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Avatar universal

HELP!! My 3 1/2 year old is out of control! Is it ADD or ADHD?

I am a married, mother of 5 wonderful children. I first would like to point out that I LOVE my son and I am only trying to get answers to help him. I don't want to discipline him if it is not within his control. Also, please don't criticize me for having 5 kids and not being able to handle one. I have always loved kids and always wanted a large family. All of my children are well loved, get attention and discipline, and in general, we receive compliments on them all the time about their behavior.

To start, my son is 3 1/2 years old and gradually getting worse. He has never been overly affectionate but now it is almost as if he is detached. He cries if he gets in trouble or is hurt but not real crying. If he is seriously hurt, he does have real tears but other than that, not really any emotion. He doesn't like to hug, kiss, or even say I Love You even though we have done all of these things since he was born. He is at home with me because I am a stay-at-home mom and I also take some online classes for college. His siblings are 7 1/2(boy), 6 (girl), 2 (boy), and 5 month (boy). He is a very active child and loves sports and other boy things. He also likes to dress up in dresses and dance. I am not worried about that. The thing that worries me is his hyperactiveness. It's almost like watching a light turn on. One minute he'll be talking fine and then the next second he runs into another room screaming like a battle cry and starts doing something aggressive. Normally it is swinging a toy, kicking, or throwing something. This isn't a tantrum-he's not in trouble, he's just "playing". If there is another kid in the room he will often do something mean to them like pull their hair, hit them, or if someone is not directly watching him, something worse. The other day I was changing a diaper and he dropped a toddler mattress(one of the foam filled ones) onto our 2 year old and started jumping on it. When I got there, our 2 year old was trying to get up because his face was in the carpet and our 3 1/2 year old was getting mad at him for moving and continued to jump on him. As soon as I said his name, he stopped and hung his head but didn't act upset. I made sure the younger one was ok and put our 3 1/2 year old in time out. It didn't phase him. It doesn't matter if you talk or put him in time out or any other punishment such as a tap on the butt, hand, or taking a toy away. He doesn't care. When he is done with his time-outs, he normally knows why he was in time out and says sorry but again, shows no emotion. I am worried he is going to hurt someone really bad one of these days when I am not watching. He also has stommped on the 2 year olds neck when he was pinned to the floor ( I caught the tail-end of that), and has even started slapping the baby. It doesn't look like he is trying to be mean. I was holding the baby and he came up and acted like he was just talking nice to him and all of a sudden he started hitting him in the head and making noises like "funny sounds" while he was doing it. He has now started to sneak into the baby's room when he is napping or in the swing, and he will take him out of the swing or just take the tray off so that the baby could fall forward if he sat up all the way. I am very scared. We fall through the cracks as far as insurance goes. All of our kids are covered right now except for the 3 1/2 year old. We can't afford the premiums. We can barely make it right now with our current bills. We have no family to fall back on and we don't qualify for any loans. If you have any advice or know of someone that can test him at this time, PLEASE help. I love my son and I want to know how to handle him. If he does have a disorder, I don't want to punish him with yelling or spanking if he is not in control. Please note: I do spank-as my parents did-but I DON"T use anything and I don't hit very hard to where he cries or leaves marks.  Thanks!

5 Responses
326352 tn?1310997895
You have 5 kids and only 1 is trouble!?  You are a goddess!!!  I have two and can't handle both of them sometimes.

Your 3 1/2 is acting out...you have a new baby (could be a relational cause there), he's a middle child (another relational cause there).  

Try looking at life from his perspective, maybe help him look at life differently by putting him in the center and going from there.  I may not say this as I think it....with our older daughter (K, she's only 3), when she starting hitting her younger sister, I sat with K to chat with her about hitting.  Same thing with handling the pets without hurting.  Then I talked with her sister to express the same thing.  You don't know how many times a day I say "be gentle".  I try to spend time with both kids when something goes awry no matter who started it to explain why the issue is so important.  

Your child sounds aggressive, but I don' t know if that's ADD/ADHD or just an attention kind of thing.  He's got something going on but doesn't know how to express it.  The best you can do is try to help him figure out why he's acting in this manner and help him find other ways to express himself.

I wish you luck!
Avatar universal
Girl, you've got your hands full!!!  Sounds like your 3 year ould is trying to get extra attention from you.  Maybe you could try to set up a "special time of the day for each child.  When the baby is napping and the other kids are at school, you could make a special timefor just him.  Try coloring together or drawing pictures of your family or take him out side and throw a ball so he can bat.  Tell him how special he is and how lucky the other kids are to have hic for a brother.  Encourage gentle behavior and gently let him know how his rough behavior can hurt his siblings, since he is such a big strong boy.  Set up a reward system for interacting appropiately with your other children (include the other kids too)  Like a chart with star stickers...or a faviorite treat after dinner.  Good luck
305005 tn?1358731890
hey, have you tried getting them on medicaid? they should   be  able to be covered. your 3 yr old sound just like my 5 yr old. he does have adhd and is now on med but this is our first month, but he has been like this for yrs. im like you with the big family. i have 2 boys and 4 step children that i have 95 % of the time.
Avatar universal
I am up in the middle of the night worried about my Grandson who seems to have the same problems.  There are 4 boys in the family and the oldest and youngest share the same problems and they are real problems.  I just read an article that talks about a medical treatment for fatty acid deficiency.  Here is the information on it.  Other than that I have been reading on ADHD.  Do a google search using his problems and see what all comes up, that is what I am doing.  Here is the article on fatty acid deficiency.

10/05/02 by Kyle's Mom
Some of what you are describing are the symptoms of an essential fatty acid deficiency.  I should know; my son was having out of control behavior, rages, hitting, breaking things too.  We started him on Efalex May 1999 and within two weeks these behaviors and Temper tantrums stopped.

Symtpoms of the deficiency are dry itchy , excessive thirst, asthmaAsthma
Asthma and allergy Pediatric asthma and allergiesAllergic rhinitis
problems at an early age, dyslexiaDevelopmental reading disorder and dyspraxia, excema and psoriasis, and extreme behaviorAutistic behavior
Behavior - unusual or strange
Temper tantrums problems.  If your has a combination of these symptoms an EFA deficiency could be the problem.  Try reading "The LCP Solution" by Jacqueline Stordy PhD and Malcolm Nicholl.  There have been scientific studies that show an  acid deficiency can be the cause of behaviorAutistic behavior
Temper tantrums problems.  A large percentage of ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) kids (my son has ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) ) have an essenital fattyXanthoma acid deficiency.

Clinical characteristics and serumFerritin
acid levels in hyperactive children.

Mitchell EA, Aman MG, Turbott SH, Manku M.

This study compared 48 hyperactive childrenChild  with 49 age-and- -matched controls. Significantly more hyperactive childrent had auditory, language, reading, and learning difficulties, and the type of hyperactive School age child development was significantly lower than that of controls (3,058 and 3,410 g, respectively; p less than 0.01). In addition, significantly more hyperactive School age child development had frequent coughsCough and colds, polydypsia, polyuria, and a serious illness or accident in the past year than controls, but there was no increase in asthmaAsthma
Seborrheic dermatitis , or other allergiesAllergic rhinitis
acid (EFA) levels were measured in 44 hyperactive subjects and 45 controls. The levels of docasahexaenoic, dihomogammalinolenic, and arachidonic acids were significantly lower in hyperactive children than controls (docosahexaenoic: 41.6 and 49.5 micrograms/ml serumFerritin
respectively, p = 0.045; dihomogammolinolenic: 34.9 and 41.3 micrograms/ml  , p = 0.007; arachidonic: 127.1 and 147.0 micrograms/ml serumFerritin
, p = 0.027). These findings have possible therapeuticAbortion - elective or therapeutic and diagnosticDiagnostic laparoscopy implications, but further research is needed to attempt to replicate these differences.

Long-chain polyunsaturated fattyXanthoma acids in childrenwith attentionAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) -deficit hyperactivityAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd)
Hyperactivity disorderAdjustment disorder
Anorexia nervosa
Asperger syndrome
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd)
Autoimmune disorders
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bleeding disorders
Borderline personality disorder
Bulimia .

Burgess JR, Stevens L, Zhang W, Peck L.

Department of Foods and NutritionDiet - cancer treatment
Malnutrition , Purdue University, WestWest nile virus Lafayette, IN 47907-1264, USA. ***@****

AttentionAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) -deficit hyperactivityAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd)
Hyperactivity disorderAdjustment disorder
Anorexia nervosa
Asperger syndrome
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd)
Autoimmune disorders
Bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder
Bleeding disorders
Borderline personality disorder
Bulimia (ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) ) is the diagnosis used to describe childrenChild neglect and psychological abuse
Child safety seats
School age child development who are inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive. ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) is a widespread condition that is of public health concern. In most childrenChild neglect and psychological abuse
Child safety seats
School age child development with ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) the cause is unknown, but is thought to be biological and multifactorial. Several previous studies indicated that some physicalPhysical activity
Physical exam frequency
Physical examination symptoms reported in ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) are similar to symptoms observed in essentialEssential hypertension
Essential tremor fattyXanthoma acid (EFA) deficiency in animals and humansHcg in urine
Hiv infection
Human bites deprived of EFAs. We reported previously that a subgroup of ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) subjects reporting many symptoms indicative of EFA deficiency (L-ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) ) had significantly lower proportions of plasmaPlasma amino acids arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid than did ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) subjects with few such symptoms or control subjects. In another study using contrast analysis of the plasmaPlasma amino acids polar lipidCoronary risk profile
High blood cholesterol and triglycerides data, subjects with lower compositions of total n-3 fattyXanthoma acids had significantly more behavioral problems, temperTemper tantrums tantrumsTemper tantrums , and learning, health, and sleepCentral sleep apnea
Insomnia concerns
Irregular sleep
Irregular sleep-wake syndrome
Isolated sleep paralysis
Night terror
Obstructive sleep apnea
Sleep apnea problems than did those with high proportions of n-3 fattyXanthoma acids. The reasons for the lower proportions of long-chain polyunsaturated fattyXanthoma acids (LCPUFAs) in these childrenChild neglect and psychological abuse
Child safety seats
School age child development are not clear; however, factors involving fattyXanthoma acid intake, conversionConversion disorder of EFAs to LCPUFA products, and enhanced metabolism are discussed. The relation between LCPUFA status and the behaviorAutistic behavior
Behavior Temper tantrums problems that the School age child development exhibited is also unclear. We are currently testing this relation in a double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention in a population of School age child development with clinically diagnosed ADHDAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) who exhibit symptoms of EFA deficiency.

A child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a $1000.00  computer as it does out of finding a small green worm.
Avatar universal
My 8.5 yr old daughter was advised to go on Ritalin for the combination of ADD/Turette's syndrome one year ago. We refused as these types of meds interfere with kid's developing brains and predispose them for future street drugs additions. I have some medical knowledge and the actual diagnosis did not make sense to me. We started seeing a homeopath and a naturopath. First, we learned that when we changed our daughter's surroundings- things got a little better. They included: allowing TV watching for max 30-60 mins per day, no access to a computer, setting a quiet time with one of the parents on daily basis, playing ONLY calm games - drawing, slow-pace board games, reading; keeping the music down.Then the homeopath told us that our daughter was sufferring from a fear with which she didn't know how to deal with. She was a premature baby, born by a C-section, she ost her grandfather 6 months before the final medical diagnosis was made,  and we moved to a new house. She took 3 homeopathic meds over the course of 2 months:Accolate, Ignatia and Natrum Nur.In the meantime the naturopath tested her hair and her allergies (non-invasive test). It turned out that our daughter had allergies to milk's protein - cassein, gluten, chocolate, artificial food colors, dust, cats and deficiencies in zinc, calcium and magnesium. All of that was the reason for her neurological problems including behavioural concerns. It was a long process - learning about nutrition, reading labels and lots of books.Our daughter is PERFECTLY FINE now when she is eating a healthy and a low sugar diet. We noted that she definietely benefits from a daily use of fish oil ( Essential fatty acid - Omega 3), Probiotics and a liquid multivitamin and magnesium supplement. She takes her supplements for 3 weeks and then she is off them for 1 week. If this seems to be her medication for life- so be it! This difficult experience was my inspiration to go back to school and become a Registered Nutrition Practitioner to work with kids who are overdiagnosed with ADD and other behavioural disorders. Did you know that the majority of ADHD/ADD cases are nutritional disorders?   Did you child ever went through a trauma such: birth problems, loss of a family member/ pet, an accident, moving?  Maybe your son fear that you may not love him as there are younger kids in the family who get more attention then him? Be patient - changing your kid's behaviour takes a lot of effort - it is a learing process for everybody in the family - parents, your son and the siblings. If this doesn't work -get  your child tested for allergies and run a hair analysis test to check for heavy metals and minerals deficiencies. Good luck!
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