4yr old with adhd, odd and mood disorder


New Member
is anyone able to shed any light on what my son was recently diagnosed with? i am new to the odd and mood disorder area. i am doing research on odd to see what my options are. he is currently on focalin xr for adhd which has significantly helped his tantrums and ability to understand normal things in life but i am unsure of putting him on a mood stabilizer as the psychiatric has suggested. i also have a 2.5 yr old son and 4 month old son to consider also. any info would be appreciated.


Active Member
Welcome Whalesongs.

I'd be hesitant in making medication suggestions without knowing the extent of your child's behavioral problems or the type of assessments that were done and what has been tried in terms of therapies or interventions.

In general, I always suggest that parents get the most thorough evaluations for their child that they can prior to going down the path of using medications primarily to manage their kids. If the child is young, you shouldn't rely on a counselor or psychiatrist or general psychologist alone, as assessments don't tend to be as thorough at this young age as needed with those specialty areas. Usually better is a developmental pediatrician or a pediatric neuropsychologist. We suggest this route because we've seen way to many kids misdiagnosed and mismedicated at young ages if the assessment wasn't thourough. (For instance, a neuropsychologist will typically do 10-15 hours of parent interviews and testing before diagnosing.) Accurate diagnosis is critical when considering medications and you want to make sure up front because honestly most all the disorders we see come through here look like some variation of Mood Disorders when the children are very young.

Many of us have been helped a great deal by a book entitled "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. At the top of this board you can find more information about the book. If other issues are present such as speech delay or differences, sensitivities to foods or clothes, social problems, etc. these all contribute to behavioral problems and evaluation helps to identify those and address them properly.

In the end some children will need medication to function, but unless the situation is critical with a very unstable child I'm all for thorough evaluation and non-medication interventions first in young children.


Well-Known Member
I'm with SRL. Can't make suggestions. Often very young kids are hard to diagnose and the diagnosis could change--I medicated my son very young and, in my situation, I'm sorry I did. It turned out he'd been diagnosed wrong a few times. Not saying YOU should not medicate, but this is what happened to us. Son is fourteen now and doing best NOT on medications.
I would go the non-medication route first, if I had it to do over again, and get a complete evaluation by a neuropsychologist, then get a second opinion before I rushed into medicating. Did your child get evaluated at the public school for early resources?
Are there psychiatric or neurological problems in the family tree? Substance abuse? How is your child's speech, motor skills, eye contact, interaction with peers?
Again, it's an individual choice what to do about medications, with no right or wrong answer. You best know your child. But if he didn't have a complete, long battery of tests, if it were me with hindsight, I'd do that first. ODD *rarely* stands alone--I'd bet every child here has ODD behavior and meets the criteria for ODD, but ODD is usually secondary to something else...


New Member
hi, i have a 4 yr old that is ADHD, mood disorder, and ODD... We have been on a number of medications and we still have not found the right combo. He was institutionalized at the age of 3 for 48 hrs at a mental health facility, we are still having behavioral issues.. As a mom i feel so guilty putting him on 3 medications a day but it seems to be the only way that he can function in preschool.