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Is my son really an ADHD?
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Is my son really an ADHD?

My husband died in February, exactly a week after my son's 3rd birthday.

Recently I brought him to a psychiatrist and he diagnosed him as ADHD and prescribed him strattera. I am having mixed feelings now as my mom, a psychologist, says that he is very well-behaved when I am not around, it's like he's afraid to lose me after the lost of his dad and just acting up or demanding my constant attention when he's with me. I thought an ADHD child would be hard to control regardless of who is around or not around? How do I know if he's stressed over the loss of his father and not ADHD?
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Avatar_f_tn
Sorry to hear about your bereavement

Would you try giving it some time?  He is very young and it is highly likely that he is reacting to your husbands death.  A psychologist specialising in behavioural issues might be able to help you to make some changes.
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Avatar_m_tn
    I agree with therese.  Its a little unusual to put a 3 year old on medication unless they are really off the charts.  And yes an ADHD child (especially a 3 year old) is not going to have the control to decide when to turn it on or off.  It very well could be there is a strong emotional issue going on here (which is very understandable).  Getting some help in learning how to help him deal with this might be a good idea.  It sounds like your mom does something to help him cope, so you might try and figure out what she is doing.
    To answer your question on whether its stress or ADHD.  To some extent, only time will tell.  Another way is watch him when he is distracted.  What is he like at the zoo, or when a lot of fun relatives are around?  When he is a little bit older - things like preschool (when he can compared to other kids) will be very helpful.  Finally, there is a lot of good material to read out there.  It won't hurt to start doing a little reading.
   This will be a tough Christmas for you.  I feel for you.  Surround yourself with your family and your son.  Take a lot of pictures of him - a 3 year old and presents are an incredible sight!  Enjoy the day and do have a very merry, merry Christmas!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks so much guys. Your input really helps. When my son is with the other kids or on an outing, he's very much blended in (as naughty if not naughtier).

As a teacher teaching 7-year-olds to 12 year-olds I have experienced having ADHD kids in my class. That's why I thought my son is different than the ADHD kids I know although I don't want my judgement as a parent impaired. He's more of a hyper-active than an ADHD. I used to advise other parents to THANK GOD that they have a hyper-active kid rather than dumb one that just sits in a corner starring at other kids! So when this psychiatrist diagnosed my kid as ADHD I had forgotten what I had always believed all this time!

I think what Sandman2 said is true. I have to change my approach towards him. I've been wondering if it's my fault. Now I wonder no more. My mom told me not to worry too much and stop his medications!

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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719589_tn?1230396810
Rethink your doctors dignoses my son has ADHD I dont believe your son has it I belive your son is grieving the way a 3 year old would grieving......trust me you would know that your son is ADHD when he is unable to sit or he is beating on someone for the fun of it or he cant follow a convo with you there is so much more but the lost of your husband is a great deal to your son he is feeling what you are feeling and they just cant express it so clearly like us adults can.....im sorry about your lost
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Avatar_n_tn
When we go for shopping, my son always run off as far as possible. I can't keep up with him even if I am wearing running shoes! I have to wait patiently until he finally turn around to see if I am following him. I have to pretend to not notice it and turn into the opposite direction. Then only he will run back to me. If I chase after him, he'll think it's fun and will run faster. There is a spate of unsolved kidnapping and killing of very young kids going around in my country that worries me.

He also likes to dash across the road and 'tell' the moving car "you can't hit me.. you can't hit me". Telling him about kidnappers, accidents is no use unless I tell him "if you don't hold my hand and follow me around someone is going to kidnap mummy" or "if you don't hold my hand when we are crossing the road mummy is going to be hit by a car". That works like magic!

In a previous childcare, he beats, kick, spit and bite other kids. But he stopped all that the minute he joined a new childcare. His carers
told me everytime he sees a group of kids playing together in a circle, he will crash into them and 'steal' their toy that lead to fights. He can fight with kids older than him however he's very caring to kids younger than him and can even look after the babies.

The only punishment that works for him is timeout. And he follows instructions most of the time only if we look him in the eye and tell him. But like other ADHD kids, he'll try to look everywhere but your eyes when you're talking to him!

ADHD kids are very smart. They can talk while you are talking to them and still can repeat after you word by word. They can sing while writing. they can play with something while I am teaching and still answers correctly when I ask questions. It's like their mind can do two things at the same time. So far I don't see my son doing two things at the same time! I don't agree to medications but I have seen kids who responds immediately to meds. I don't agree prescribing kids to meds if they can be handled without them.
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Avatar_m_tn
     Shera, please realize that there is a difference between dealing with a 3 year old and a 6 year old.  The major difference is that a 6 year old is in school and has to cope with a teacher and 20-30 other kids.  If  the teacher can't deal with the child either through lack of experience or the childs level of ADHD - then medication is one of the possible solutions.  If a 3 year old is only dealing with a few people, and those people know how to work with an ADHD child, then medication is not usually necessary.  If it is more like the situation  with a 6 year old then it is a different matter.
     Whatever the case, I think you need to treat him like he has ADHD.  The methods are good.  In terms of medication, that will depend on you and the school system.  You might want to obtain a copy of Lynn Clarks' book, "SOS:help for parents."  It has a lot of really practical ideas in it.  
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Avatar_n_tn
First I must say my sincere condolences to you.  I am an army wife stationed in Germany.   As a military community we deal with death more than your typical community. The stress, anxiety and depression experienced throughout the time of mourning is felt by children.  The children feed off of our emotions.  As strong as we try to be, and as much as we pretend to be ok, our children feel our emotion.  This can adversely affected the behavior of children. They cannot express thier feelings and so they act out.  Your child feels the closest to you and the most secure with you, and this is why you get the bad behavior. I believe it is thier way of expressing thier feelings and also testing your love for them.  Even as adults we treat the closest to us probably the worst.  I would not jump to give meds...people who have not experienced these type of hardships do not quite understand and psychiatrist's just want to medicate!  There is no timeline for the mourning process.  Also 3 year olds are well they are the terrible two's and the even worse three's!  I have always experienced with my three children the ages between 3 and 4 to be the most difficult!  Be firm and consistant this will give your child security, give lots of love and hugs and most of all give it time.
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303824_tn?1294875001
I am so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your son.

Is it possible to get a second opinion? I don't entirely agree with putting a 3 year old on medication for ADHD. They are so young and hyper at 3, it's really  hard to tell. He just lost his father and being so young, probably doesn't know how else to express his sadness. Taking him to talk to someone is a wonderful idea, but the meds...not so much. At least not yet. In the meantime, hold onto him as much as possible and kiss his face any chance you get. You sound like a wonderful mother and he really needs you right now. Please keep us posted....
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Avatar_n_tn
FYI. I stopped his meds and there is no difference with or without them. In fact, I have an inner peace after stopping meds. On New Year's Eve, he was playing in the baby pool with his older cousins when he ran out chasing after another and fell backwards. Hit his head on sewage cover. Blood gushed out of a deep cut at the back of his head. I rushed him to ER and they had to give him 5 stitches. Luckily the wound was superficial. You have no idea how people judge me because of that incident. Like I don't take good enough care of him. Somebody even suggested I buy a dog leash to use on him if I want to bring him shopping. And this comes from a very educated person. Joining this group is the best thing I have ever done!

I bought some books but it takes time to read, understand and apply the methods. And my son is trying to switch off the computer now..
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Avatar_m_tn
It is too early at 3 years of age to have a diagnosis of ADHD. But if it is extreme, sometimes specialists will give such a diagnosis.  It sounds like his beahvior is impacting you and that is not good. I would look for a University Medical Center with a Children's Development Department and take him there for a second opinion.  They will confirm the ADHD diagnosis or they will tell you that he is depressed due to his father's death.  You also need to know that if he does have ADHD, Stratera (Strattera) is usually not the first medicine that most doctors use. So, from this point of view I would question the doctor that used Stratera (Strattera) first.  Usually most ADHD specialists will use a stimulant medicine such as Ritalin, Metadate or Adderall (adderrall).  If stimulants do not work, they will try Stratera (Strattera).  The success rate of Stratera (Strattera) is not very high.  If I was you, I would also clean up his diet: no sugar, no artificial coloring in the food, no preservatives and no processed food.  Make sure that he eats healthy natural food and supplement the food with good multi vitamin and fish oil pill.  Also make sure that he gets lots of sleep and outside exercise for at least two hours per day.  If you have a male in your family such as a granfather that can spend time with him, it might help with the loss of his father.  Good luck and God Bless you and your family.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so sorry for your loss? I have a 10 year old son that is a middle child as my mom says and when he was 3 1/2, he was playing with his 13 month old brother Sammy when Tragic HIT! Zack had Sammys hand when Sammy heard daddy's truck start up when Sammy slipped his hand out of zacs and was accidently back over and killed my their dad. I have had nothing but problems from Zack! From when it first happen in 2005 he had an imaginary friend name Joey that cussed and wanted to hurt sometimes kill people. That lasted for about 1 1/2 years finally sometime while we were in Mississippi cleaning up for Hurricane Katrina Joey disappeared. But now even today I have problems out of Zack I have had a new baby Trevor in 2007 and Zack is so mean to him. Zack has been backer acted and all they say is it is emotional issues,o have weekend all Help and still deal with Zack everyday. He has gotten better But he still has his out burst..on wanting to kill himself and hurt others...I do not what else to do! I have wrote everywhere for HELP..
Mother of 3 in mental and physical HELP.
And yes me and my husband are still marries after all this too....
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Avatar_m_tn
   Have you talked to his school teacher to see if they have noticed the same behavior?  In this day and age, schools are much more involved then ever before when it comes to kids who want to kill themselves and hurt others.  If his teacher is not very helpful then go up the ladder to someone in administration for help.
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