remember, my son is on meds so I don't make this statement lightly).

Rhonda - posted on 01/10/2010

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Hi Ashley,

I was reading everyone's posts, and there is one thing they all seem to leave out...ADHD is a brain disorder...if your child has this condition, she was born with it, and it is a genetic disorder. Everything will be fine. Seek medical help. I recently was at a information session, as I am an Educational Assistant and have a 6 yr old with ADHD/ODD, and this Dr. specializes in ADHD, she said that special diets don't do anything for an ADHD child as this is a chemical brain disorder, but she never discourages it either because we can all eat a little healthier!! We started documenting behavior in Daycare at the age of 2, because he became a biter, I started seeking more help when my child pulled the fire alarm on a preschool trip to the Geology Department at our local University, during Final EXAMS!! I cetainly can laugh about it now, but know he was ADHD from about 1.5 yrs old, and his sister seems to be the same way and she will be two in a few weeks too...I hope this helps...please continue talking with your doctors and record everything, daycare too if she attends or any extracurricular activity.

Chanel - posted on 01/10/2010

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if im not mistaking i think the child has to be 3 yrs old but u can check with your dr to see if they have something that u can do hopefully this helps

Michelle - posted on 01/08/2010

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First off only a pediatric psychiatrist can make a diagnosis on Adhd, your regular gp is not trained to do this. So if you feel she is ADHD search out a reputable psychiatrist. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 3 by a psychologist but I was told I could not give him any meds until he was in school. By age 4 he was so out of control that I decided to get a second opinion the psychiatrist spent well over an hour watching him play and just interact with stuff in a room, he also got a report from the school explaining what his behavior was like there. By the time all the testing was done the dr. told me I was right to seek a second opinion as my son registered off the charts for both ADHD and ODD with aggressive tendencies....within four days of the final diagnosis we were sitting down and talking about different ways to deal with this chemical imbalance. For children who are on the low end of the spectrum the feinghold diet definitely helps and since your daughter is so young I would definitely start with that. If she ends up being like my son the diet will do absolutely nothing. Search out a good specialist one who is willing to listen to you...you know your child best.

Mira - posted on 01/08/2010

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It is www.feingold.org One of the most helpful things we have done for our son. He is also on meds. Yet, despite how well the meds work, the wrong foods would (and still do if they get pasat us) tip the scales the wrong way. My son eats fairly healthy and I would have told you that 5 months ago too before we started the diet. The problem is, labels do not mention preservatives and if you aren't aware of the potential behavioral problems, you don't even think about artificial colors or flavors. I used to use Tollhouse morsels to make cookies - they use artificial vanilla called vanillin for their morsels. The whole wheat bread I used to buy had preservatives. The Kraft Mac N Cheese has fake orange color, fake flavor and preservatives. These are foods we don't even think about. That is why Feingold's shopping list is so important. And, best, they keep up with changes in food formulations so you are notified if a food is added to or taken off the list. I highly recommend this diet as an addition to medication and behavior modification. Good luck!

Amelia - posted on 01/08/2010

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No, you can tell when they are about to walk and start to talk. I have 3 boys and I knew that my youngest was ADHD when he was about 1-1.5 yo.
I know how hard it is and physically exhausting. Give yourself a break. Put a baby gate across her bedroom door and ask her to play in her room for 15 mins. You would be surprised at how great you feel after not having to interact with her for that 15 mins. For the first could days you may have to sit right there by the gate but make sure that everything in there is bolted to the wall or not anything she can climb up. Laughing now, I can tell you my experience with my 1st one that climbed the bookcase in his room when he was just 1.5 just before our 2nd was born. Be firm about the harmful, hurtful behavior towards other kids and be the best example of nice behavior you can. They can feel it when you are emotional so don't get there. If you are lock yourself in the bathroom for 2 mins or take her outside in the yard and RUN!

Kelly - posted on 01/08/2010

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Thanks I will look into that. I am always looking at new ways to improve our lives. She doesn't eat much candy or sweets. Only on special occasions. She eats fairly well for a 3 year old. I gave her a choice the other day between pizza or salad and she chose salad. I will look into that diet!

Sandy - posted on 01/07/2010

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Heather is right. Wheat allergies can mimick ADHD. My daughters do not eat either refined sugar or caffeine. We do not eat high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils. Our garden is organic. It makes a huge difference. You are what you eat!!

Heather - posted on 01/07/2010

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Look into fiengold diet before you put her on meds. You will have to google it because I am not sure I spelled it right. It worked wonders for us and you will be surprized at the things that are in your food that can cause reactions.

Kelly - posted on 01/06/2010

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Reply to Mena, my daughter was also very mean,angry and aggressive all the time. She would not pay attention to anything which she had before. There are many other things that she did that I did not mention. I don't care what you believe because you are not her Mother or doctor but thanks for your opinion.

Mena - posted on 01/05/2010

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sorry Kelly , but your child IS NORMAL ... she just has issues to deal with, my son is 8. I remember holding him in my arms (well trying , because he used to dig his toes into my hip and bounce and climb) at about nine months old, and over his high pitched laughter hearing my brother say "can you say ritalin" and he laughed, I just shrugged and smiled and said he'd just busy, he's happy.. he was ALWAYS busy never stopped, very inquistive, extremley smart, had a huge vocabulary at a very early age , used the computer at a year old etc, but he was also aggressive. when he started school at three the teacher told use he learned through "osmossis" because he was never paying attention, but could always tell her exactly what she had just told the class word for word. he read before he was four, could do math, she didn't know what to do with him, then he got expelled IN KINDERGARTEN because he didnt lie and admitted to doing something all the children were doing and well.. anyway this affected him largely because he was told he was a "bad kid" which he is not he's a GREAT kid, sometimes he just makes bad choices. He doesn't sleep, he has ADHD , OCD, and ODD and some anxiety issues the OCD and anxiety cause him not to sleep, bed times used to be a three hour ordeal before he was put on respiradone now he an winddown at bed time a bit easier and fall asleep. he was once put on ridalin and became VERY violent, at 6 I believe it was , he almost broke my wrist and tried to throw me down the stairs , I was covered in bruises .. not all meds are for all children so it's a trial and error thing ... hang in there. he is now 8 this yr he started an away from home program, we worked with the school and fought for an E A , he is doing really well I am very proud of him, I just wish he had more confidence and was proud of himself and could see how amazing he really is. Good luck everyone , and remember NO ONE will advicate for your children that's your job do it the best you can and don't take no for an answer!! ;))

Kelly - posted on 01/05/2010

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Sounds exactly like my daughter. She's 3 now and was just diagnosed with ADHD in November. It was nonstop, like she woke up and drank a pot of coffee and ate a bag of sugar!! It got worse as she neared the age of three. She was potty trained but would pee her pants everyday, running in circles, jumping all the time, she was all over the place. I couldn't take her anywhere! It was sooo frustrating and out of control! One day I decided to take her to her new doctor and discuss her behavior with him. She was very mean and angry all the time. He put her on a low dose of a new medicine called Intuniv. It works wonders!! She is sweet and nice and no more craziness! She hasn't had an accident since she started the meds either! The meds usually aren't given to children under the age of 6 but her doctor has given it to many children her age and all the parents say the same thing...It's great! She seems like a normal child now. She still does normal things that little kids do but she alot more calm and pays attention now! Good luck to you! I hope it gets better and hang in there!

Latasha - posted on 01/03/2010

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Its never to early my son was the same way he was diagnosed at 4 with adhd. And now my 2 year old daughter is following what he was doing. she want be still constantly moving .She is very smart for her age but i've seen this before.she never stop talking and what sit for long periods of time to watch t.v. And most kids that are Adhd are very destructive ,and Impulsive.So i would get her checked. Good luck

Candice - posted on 01/01/2010

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my son has ADHD, ODD, anxeity, non acid reflux, SID, possible TS, and many other issuses going on. which i started seeing the signs for when he was around the age 2. i would recommend what my son's dr told me to do is keep a log of some sorts so that you can see if its certain time of the day that is worse or certain food and also what behaviors the child is showing and so on and just tell your childs dr at every visit cause it takes more than just a visit or 2 to get any dr to do any thing or give a helping hand. we have been to a genic dr to rule out some things and we also went to a psy. we are now seeing a neuro. he has been on meds for almost a year. we had to try a few meds before we found the right combiation of meds. don't give up. i know that when my childs day is messed up out of his norm he has a hard time even with meds so just keep that in mind as well. good luck

Alicia - posted on 12/30/2009

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I have 2 children, Kyle is 9 and Kailey is 11. Both have ADHD. I, too, knew something wasn't right with Kailey at 16 months. She was always on the go, and very strong willed. When Kyle was born, she was very aggressive toward him. I couldn't turn my head for a minute because she would hit him. I started going to counseling to learn how to handle her. I also took her to see a doctor who specializes in ADHD and Autism. She was diagnosed with ADHD and PDD, even at that young age. I also sought help from Early Intervention to help with Kyle. At the age of 3 he was unmanageable. He would throw things, and never calm down. He also was diagnosed with ADHD and PDD. They both had to be put on medicine just to function. I know some people don't agree with medication, but it was truly a God send! They were much calmer, happier and able to focus. I wish they didn't have to be on medicine, but I feel like it would be wrong not to give them help with their disorder. There have been a few times that Kailey forgot her medicine, and she would come home from school upset because she couldn't stay on task and focus in school.,

Sorry for going on and on! This is my first time on Circle of Moms and it just feels so good to talk to others who also deal with ADHD.

Just to let you know, you need to go with your gut feeling. We even took Kailey to a neurologist, and I was told she's fine, I'm just not disciplining her enough! I couldn't believe it! I would suggest taking her to a behavioral specialist and/or a psychiatrist to have her evaluated. I also suggest getting in contact with Early Intervention. They would come into your home and work with the two of you.

I don't have anyone to talk to about this. For people who don't deal with ADHD and other disorders, they just don't understand and can be down right hurtful. Hope I helped a little bit. Just go with your instincts and don't stop until you feel like you are being taken seriously. Good Luck!

Sandy - posted on 12/30/2009

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At 18 months I started taking my daughter to an in home daycare provider. After a day the woman mentioned that my daughter might have ADD or ADHD. The fist thing I did was match my home schedule to the day care. Structure is key. Sleep begets sleep. Napping in the day will help at bed time. My daughter is extremely bright and inquisitive. The problem came with her complete lack of impulse control. I made sure she had alot of exercise. Your child is too young for medicine. but with structure, consistent sleeping schedule and activity your child will be fine. When it comes time for kindergarten see an ADD specialist.

Michelle - posted on 12/28/2009

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I always wondered about Bri at that age. Even when she was an infant she didn't want to take her morning nap. I've worked with Early Childhood Coalitions and they talk about infant & toddler mental health. The problem is to find a doctor, psychologist, etc that is trained in this specialty.
If you are in the US, there are fact sheets about early childhood mental health disorders. Here is the link: http://www.macmh.org/publications/ecgfac...
Make sure you find a psychiatrist that specializes in kids. That helps.
Also tons of structure and sticking to your 1st answer helps alot. You might want to read incredible years, which is a good parenting program. CHADD has education modules. There is a lot of information out there.

Laura - posted on 12/18/2009

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I felt the same way with DD before her diagnosis (this year in 1st grade). I was constantly monitoring her behavior or worrying about the school calling. We started the process in K, but her pedi thought it might be immaturity. Got to the breaking point that summer and called again. Went to a behavior therapist for a few months, then to a psychologist for testing. We love the psychologist that did her testing and he put together an awesome report. We're going to continue with the behavioral therapy. GL!

Delores - posted on 12/09/2009

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Well I can remember when my daughter was that age and I thought to myself she is going to be a track star but it wasn't until she started headstart when I got the words, " she needs to be evaluated", thrown at me because she was, "too active". She is now 6 this past nov. and she still runs like the wind but not only that she is adhd and odd and may even be bipolar. See people think that when kids are young they are just full of energy and need to, "run it off", but the truth is that they don't really know for sure until the child gets about 3 maybe even 4 . If running it off was all it took than my baby should be better and could stay in school longer than 4 hours. I would try talking to another speacialist and make sure in the mean time don't give her anything with sugar in it.

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