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Could my two y.o. be ADHD?
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Could my two y.o. be ADHD?

Hi there!
I have a two year old son and a one year old son.  My two year old has always been a "high needs child".  
My son has severe anger and aggression issues.  Ever since he has been able to crawl, he has been a head banger.  I brought this up to our family physician who assured me that this was just a stage.  Almost a year and a half later, he is still doing the head banging, but within the last year he has realized that on carpet doesn't hurt as much, he will purposely go to the cement floor in my basement and knock his head off of the floor and will keep doing this until he hurts himself.  The last 4 mos, he jumps up and down a few times until he loses his balance, fall but he will move his legs from underneath him so he falls flat on his bum!
If his little brother is around him when he is being told no, he will turn around and try to kick him in the face, or punch him or pinch him or slap him.  He will try to purposely hurt his brother, then hurt himself, or if he is unsuccessful, he will hurt himself.
Today, has been the MOST trying day I have experienced in a LONG  time.  My 2y.o.has been sick for the last week, and today, he has been uncontrollable.  He will not listen, his father and myself will tell him to not do something because it may hurt him, and he will not listen.  The other day, his dad was barbecuing and told him not to touch the BBQ, and he rested his knuckles on the BBQ and burnt himself.
He has never been a child to sit at one toy and play with it for 15 minutes, by the time 15 minutes goes by he's played with 5 different things, and is moving on to the 6th.  
The one thing that he will actually do for 40 minutes is he will color, he LOVES to draw or color.  He is not possessing any learning disabilities, he is by far an amazingly smart child, he's just to hyper I'm really getting concerned about the future for him.  


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Hello,
   it does indeed sound like an awful day, and I would be just as worried about keeping your own head 'above water'' in light of how stressful this situation is.  ADHD symptoms sometimes manifest prior to age 3, usually the hyperactive/impulsive symptoms such as the ones you describe. Though your son's behavior is more challenging than is typical for children his age, that does not necessarily mean he has ADHD. He may have what we call a 'difficult temperament', which can mean that he is the type of person who reacts strongly, takes a long time to settle down, and who needs lots of stimulation to feel comfortable. Once he is over 3, you can have a psychological assessment and learn if he actually has a disability.

In terms of what to do now, it sounds like you are in crisis mode at home. Meet with your pediatrican as soon as you can to rule out any medical issues that could account for this behavior (particularly the head banging). If your pediatrican is not taking yoru seriously, get a second opinoion. The good news is that you can get this behavior under control, and it is usually easier when you start with a younger child. Two year olds are eager to please, more easy to distract and are very playful--all good things when you are trying to change their behavior.

Ask your pediatrican or insurance company for a referral to a psychologist who works with young children. Seek a person who can train you in behavior management skills (ask for parent management training, parent effectiveness training, parent guidance--they all refer to the same type of approach). Most of the work should be teaching you how to handle your son's behavior positively, with as little punishment as possible. Once you start working with a skilled therapist, you will see positive changes in a few weeks. I also strongly recommend the book The Kazdin Method by Dr. Alan Kazdin. You can get it and begin implementing Dr. Kazdin's program for some immediate relief.

Best Wishes
Rebecca Resnik
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