View Full Version : 3 year old with ADHD?


LoveMySon
11-16-09, 11:38 AM
My 3.5 year old son was just diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. His behavioral doctor is not going to treat the OCD because it is not a problem as of yet. But he is wanting to treat the ADHD.

Little history on my son, he is very hyper, he is violent, he screams when he doesn't get his way, he hits me, his sister, and now once his 7 month old brother. He does better one on one, if a 2nd person is added to the mix chaos breaks loose.

So we went to the pediatrician, she sent us to see a behavioral doctor.
The doctor has prescribed Ritalin (metha-something?) in a liquid form. I don't have the exact dosage with me since I dropped the prescription off at the pharmacy already.

I am just curious, if anyone elses kids were diagnosed and treated at such a young age? Am I doing this to soon? He is almost impossible to handle, but I have been reading a lot of scary stuff about side effects. Just wanting opinions. If you can help me out please do.

Thanks so much.......

Dizfriz
11-16-09, 01:48 PM
My 3.5 year old son was just diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. His behavioral doctor is not going to treat the OCD because it is not a problem as of yet. But he is wanting to treat the ADHD.

Little history on my son, he is very hyper, he is violent, he screams when he doesn't get his way, he hits me, his sister, and now once his 7 month old brother. He does better one on one, if a 2nd person is added to the mix chaos breaks loose.

So we went to the pediatrician, she sent us to see a behavioral doctor. The doctor has prescribed Ritalin (metha-something?) in a liquid form. I don't have the exact dosage with me since I dropped the prescription off at the pharmacy already. The generic name for Ritalin is methylphenidate.

I am just curious, if anyone elses kids were diagnosed and treated at such a young age? It is rare to diagnose a kid this young but it can be justified in some cases. Am I doing this to soon? He is almost impossible to handle, but I have been reading a lot of scary stuff about side effects. Just wanting opinions. If you can help me out please do.

Thanks so much....... Methylphenidate has been around over 50 years and is considered one of the safest psychiatric drugs known. There are side effects like all drugs but we are pretty much aware of them. Some rare ones can be severe but this is true of any drug. You and your doctor simply monitor for these. For the rest, we are very aware of the normal side effects and you can and need to read up on them. Most are a pain in the whatever but can be handled.

Now on to ADHD:

Much of his behavior may be able to be explained by the 30% rule. He is really emotionally acting like a 2 year old. The medication can help this but it is hard to predict just how much. You can read up on the 30% rule here:

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130

Next you need to learn as much about ADHD as you can. Here is a good place to start:

This is a transcript of a workshop by Russell Barkley. Barkley is considered by most to be, by far, the top person in the field of ADHD. Many, including myself, consider this transcript to be the best write up on ADHD available on the internet. It is dated 2000 but most of the data is still basically pretty good. I do warn however that this is forty pages long and Barkley is information dense. It can be a bit of a struggle to work though so take your time. It is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, very much worth the effort. This may seem like a lot (40 pages!) but the transcript has probably been of more help to the parents of ADHD children than any other thing I know. I am going to suggest you start with this overview and then download or read the article from there.

http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054

There are a number of other good sources of information but this is a very good place to begin. The more you know about ADHD, the more you will be able to help your child.

Keep reading the forum. This is a great place for help, sympathy, and understanding.

Dizfriz

MGDAD
11-16-09, 02:25 PM
As noted 3 years old is very young for ADHD. Clearly your child has issues, but ADHDers are not generally known as violent. It is very hard to diagnose much of anything for a 3 year old. However, there are other dissorders that might contribute to explaining his behavior. Have other dissorders been ruled out? Bipolar? Asbergers? Could this be explained by exposure to drugs during pregnancy? Fetal alcohol syndrome?

In truth there are not many doctors that can accurately diagnose, childhood bipolar or asbergers. It is a fair question to ask the doctor how he ruled out the other possibilities. Many doctors just jump to ADHD without ruling anything else out. If he tells you that kids cant have bipolar find another doctor.

Good luck.

Dizfriz
11-16-09, 07:10 PM
MGDAD

Good post and I agree with you very much except for a couple of small points.

On diagnosis:
Adhd is tough enough to correctly diagnose at age 3 and I would not want to even consider trying to diagnose bipolar. Most clinicians I know feel the same way and defer that possibility several years down the road. That is not to say that sometimes we are reasonably sure a kid will receive that diagnosis later but few will put a bipolar dx on a young child. The format for young children is usually diagnose as ADHD and see what happens from there.

Autism is a different issue and can be diagnosed quite early. The doc will be screening for this and the parent might bring the issue up for discussion.

ADHD kids can be and often are violent and very prone to temper tantrums. It is usually a function of not being able to regulate expression of anger on an age appropriate level. Using the 30% rule, it would not be unusual for an angry 2 year old to hit or scream when not getting his way.

I have seen this often with ADHD kids and with proper training and sometimes medication, the parents can usually bring the behaviors under better control. I have had the same results with bipolar kids but with great more difficulty and effort.

It sounds like the ped has referred the parent to a child psychiatrist and hopefully the parent can get some help and in the fullness of time the diagnosis can be firmed up. From a good diagnosis comes good treatment.

LoveMySon, I would not worry too much about bipolar at this point. Work with the doc and see what happens. It is really too early to be concerned about that. Focus on the ADHD and working with the physicians. Keep plugging and let us know how what happens, we are interested.

Dizfriz

QueensU_girl
11-16-09, 08:32 PM
Could he be "sensory defensive"? (It is hard at his age (3) because they cannot TELL us.

There is a good book out about the topic.

http://www.amazon.com/Loud-Bright-Fast-Tight-Overstimulating/dp/0060932929

FWIW, my local library had it. Yours might have it (or be able to order it in) for you too.

It's got some really important concepts of what may be going on when kids act out b/c they cannot tell us what they are experiencing.

kibbled_bits
11-16-09, 11:28 PM
they're the trained doctor, we aren't. My son is 6 and started, I knew he had ADHD before then but I thought I could help him effort his way out of ADHD. The problem is he's so ADHD that no amount of behavior modification, vitamins/supplements or diet works. Food actually has no impact on him whatsoever.

I think that 3 is too young for me personally. Is he seeing a psychiatrist (not psychologist, counselor or pediatrician) but a genuine psychiatrist with an MD? My son was never aggressive like that though I hear of some ADHD children who are.

good luck

LoveMySon
11-17-09, 11:47 AM
Yes the doctor we went to was a psychiatrist, Dr. McGovern M.D out of Corpus Christi Tx.

His pedi thought he was bipolar, i asked the MD if he was and he said he did not think so. He says that the word bipolar is thrown around to losely nowadays?

I believe he has ADHD I am just nervous about medicating him. But if it will help it would be great. I'd like to have my life back, and be able to enjoy him more then I am now.

Right now it is like a mission to care for him and he demands 95% of my attention and time, and I have 2 other kids who are being deprived at the moment.

That 30% thing makes a lot of sense to me. A whole lot actually!!!! Thank you for that!

MGDAD
11-17-09, 03:28 PM
The only problem with ignoring the bipolar is that the medication protocol is different for bipolar than ADHD. You dont give stimulants to a child who has bipolar, until you have the symptoms of bipolar under control with the correct medication. Even then you only give stimulants very cautiously if at all. In fact, it is believed that stimulants can make treating bipolar much more difficult down the road.

IMHO a doctor that says that the term bipolar is being thrown around too much lately has not been reading the latest info about it. Even if the term is being thrown around too much lately that has nothing to do with whether or not your particular child has it.

On the other hand 3 is really, really young.

A couple good books.

"The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. (does not talk about Bipolar explicitly, just talks about how to deal with explosive children)
"The Bipolar Child" by Dimitri Papolos

zach_&_sam_mom
11-17-09, 03:47 PM
If you are concerned about medicating your son, I would suggest that medicate him on a weekend when he will be there the entire time with you, and you can directly observe his behavior and reactions.

Dizfriz
11-17-09, 05:44 PM
In fact, it is believed that stimulants can make treating bipolar much more difficult down the road.

Do you have reference on this? Sounds interesting.

Dizfriz

MGDAD
11-17-09, 05:58 PM
Do you have reference on this? Sounds interesting.

Dizfriz

Well this link says that it worsens the bipolar condition.

http://www.jbrf.org/juv_bipolar/index.html

This one talks about "significant adverse events" from stimulants.

http://www.jbrf.org/research/validation.html

But, I cant find one right now that backs up that exact statement. I dont have the book handy. I also admit I might have been stretching it a bit. I know that I have read that stimulants can "activate" mania in children with bipolar tendancies. In that they mania would not have appeared until later in life if the stimulants were not given. (I will try and find that reference.) I believe that led me to make the statement above, but the logic is not quite there when I think about it now.

Lunacie
11-17-09, 06:09 PM
I would begin with something like Omega 3 (fish oil) and behavior therapy. We suffered through almost five years with my youngest granddaughter before we finally started going to therapy. The therapist gave a tentative dx of Autism PPD-NOS just to deal with the paperwork for insurance purposes. But now, over 3 years further on, we're wondering how much of her behavior was caused by Sensory Disorder issues. She's going to be 8 in a little over a week and we're still hesitant to start with medication for anxiety and the rages (which are much less frequent these days). Today is a BAD day even though she took her supplement Bach Rescue Remedy this morning. Methinks I'll offer another one.

JennyH
11-20-09, 02:18 PM
My son is also 3 (born in July) and was recently diagnosed with ADHD by 3 different professionals; a psychologist, a pediatric neurologist and a behavioral/developmental pediatrician. We have not yet started any meds, but they have recommended Clonidine. We have another appt. on December 2 and will discuss additional treatment options at that time. I am really not wanting to go the Ritalin route. But his anger issues are really severe and out of his control.

Hugs to you and your family.

ETA: After reading some of the other posts, I'd like to add that we also do Fish Oil, Magnesium, Bachs Rescue Remedy, Melatonin to help him sleep, he is on a gluten free diet, no sugar, etc...and his issues are still severe that I do think he needs medication.

JennyH
11-20-09, 02:24 PM
:

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60130

Next you need to learn as much about ADHD as you can. Here is a good place to start:

This is a transcript of a workshop by Russell Barkley. Barkley is considered by most to be, by far, the top person in the field of ADHD. Many, including myself, consider this transcript to be the best write up on ADHD available on the internet. It is dated 2000 but most of the data is still basically pretty good. I do warn however that this is forty pages long and Barkley is information dense. It can be a bit of a struggle to work though so take your time. It is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many others, very much worth the effort. This may seem like a lot (40 pages!) but the transcript has probably been of more help to the parents of ADHD children than any other thing I know. I am going to suggest you start with this overview and then download or read the article from there.

http://www.greatschools.net/cgi-bin/showarticle/2054



THANK YOU for that article. I read the abstract then printed up the entire thing. It's excellent!!

MGDAD
11-20-09, 04:15 PM
Make sure you tell the doctor about all the other supplements you give to your son. I have actually heard that Omega 3s can add to agitation in some circumstances, but I am not sure i believe it.

Let us know how the Clonidine works.

Dizfriz
11-20-09, 06:20 PM
Well this link says that it worsens the bipolar condition.

http://www.jbrf.org/juv_bipolar/index.html

This one talks about "significant adverse events" from stimulants.

http://www.jbrf.org/research/validation.html


Thanks for the url. They pretty much agree with what I have been saying on the forum but that is not surprising since much of my knowledge of childhood bipolar stems from the work of Dr Papolos.

For the readers, jbrf is The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation. It looks quite informative and might be worth a looksee for those interested in juvenile bipolar.

Dizfriz

tessmesser
12-01-09, 12:10 PM
My youngest son had the symptoms you describe at three. I think that developmentally it is hard to tease out what is immaturity and what is disease. Kids with ADHD often have more than one disease that they are dealing with.

My son has sensory integration problems, (tags bother him, loud noises make him crazy, he is sensation seeking-bumping, jumping into things...), he is treated for depression, and he is treated for his ADHD. He is a sweetheart but he is sometime far from easy to parent.

When he was young, I found the book mentioned above 'The Explosive Child' really helpful. The book walks you through the triggers that cause your child's outburst and really helped me to see things through his eyes.

I have recently blogged about many of the ADHD supplements and you may find that discussion useful. The supplements are not a silver bullet but I have found some of them helpful.

Good luck.

Tess
http://primarilyinattentiveadd.blogspot.com

ddammitt
12-04-09, 06:12 PM
Hi LoveMySon thanks for the post as its great to know their are other parents out there similar to us, my wife and I have a 3.5yr old who had been diagnosed with asperges and adhd which is a very 'active' mix he has been put on clonidine which helps to take off the edge a tiny bit but nothing majorly helpful as yet, he too is extremely violent, agressive, he tries to kill his 12month old sister, animals and other children by smothering them with objects and laying over the top of it all, he wakes up between 1-4 every morning and starts his day, for us we are woken up to either the kitchen flooding, him trying to escape from windows, cooking a dirty nappy in the microwave (Dry reaching in memory) or climbing walls, cuboards or pulling the tv off the cabinet. We were hoping to have him put on something like ritalin etc to help I guess only as this is the most common thing you hear of kids getting given but here in australia we have just undergone a huge inquiry which makes it more diffuclt to get ritalin in kids under 5 (so we have been told twice) My mother in law moved in with us to help out with him and she too is now on anti-depressants and leaves 2 nights a week to have a brake from him... :) We are just taking every minute of every day as it comes and as we have to have him in line of sight at all times it leaves little time for my wife and I to do anything else (together) am I selfish for wishing my wife and I could just have 1 day away from him? we talk about going for lunch like we use to before this all started but we feel bad for leaving him with others as we know what hell they would be going through...

Will we ever wake up from this nightmare? :(

saharaprincess
12-04-09, 07:57 PM
The thing I don't understand is if the OCD is not a problem and he does not want to treat it now, how in God's name did he diagnose it in the first place? I can't understand that. Did you have any problems while pregnant with him, or was he born too early? I would get a second opinion rather than going with just that doc's word.

Imnapl
12-27-09, 05:20 PM
My youngest son had the symptoms you describe at three. I think that developmentally it is hard to tease out what is immaturity and what is disease. Kids with ADHD often have more than one disease that they are dealing with.Is ADHD now considered a disease?

river09
12-27-09, 07:12 PM
My 3 yr old is the same way, but I think he's testing his limits to see how far he can go. I think kids at that age are becoming more independent and exploring the world around them. I would try every other possible option before meds...especially that young.
The fact that outside influences can help get him under control means he just likes to get under your skin. My son will fight me, hit me, and it could go on and on(I really try alll disciplinary methods), then my brother or someone else will firmly talk to him and he will usually give in. He has no father so maybe he's acting out. Its hard for a mother to play both roles.
There are so many things it could be aat this age, I don't see how a doc can just say he's ADD. What concrete tests were done?
How is his diet? I definately need to try harder on my son's diet, but he is so strong-willed that he won't stop until he gets what he wants. AHHHHHHHH
good luck

atrain
12-27-09, 09:41 PM
No one can be diagnosed with add till grade school. He is probably just acting as a three year old. Try behavior management before going on meds until seven years old.

Imnapl
12-27-09, 11:43 PM
he is so strong-willed that he won't stop until he gets what he wants.Are there any parenting classes available through social services or mental health where you live? Barbara Coloroso has some great ideas about making parenting easier; her advice is simple and it works for all ages and stages of children. Parenting kids is difficult, but parenting kids with ADHD is even more challenging, especially if the parent has untreated ADHD - been there, done that.

daveddd
12-28-09, 11:18 AM
The thing I don't understand is if the OCD is not a problem and he does not want to treat it now, how in God's name did he diagnose it in the first place? I can't understand that. Did you have any problems while pregnant with him, or was he born too early? I would get a second opinion rather than going with just that doc's word.

thank you , how on earth do you diagnose ocd in a 3 year old?

he was able to describe his intrusive thoughts that led him to ridiculous, repetitive behavior?

if it was based off of repetitive behavior or routines he may be off track

but i am not a doctor, so im probably wrong but I think all developing 3 year olds have repetitive behavior

Dizfriz
12-28-09, 01:16 PM
No one can be diagnosed with add till grade school. He is probably just acting as a three year old. Try behavior management before going on meds until seven years old.
While most prefer not do do an ADHD diagnosis until roughly the age of 6 or so, three year old children have been diagnosed as ADHD when the symptoms are severe enough to justify it. I have seen cases where the child that age is so impulsive that they are a danger to themselves and others.

Dizfriz

Dizfriz
12-28-09, 01:20 PM
thank you , how on earth do you diagnose ocd in a 3 year old?

I too am not sure how someone can diagnose a three year old child with OCD. The criteria really are not useful for that age.

I guess if the symptoms are *really* severe that one might be able to justify it but the earliest I have see it done was age 9 or so.

Dizfriz

daveddd
12-28-09, 04:17 PM
While most prefer not do do an ADHD diagnosis until roughly the age of 6 or so, three year old children have been diagnosed as ADHD when the symptoms are severe enough to justify it. I have seen cases where the child that age is so impulsive that they are a danger to themselves and others.

Dizfriz

i literally kicked out the screen in my screen door and ran away and had to be brought home by i neighbor 15 houses away

AT AGE 3

Lady Lark
12-29-09, 04:47 PM
***MOD NOTE***

I have split off the OCD discussion, and you can now find it here (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=76654). Please keep this on topic, which is helping the OP with her son, and his ADD?OCD diagnosis, and not debating the DSM about what OCD is.

Thank you.

Imnapl
12-30-09, 01:31 PM
posted on wrong thread

Mikaylas_Mommy
12-31-09, 07:01 PM
Okay well I am new to the whole ADD/ADHD world butttt.....I have been around enough kids to tell you that it seems like he is acting out.....maybe he is not getting enough attention or the attention that he wants....Is he the oldest? from the sounds of it he has younger siblings so he may have jealousy issues.....

I know my nephew did after his sister was born when she was about 8 months old he throw his cup and hit her in the eye blacking it.....but it was typical jealously issue not ADD or ADHD or OCD......now as far as a 3 year old being diagnosed with OCD I do not see how that is possible.....kids are repetitive in nature....routines make them feel comfortable.....I have a nephew that he will only eat chicken nuggets french fries and waffles for his mom but when he comes to my house he will eat anything I put on his plate.....So maybe he is testing your limits as you said he takes up 95% of your time.....This is because your are allowing him to do so....he is getting exactly what he wants YOUR ATTENTION.....rather it be good or bad attention.....What you need to do when he acts out is deny him the attention.....put him in his room if you need to put a baby gate up if he crawls over that put 2 up.....its a time out....you not talking to him or paying ANY attention what so ever.....

But when he acts good then showing him more love and attention......Do not try and keep him away from the baby or act as if she is breakable.....to a 3 year old it looks like your sitting her right up on a thorn and he is being ignored he doesn't see it as you are trying to prevent him from hitting her or maybe playing too toughly....

I am not a medical expert but I have been around enough kids and siblings to know the way they act......I would never medicate a 3 year old! Heck I don't even want to medicate my 7 year old....Have you looked into to the diet plan for kids with ADD/ADHD? I would try that first before you medicate him and try discipline actions......I think doctors pull a lot of diagnoses from their buttoms(putting it in nice words).....This is how they make money....you have to follow up and see them every month as opposed to a healthy child may see them every 6 months....

by nature, many children of your son's age have high levels of energy and activity and also tend to be impulsive. As development proceeds, most become fmore organized, less haphazard in their behavior. But anger and oppositionality
are not indicative of ADHD.

link that may help
http://www.education.com/question/3-year-control-don/

but most sounds like typical 3 year old behavior.....plenty of children are hyper but doesn't mean they are ADD/ADHD......parenting is never easy and with 3 kids I can see your frustration but if you give your child medications when it is not needed your going to have a whole other set of problems on your hand as they have their bad side effects which can make his actions worse then they already are!

Mikaylas_Mommy
12-31-09, 07:08 PM
From my research that I have done.....which includes a lot of sites the typical age is around 6-7... 5 is even considered young so 3 is way too young.....I do not mean to attack you in anyway but I have seen plenty of parents push to have their kids diagnosed with ADD/ADHD in order to medicate them so they don't have to deal with the hyperactivity......parenting is not a easy task at all and most little kids are hyper......if you are planning on medicating your son because he is a handful for you to deal with then that is not the correct reason.....Most doctors will not even prescribe medicine for ADD/ADHD until the child is school age and thats only so that they can function properly in school! Even if he does have ADD/ADHD I would not medicate him unless he was in school and by school I mean making grades.....not day care or preschool and the condition was causing him to fail


Again I am sorry I do not mean to sound like I am attacking you but the way you phrased your post seems like your just having a hard time parenting a 3 year old.

daveddd
01-01-10, 01:41 PM
http://apt.rcpsych.org/cgi/content/full/7/4/310

OP i think this article might be worth you reading, especially the part on ocd

im not a doctor nor am i suggesting any dx, just good to know info

bree
01-11-11, 12:45 PM
Have you considered aspergers?

Gemma77
01-12-11, 09:56 AM
I'm obviously no expert but I'll add my personal experience. My son was diagnosed at age 6 and began medication 3 months ago. Whilst he was not officially diagnosed until age 6, he most definetly had ADHD at the age of 3. It's just that it is difficult to be certain that the ADHD behaviours are linked to ADHD and not just normal terrible two's/forceful fours etc before age 6. Age 6 is when the difficult behaviour associated with younger children usually eases.

In some ways I think you are really fortunate to have the diagnosis confirmed now. My son went on to develop ODD because of his ADHD was untreated. Now he is on meds his ODD is so much better. He also had to start school undiagnosed, his performance at school fell in the first few years because of his ADHD - now he is on meds and the school and us know how to help him, he is back up to where he should be. Had we had the ADHD diagnosed and under control sooner, he wouldnt have gone through this. Not just struggling to do his work but not being able to go outside and play with his friends at break time because he hadnt finished his work, having to sit on his own because he was a 'distraction monkey'. These type of things really affect their confidence. Hopefully now that you have the diagnosis your little one will start school right on track and skip the difficult years some others face before they turn 6.

HTHs

Gemma

Lunacie
01-12-11, 11:53 AM
We're born with ADHD. The difficulty does indeed lie in separating it from normal toddler or pre-school age behaviors. Someday there may be a better way to diagnose it so that some form of early intervention therapy can be started. Perhaps with early intervention therapies, meds wouldn't be needed as often?

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:15 PM
We're born with ADHD. The difficulty does indeed lie in separating it from normal toddler or pre-school age behaviors. Someday there may be a better way to diagnose it so that some form of early intervention therapy can be started. Perhaps with early intervention therapies, meds wouldn't be needed as often?

i would be nervous about meds in a 3 year old

considering they have no self awareness

i would hate for a three year old to be flying like a kite off to much adderal

Lunacie
01-12-11, 12:20 PM
i would be nervous about meds in a 3 year old

considering they have no self awareness

i would hate for a three year old to be flying like a kite off to much adderal

Meds aren't the only therapies available. And I agree that it's better to be very cautious in medicating a 3 year old. But if your 3 year old has asthma are you going to wait until she's 6 to start giving her medication? I remember the days when kids got 'hooked' on inhalers.

daveddd
01-12-11, 12:26 PM
Meds aren't the only therapies available. And I agree that it's better to be very cautious in medicating a 3 year old. But if your 3 year old has asthma are you going to wait until she's 6 to start giving her medication? I remember the days when kids got 'hooked' on inhalers.

point taken

but i dont think asthma medication requires any degree of self awareness


im not against medicating children

but i think it would be wise to wait until they are able to form complete sentences to communicate any discomfort

probably a big reason a lot of doctors prefer the age of 6 before medicating


no problems with other therapy

Luvmybully
01-12-11, 02:02 PM
Yes, kids ARE born with adhd. It doesn't just pop up suddenly in their life when they are 6 or 7 years old. ADHD has been studied for such a long time now I would certainly hope that by now Drs would be able to recognize it at an earlier age.

Telling someone who has been to a pediatrician and a behavioral psychiatrist that BOTH their Drs are surely incorrect with their diagnosis, and that BOTH these Drs do not understand the difference between typical 3 year old behavior and atypical 3 year old behavior is not helpful in any way.

You are saying that you have more expertsie to diagnose this child from a short post on an internet forum than the 2 professionals this parent took their child to. That you have a better understanding of typical 3 year old behavior as it applies to this child than the 2 Drs who's responsibility it was to evaluate that behavior and determine if it is typical or not. And based on your personal experience you do not agree with these 2 Drs assesment of this child's behavior, and question the motivation of the parent.

This is not doing a whole lot to help this parent, and has the potential to make it even more difficult for him to understand his child's diagnosis and what treatment options he has.

My child was diagnosed at 3 years old also. The Dr also said she had s possible mood disorder or odd, but was too young for that diagnosis. (Turned out she did not have anything other than adhd.) Medication was offered as part of her treatment, but we said no to it. I know this was very recently discussed, but my reasons for declining meds were:
1) I did not understand adhd, and what the meds really did/did not do
2) I was concerned about the side effects and my young child's inability to verbalize what she was experiencing

I had the luxury of being a full time parent to my adhd child, and she was my youngest. She WAS my full time job.

She had violent, screaming temper tantrums, was very destructive and constantly putting herself in dangerous situations. Climbing on cabinets, jumping off of tables, throwing VERY large toys in a rage, like a wooden doll house twice as big as she was, are a few examples. She stared climbing cabinets at 9 mos old, before she could walk.

As part of the treatment the developmental dr offered therapy that educated us on what adhd was and how it was affeting her and strategies to deal with the behavior. That was a life saver for us. It took 2 years of constant, daily, intense behavior modification to stop the violent tantrums. She had up to 5 of them a day at 3 years old. My older 2 kids(I had a 12yr old son and a 6 yr old daughter when my adhd child was 3) had a VERY difficult time watching their baby sister go through them. They always adored her.

I honestly could NOT have dedicated the time it took to help my adhd child if I had younger children to care for also. And I can not even fathom a daycare center being able to handle a child like her. We didn't leave our house with her for 2 years. She quickly became overwhelmed and compeletly broke down. No one could babysit her. We had no breaks.

For someone who needs help with their child, medication might be absolutely needed.
If you do decide to use the medication I suggest you make yourself very familiar with the side effects and make SURE you discuss every concern you have with your Dr.
Contact your Dr immediately if you notice any negative effects in your child. I agree that the thought of medicating such a young child is scary, but I will not tell you it is a bad idea or that you should not do it.

Also make sure you discuss with your Dr what is realistic to expect. I am sure you realize that medication alone is not going to stop the behavior, the temper tantrums, the violence. If it works it should help your child respond to your behavior modification plan, but again will not just stop the behavior.

Best of luck to you!

zendaddy413
01-15-11, 11:55 PM
@ LoveMySon - I am right there with you. I started a similiar post (Not sure I want my 3 year old on ProCentra) because my 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with ADHD and our child neurologist wants to put her on meds. My wife is all for it but I am not there yet. Considering that your original post was from 2009, I am definitely curious if you have had any success? If so, please let us know. Best of luck!

lynnd1972
02-11-11, 07:05 AM
hi my son is 4 and the doctor has put him on ritalin beacause he thinks he has adhd. my son has been on ritalin about a month now, i have'nt noticed any side effects with at the moment, he takes a 10ml tablet at breakfast, and a 5ml tablet at lunch and dinner. he does'nt take the med at weekends its really for school. my son has a low attention span, he takes bad tantrums at home and goes about room to room throwing stuff about like clothes and toys.

Lovin'Parenting
03-23-11, 05:05 PM
You are not alone - my son, 4yrs, is on his 5th med - Focalin XR. Hang in there. For us, making the decision to medicate him at such a young age was very hard - but it was absolutely the right decision. People who have no interaction with a child who is diagnosed cannot understand medicating a child so young. When you see your little one able to function with peace - you will know you made the right decision too.
Good luck and hang in there.