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ODD in a 3 year old?
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ODD in a 3 year old?

My son has already been kicked out of 3 daycares for hitting other kids, he does it to get the adults attention, because he doesn't do well in large groups.  He gets hyped, and overstimulated and somewhat "freaked out", and he reacts by trying to get the most attention.  I have taken him 2 see 2 therapist/counselors and they are leaning towards ODD or ADHD.  I think he fits the Sprited defined by Mary K. but I was just wondering if anyone else has had this, or has any suggestions.

He is a very bright child, and loving and creative.  He does a lot better in small groups, but reality is that schools cram lots of kids into  one room.  I of course have been looking for alternatives, but there really aren't any.  So any suggestions would be appreciated.


This discussion is related to 4 year old lashing out at other children.
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As a follow-up we have put him in a home care (smaller groups) and are going to try to transition him into larger groups.  Timers, and positive reinforcement (like reward board), along with set rules/time outs and routines have made life more manageable.  I just don't like that people are so quick to label.  I don't mind labels if they get help.
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I have to say that I am surprised that a three-year-old was given an ODD diagnosis based on your description of him.

I had my son evaluated at age 3 (he was misbehaving at the home daycare he attended two hours a day, two or three days a week) and the woman who evaluated him said that there was nothing wrong with him--he was very intelligent and bored and he needed more stimulation--he needed to be challenged and kept busy.  And when my son was 4, the teacher at his Montessori school mentioned ADHD and when I brought it up to my pediatrician, he said, "I will not even discuss that possibility until he's 7 because all children exhibit some symptoms of ADHD before then--when he's seven, if you're still concerned, we'll discuss it then."  I never asked him about it again.  I also know a psychologist who wholeheartedly agreed with what my pediatrician said.

I love "Raising Your Spirited Child".  It helped me to view my son in a more positive light when I was being bombarded with negative comments from those whose boat he rocked at the Montessori school.  Kids need to conform and fit into school-like environments--the teachers expect to have control of their classrooms--and when a lively little guy comes along and messes with their plans, it's a problem--for them.

Is it an option to stay home with him?  Join playgroups together, meet friends at the park or PlayPlace?  If not, can you provide a college student with room and board in exchange for daycare?

I don't know what else to suggest to be honest.  I would definitely let them give the consequence at the daycare (and hopefully you approve of how they do that), but I suggest that you never punish/discipline him at home for what happens at preschool.  That just did not work for us.  Let the consequence be there.  Reinforce the no hitting rule, but let them handle it.  And I would insist that they not take recess time from him as punishment--he needs that time to release energy and it should not be taken from him.  They need to find an alternative consequence.

I can tell you that it does get better with time.  My son outgrew most of the challenging behaviors (with support, consistency, practicing positive interactions, keeping him busy, setting him up for success by making outings short and sweet and positive, positive reinforcement, etc.).

One more suggestion--my friend's son was very much like my son and she debated about holding her son back a year for kindergarten, but ended up not doing that.  Well, he was just not able to handle it and he's repeating kindergarten this year (and he was really upset about it).  So, I would definitely give your son time to mature if you have a choice in the matter.
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Thanks for the suggestions.  Yeah, I'm not sure about the diagnosis either, its the way the are leaning right now.  I'm not going to medicate him or anything.  I just let the doctors say what they want, and then take their suggestions about how to handle the behavior and then use what works.

But that's a good point about kindergarden.  Thanks.
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I agree completely with the advice given above.
Good for you for taking him into home care vs. day care. And good for you to take the approach that says "Hey-- this is not working for my kid. Let me try to find what does work for my kid." Parents can get caught up in the thought,"Why do other children do alright with this and not mine?" But that does not help-- still need to take care of the issue!!



My son was violent at day care.  He hated it--- it was awful for him. He was there until he was 2. Then, he went to home care-- and WAY calmed down.  Life became better again.



Kindergarten was tough for my son at first-- you could definitely tell that he had not had the same type of socialization as others. But he learned-- and he's doing ok.
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we have 1 ,two and half year old boy and 2, 3 and a half year old girls.  All adopted, all born with distinct differant peronalities from day one.  One our oldest (by 18 days) is extremely challanging.  We have very consitant, structured days , rules and disapline and that the other two do good with and respond well.  She will say no almost everything, even the things she just asked for like milk when you try to give it to her.  If you ask her to wash hands, go potty, eat, the basics it's always a strugle.  We set the timer for a minute, she won't sit in her time out chair, spanking her bottom makes her more mad and defiant, she'll hit or throw or shake the chair to knock it over, putting her in her crib for 15-30 minutes sometimes works.  But, predicably the next meal, bath time or bed time we'll do it all over again.   We have tried talking about her feelings, giving extra personal time, holding her, telling her how much we love her, saying use your words and tell us what you want and how you feel.  Her response is... No!  
Any suggestions?!?!
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