My DS is almost 21 months and I seriously think he has ADHD. he is NEVER still, and yes I know toddlers his age are that way, but he is not like any other toddler I have been around. Sure every little has their own personalities, but my son is constantly moving and getting into everything. You will move him and try and redirect him and he will lose interest in about 5 seconds. He will not sit and watch TV at all. He might sit and look at a book for about 2 minutes and then loses interest. He wears everyone out. I hate to say it about my own son, but he is really bad and nothing we do seems to help. My mom watches him during the day while DH and I work work and she is really struggling. I can't afford daycare and there are very few in this small town and no openings. We try and keep him outside as much as possible so he can just run around. I really need help!!!
I am wondering what you mean by "bad" - you say, he is really bad, what does that look like in a 21 month?
Child psychiatrists will not give a definitive diagnosis in a child that young, as it is very difficult to tell what is what- meaning many illness overlap along with adhd.
There are programs in each state (and they call them different names), but the idea is "early intervention". I would google Early Intervention in toddlers with your states name and see what programs come up.
Your son's pedi also should give/recommend such a program for your son if he feels his behavior is out of the norm.
If you would like help finding such a program, I can do my best to find resources for you if you post back with your city/state of residence.
I agree with the suggestion to explore early intervention. It is a free program for children who qualify. Be sure to describe his behavior in its most severe form.
If he does not qualify, you may explore other care options with your pediatrician. Sometimes, parents can get "respite" care which can provide temporary relief for a parent. If you don ot have family or neighbors that can help, perhaps your local church or community group can provide some assistance. You can also higher a middle school or high school student as a mother's helper to engage your child in play or other activties. Your son may connect with this youth by virtue of her age and the novelty. A male "mother's helper" may provide even greater opportunity for your son to get out his high-energy play
As for ADHD, clinicians are generally reluctant to diagnose it in a child below 3 or 5 years of age. It is important to be sure your child does not have other developmental delays that are leaidng to the short attentioin span and high activity level.
A small bit of encouraging news is that many children that are hyperactive at age 3 settle down by age 9.
We did call EI when he was 18 months old because I thought that he should be saying more words. They came and did an evaluation and they said that he is EXTREMELY smart for his age. They tested him up to the three year old level and he passed everything. He has begun to say a couple more words now, but mainly he will just point to what he wants and when you ask him, he says uh-huh. He follows both simple and complex directions to the tee. I am in no way concerned that he has a development problem. We tried taking him to MOPS but he got "kicked out" for biting another child. He doesn't bite out of anger or frustration, but more out of excitement--he sees it as a greeting almost. He has no siblings and as I mentioned, doesn't go to day care. He is the only child in the church nursery as well. We started takinghim to Toddler Time at the library, but you have to follow and watch him cinstantly so he doesn't "attack" another child. We have tried everything we can to get him to stop biting. We tried ignoring him (when he bites us), we tried saying "NO--biting hurts", now everytime he bites, he gets put in time-out for one minute. He has now started pinching--again not out of anger, just because he thinks it is fun I guess. He goes straight into time-out. I just feel as though I am failing as a parent and I can't figure out how to make it better.
I am not sure what MOPS is. I believe children with a severe behavioral disorder can qualify for EI. Apart from getting him into an EI setting, I would work on respite for yourself occasionally and, most importantly, seeking out a behavioral psychilogist to work with you. Do not see yourself as failing as a parent; recognize that you have a very challenging child and that you need some help.
I think you should be concerned about a developmental problem from the way you describe his behavior.
"Biting" and "attacking" should be of concern. Know that this does not mean you are a bad parent. You are a parent that wants the best for your child and this one looks like he needs some extra help, as least now. I'd get it for him. Teaching hospitals often have child development clinics where he can be evaluated. Perhaps your primary physician can refer you?
I think you should contact your development pediatrician. My son was diagnosed (very reluctantly at 30 months with ADHD) come to find out if you have a developmental pedicatrician with any background in genetics...adhd is an overwhelming hereditary disorder. Figure out if you or the other parent have it, maybe you were already diagnosed. Its a large statisitcs like 70-80% if a parent has a child will. You are describing my son. He is a lovely person but as he's gotten older his acting out is in violence with immediate remorse and its all related to impulse control and thrill seeking. My guy is now almost 4 and we do a combo of medication and fish oil with high DHA/EPA levels per our doc. Also combo the doctor visit with a program called 1,2,3 magic. This is time out at the strictest. If you don't waiver he is not able to take the opportunity to be bad and so he will feel more positive and successful about himself. At three if you get the ADHD diagnosed you can get him an IEP or 504 plan and get him in a preschool for free. If you all only have head start they will waive income requirements if on an IEP and then his education will be protected and grandma can get the brake and the school will make exceptions around his behavior.
hi bravefan. i wanted to quickly say that my daughter - almost 3 now would not sit still and watch TV at all at that point either (21 mos) The only time she would sit still to read a book was before bed. She is a wiggle worm and has LOTS of energy. Just the way she is. We got her in gymnastics early for this very reason. We look for the most active toys we can find, lots of park visits, walks, etc. Inside our house is set up so that she can get into everything safely. We just work with her basically and try to focus that energy to be used for good! She wears most of our providers out as well - and us too. Fortunately her daycare provider has lots of energy too and 24 years of experience so she knew exactly how to handle her energy. On the plus side, thanks to her I have lost a lot of weight! :-) God bless my sweet active little angel!
The experts, your dr or an EI specialist are most certainly your best guide here of course but from one mom to another in hopes of calming your fears just a little bit possibly, my child exhibited some of those same things (mind you not the biting, attacking or pinching) and she so far she is doing well. You are doing great by seeking some help to make sure! (((HUGS)))
I guess he has calmed down somewhat. In January, he started preschool 3 mornings a week. He goes from 8:30-11:30. He is still ball of energy and rarely is still. He will sit and watch a couple shows, Chuggington and Handy Manny. I still believe that he will be diagnosed with ADHD in the future however. He has gotten much better with the biting. He very rarely ever bites or pinches or hits anymore. Right now I think he is just in terrible twos. We try time out, but I just can't get him to stay in one spot. I put him back 100s times and he thinks it is fun to run away every time.
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