Dealing with a 3&half year old boy who may possibly be suffering from ADHD. Hasnt been diagnosed yet because I dont want him on Ritalin. Need some suggestions on how to deal with complete meltdowns triggered by absolutely nothing! I dont know what to do for him under these circumstances...there isnt any thing in the world I can offer him that will make him stop. Half of the time he doesnt even remember doing it! I cant discipline him for bad behaviour he doesnt even remember doing! What can I offer him, how can I get him to focus on me and listen when he's having one of his spells? I dont know how to help him anymore...suggestions please!

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Sarah - posted on 02/08/2009

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Hi...don't despair. I was told by a paediatrician that my little girl had ADHD at 12months. I refused to believe it and looked into alternatives. Turns out she has behavioural reactions to many foods. We now have her on a low amine, low salicylate, low MSG diet with as few preservatives, colouring and flavourings as possible. Is hard but worth it. You can tell when she has eaten badly! Look for alternatives....the other help I had was a group session at the local hospital called Caring for the Strong Willed Child.....gave me heaps of advice.



Good luck.,...heaps of these kids diagnosed with ADHD as simply eating the wrong thing for their body and extremely intelligent!!

Sarah - posted on 02/08/2009

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Hi...don't despair. I was told by a paediatrician that my little girl had ADHD at 12months. I refused to believe it and looked into alternatives. Turns out she has behavioural reactions to many foods. We now have her on a low amine, low salicylate, low MSG diet with as few preservatives, colouring and flavourings as possible. Is hard but worth it. You can tell when she has eaten badly! Look for alternatives....the other help I had was a group session at the local hospital called Caring for the Strong Willed Child.....gave me heaps of advice.



Good luck.,...heaps of these kids diagnosed with ADHD as simply eating the wrong thing for their body and extremely intelligent!!

Brandy - posted on 02/08/2009

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my boy has adhd too and hes 6 and i did not want to do the same thing as u so u went to shppers drug mart and asked the pharmacist what is good for him..and he suggested fishoil there over the counter but there like 30$ and there in the vitamin section, and now he seems to be more focused , but you should still see your childs pediatrition for advice and diagnoses.

User - posted on 02/07/2009

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Quoting Michelle:

Squirt gun works wonders - takes the kid by suprise and turns the tantrum into fun.
Redirecting the behavior works well too


Redirecting...yes; Ignoring outbursts...fine; time-outs...wonderful, isolating him until he can calm down...great.  But using a squirt gun to get his attention....NO, NO, NO!  That's the kind of thing that animal trainers do to recalcitrant pets!  It's just mean and borderline abusive to do to your kids!

Angela - posted on 02/07/2009

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I am actually going thru a similar situation with my 7 and half year old,  We are in the process of having him "prescreened" for ADD.. He is not hyperactive so we have ruled out ADHD.....  He can not pay attention for the life of him,, if he is not doing ten things at a time,he cant do one!!!!    The school is totally useless,, yet he needs to be screened for other learning issues first before they make any "recommendations " ,,we haev been trying to get him diagnosed for 4 years,,we arent also not going to put him on any meds,,we are going to go thru therapy !!! and I have read some good "pointers "from other mothers with ADD ADHD kids..like getting down to eye level,,speaking calmly ... things like that

Amber - posted on 02/07/2009

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My son is ADHD. In my opinion three is way to young to be diagnosed anyway. But he does not have to be given Ritalin. Adderal (spelling could be wrong, sorry) is what I took for years. And it was a blessing, I am ADD. No H. Heehee. And my son is on abilify, but he has other issues as a result of the abuse suffered at the hands of his father. You do have a choice. You can tell your sons Dr. Ritalin is not an option. As far as getting him to focus on you, he can't. I just held my son against myself until it passed. Like a bear hug. With my arms crossed over his chest. And my legs wrapped around his legs. I know how hard this is. Good luck to you! I hope you find something that works for you. If I can help in anyway, let me know.

Lisa - posted on 02/07/2009

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The melt downs are due to out of order routine. They only see things their way, and when it gets switched around on them, they don't know what to do. when he has his fits, you can try sitting him in your lap and wrapping your arms around him,(watch out for the head to your face) and with a calm voice say, " honey i need you to calm down so we can talk about this ok" but you have to stay calm. if he calms down, hold his hands while facing you, and ask him how you can help make it better, or ask him whats wrong, or what happen. none of it is your fault, they just need some understanding. my experience with adhd children is, they love to get into intense stuff like, lego's, video games, drawing. something that keeps their attention. legos and k'nex are always a major winner. it takes a lot of patients, and letting them know you want to help them. it may take a few times to teach him how to calm down but you'll get their. it may also take a long time when you try, but hang in there for him. ive worked with many adhd children when i worked at an afterschool program. it was hard having 23 other children in the room when they would have a meltdown. hope some of this helps you. if you go to a book store and get a book on adhd they are usually helpful to. they just have a hard time understanding the world.

User - posted on 02/07/2009

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My daughter did something very similiar... usually at night, even in the middle of the night!  Turned out she had an allergy to milk!! I did alot of research, and when I completely took dairy away things got ALOT better!  After about a year, I slowly introduced dairy back into her life.  She is 12 now and is awesome!!!  No allergies to dairy, and such a sweet girl!! Good luck! 

Andrea - posted on 02/07/2009

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Well, I never post on these things, I am mostly a reader, but here goes. You are describing my oldest son exactly. He is 4 and a half and I have been dealing with behaivor issues basically since he was born. He also didn't understand that he was being punished for something, I would ask him why he was being punished and he would come up with something that completely didn't have to do with what I was talking about. Anyhow, this all ended 2 weeks ago. I took him to this place, that his preschool had recomended to me. They did a physcological evaluation on him and discovered that he was dealing with more than we thought... He is extremely intelligent but he is not using his brain properly. Anyhow, he has been going to a class every week day for an hour and we changed his diet, very extremely, but he is a totally different kid. I know realize that it was nothing that I did just something with him that wasn't functioning properly. The place that he has been taking classes is called Brain Gym, you can check it out on at www.braingym.org. It is a miracle what they have done with my son. I hope that this helps you. Good Luck

Andrea - posted on 02/07/2009

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Well, I never post on these things, I am mostly a reader, but here goes. You are describing my oldest son exactly. He is 4 and a half and I have been dealing with behaivor issues basically since he was born. He also didn't understand that he was being punished for something, I would ask him why he was being punished and he would come up with something that completely didn't have to do with what I was talking about. Anyhow, this all ended 2 weeks ago. I took him to this place, that his preschool had recomended to me. They did a physcological evaluation on him and discovered that he was dealing with more than we thought... He is extremely intelligent but he is not using his brain properly. Anyhow, he has been going to a class every week day for an hour and we changed his diet, very extremely, but he is a totally different kid. I know realize that it was nothing that I did just something with him that wasn't functioning properly. The place that he has been taking classes is called Brain Gym, you can check it out on at www.braingym.org. It is a miracle what they have done with my son. I hope that this helps you. Good Luck

User - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hi Sharon

I teach my students the 'calm down steps.' I teach 4 year olds with at-risk factors.

It helps to start practicing this at times when he is not having a melt-down but if you don't have a chance to practice a few times before the meltdown, it can still work. (Good times to practice might be right before bed or when he comes in from outside and you want to help him transition to a quieter inside-the-house frame of mind) You do the steps together until he can do it on his own - you will have to lead this until he gets the hang of it. Say outloud "lets take 3 big breaths, in like smelling a flower out like blowing out a candle, ready, go." Count slowly as you inhale/exhale together. Next say, "lets count to 10" and start counting outloud together slowly. Then say, "Say calm down 3 times" After saying that, you say (if needed) "let's do it again." Generally 3 series is the most you will need once he is ready to start. He may not be ready to start right away - after he understands and has done it a couple of times - you can ask him if he is ready for the calm down steps yet. I have a poster of these steps in my classroom in the thinking spot. The thinking spot is where kids can go when they need to or I might send them when I think they need it - it is not timeout. My daughter turned 4 last week and I hold her on my lap - her arms wrapped around herself if she is flailing around - until she is ready for the calm-down steps. Your son might not be ready for the calm down steps right away as it can take as long as 20 minutes for cortisol to leave the brain when we are really upset. Cortisol leaves the body through exhalations, tears, sweat (and using the bathroom) so all that screaming is actually helping the brain to calm down and be ready for verbals - that has to make you feel some better :) After he is calm you can ask him what the problem is and then ask him to think of ways he could solve the problem. The calmer you are, the better. An emotional response from the adult will only increase his reaction. I hope this encourages you

Chandra - posted on 02/07/2009

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Most dr's will not put kids that age on drugs. More often than not they would prefer to try behavior modification (diet, exercise, structured play, etc...) My son is 4 and when he was two my family dr. was worried because everytime we would go the dr my son would have a total meltdown and when I explained it was an everyday occurance he sent me to a specialist who said he was just Hyperactive and they would try a lot of different types of behavior modification until he started school and then reevaluate him to determine if he it is causing him to be unable to learn or develop normally. Kids his age usually do not know what they are doing is wrong and therefore when you discuss it with them it seems as if the "don't remember." We have learned to use timeout as a calm down period instead of a punishment. We don't focus on the bad behavior once the fit has started and usually after about 4 minutes in time out he is good. One big thing is to be consistent and make sure you discuss how he was feeling. "Were you mad, sad, overwhelmed, etc..."

Marjorie "Lee" - posted on 02/07/2009

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One more thing I wanted to mention....



I try to see how having ADD or whatever people want to call it makes my son special. He is very driven when he becomes interested in something. He is learning. I am sure he will be very successful at meeting any goal he makes for himself. He has a strong spirit that will not let anything or anyone stop him. He is not broken just different.

Marjorie "Lee" - posted on 02/07/2009

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One more thing I wanted to mention....



I try to see how having ADD or whatever people want to call it makes my son special. He is very driven when he becomes interested in something. He is learning. I am sure he will be very successful at meeting any goal he makes for himself. He has a strong spirit that will not let anything or anyone stop him. He is not broken just different.

Marjorie "Lee" - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hang in there! You are not alone.  Many mothers deal with children that can be challenging. I had to laugh when you mentioned you have 3 other children not like this.  I have to admit I have remind myself and others at times that it is not just my parenting.  "Look at the other two. See I didn't teach him to act like that."



After many years of struggling, I am better learning to deal with my son.  He is not 11. We still have some melt downs. Dealing with the melt downs gets easier. I think I understand what you mean about not remembering.  My son gets so upset he becomes unrational. He can wind up to the point that he can not calm himself down. When the battle is finally over, he is exhausted and doesn't even remember exactly what started it.



My best advice is not to engage in the battles with him. My son likes to feel in control.  I give him two options... you do A or B.  One example: clean up toys or have them placed in timeout. I do not react even if he chooses to let them go in timeout. My son will sometimes act without thinking things through.  He would be fine at that time having things put in timeout.  Later he changes his mind.  He is learning.  To avoid meltdowns, I try to offer "ways out" for my son. Sure your toys can come out of timeout. Why are they there. Oh.. you didn't clean them up. If you help me out by setting plates on the table you can get them out of timeout or you can do nothing and leave them there. (Again his choice.) No reaction no matter which one he chooses. I move on and leave him to decide on his own.  I do not hang around for the battle. Mommy's have things to do you know.



I try to pick and choose battles.  There are times I have to say no. I try to stay positive even then though... Candy at the checkout would be great but not very healthy. Is there something you saw me put in the basket that would be a healthy treat?



Meltdown still happen! It stinks and I can get very frustrated at times. I try to leave my son away out of a battle. I can push a battle to the point that it is just nuts. I have had to say... lets have a restart.....  come on lets go for a short walk and talk about the trip we took to the zoo last summer. We will deal with this later. Once my son is calm we can usually solve what started the meltdown.



Good luck! There is not one thing that will solve everything.  I try to remember that there is a reason God gave me this little boy.  He thought I had what it takes to be his mom. Either that or he is laughing watching to see how I deal with each challenge. When I can not seem to deal with it he always gives me someone to help.

Marjorie "Lee" - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hang in there! You are not alone.  Many mothers deal with children that can be challenging. I had to laugh when you mentioned you have 3 other children not like this.  I have to admit I have remind myself and others at times that it is not just my parenting.  "Look at the other two. See I didn't teach him to act like that."



After many years of struggling, I am better learning to deal with my son.  He is not 11. We still have some melt downs. Dealing with the melt downs gets easier. I think I understand what you mean about not remembering.  My son gets so upset he becomes unrational. He can wind up to the point that he can not calm himself down. When the battle is finally over, he is exhausted and doesn't even remember exactly what started it.



My best advice is not to engage in the battles with him. My son likes to feel in control.  I give him two options... you do A or B.  One example: clean up toys or have them placed in timeout. I do not react even if he chooses to let them go in timeout. My son will sometimes act without thinking things through.  He would be fine at that time having things put in timeout.  Later he changes his mind.  He is learning.  To avoid meltdowns, I try to offer "ways out" for my son. Sure your toys can come out of timeout. Why are they there. Oh.. you didn't clean them up. If you help me out by setting plates on the table you can get them out of timeout or you can do nothing and leave them there. (Again his choice.) No reaction no matter which one he chooses. I move on and leave him to decide on his own.  I do not hang around for the battle. Mommy's have things to do you know.



I try to pick and choose battles.  There are times I have to say no. I try to stay positive even then though... Candy at the checkout would be great but not very healthy. Is there something you saw me put in the basket that would be a healthy treat?



Meltdown still happen! It stinks and I can get very frustrated at times. I try to leave my son away out of a battle. I can push a battle to the point that it is just nuts. I have had to say... lets have a restart.....  come on lets go for a short walk and talk about the trip we took to the zoo last summer. We will deal with this later. Once my son is calm we can usually solve what started the meltdown.



Good luck! There is not one thing that will solve everything.  I try to remember that there is a reason God gave me this little boy.  He thought I had what it takes to be his mom. Either that or he is laughing watching to see how I deal with each challenge. When I can not seem to deal with it he always gives me someone to help.

Marjorie "Lee" - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hang in there! You are not alone.  Many mothers deal with children that can be challenging. I had to laugh when you mentioned you have 3 other children not like this.  I have to admit I have remind myself and others at times that it is not just my parenting.  "Look at the other two. See I didn't teach him to act like that."



After many years of struggling, I am better learning to deal with my son.  He is not 11. We still have some melt downs. Dealing with the melt downs gets easier. I think I understand what you mean about not remembering.  My son gets so upset he becomes unrational. He can wind up to the point that he can not calm himself down. When the battle is finally over, he is exhausted and doesn't even remember exactly what started it.



My best advice is not to engage in the battles with him. My son likes to feel in control.  I give him two options... you do A or B.  One example: clean up toys or have them placed in timeout. I do not react even if he chooses to let them go in timeout. My son will sometimes act without thinking things through.  He would be fine at that time having things put in timeout.  Later he changes his mind.  He is learning.  To avoid meltdowns, I try to offer "ways out" for my son. Sure your toys can come out of timeout. Why are they there. Oh.. you didn't clean them up. If you help me out by setting plates on the table you can get them out of timeout or you can do nothing and leave them there. (Again his choice.) No reaction no matter which one he chooses. I move on and leave him to decide on his own.  I do not hang around for the battle. Mommy's have things to do you know.



I try to pick and choose battles.  There are times I have to say no. I try to stay positive even then though... Candy at the checkout would be great but not very healthy. Is there something you saw me put in the basket that would be a healthy treat?



Meltdown still happen! It stinks and I can get very frustrated at times. I try to leave my son away out of a battle. I can push a battle to the point that it is just nuts. I have had to say... lets have a restart.....  come on lets go for a short walk and talk about the trip we took to the zoo last summer. We will deal with this later. Once my son is calm we can usually solve what started the meltdown.



Good luck! There is not one thing that will solve everything.  I try to remember that there is a reason God gave me this little boy.  He thought I had what it takes to be his mom. Either that or he is laughing watching to see how I deal with each challenge. When I can not seem to deal with it he always gives me someone to help.

Christine - posted on 02/07/2009

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I, like you, did not want to put my oldest on meds. But girl, the meds they have now are great. So many different types for each unique situation. My oldest is 17 now and off meds for 2 years. My middle son is 7 and I wish I could find something to help us in the early AM getting ready for school. He's "not in his head" in the morning. Your quality of life will so improve once you get him diagnosed and find a treatment (even if non medicated) that works for you, your son and the school system. Good luck, do lots of research and know that you are SO NOT ALONE!!!!!

[deleted account]

you really need to get him to a doctor - usually they will not diagnose until the kids are about 4 - you dont say what country you are in - in canada doctor visits are free and they could set you up with support through other agencies like lansdowne childrens center - your doctor or pediatrician is best to direct you to the appropriate agency for your area - you shouldnt have to offer anything to your child to make him stop, and i would guess he does know exactly what he is doing, i have 2 kids with ADHD and ODD and they are little master manipulators i cant stress enough to get your child into a doctor asap as that is the first step in getting the right help

User - posted on 02/07/2009

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I hear what you 're saying and would like to suggest having him assessed for autism, or one of the spectrum disorders.  I have two boys with autism, and it is very important to have early diagnosis to get the help needed.  Don't worry about medications, the doctors can only suggest you use it, they can't make you use it.  With a diagnosis, you may be able to research other alternatives of care.  Good luck!

Lynda - posted on 02/07/2009

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My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 3.  I refused to put him on medicine until right before he started school.  I agree with some of the others, his loss of memory of his meltdowns is a concern.  That doesn't fit with ADHD.  I would talk to your doctor about this.  Good Luck!!

Taryn - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hi - I have 4 boys and our eldest at a very young age (1) would go off the wall for no reason at all. I do believe in the condition ADHA but can not stress enough the issue of preservaties and colours in foods - IT IS OUT OF CONTROL!!!!! We removed certain things from his diet - and follow through with the other boys.it is soo easy to manage and you can always let them have atreat. They are not allowed and Cola drinks,red products as well as green (Green cordial as well as the obvious red are just cruel to what they can turn a child into) ALWAYS buy no added colours or preservatives drinks etc.As a treat they have lemonade - remember Colas have caffeine - sugar is another major culprit, most days he has his weet-bix or cornflakes WITHOUT sugar - this helps on school days! I am not saying your child doesn't have ADHA but try removing these from his diet and see.

Jaime - posted on 02/07/2009

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Your question is a great one! You are the Mom, and that means YOU get to decide what to give your child or not for medication. I have 2 children, both of whom have had some behavior problems through the years, and others have pressured me to try medication. I was opposed, and did other things first. And found them to be VERY helpful! we had an occupational therapy evaluation, and discovered that some of the issues were caused from a different problem - sensory integration disorder...and found that with a strict regimen of OT (which we learned to do at home) that took away many of the problems for one of my children. Along with changes in diet, and an increase in physical activity - worked wonders.



Medicaion does not cure everything. In fact, finding the right medication can sometimes be nightmare-ish. nasty side effects from some. Ask your trusted MD about getting some additional evaluations, and remember, YOU are the mom, and YOU are a GREAT mom. You know your child, and you know what will help, and what you aren't comfortable with - but first, you have to know all the options....Best Wishes!

Nicole - posted on 02/07/2009

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I just want to let you if you can find a doctor who will dx your child at that age and put them on meds that is not a good thing. I have worked for a Peditrican's office for 6 years now with 4 doc's and 3 np's. Not one of our Doc's would ever put a child on meds that young let alone ridalin. There are so many other options and if you are looking for suggestions go to our website and email our head Doc and he can guide you to the proper help. www.nbpeds.com is the sight. you can read on everyone who practices medicine in our office and also find out a bunch of other info that can help you out.

[deleted account]

Hi, I have a son who is 17 that has add and mild autism. I struggled with him and really didn't realize he had autism til age 7. He does have ADD I found that at about 4 years old. Most of the time he didn't even realize he did anything wrong. Think long and hard before saying NO medication. We decided to put him on ritalin at age 5 (we really didn't want to at the time) but decided to try it. WOW! it made a huge difference the first day we put him on it he colored for like 5 hours straight which before he never did. It gave him confidence that he could do it! I think partly because he wasn't getting in trouble anymore. He was in a special class for 2 years and now flourishing into an upstanding young man. He is in regular classes with a few adapted classes and getting on the honor roll. I'm so proud of him. I was also on ritalin for awhile and believe me ritalin does not resemble other drugs like they describe it. Personally I think it is wrong when parents don't try everything for their child ( no offense) it's kind of unfair for the child. They can't help having this disease. Good Luck!

Debra - posted on 02/07/2009

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DONT beat your self up about meds. there are SO many more out there than just ridalin. did you try just a cup of coffee? My doc told me to try that. the caffeine will calm down a adhd kid. social workers will back up my statement. i have been in Medicine for a long time, and found more than not who understand.

second. there is SO many different types of ADHD. you have to do it for your child.

think about how much better he would feel if he didnt do that in his head.

Talk to a doc. it is for your son.

forgetting is part of adhd. they have more like 44 different meds for the kids.

HE will thank you for it.... think about it. if your head was RACING and somebody helped you clear it up and get it organized, wouldnt you want it too?

along with the meds, get some therapy too. it will help with the tantrums.

in 2009 things are SO different than before. good luck

Debbie - posted on 02/07/2009

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Ok, his attention span is extremely limited, and focusing is difficult. You have to keep him stimulated. These episodes often stem from boredom or frustration because he's not coping with something. Try to intercede before he erupts. If you see it coming calmly ask him whats the matter and offer to help him resolve whatever it is. If you are to late and he's letting rip, go and hold him close to you and speak in a level voice not all shrill and be as kind as possible and ask whats up or once you have cuddled him distract him with something he really loves. Whatever it may be that you are trying to distract him with, make sure its spoken in a really playful voice, even if you don't feel like it! Say something like "I know lets go do this...." Getting out and about and having plenty of exercise will help a lot. Kids need to run and run and blow off steam otherwise they get a bit stir crazy if they are indoors to much. The most important key is praise, praise and more praise! Every little thing he does tell him he's great, kids respond to praise so brilliantly, they positively glow when you tell them how clever they are. It makes them want to please YOU more and more. Good luck I hope this helps.



Debbie, UK

Julie - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hi Sharon - I'm the mom of an 8 year old boy who was diagnosed with ADHD at 4 1/2.  We tried alternate techniques for about 6 months before we went on to meds.  One technique that did work was forcing him to look directly into my eyes - a child with ADHD has trouble making and keeping eye contact.  Also, immediately putting him into a safe and quiet situation when he is melting down is really helpful too - my son is old enough now to know when he is going to melt, so he goes to his room or a quiet spot to refocus and regain his composure.  We've been working for 3+ years to get to this point. My son would also have his melt down and not remember why or what triggered it - what we discovered is a lot of his melt downs were caused by frustration b/c he couldn't keep up with the kids academically or socially in pre-school.  Again we've been working with his psychiatrist, his pedetrician, and all his teachers to come up with a game plan in which he could be successful.  My husband and i made the decision at the end of the last school year to hold him back in 1st grade and we lost a lot of sleep over it but it was the best thing we ever did.  He is so confident this year - his report cards have been wonderful, some minor behavior problems, but nothing that his teacher can't handle, he's finally working independently and is actually getting his work done in the alloted time in class.  As I said, we chose medication as the path that worked best for us but I encourage you to work with his health care professionals - you can probably find a child psychologist who would be willing to work with you and give you tips for dealing with the outbursts.  One thing our MD did sugest was enrolling our son in karate - we did when he was about 5 1/2, but most karate schools will take children as young as 3 as long as they are potty trainined.  We noticed the biggest change from that - because the instructors remind the kids that they can focus their minds, their bodies, and their eyes, that became our catch phrase when we saw him start to lose control - we would take him to the side and remind him to focus - that did work pretty well.  He's been doing the karate for over 2 1/2 years and just earned his first black belt.  Don't give up hope - you just need to find the right combination of techniques to help your child.  I'll keep you in my prayers.

Nicole - posted on 02/07/2009

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I am an adult with ADHD raising  two children one with ADHD.  It took me two years before I would even think about putting him on medication.  In the begginning I treid diet modification by removing anything and everything from our diet that was not freshly made.  That meant no chocolate milk and stuff like that and i made sure nothing had tomatoes in it.  My other biggest help was the CHADD.org website.  This website is dedicated to children and adults with attention deficiet hyperactivity disorder.  They have alot of helpful information. 



One thing that I have found with my son and his ADHD is that when he is about to melt down he start breathing like he is angry and at that point I start reminding him to calm down.



I am not a mom who wanted her child medicated by any means but I end the end had no choice.  My son was getting in trouble and well on his way to being suspended from kindergarten within the first three months of school. 



In my situation though because my son did start kindergarten and things did get worse for him with school I had no choice but to put him on medication.  He is currently taking Vyvansen.  Its a good drug and it has none of the side effects that ritalin and the other drugs have and you notice the improvement immediately. 



If I can offer you more help or ideas don't hesitate to message me. I am very willing to help anyone trying to handle a child with ADHD.  We are handfuls. lol

Regina - posted on 02/07/2009

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oh my gosh. I started crying while reading this. My 4 yr old has always been spirited. I've suspected something was up but no one around me agreed. Well now she geting weird. behavior i just don't understand. Same with her she'll do things so ramdomly amd not know why or that she's even doing it. Nothing seems to get through. some of her behaviors seem adhd, some almost autistic, or maybe sensory dissorder. i don't know. What i do know is that I want to help her  without making a file, or medication. I am at my wits end. No one in my family (except my sister) seem to think there's something going on with her. My husband does not want me to have a professional see her. i don't want her labled and i don't want to go against his feelings but i feel like professional help could benifit her and me.



I'm not ready to take her and i've been doing a little research. So far I've found a schedual can help. We have one now but it's very relaxed. i'm thinking of making it more ridgid. i'm going to try a chart. Big onre on the wall that she can help me make. We'll do book time, bed time, snack, arts and crafts ect......



If your interested I'll keep you posted. Please post me back with your findings



Thank you for sharing



Regina

[deleted account]

My son had similar meltdowns when he was 3 too. So did all my friends. I doubt that he doesn't remember them. He just doesn't want to talk about them. My husband and I would take away all his toys and let him sit in his room until he calmed down. Sometimes if the hitting or throwing got out of control we would just hold him with a bear hug until he stopped. Whenever we saw him getting close to that meltdown stage again we would stop and talk face to face to him to remind him he needed to make better choices as he would lose his toys again. It happened about 4-6 more times then he stopped. Yes he still has fits, but nothing like before. Don't assume ADHD. First assume that he has lots of feelings of anger, he wants independence and at 3 he doesn't know how to handle all that yet. Give him choices and let him make them. THen he will feel more in control.

Barb - posted on 02/07/2009

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Try to cut out Red food dye and any types of really sugary foods. Chocolate being number one on the list. Try to give him foods and vitamins rich in Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids and try to provide a venue where he can burn off all his excess energy.



I run a licenced daycare and have had my share of ADHD children and this seems to work the best in my experience.



Hope my words have helped a bit........best of luck to you and your family.

Nikki - posted on 02/07/2009

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I posted earlier about the physical therapy treatment and went back to Melanie's website and got it for you. It is called 'interactive metronome'. Also, limit his sugar intake. That seems to help alot!

Alison - posted on 02/07/2009

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I have a product that will more than likely help your child.  I didn't join this circle to promote my product but I have a passion for children with ADD and ADHD.  My nephew has it and I have seen him suffer tremendously, he is almost 14 and hasn't had the best life due to this situation.  the product I have is called Tunguska - it is a berry that they found in Russia and made it into a drink.  Studies have shown positive results using Tunguska for ADHD.  It is an adaptogen which means there are parts in this stuff that helps your body "adapt" to the enviromental damage as well as helps with mental clairity.  A lot of times kids and/or adults with ADHD lash out because of stress or simply from their diet.  Sugar is a huge deterrent for anyone with this diagnosis.  I can tell  you from personal experience that Tunguska will help to calm you down, and should help TREMENDOUSLY with ADHD or ADD.  If you'd like more information, feel free to email  me.  It helped me but in a different way....I'll tell you about it when we talk.  I can be reached at aswhite18@mac.com --- hope this helps



 

Nikki - posted on 02/07/2009

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I used to teach school and have seen children that have this and have been drugged to no end. It's really sad. My 12 year old has this and takes Strattera. I fought it and fought it but his grades were suffering. It does not have a stimulant in it and does not drug them out. He needs it for his attention in school. But my doctor also suggested going to a pediactric physical therapist for a treatment there that deals with this. The only reason that I do not take him is because we live over an hour away from there and the treatment would be two hours at a time for three times a week. With school and other activities it just almost impossible to do. The treatment was rather expensive but now my insurance would have covered 90% of the cost. I can't remember the name of the treatment but if you would go to the website MelanieMasseyPhysicalTherapy.com you can maybe find out. Just hang in there. I know it's not easy!

[deleted account]

Hi Sharon, I have been reading a lot of answers to posts and find it all very interesting. I am an elementary school teacher and often have had students in my classroom who have had ADHD. And now I believe my 5 year old is demonstrating some of the same behaviors. I don't like the idea of medicating children unless it's absolutely necessary. because of this, I started doing some research on ways to help my students in the classroom and my son at home. Here are some of the things that I found interesting. They claim that being outdoors more has an overall calming effect and bleeds over into other times of the day. They mention the greener the better. Also, the food allergies idea is a great avenue to look into. I have seen that work really well (Specifically Gluten.) And finally, I have given my son some outlets to express his anger. (A child's punching bag, a pillow he can scream into, etc.) I modeled how to use these and then when he throws his tantrums, I pick him up, place him in his room and close the door. I have labeled the rest of the house a "no tantrum" zone. I also have a spot in my classroom that serves a similar purpose. I have found that the tantrums have lessened over time because I am not feeding into them. (Not to mention, my blood pressure.)

Brenda - posted on 02/07/2009

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Dear Sharon I totally understand what your feeling and going through. It is not your family or your parenting. Your sons brain is wired differently and you may not ever find anyone that can tell you why. We have delt with total melt downs(explosive behaviors) for 7 years now. Our son can't handle situations that most kids can. If things are to loud,to much excitment,to happy,to sad and sometimes he melts down for no apparent reason. When he gets set off he stares through me like he is having a seizure and don't remember when its done. Its very hard to live with, we have made lots of changes to our lives for Jason. It is very difficult when the world don't understand.

Montana - posted on 02/07/2009

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I know this sounds weird..did to me at first also. But someone suggested avoiding red dye and gluten. My son was so cute and sweet and all the sudden he would turn into the anti christ. He would be so mad and not know why. The red dye was huge!!  His ears turn red and gets mad and there is no talking to him. Afterwards we talk about it and how it wasn't ok. He is 10 and avoids red dye and wheat bread. He hates the way he feels when he has it. After we did this...I remembered a video I watched in college. A boy was putting together a puzzle with his mom. They where talking and happy. They gave him a wheat injection. Not even 5 minutes later he was throwing tables and chairs and yelling at her. Good luck!!

Rhonda - posted on 02/07/2009

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My oldest daughter (now 8) had the same issues... total meltdowns where she couldn't stop crying and didn't know why she had started. We, through the help of a friend, found a medical article that showed a large majority of kids with ADD/ADHD/Autism issues have dairy and/or gluten allergies which cause the meltdowns. So we took her off of everything dairy for a few days and... NO meltdowns! Dad let her have a small piece of cheese (Costco sample) a few days later and yep, she had a meltdown! It's worth a try when the alternative is mind altering drugs. The Dairy/gluten reaction is considered a delayed allergic reaction. We've noticed in our daughter the meltdowns will occur within 24 hrs of dairy consumption. Hope this helps. I know it was a HUGE relief for us to 'find' her dairy allergy!!!

Jamie - posted on 02/07/2009

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As a social worker and an adult with ADHD, first I would say that you can have testing done and even if he's diagnosed, that doesn't mean meds is the first step.  They have all kids of behavior modification techniques, foods to avoid, etc.  The very best thing you can do is to talk to your pediatrician.  Ask for a consultation appointment. 



If you took the ADHD out of your explanation I would suggest that you walk away from him (especially at home) while he is having his meltdown.  If it is a matter of attention seeking - it's working.  AT that age, let him have his meltdown a few times with no audience, no attention etc (as long as he is in a safe spot).  After a few times, if you don't see a change in the length or type of meltdown, then contact your pediatrician for a consult.  This is really really early to diagnose ADHD and too early for meds - so i wouldn't let that keep you from asking about it.



Best wishes.



 

Alychia - posted on 02/07/2009

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Hi there. I am prob not very much help. But my brother Is a ADHD child. And he used to go to the extreme of bashing my mother Biting her Calling her foul names and alot of other stuff. (You might know if it has happened to you.) It got to the point where she took my brother to the hospital one day and He had a fit and Attacked her infront of everyone in the waiting room.



The advice that my mother got was to Pay alot of attention to him. And because he is Hyperactive also, She needed to do things to drain out his energy. My brother was the same age as you little one when we found out that he had it.



But if you take him to the park or even get dad to take him to the park let him run wild for a couple of hours and maybe play catch or something, that could possibly calm him down. Because he sounds like my brother alot. He sounds like he thinks that there is a lack of attention. You might think that you are focusing all your attention on him. But to a child they think thats just not good enough.



Sorry if this wasnt very much help. Im just going on what the hospital told us when we found out about my brother. He is 7 now and still every now and again he will have a fit. But yeh as i said. Just keep him constantly active and hopefully that works.



As for the forgetting part, That sounds real different. your son prob acts as he doesnt remember so he doesnt get in trouble. Haha,



Sorry if this didnt help. Let me know if u found this useful of not.

Nicole - posted on 02/07/2009

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My oldest son is now 14 and I had him diagnosed with three different disorders one including ADHD as well as conduct disorder . The doc started him with just taking additional vitamine B and Omega 2 fish oils this worked for when he wasn't in school but I eventually had to have him put onto Dexedrin and at some points there were others to counteract the side effects of it and also an anti depressant. I had to medicate my child to make him behave but for the good of himself and the others around him it allows him to make it through the day without hurting himself or others around him. Good luck in finding out what could help you out.

Jennifer - posted on 02/06/2009

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I have 4 sons, and one of them has ADD without the hyperactivity component.  He is in 4th grade, and  has no behavior issues whatsoever.  We recently put him on medication to help him concentrate.  It is not Ritalin, but a time release medicine.  It has done wonders with helping him focus in school.  He made the honor roll for the 1st time this past quarter.  However, your son's behavior does not seem typical of ADHD (although, everybody suffers from disorders differently).



I am a 4th grade teacher, and I looped with my class; so I had my same class last year as 3rd graders.   I have a student who has meltdowns over what appears to everyone else to be insignificant.  Saying something as simple as "Go back and walk" may have him throwing chairs across the room.  However, sometimes you can say anything to him, and it is not an issue.  He has been this way since toddlerhood, and was incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD.  Low and behold, ADHD medication was not helping his situation, and his explosions were getting progressively worse.  When he was in that state of mind, he would often appear to be out of it.  It was like he was looking through you and not at you.  He often would not remember what happened after the incident.  He would not even have a build-up to getting mad.  It was like he would just snap.  Fortunately, he has very supportive parents who knew his diagnosis was not correct, and they took him to a pediatric psychiatrist.  He was diagnosed with INTERMITTENT EXPLOSIVE DISORDER.  All of his symptoms fit.  Most of the time the student was very charming, well-behaved, and bright.  (Very likable)  However, when he was mad, he was a completely different kid, and it would sometimes take 30 minutes for him to snap out of it.  I would definitely talk to a professional.  Your son's meltdowns could be a whole sleu of things.  The nighttime incidents may be night terrors.  My oldest son had them, and they are actually asleep when they have these (even though their eyes are open).  They generally have no idea what they are doing and no memory the next morning.  Good luck with everything and keep me posted!!

Michelle - posted on 02/06/2009

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Squirt gun works wonders - takes the kid by suprise and turns the tantrum into fun.

Redirecting the behavior works well too - ex. start doing something he enjoys and say ___, you wanna come join mommy? Ignoring that he is so out of control and staying calm is your best defense. Also, placing them in a certain spot - middle of a carpet and calmly saying - sit until you are calm, when you are ready, leave and come say sorry. I honestly believed nothing would work either - until I began trying some of these - Nanny 911 is an awesome research tool. And my 3 year old tantrum terror turned into an angel...but the carpet thing the first few times took a LOT of patience - I had to keep putting her back in the very same spot and calmly saying the same thing. I hope you attempt these and they help you as they did me.

Jasmine - posted on 02/06/2009

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I have the same problem with my 3 1/2 year old . I found that casually cmmenting om the behavior before during and after the episodes has helped him and me deal with it. comments like....wow you played with that for a while, that was quick, bored, you seem frustrated, wow that was loud, are you getting cranky, do you need to take a breather with mom, do you need to be by yourself, wow your haveing a bad day. theres alot more comments we use on a regular bases all day long. Hunter has learned to let us know that he is having a bad day and if he wants more hugs or to be left alone. it takes a few weeks but he knows his emotional state and frustration points better than anyone. with the tools to communicate and sort out his feelings it will be easier for him and you. Another thing i do is talk about my "state" too i get frustrated, sad angry and throw tantrums too , its ok and we all need to know how to deal with those emotions in different settings. Being three is very frustrating because they arn't babies but they just arn't big enough to be "big" kids yet. it will get better, my 11 year old was the same way and she lets us know what she needs or doesn't want. have patients and try cutting out diff foods in case its alergy based. each food should be cut out of the diet for at least 4 weeks to see any positive resaults

Denise - posted on 02/06/2009

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I have a child with ADHD and I have a friend who has one with Autism. Mine doesn't have "meltdowns" and forgets them. He isn't uncontrollable in any kind of angry way. My friend's son would have kind of like fits of anger because he couldn't get the message out that he was trying to convey. You may want to maybe ask your doctor about that. My friend has had her son in therapy for a couple/few years and he is now in public school....kindergarten and doing GREAT! I also know that changing their diet can help with both of those things. It is harder for me to implement those changes as easily because mine is 13 years old! When they are younger...the patterns can be changed easier because they haven't been established for as long. One more thing...even if he is diagnosed with adhd...that doesn't mean you HAVE to medicate. Just remember....he is your child....not the dr's. But do what feels right for him. There are several fb pages you can look at too for adhd. one that I have is Mom's helping Mom's with ADHD kids. If you just search for ADHD...you should be able to find some pages to help too. I wish you the best of luck. I will pray for you and your son. God Bless.

Maria - posted on 02/06/2009

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LET ME START BY SAYING...I'M MARRIED TO A MAN WITH ADD AND A STEPGRANDSON WITH ADHD. YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR SON TO THE SPECIALIST BECAUSE YOU CAN'T DIAGNOSE HIM. EVEN IF HE HAS ADHD HE STILL NEEDS MEDICAL ATTENTION. THERE'S NO WAY AROUND IT. WHY DON'T YOU GO TO A HEALTH FOOD STORE AND TRY TO FIND SOMETHING THAT CAN PROBABLY HELP HIM. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, YOU CAN'T DO THIS ALL BY YOURSELF. DON'T PUT IT OFF JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO PUT HIM ON MEDS.

User - posted on 02/06/2009

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ADHD does exist and is in no way a negative reflection of your parenting ability! A competent practitioner won't even consider diagnosing a 3 yr old with ADHD because EVERY 3 yr old (especially boys) display some symptoms of Attention Deficit or Hyperactivity. It's called being a child! The total meltdowns and memory lapses, however could be signs of some other disorder. If his behavior is disruptive to your family's life, then you should definitely seek professional help. And when you do get a diagnosis, get a second, even third opinion from experts in the field. ADHD is hugely over diagnosed, especially by pediatricians who have only a small bit of experience in the subject.

Medication can help, but do your research and keep an eye out for side effects. My son tried every ADD med under the sun when he was in elementary and middle school. He suffered terrible insomnia, loss of appetite and started falling way behind his peers in physical growth. Now in high school, he is off medication, has caught up to his peers in growth (and then some) and does just fine with behavioral modification and organizational tools.

Remember, each child is different and you ARE a good mom! Don't give up on good-old-fashioned discipline, just like you would with any other child. Good luck finding your answers and keep loving that little boy!

Pam - posted on 02/06/2009

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You mentioned - possibly ADHD - Have you ever looked into or had him tested for any sensory intergration  problems? It could be  pretty simple or at least may help with some of what might be behaviors. Especially before you  consider any medications. Hope this helps

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