Two and a half year old who may have ADHD - HELP

Jasmine - posted on 04/03/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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In reading a lot of the posts on here I realize that my son may possibly have ADHD or something else. I am going to describe him and some of his behaviors in hopes that someone could give me suggestions and what to do as I want him to do any sort of developmental intervention now so that by the time he starts school he is better adjusted. The reason I am looking for some answers is because he was recently kicked out of pre-school because of his severe anxiety and lack of being able to self calm.

Upon birth I noticed he was a little too intuitive. He use to squint his little eyebrows while studying things as a newborn which I just figured he was inquisitive but after he turned two I knew that something was a little different. He is very intelligent, has a high tolerance for paint, no fear, severe separation anxiety, ridiculous amount of energy, spirited and is very bossy. He walks around sucking a pacifier and holding a security blanket like they were attached at birth.

He started walking (eight months), talking (by a year old he could put three words together) and hit all his milestones early. I started to think something was going on when at the age of 16 months. We were at the library and he started pointing out all the letters and their sounds. At first I thought well maybe he knows one or two and dismissed it, but I realized that a few days later that he knew all his alphabet on site as well as numbers (I have never been able to sit down and get him to focus on anything much less learning letters and numbers at 16 months). Again I just thought to myself maybe he is really smart but upon talking to friends whose children were older I realized their children did not come close or even have the same vocabulary or knowledge of things around him.

He also has a very high tolerance for pain and no fear. When learning to walk he split his lip open in the same place twice but that never stopped him from walking. He also has banged his head on the tile floors before while upset so hard that he busted some capillaries. He seems to have some what outgrown the head banging now (I hope). The fact that he has no fear really scares me. He has jumped into our pool sunk to the bottom and looked up (while holding his breath) like so now what without a hint of fear. There have been several times where he should have panicked and did not.

My biggest problem though is his inability to listen and focus. I could be yelling his name right next to him at times and if he is distracted with something he will not even look (almost like he does not hear me). He has a hard time sitting still and has a constant need for movement. The only time he sits still is when watching TV. Other than that he has a very hard time sitting. He is working with an occupational therapist but even she has a hard time getting him to sit and focus.

I hope I do not sound like I am pointing out faults because to me my son is perfect. He is very intelligent, funny, sweet and charming. I know that although he is a tough cookie he will be a great leader if I channel his energy correctly, however I do not even know where to start. Sorry if I have rambled but I wanted to give you a few examples of some of the things he does that may be similar to your children. Any advice/suggestions???

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Belinda - posted on 06/21/2010

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I have a son that is now going to be 9 in about a week. To let you know i was the poster mom saying there was nothing wrong with him he was just being a boy. by the time he was 2 1/2 i couldnt take it anymore. Your son sounds just like mine no pain tolerance whatsoever and never stopped. At 1 1/2 he was jumping off the top bunk of his bunk beds and ythough it was hilarious. When my daughter was born he just turned 2 and i started really noticing how dangerous things really were. i had no control over his impulsiveness or his intolerence for pain and i could not leave the house w/ both of the kids unless i had someone with me because he would run from me in the stores as well as out into traffic. He is very bright and our pediatrician suggested going to a phsychologist when he was 2 they unofficially diagnosed him and we started behavior therapy. When he was 3 they diagnosed him with adhd/odd and said thet he was delayed at a 26 month old level. So we decided to try the meds and see how they worked. It was the best thing i ever did for my son. with in 2 months his brain and mouth finally caught up with each other and he was talking complete full sentences and he was potty trained finally and he in 2 months caught up to where he was supposed tobe and then some. He is very smart and taught himself how to play chess on the computer at 6. now he plays with his uncle and his uncle hates to lose. I definitely think testing him is the way to go and you may find that once he is properly diagnosed the genius part will really excel.

Melissa - posted on 04/08/2010

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I would strongly wait until he is 6 or 7 to have him tested. Keep him active and find things that will calm him down. Like a bath, soft music. Take time to have him sit on your lap each day and increase the time each day. This will build up his focus time. If you put him on meds now you will never know if its age or ADHD. I have a child with ADHD and a child who would jump into a pool with his diaper on and never seem to scare him. Some things take until they are 5 or 6 to figure out. Give yourself more time

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Laura - posted on 12/21/2011

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This is such a familiar story to me. It almost took my breathe away. My son is almost three in march and is on Ritalin and just got diognosed with odd and generalized anxiety disorder due to OCD

Laura - posted on 12/21/2011

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This is such a familiar story to me. It almost took my breathe away. My son is almost three in march and is on Ritalin and just got diognosed with odd and generalized anxiety disorder due to OCD

Josetta - posted on 04/12/2010

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Hi mom I know exactly what you are talking about. My now 11 year old was the same way. very very impulsive. I did not put him in pre school because no one would ever want to deal with him. He had very high energy levels with really bad impulsiveness. I took him and 2 and half for an evaluation with a nuerologist because he seemed to have a left sided weakness that still is not explained and is getting worse. He does have ADHD with ODD. My now 2 almost 3 year old is way more active than his older brother was. He is really smart and they are both great kids. I would start with your pediatrician and see if they will refer you to a Developmental Dr. who specailizes in evaluating for these problems. He might say he is to young if so you can be firm or wait til he is 3. However early inertvention is best. You said it correct he will be a great leader and early intervention is best!! I know I had to fight to get my son help but I am so glad that I did. Educate yourself with all the information you can, join a support group. It is not easy raising a child with special needs but with a lot of support and edication it does help so very much. Best of luck and my prayers are with you and your child.

Michelle - posted on 04/09/2010

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Most of your children who are adhd add are very intelligant children its just alot of teachers don't know how to deal with them in a possitve manner and end up harming them... when you are tryin to call him try snapping your finger or making a whistle sound i know it sounds like your calling a dog but sometimes your voice just gets blocked and a sound such as a whistle or snap works great... i have two children with adhd and i learned this when i would actually call my dog with a whistle or snap of a finger i would get my childs attn to... and children with adhd need lots of exercise especially at his age...and if your wanting him to sit and do a project get him lil bonus things a new toy or tell him if he finishes something he can have a lolly pop. have him do fun creative learning like writing abc with finger paint things like that...hope this helps.

Delyse - posted on 04/08/2010

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I tend to agree to wait, a lot of boys at this age are not good at focusing etc. Every child is different and if he has a high IQ that is wonderful, and you should definitely feed him in his eagerness to learn. My children are 9 and 11, they do not have ADD or ADHD. One of my nephews does and have a few friends with children with ADHD, now aged 9 and some are on meds some are not.

A couple of them are using natural products if you are interested in more info email me. delysesoulfruit@live.com I can also give their emails if you wish to speak with them about their children and expiences.

It is important to go with your gut feeling as a Mum and also I would get a couple or few different opinions from doctors. I have a surgical baby, so I know how much work it is to find a good doctor and one who doesn't over perscribe. Ask all the questions you want and don't stop until you have all the answers, doctors are very busy and sometimes overlook things that you can see.

Good luck

Amy - posted on 04/08/2010

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The "magic age of 7" was determined by the American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0501/p1803.... It's not just my opinion.



That being said... there are other disorders that mimic ADHD at early ages, and any concerns about difficult behaviors should be addressed with a ped or a child psychologist. Among the potential disorders (that you might want to google if you're interested) are: pervasive development disorder, autism, aspergers.



I aplologize if my previous statements have hurt feelings. The last thing I want is for other moms to feel judged. I know how self-conscious I am about my son's diagnosis AT the age of 7. We've all been on different paths that have lead us to this same place.

Terri - posted on 04/08/2010

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Anyone getting a diagnosis, esp so young, should do trials w/ Dr. awareness w/out meds over an extended vacation from school. Christmas is kinda chaotic and high sugar time to try, but easter (limit sugar to normal amts) or summer work well. Standard stimulants used to treat adhd are basically take it in the AM, it's out of your body by PM. I think (don't know for sure since I'm only speaking from experience) sometimes there may be withdrawel symptoms if they've been on it for a year and you suddenly stop, but similar to drinking a couple Cokes a day every day and then the body has to adjust to not having caffeine and sugar so sometimes headaches for a couple days.
Our 16 yr old who had mild adhd throughout his school years but also gifted was taken off meds 4th quarter last year. He shows no signs of being adhd to US, but boy did those grades slip a full grade in nearly every subject. He continued to test very poorly this year so we started him up on meds again after Christmas but haven't been consistant (he's not a willing participant, never was) so the grades are still not the best. Starting college next year he's going to have to take responsibility to either take the meds himself or put in the extra hours of study required to keep the grades up.
I wouldn't necessarily label him so young though we haven't had any negative reaction from those who know. Our food and entertainment this century is causing more and more kids to have problems, that adhd is more of the norm than the exception, but even that norm can have a better self esteem if they're in control of their minds and bodies however they can get the help.

Terri - posted on 04/07/2010

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@ Amy Walker: I absolutely disagree about adhd not being dx before age 7. Personally I don't think a pediatrician should be used to make such diagnoses, but why make a child/parent/family suffer more years of chaos, low self esteem and rejection bc of an age? The sooner you're on a path to knowing how the child ticks, the sooner you can learn how to help them so the world ticks with them, not against them.

Terri - posted on 04/07/2010

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I haven't read any of the other posts yet, but as a mom with kids of high IQ, adhd, and/or anxiety disorder, as well as a day care teacher for many yrs, I'll give my take on it. Your son is likely in the genius level of IQ. I would have him evaluated by a child psychologist based on that alone to know how to stimulate him w/out burning him out before he's 10. Attention and anxiety problems would definitely have me looking for a good child psychologist. He'll be awfully young to consider medications but they should be able to get a grasp on what causes the issues that got him kicked out of preschool and direct you on how to compose his environment so he feels secure and not frustrated. TV is a common attention grabber for adhd and I often have to get face to face or physically turn someone's head when they're engrossed. You'll learn to have them repeat back what you've said to be sure it registers and they're not still in whatever cartoon mode. Print out what you've written here, and document in brief form a typical day for a few days, as well as any severe reactions on a non-typical day (ie, birthday party). I could give suggestions of things to ask about but don't want to needlessly worry you on unknowns. A good child psychologist should be able to give a full evaluation. Know that with him so young, the diagnosis, if there is one besides Gifted, may change later when school starts, and maybe again after puberty. Some things are trial and error and we do our best to provide what's needed along the way.

Amy - posted on 04/06/2010

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I'd be more worried about aspergers than ADHD. Though generally, ADHD isn't diagnosed until after age 7 (not by a good pediatrician, anyway).

If you are really worried about behaviors, the best way to address them is to talk to your ped or a child psychologist or a neurologist!

Best of luck to you!

Jasmine - posted on 04/06/2010

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I just send an email to a child developmental and behavioral doctor at the University of Miami in hopes that he will be appropriately evaluated before going to a school evaluation that has been set up through the Easter Seals. I am not sure how they test for these things at such and early age. I would just like to help my son in any way I can and I feel that having private testing without any bias would be in his best interest. I am also in the process of looking for an occupational therapist to assist with some of his quirks.

Deborah - posted on 04/06/2010

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Sounds like he is extremely bright and needs to be challenged very much. May want to have him tested by someone now and be prepared for whats ahead so he doesn't get labeled by someone that doesn't understand his level of abilities! I would do this quickly!

Frankie - posted on 04/06/2010

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My son was the same way. But thats normal for most toddlers who are smart. My son does have ADHD but he also very smart. I agree with Caran and think you should check out the gifted aspects. Remember people thought Einstein was retarded because he was different when he was young. When in actually he was just distracted and not being challenged in class.

Jasmine - posted on 04/06/2010

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Thanks Caran. I have been reading a book on misdiagnosed children who are actually gifted but get diagnosed ADHD and thats my biggest fear. I realize he is very smart and curious and I may sometimes think he is too active but maybe its because he is so smart he needs to take in more. Not sure but I am scared to get him misdiagnosed. I will check in the gifted forum. Thank you

Caran - posted on 04/06/2010

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Your son sounds like a combination of both of my sons. My eldest (7) has ADHD, less hyperactive, more attention deficit. We noticed that when he was a toddler, he had no patience or interest in doing any crafts, or eating or anything that involved sitting down for more than a few minutes. When he was in preschool, the teacher hinted towards ADD, but since he was too young to officially diagnose, she really didnt say so, but I understood. He is now in 2nd grade, reading 2 levels above his age group, super smart and on meds.



My youngest son (4) is gifted. Your son's description of doing things early, are exactly what my little guy did. He is very intuitive towards the senses, meaning he has a very high tolerance of pain, doesnt like loud sounds, certain smells or sights make him throw up! He can count to 100, write his own name and just about anything else, and he is teaching himself to read. He has always been more active, but not distracted.



My point is maybe you have a gifted child with adhd tendancies. Or maybe vise versa! I would for the heck of it check out the gifted forum here. I am learning some very interesting things about my little one, and I'm pretty excited.



I hope this has helped? =)

~Caran

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