3 year old awaiting IEP evaluation.

I am new here and am wondering if there is anyone else out there with a very difficult preschooler? My daughter has always been this way. Even as a tiny baby she was restless. We always just though she had more energy than most kids and would out grow it, but as she has grown its only gotten worse. She is impulsive and hyperactive. She only sleeps between 6-8 hours a night (no naps). She is starting to fall behind in development because she simply won't sit still long enough to practice new skills. She is soooo dangerous! She runs from me in the store, parks, offices, and parking lots with no care or anxiety about being away from me. I swear, as quickly as she warms up to complete strangers (almost immediately) she would go off with one without a second thought. She climbs on everything, the counters, chairs, tables, washer, couches, shelves, and has knocked her dresser over by climbing once already. We had to put chain locks on the doors so she can't leave the house. She is irresistibly attracted to danger ie. jumps in pools but can't swim, jumps off high objects, etc. I am a stay at home mom and just found out I'm pregnant (despite birth control) and I'm at the end of my rope. I feel isolated because I can't even take her to family's house without her going completely crazy. I'm so emotionally drained, I know I'm not effectively parenting her, but I've tried everything I can think of. I only hope with this IEP evaluation that we can get her into therapy and I can learn some better patenting techniques. I feel do frustrated and just over it one minute then so guilty the next. I feel like all I do is yell at her. I'm so afraid she will get hurt, but I get so tired of worrying. My house is a mess because if I stop watching her for less than a minute she is into something/destroying something/climbing something. I am an emotional mess and if I try to talk about how I feel to my husband he acts like I'm a horrible parent. I spend so much time talking about and worrying about my daughter, sometimes I just need to vent my own feelings. To be honest, a lot of times I feel like its just not fair, the way this has taken over our lives, then I think how hard it must be to be trapped in her mind and I feel so horrible that I can't help her. Ugggh. Anyone out there with similar problems or been through it, because right now, I just need to know it gets better, that I'm not crazy, any tips, suggestions, on how to support her better. Thanks.


Well-Known Member
Hi there.

Is your child adopted or did you have a difficult pregnancy?

I don't think this is your fault at all. On the other hand, nobody here can tell you if she will get better. It gets better with interventions; not always without them. Depends on what's wrong and it does sound like something is going on. You need to take her for a complete neuropsychological evaluation (a neuropsychologist NOT a neurologist) to see why she is wired differently than other children. This is not a disciplinary issue and you can't control her pace or temperament. She is w hat she is and you need to find out why and how to help her. Any psychiatric problems on either side of her genetic family tree? Any neurological differences one either side of the tree? People who are "different" and may not have been diagnosed?

It could be many things, including perhaps autistic spectrum, although it could be something else totally. I would definitely want the neuropsychologist evaluation ASAP. I would not trust any school to know enough about childhood disorders/behavior or do the intensive testing it takes to get a good working diagnosis. Schools are educators and may hire usually a less-than-adequate psychologist who spends a bit of time with your daughter. Your daughter deserves a better look than what the school offers you and her. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply . My pregnancy was a breeze. She's never had any health issues, she rarely even gets colds. We have medicaid so the pediatrician referred us to the wcpss preschool services for a full evaluation. Tuesday she's seeing speech pathology, occupational therapy, psychology, and a few others to see what services and referrals she needs. I will ask them about a Neuropsychological evaluation. From what I've been reading (I know that's never a good idea) she fits all the criteria for an early ADHD diagnosis. I'm so afraid for her safety and that she's going to fall really far behind in her development. My mom has worked as a 2 year old teacher for nearly 20 years, she said my daughter is like 4 of their active kids combined. I just feel like I'm not doing enough to help her.


Well-Known Member
I think you may get an ADHD diagnosis from school. But to me, it's way too extreme for just ADHD. I'd do the neuropsychologist. Medicaid covered our evaluation. We took him to a university hospital and he was tested for ten hours there. It saved his life, literally. He also was all over the place, running, running, running, jumping,. putting himself in danger (we had to put a lock high up on the door or he'd let himself out at 3am and run around outside, He once electricuted our fish, but that's a longer story. He had language and social delays, although not all ASDers have language delays. My son needed a lot more help than he would have needed if all he'd had was ADHD, yet that was his first diagnosis and he struggled until he got the right diagnosis. Not saying your kid has Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). It could be tons of things.I am doubting that ADHD is the whole picture here.

My son needed a lot more than you get for a diagnosis. of ADHD and he got it and is doing great now at age 21. Most active kids meet all the criteria for ADHD. That doesn't mean that is the biggest problem going on. I would definitely go into the medical community, not the school.

Teachers are educators, not diagnosticians. Not even if they have taught for forty years. My advice is still the neuropsychologist. Good luck, whatever you do! :)

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome! Your description of your daughter reminds me so much of my son when he was that age. He had no fear and we had to watch him like a hawk (for many years). Your daughter actually sleeps a lot more than my son ever did.

I agree with somewhere about getting a neuropsychologist exam. I would also have her see a psychiatrist so you can get a couple of different points of view. The school will give you some guidance and hopefully an IEP. They cannot diagnose your child (even with ADHD), however, they can be good partners in writing notes for the neuropsychologist and psychiatrist about what they see at school. Combine that with what you see at home and it will be very helpful. Of course, that is if you trust your school and teachers.

I understand your point of exhaustion. I have been there done that. Please know that it is very important to take care of yourself and to be gentle with yourself. I know that is easier said than than done. Maybe your husband can watch her while you read, take a walk, exercise, or even just relax in a bubble bath. My husband and I used to tag team a lot to give each other breaks. It would be good if your husband could get on the same page as you instead of making you feel guilty.

You will find much support here. Sending some gentle hugs your way!

Can the IEP team refer for a Neuropsychological assessment? She is seeing a speech pathologist, an occupational therapist, a child psychologist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) on Tuesday. It is through the school but they are practicing professionals also, or would I need to go through our pediatrician. They said after the evaluation they would refer her for any services (ie behavioral therapy etc) so I wonder if I could get a neuro referral as well.
Sorry for all the replies, my mind is scattered. I Dont want to make my husband sound mean, he just grew up with a learning disability and is so afraid our daughter will get pushed to the side with a diagnosis of anything like he did. He had family members who called him dumb and stupid growing up so whenever I vent I think he gets scared I'm going to treat our daughter the same. We employ a tag team system too, but he works 50-60 hours a week and its hard to evenly split things sometimes. Thanks again so much everyone. Its incredible how few online resources there are. I came here feeling isolated and like I was going into this blind and you've helped give me some guidance.


Well-Known Member
Hi, and welcome.
I'm a bit late to the thread... sorry.

ADHD? Some people will call it that, but I won't agree. I've seen "real" ADHD... and lots of kids mislabeled (some who should have the diagnosis and don't, and some who have the diagnosis and should not).

ADHD does not generate the extremes you are describing.

You say your husband has a learning disability. Any other challenges run in either side of the family? Mental health, developmental, behavioral?

There will be an explanation for why she is this way. If she had been adopted, a couple of things would come to mind, but she is not.

Meanwhile, I hope the evaluators you are currently using can give you more than just a label. Some respite would be a good place to start.
The only reason ADHD comes to mind is it fit a lot of her symptoms in the DSM criteria, but I'm no doctor lol. My husband had problems taking tests and keeping up in school (a lot of his issues were just needing more time to absorb the material), his brother (technically half brother) had some test taking issues as well and some developmental delays early on. Depression and Borderline (BPD) run on my side, but as far as I know that is all. My half sister's youngest son (he is 3) has pretty severe autism but out of all of my neices and nephews and cousins (we have a large family) that is all. I'm definitely going to push for more than just a label. It took long enough for us to get to this stage, im not going to let the ball stop rolling now.


New Member
Hi there,
I just want to say that I understand and could have written this post. Our three and a half year old son is literally tearing us apart right now. We also have a seven year old daughter and his behavior has had a very negative impact on our family. I am an emotional wreck and extremely sensitive about him, his behavior, questions about his behavior and feelings of my own personal inadequacy as a mother. I swear since the day he was born, our pediatrician has asked leading questions in regards to our boy as though she knew something was different. I've always been resistant, perhaps because I was in denial or scared to label or perhaps because I always saw a slightly different side of him, but now I'm at my wit's end. We, too, are getting testing--have to wait until July because of the waiting list, but will hopefully have some more answers at some point. So, I get it. Here's what I always wish someone would say to me--you're doing a good job. You care so much and you did a search which landed you here and you want to help your child. It sounds like this is a judgement-free, supportive group of really knowledgable people, so that's great too. I swear, if there were a support group for parents of spirited kids (or whatever we have going on here), I would be president. I just want to meet ONE mother who gets it, who understands and who can cry right along with me. I feel so incredibly lonely.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
The school will probably not refer because then they have to pay for it. I would go through your pediatrician. Ours was referred by my son's psychiatrist.