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How do I calm my hyperactive 3 yr old?
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How do I calm my hyperactive 3 yr old?

My son is non-stop from the time he wakes up until he falls asleep.  He hits me and his grandparents as well as our cats.  He moves furniture and turns over large toys, desks, etc.  He gets mad when he doesn't get his way and throws whatever is in his hand.  He spins around and runs around and screams and throws toys and rough-houses non-stop.  He never sits still.  He is very sweet and loving and when he can tell we've had our fill of his behavior, he will hug us and smile sweetly.  Then, he goes back to being rambunctious.  He never wants to play alone outside-he wants me right beside him not just watching him.  He doesn't leave anything alone.  He is constantly moving things he isn't supposed to and will pour out drinks if they are left within his reach.  He throws his food when he's done even though he knows better.  He doesn't respond to punishment.  He will cry about being in time out but go right back to the rambunctious behavior once it is over.  I do not know how much longer I can deal with this level of hyperactivity.  I have help but he literally is so hard to handle it takes 3 adults to care for him.   His pediatrician said he would have to be 5 to be tested for ADHD, while he ran around her office moving chairs and hollering.  What can I do??
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1100992_tn?1262360816
How is his eye contact? Just curious because my son has Asperger's and ADHD and was just like that as a toddler/preschooler. Aside from that, I would (and did) give him lots of things around the house he COULD do. I bought him a bouncy ball (the kind you sit on) and a trampoline, any kind of hands on activity he likes? Most kids have at least one activity that will hold their attention. For my son, it's legos. He will play with that for a long times and not bother anyone else. He also likes Moon Sand. You can squish it, pound it as much as you want and it vacuums up. :)
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi,  everyone comes here with there own story, right?  My son has sensory integration disorder and was an active 3 year old.  Maybe not to the extent as yours but close.  In the early years, things can look similar and when and if you diagnose (he may grow out of it,  you never know-----  and sensory is diagnosed by an occupational therapist) it is important to get the right diagnosis.  Sensory is not helped by medication but is helped dramatically by occupational therapy.  My son was diagnosed by an occupational therapist at 3 and 4 and diagnosed at 4.  He started ot and is doing really really well.  School and home life are going smoothly.  

Anyway, I like wj74's ideas (especially the mini indoor trampoline which my kid still bounces on daily).  You have a kid that is going to require more out of you.  At almost 6, I am still the mom at the playground that runs around and plays games with my son.  It gets him to do what he needs to do for his sensory needs and he has a ball when I do it.  You may end up being that mom too.  I also have a younger child----  we just make it our family game.  Things we do to help sensory as my son is a sensory seeker involve lots and lots of physical stuff.  Rolling, climbing, jumping, skipping and spinning.  Swinging is very calming to kids.  Swimming is awesome.  I would add to the list from wj74 that if you have any outside access----  blowing bubbles is soothing to the nervous system.  At 3, he may need a little help.  The blowing action is the important part but he will want to see the bubbles and may need a little help until he gets the hang of that.  Simple play dough is good too (and wj74 is a saint for the moonsand . . .  we have had super big messes with that . . . it is an outside thing now . . .) We hide things in beans and my kid has to find them.  If you  have some wooden train track (there are some inexpensive brands out there) and a couple of trains----  my son would build train track (kind of like legos) at 3 and would play with that for periods of time.  
I also would think about a mother's helper.  This was great for me . . . after school in our area, I would have a girl/boy of about 11 to 13 come over and pay them 2 to 3 dollars to run around with my son.  The older child enjoys it and has far more energy than I do and my kid loved it too.  And I loved the 1 to 2 hours of being able to moniter the situation and still get something done.  (with mother's helper, you don't leave).
Also, at 3 if you live in the states, your son can be evaluated for free for your public school system's early intervention preschool program.  If he qualifies, he would go to school for a couple of hours a day with eduational instructors and professionals that will try to help your child.

One last thing, before bed and when you want him to relax-----  try putting him on the floor and taking couch cushions and placing them over him and gently pushing.  It is very soothing.  We also got an old fashioned cobblestone toy (found on ebay) that has a little hammer and wooden nails.  My son can pound away on something that it didn't matter!  Good luck.  It is hard work but worth it in the end.
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1100992_tn?1262360816
Yes, ditto the cushions. My son still at 10 gets a kick out of being wrapped like a burrito in a blanket or being squished under cushions.And the trains, he loved Thomas trains for years. :)
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Avatar_m_tn
One other thought is if you can - get a second opinion from someone who specializes in kids with these kinds of problems.  Look for a pediatric psychiatrist.  This very well could be out of the range of your pediatrician's knowledge area.
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1108951_tn?1258622290
i have a 3 year old same problem.i first was like did  write this?lol.i know what your going through and i know its stressful and rough.we have shifts we take with my son.we have to he is 2 much to deal with..one person cannot do it.he goes unil he just falls over.he does the exact same thing your son does.ive cried many day and nights begging for the sanity i felt i was losing dealing with his behaivor.he does the same things over and over.no matter the danger or the trouble it gets him in.he throws things esp when he gets mad .he loves pouring any kind of liquid out in the floor bed couch he doesnt care.he screams like a high pitch squeal alot anymore.we cannot stay n a store longer than 10 minutes or he has fits.we cannot go out to eat omg the scenes he can cause he will not sit still he has to run whole time he is up.we were told by family doctor to not give him red food color,caffeinne,chocolate,sugar of any kind.we one that helped only a little still out of control.also my son sleeps bout 4 to 6 hours a day and thats it.he takes no naps he wont.older he gets less sleep he sleeps.and he done that ever since he was a new born.we finally got the doctor to agree to let him see a specalist.she said she couldnt write the dx down on paper yet till he wa 6 but she knew he had adhd and very bad.she wouldnt give him any med due to his age and to have a intervention first with child phycoligist and special education pre school.she also thought he has autisim spectrum disorder.his speech is that of a 1 year olds he just babbles alot but not every word is like that.she couldnt say for sure until he has this intervention as she calls it.and in 9 months we go back afte she gets the reports from the pre school and speech therapist and his full child physicol test.she said he showedsighns of autism but somethings he done wasnt of a kid with autisim she wa very confused.so we have to do all this other stuff in steps to see.she did say he could take melintonin and that would make him sleep so far it has but it does nothing for his behavior during day.so we got a long road ahead of us and ill let ya know whatthey doand say about him maybe it can help with your son
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Avatar_f_tn
my daughter is 3 yrs old and is so wild and rambunctious andjust plain mean sometimes. I feel like I'm going crazy alot I dont know what to do or how to handle her. She does things to deliberately make me upset and is totally mean to her brother and I. When I get on to her if she doesnt like the punishment or I swat her bottom she hits me. She hits her brother and pushes him down. She rearranges the furniture and tries to tear up my sons chair that he got for x-mas. Sometimes I think its jealousy of her brother and I'm sure it is to a point but surely she cant be that jealous that she is acting out this way. Please help what do I do
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Avatar_f_tn
hello.. i've read all the comments and everything and i was like him when i was younger and i still am. i've tried putting my self in a quite spot, it does work but only if you let out all your angry and everything. as i've leart from today my anger is so high at the moment i wanted to hit a girl who called me a w***e... and saying i can't keep my legs closed she's mad me that angry i walked out of my classroom as i'm only 17 years old i get angry over small things i've tried taking the ritaling tablets but they don't work...... so i stopped taking them.... i hoped i could stop all my angry and everything but i can't..... so i try going for long walks but i still find it hard.... so every month i go and talk to someone called sandra roberts she's a lovely lady and she goes out her way to try to help me....
i hope this might be able to help you
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Avatar_f_tn
i have the exact same problem! and my sons preschool teachers recommend that i get him checked for adhd but like you said that can not happen until 5... so while i wait the year and a half i have been working with him on things that he enjoys and when he is ready to move to the next thing that is exactly what we do. i get so mad and frustrated sometimes that i have actually locked myself in my bathroom! and i am doing this all on my own! so i cant get a break, also i am 21. things that work well for me on his better days are,,,, when he gets up he gets changed, as i make breakfast, then he brushes his teeth, next he picks a learning toy to play with, he gets to play for one hour inside while watching disney channel, then he gets to go outside and run around our yard, he knows where he can and cant go so i just sit on the porch watching him, he has lots of outside toys to keep him busy for an hour then we go inside and i make lunch as he "reads" books. he eats then i read him a book and he takes a nap, even if he dont take a nap that is his wind down time , then after he sleeps for an hour or two i let him have the rest of the day to do what he wants ..... until 6 at dinner then he plays until 745 when he gets a bath and into his pjs then i read to him tuck him in and he goes to sleep. this has helped me alot it teaches them a rue-tine and kids love that.

also no sugar! no red dye! no sweets! nothing of that sort! unless he is very good then he can have 1 and only 1! even if he gets out of control because i say no. he goes to the corner punches kicks the wall then it is over. dont talk to them while they are in time out! i learned that the hard way. they do not learn the lesson if you keep talking to them!
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Avatar_m_tn
   Hi, welcome to the forum.  You have lots of good ideas.  
Actually, under the new guidelines recently published by the American Academy of Pediatrics a child can be diagnosed at 4.  The Academy has found that the sooner a child can be identified the better the chances for the child.
  However, it does sound like he is about 3 and a half, and boys of that age can be really active.  If the preschool teacher is not real experienced, the problem may be more hers than his.  Also if he is one of the youngest in his group or one of a few males - he would tend to stand out more.
   Anyway, I have two suggestions.  If you can - take him to a park in the late afternoon and run him around a lot.  Its not too early to start kicking the ole soccer ball around.  The more exercise he gets the better he will be.  Also if you really feel like he might have ADHD, you ought to buy the book,  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley (about $10 on Amazon)   You will be using it a lot.  And it does have a pretty good section to help you figure out if he might have ADHD.
   For some one with no prior experience, you are doing a great jog.  If we can be of any help.  Please feel free to post.  Best wishes.
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757137_tn?1347200053
I don't know if what I have to say has already been mentioned. The first is to cut out sweets from his diet, if he has too many sweets. That would include bottled juices, as well as the usual sodas, candy, and heavy desserts. Then there is the question of sleep. Does he get enough? Does he wake at night? Check for sleep apnea.

As to his fits. When he gets out of hand, stick him in a playpen (the kind with the web sides that he can't get out of). It works better than punishment and will let you relax a bit since he won't be able to get into trouble. Don't yell. Don't punish. Be as calm and quiet as you can.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi.  Okay, have to throw this in.  Many little kids that have nervous system issues respond to things they do for a son like mine that has sensory integration disorder.  An example-------  deep pressure.  this is why a lot of young kids actually enjoy wrestling games as it provides that deep pressure and muscle resistance that is calming to the nervous system.  Try this with your boy----  have him lay face down on the carpet.  Get an exercise ball (you know the big ones you use to do sit ups on) or a large size, light weight play ball and play 'steam roller'.  Roll that ball up and down on him pushing while you do it to provide pressure.  This is very calming to many kids.  There are a lot of activities like this that help calm a child's overactive nervous system.  Make a sandwich of him by laying him face down on the floor and putting pillows in layers on top of him and pushing.  Hold him from behind in a tight squeeze.  Etc.  

Also provide lots of activities for him that are outlets to this energy he has and impulses.  many parks these days have rock structures or play structures that kids can climb.  This is really good for a child's system to slow the nervous system down.  Also, hanging/doing  monkey bars and zip lines you find at parks is excellent.  Heck, just climbing the play structures is good.  Swimming is the perfect exercise for deep pressure AND heavy muscle work.  We do outdoor in the summer, indoor in the winter.  We do it a LOT.  T\There is a massive difference in my boy when he has lots of these types of activities than when he doesn't.  If you would be interested in more ideas, let me know!
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973741_tn?1342346373
PS:  I tried a limited diet, a gluten free diet and a low sugar diet and none made a difference in my son.  I tried various supplements as well.  We worked with a pediatric specialist at a big university to come up with these food plans.  For us, just a normal diet works well but with lots of these calming activities.  BUT . . .  I would try whatever to see if it works with your child as each child is completely different and if there is an answer in doing some of the dietary measures, then that would be a good thing.  Sugar doesn't hype either of my kids up.  But that is just my experience.  goodluck!
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