Im afraid that my 4 yr son has ADHD

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Rainey, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    Hi, Im new, i came to this site because my son has alot of the symptoms of ADHD. He is a sweet boy, however he started early childhood classes (preschool) and has been getting in trouble for not following the rules, getting time outs, and when i try to talk to him about it, i cant ever get him to focus to look at me and talk, he just squirms around in his chair and doesnt seem to be able to just listen. he worries me, how he cant spend 1 minute sitting and talking to me, his mind is always elsewhere. Hes constantly hyperactive, running around everywhere, has trouble with playing quietly. we have trouble getting him to settle down to eat and he doesnt want to eat. Trouble getting him to go to bed, even when he is so tired that his eyes are dark around them and he cant stop rubbing them, he still cant stop running around. I havent got him tested, i guess ive been really just hoping his just really just a hyperactive child, but focusing and listening is really hard for him, and he gets these outbursts and can become aggressive.

    I havent talked to the teacher much to ask her if she thinks that he has ADHD, but she does give me reports everyday , and alot have that he has trouble with following the rules, has became angry and thrown fits, difficulty following directions and participating.

    I have decided i want to get him tested, but what is the first step? I dont know what to do.

    Does this sound like ADHD? please help. thank you
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Hi Rainey, I'm glad you found us.

    You'll want to visit your pediatrician to request a referral for an evaluation. We always urge parents with children in this age group to push to include a developmental pediatrician or pediatric neuropsychologist as parents are reporting better results with those specialties. Often a pediatrician will want to refer to a child psychiatrist (who usually jumps to medications fairly quickly) or a behavioral therapist (who will start working on behaviors without having the full knowledge of what a full assessment can tell you). You may need to push but between the behaviors you're seeing and your mental health history it's important that it not be let go.

    I noticed the head banging--does he do any other repetitive motions?
    Are you seeing any Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)-type behaviors in him? How about obsessive interests?
    What's his speech like? Any delays there, or conversely does it sound very advanced?

    Sometimes all that constant motion is a result of something called Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Here's a link on that so you can see if anything rings a bell:

    Hang in there--hopefully we can get you pointed in the right direction to get him some help. Oh, I meant to ask: is he attending a regular preschool program or is this an early childhood program for children with special needs?
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2009
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    It could be more than ADHD. I would take him to a developmental pediatrician or a neuropsychologist. Frankly, a regular therapist or the school is not going to catch everything that is going on. Is he able to look you or anyone else in the eye? Does he like to cuddle? Is he afraid of anything strange? Any quirky behavior? Does he copy what he hears? Does he play appropriately with toys? I'm no doctor, but I'm wondering about Aspergers Syndrome. At any rate, I'd take him to a really good expert. Teachers are educators and in no way good diagnosticians.

    My son couldn't sit or focus and he dosn't have ADHD as his main problem.

    Welcome to the board, but sorry you have to be here.
  4. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    Well, im getting a bunch of forms to fill out from the pediatrician. i will be giving one to the teacher. i guess i made it sound a bit like i was going to the teacher , but no, i just havent got to talk to her hardly at all, and wondered if she had any concerns.

    i try to get him to look at me in the eyes, sometimes he will, but usually he wont, he just starts squirming around and then getting really angry when i tell him to look at me and listen for a minute. he does like to cuddle, most of the time. hes afraid of normal things. quirky behavior? he has a wierd obsession with feet, he will take off daddys socks immediately and start rubbing his face all over them, he loves to roll around in feet. he also bangs his head on the walls or floor when he gets upset or in trouble, to punish himself. he does good at copying. he doesnt talk as good as alot of kids his age, but he can imitate anything i tell him. i believe he plays appropriately with toys, but i cant really be sure about that, he used to line up cars and then move each one an inch and then move them each an inch again.. etc. he doesnt really do very much of the play pretend on his own.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2009
  5. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    i looked up symptoms for Aspergers Syndrome, he doesnt have that. when i look up the symptoms for ADHD, it almost describes my son to a T
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    There's a lot of overlap in symptoms so it's important to do your own research as well as get a professional opinion.

    Be sure and mention the eye contact problems, head banging, and speech differences to the doctor.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would check it out. Lining up cars is classic for autistic spectrum disorder. These kids also don't do well with eye contact. He has some big red flags and I'm betting there's more than ADHD going on here. Copying/imitating speech is another symptom, especially if he can, say, recite a commercial or a favorite cartoon by rote, but doesn't make good conversation and often seems "out of this." Banging head...another red flag. These are behaviors beyond ADHD.

    I hope you do take him to a neuropsychologist or Developmental Pediatrician. There are other Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) disorders besides Aspergers. And many disorders include hyperactivity as part of the symptoms. There are many mimickers. Hint: The Connors Test they give at school is not good. My son scored off the charts there because Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids have the same attentional difficulties as ADHD kids, but it is more extreme. You need to check him for everything, not just ADHD and a pediatrician or regular therapist or the school isn't really equipped to do that. Anyone can be helped, but there are different treatments for different disorders. You may want to take this online test to see how your son measures up on this scale:

    Good luck, whatever you decide to do!
  8. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    Not really any Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) problems. Just bangs his head into the wall or floor (whatever he can find that is a rough surface) when he gets upset, he has been a child with bruises on his forhead. BUT, ive became so used to it, that i can run over there when i know its about to happen, and stop it with my hand in the middle. i mean, he tries to bash his head HARD! its scary.

    and i checked out the Sensory link, he doesnt have any of those problems either.

    his class is a regular preschool program to get your child ready for kindergarden . its only 3 hours a day. i cant see how he could put up such a fit during just the 3 hours! but... out of the whole week, today was a good day! finally! :)

    i took the Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) test, he scored 34 - no Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). however, i did learn something from the test... toe walking! ive been doing that all of my life (still) and have actually evolved extra padding on the bottoms of my feet from the way i walk most of the time. AND ive noticed that my son walks on his toes as well, ive been wondering about it. I even had to google it, because i never knew anything about it. my mom would try reward charts, etc to get me to stop walking on my toes, but im 29, and still doing it. really wierd.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, obviously something is off.

    Any psychiatric problems or substance abuse on either side of the family tree? The degree of his violence against himself is a big red flag for many things and I'd want him evaluated by the best people I could find. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking him to a neuropsychologist. They are psychologists with special training in the brain and will test him from 6-10 hours (usually split up). They tend to find a lot of things that other diagnosticians miss because they take so much time and look at every area. You can find them in children's and university hospitals.

    Lots of luck :)
  10. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    well... me, if you look at my sig, i have a handful of disorders. mostly social anxiety.

    yeah, im waiting on the vanderbilt test from his pediatrician, and will go from there. They had to mail it to me, because my car has been broke down for weeks. I'll look into the neuropsychologist.
  11. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    UPDATE**** ok, so I held on to that ADHD Vanderbilt form, but never gave it to the teacher, because I had a Teacher/Parents conference coming up. Anyways, my hub and i went to it, and i was worried that she would discuss how much hes been acting up, but instead she told us that hes the smartest kid in his class, and that they are all concerned about him. its obvious that there is something wrong. and they told us that they believe that he does have Sensory Intregation Disfunction (like the early childhood mod mentioned). She showed me a weight vest and another vest that he could wear to help him be able to calm down. he obviously is very sorry and feels horrible about every temper tantrum he has. and she was concerned on how lunch time goes. apparently, he will not eat hardly anything, just smell it and she tries to get him to try different foods. hes actually puked trying a taste of taco meat. Also, she said he has trouble with the transistion from one activity to another. So, now in class, he will be taken out for 20 mins to be evaluated ect for SI disfunction.

    Does anyone have children with this disorder? If he does have this (which its very much likely) will he have to wear weight vests to school and on outings? will he be able to be in normal classes? i just dont know anything about this disorder and am very worried about everything. especially since were just still trying to figure out what is wrong. it could be multiple things.

    I am trying to find the best neuropsychologist that specializes in children and that takes my insurance. any help on what i could know about SI disfunction from a mom that has a kid with it could really be great.
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    There's a book called "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Kranowitz that you will want to read. The newer term being used is Sensory Processing Disorder.

    The teacher shouldn't be using things like a weighted vest on him without an Occupational Therapist (OT) being involved because what helps one child can make another worse. Nor should she try and get him to eat different foods at this time. Pack him lunches so he has familiar, nutritious foods that you're certain he'll eat every day. My kiddo had cold lunches all the way through 6th grade and it was usually PB sandwiches.

    What kind of things (such as the vest) will be helpful to him will depend on the outcome of his evaluation as well as trial and error. Kids generally don't outgrow sensory issues but they learn to manage it so that everything in their environment doesn't seem like a horrible assault on their system. As they get older they usually can manage it in ways that don't stand out socially.

    Did you sign the forms for him to be evaluated by the school district? If not, they shouldn't be taking him out of class for evaluation or treatment. Write a letter or email to your principal requesting a full evaluation and that will set the legal timelines into motion.

    Sensory issues rarely ride alone so I still think it's a good idea for you to procede with the full private evaluation. Let the school do what they can but you're going to want to have other professionals take a look as well because there's likely more going on here.
  13. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    the teacher actually gave me that book. i just started reading it. my son's pediatrician said to go ahead and have the school do the evaluation, so i did do the ok for it. She showed me the vests as a tool to let me know of what kind of things that help kids with SI , and he does have problems where he might end up needing to use it, so im just concerned.

    I am planning on getting him fully evaluated, sometimes when you talk to him, he will reply with something that doesnt make any sense, like he will get really mad and say "i want my birthday cake" or say random things like "mommy's halloween". its like hes watching something in his mind is how some ppl describe it. It worries me that he does this, i have no idea what would it be.

    the hypersensitivity to oral would be a great explaination to why he has trouble eating, he may not be able to know if hes hungry. he does say "im hungry, i want to watch tv" or "im hungry, i want to play", etc. Hes so smart, but it seems like he doesnt understand what hungry means.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he maybe copy phrases he hears on television? That's a common trait of a certain disorder. So is a problem with communication. It doesn't mean he's "crazy." I'm not thinking of anything psychiatric.
  15. Rainey

    Rainey Daydreaming Hippie

    well, its not from anything on tv.. its things he makes up. im not sure if its anything psychiatric either. The teachers seem to be a bit worried about it and mentioned it, and when she was telling me about it, i knew exactly what she was talking about. When you talk to him, sometimes he will just say random things like that and you cant get through to him. he sometimes will just get really sad and say "i want my sister" and he doesnt have a sister. just wierd things like that. maybe its a 4 year old thing, or just his imagination. Its just concerned some people and i wondered if it may be something i should be concerned about. apparently its very new to his teachers and they havent had a child that would act that way.

    I'm really trying to find out whats wrong so that he doesnt have a hard time when he starts kindergarden. He gets in trouble in school so much and if he needs help, i am determined to find out everything i can to get him that help.

    however, since i took him off of milk, his behavior has been improving and we think that his eyes (the dark purple circles) are starting to lighten up.

    I'm holding up on the SI Disorder evaluation, and will be meeting with the teacher next week to fill out all of the forms and discuss what they will be doing. so right now, he isnt being taken out of class. We want to see if he keeps improving, and see if he does have a milk allergy. Its looking good so far.

    he has been cooperative in class lately, following directions, and has not been throwing those huge temper tantrums for a few days now. :)
  16. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Just an FYI as you are pulling your observations together: one form of speech delay is that kids will have learned words and phrases but will use them randomly or inappropriately. Sometimes this even starts to occur after a child has been speaking properly for awhile because they've reached a point where the language demands are greater than they can compensate for. The reason Midwestmom asked whether the phrases came from tv is because kids with Autistic Spectrum Disorders will frequently memorize chunks of speech from tv or books and then pull out the phrases or chunks in random fashion. For kids who use smaller phrases, often parents aren't aware of it until they really start tuning in.

    I'd ask for a speech/language evaluation to be done privately or through the school as well.