4.5 year old challenging at times, not sure where to start


New Member
Hi guys, I'm new to this forum, I don't even know where to start or what to say!!
My 4.5 year old is having a few challenges at preschool,
1.Not socialising well 2.Having numerous "frustration meltdowns" over things like not having a paint brush, a tower falling down, kids trying to play with the train set he has started playing with. 3.He has meltdowns that are becoming aggressive as of late eg. He fell over a coffee table and yelled and screamed at me and hit me...I tried to explain it was a accident. He gets angry at his 13 month old brother also, which worries me, yells in his face, punches the floor etc.

A quick background: he started reading from 18 months, recognising all shapes, numbers, and now is reading at a 7 year old level, he loves space and telling me what the planets are made of etc. he is quite academic, but has poor social skills in a group setting (better one on one he seems fine) we are worried about school next year.
He talked late, around 2years, I took him to speech therapy, he is now fine and talks non stop!

Oh and he gets in to everything, eg. If I shower he can find a screwdriver and start unscrewing things, or find nail polish and paint his toes and the bathroom floor, he touches everything, can't sit still for long eg. Watches tv doing handstands!!

He is very active and needs stimulating or his "challenging" behaviour becomes apparent. I am exhausted, I feel like he is so fast paced, he'll put a knife in the toaster of you aren't watching him just because he can!!

We are weighing up wether he is gifted and has adhd, or if he is in the autism spectrum, a sensory disorder?? I'm not sure where to start!!??

One more thing he is quite defiant lately, eg. "Mummy sit here right now" ,dance right now when i tell you too" (I don't speak like this by the way I'm quite calm most of the time!!), he lacks any patience, if ask him to wait five minutes he gets really upset.

Sorry it's such a long post, just wondering if there are others out there with similar stories
Thanks so much :)
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Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Rainbowbaby! Glad you found our corner of the world but sorry you needed to. I remember this age so well and my difficult child had me so exhausted. In some ways our two kiddos sound similar (especially the part where he is so active and you have to watch him because he will do something just because he can) but in others different (my difficult child started talking very early and still has troubles with reading).

There are many possibilities. He could be on the autism spectrum and be ADHD or it could be many other things.

What has your pediatrician said? I think a good place to start might be with a multi-discipline approach. I would probably have him see a child psychologist, a child psychiatrist, and a neuro-psychologist. All three together can give you a good idea of what you are looking at.

Again, welcome to our soft place to land.


Well-Known Member
My guess? Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Take him to a neuropsychologist. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is often misdiagnosed as ADHD or ODD. And then he misses out on early interventions that greatly help. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids have great rote memories. My son taught himself to sight read very early and knew all the letters and numbers as well. He also knew all t he states of the United States and their capitals. This was by age two, but he ended up having learning problems once he hit first or second grade and he had no social skills. Although his rote memory is still amazing, he lacks the ability for abstract thinking so this really slowed down his schooling. He had trouble writing too. He also was more hyper than ADHD...lol. medications made him worse. He liked to repeat, say, commercials from television and he'd get them almost 100% correct! He never played with toys. He dismanted them as if fascinated at how they looked when taken apart.

As a 21 year old adult he is doing quite well, but he had a lot of interventions as a child.


Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome. From my experience I would guess Aspergers along with ADHD. I have one Aspie and 2 ADHD adult boys and now at least one ADHD, one Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and who knows what else in the grandchild list.


New Member
Thanks so much for your replies!!! I just checked this. My OH finds all this really hard so I find it hard to talk about any of this with them....thanks again x

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New Member
My OH is denying autism spectrum disorders, adhd etc...im a stay at home mum and exhausted as he has been challenging from 18months (now 4.5yrs)....

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Well-Known Member
Hi and welcome!

Yes, he does sound spectrum-sh. Or perhaps he's got a mood disorder mixed in there. Definitely, ADHD with all that activity. I love the visual of a handstand while he's watching TV! Definitely, you have to keep him busy. Lots of sports, even two or three teams, although it will wear you out, too!
So sorry your husband does not agree that there is something going on. It is so typical of spouses (usually the men) to get their ego in the way. My husband was the same way. Oh, no, not MY son! We lost a few yrs of intervention that way. :(
Your son sounds very gifted. I would start with the school counselor and set up a meeting to have him tested. Then meet with the teachers and see if they have any recommendations for therapists who also do testing.
Good luck!