ADHD parent's...HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. I know from past conversations that some of you are parent's of children with ADHD. Well, I've been cursed because of a past attitude. Before becoming a parent, back when I knew everything, I felt ADHD was over dx'd and was really the result of a poorly disciplined child. We all know God has a way of teaching us...

    My 2 yr old's speech therapist mentioned to me, last week, that she thinks he's ADHD. This was actually a relief to me because I've been seeking a dx for autism. I knew he wasn't actually fitting into the autism picture just right, but he does have "tendencies". Anyhow, after her suggestion, I began researching ADHD...and with the little info available on the net that applies to toddlers, he wrote the book on ADHD.

    Other than language delay, I'm only having one big problem with him right now...bedtime. He's pretty spontaneous all the time, but he's a real sweet kid. Other than having to constantly watch him to prevent him falling from the roof of the house or from darting in front of traffic, he's a wonderful kid (entertains himself for the most part, not real demanding, etc).

    Back to bedtime. It's a nightmare. Prior to last week, this wasn't a problem. I'd put him in his crib around 9..and by 11, he'd have jabbered, flipped, jumped and exhausted himself to the point of sleep. Well, you can't keep them in a crib forever..can you? So, we put him in a regular bed (big mistake). Last night, I fought with him for three hours and finally got him asleep around midnight (I have to get up at five..wasn't real happy). I tried everything I knew, nothing seemed to work. I resorted to spanking him to make him stay in his bed. That worked great, except that he laid in his bed, jabbered, kicked the wall, jumped..and occassional outburst of crying/fussing. I couldn't go to sleep, so finally I put him in the bed with me. After another hour or so of flipping, jabbering, etc, he passed out. I was seriously considering benadryl. Today, I had the babysitter skip his nap and this seemed to help. I got him asleep by 8:30..and it only took me about 30 mins of wrestling to succeed. However, I'm not sure we'll always be able to skip the nap because when he gets ready to sleep, you could drop a bomb and he'd sleep right through it. Once he gets to sleep, he's a wonderful sleeper.

    Any suggestions from the pro's??? Jenny???????
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Rena RN 2003
    first and foremost, if you have concerns about adhd, please, please, please seek a multidimensional workup for a diagnosis. don't let the advice of one or two professionals sway you into thinking your child is adhd. true diagnosis depends on more than a checklist of certain behaviors. the checklist is a good screening tool but not the be all/ end all diagnostic.

    i have an adhd 11 y.o. son that showed tons of signs as early as 2 (hind sight is 20/20) but i personally would hold off on a diagnosis before he's at least 4-5 years old. that doesn't mean that you can't incorporate behavioral modification now. please PM me if you would like to chat more about adhd.

    i do have a question though. the bedtime rituals.....did they begin before or after he moved into a "big boy bed?" if it was after, i would say that he's just having trouble adjusting to the situation. if it was before, was there some other 'trauma' that he went through? something like potty training, loss of a favorite object, weaning from bottle or breast?
  4. by   Rena RN 2003
    another thing, when does he get up for the day? what time are his naps? how long are they?

    i know, i'm nosey.
  5. by   nurs4kids
    Rena,
    No, the bedtime ritual has gone on as long as I can remember. He's always taken longer to "wind down". No traumatic triggers..he's been off the bottle since 12 months..no other traumatic events. It's just like he has all this energy and this is his way of releasing it so he can sleep.

    thanks for the info
  6. by   Rena RN 2003
    not much help but you're welcome
  7. by   prmenrs
    Hi, NFK,

    I think 2 is a bit young to label him, but...What does the pediatrician say? And I would worry a lot about giving him Ritalan at that age. My son went through a phase when he needed Ritalin [about 5,-8], but he was sooo sensitive to it, it was very easy to over or under dose him.

    One site that has a parent's BB is my good old favorite: www.ldonline.org/ Go to BB's, find the correct one. They will also have some references. You may have been there already.

    Is there a developmental specialist you can see?

    Keep in touch!
  8. by   memphispanda
    My almost 4 year old was diagnosed ADHD when he was about 2 yrs 9 months old. I had never heard of one being diagnosed so early, but we knew something was wrong--he is my third child (my oldest has Asperger's Syndrome) and I am a former preschool teacher and child care worker, so I know normal behavior from abnormal...his was way out there. We put him on Adderall for a week and it made him so sleepy he was not able to function. Then we tried behavior modification with limited success... Now he is on Zoloft and has been for about 6 months and it has been a miracle for us. He still has behaviors we have to deal with, but we no longer have hours of screaming fits daily and he actually can slow down and listen some of the time. I'm not sure if any of my info helps with your situation or not, but at least you'll know you are not alone--there are others out there with kids diagnosed very young. I would recommend going to a child psychologist or behavioral pediatrician for an evaluation--don't take the word of a speech therapist as the absolute truth because that isn't their area of expertise.
  9. by   nurs4kids
    Originally posted by memphispanda
    My almost 4 year old was diagnosed ADHD when he was about 2 yrs 9 months old. I had never heard of one being diagnosed so early, but we knew something was wrong--he is my third child (my oldest has Asperger's Syndrome) and I am a former preschool teacher and child care worker, so I know normal behavior from abnormal...his was way out there. We put him on Adderall for a week and it made him so sleepy he was not able to function. Then we tried behavior modification with limited success... Now he is on Zoloft and has been for about 6 months and it has been a miracle for us. He still has behaviors we have to deal with, but we no longer have hours of screaming fits daily and he actually can slow down and listen some of the time. I'm not sure if any of my info helps with your situation or not, but at least you'll know you are not alone--there are others out there with kids diagnosed very young. I would recommend going to a child psychologist or behavioral pediatrician for an evaluation--don't take the word of a speech therapist as the absolute truth because that isn't their area of expertise.
    Carol,
    You're just the person I'd like to talk to. How did they differentiate ADHD from autism in your child? With a sibling having asperger's, did they not look hard at autism? Honestly, I'm afraid to go to a behavorial psych because I don't want a label that I'll have to shake later. My son isn't really a behavior problem per se. We have hyperactivity at bedtime, the rest of the day he is an angel (he's two and doesn't even throw tantrums). Initially, I went after an autism dx because he likes to play alone, had poor eye contact and is language delayed. I enrolled him in daycare and his socialization is much better..he actually plays with his sister now. It's still not all the time, but there is an exchange of play happening now. His eye contact has improved tremendously over the last month or so. He actually looks you in the eye when you talk to him, etc. His language is still behind, but improving. Sooooo, i'm torn with a dx and I hate to let someone diagnose him after observing him for 30mins. Initially when we went to see the neurologist, my son was a nightmare in the office. He gave her worst case scenario. She still didn't dx him. I feel like if I keep going to specialist, someone will give me a dx whether or not he really fits the mold or not. I don't really want him medicated right now, so I don't see where a specialist can help.

    advice???

    thanks for listening.
    tracy
  10. by   memphispanda
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    Carol,
    You're just the person I'd like to talk to. How did they differentiate ADHD from autism in your child? With a sibling having asperger's, did they not look hard at autism?
    With my oldest, there were a lot of behaviors present (or not present depending on the behavior) that my little one doesn't exhibit. My oldest also is a cancer survivor so there is a chance that the chemo he was on caused some of his autistic traits. We haven't taken my 3yo to the doc that actually diagnosed my oldest with Aspergers because of insurance changes, but when I called and spoke with him, he really was interested in seeing both of them. Anyway, my little one was just totally off the walls behaviorwise--I don't think they would have medicated had he been at all controllable.
    Honestly, I'm afraid to go to a behavorial psych because I don't want a label that I'll have to shake later. My son isn't really a behavior problem per se. We have hyperactivity at bedtime, the rest of the day he is an angel (he's two and doesn't even throw tantrums). Initially, I went after an autism dx because he likes to play alone, had poor eye contact and is language delayed. I enrolled him in daycare and his socialization is much better..he actually plays with his sister now. It's still not all the time, but there is an exchange of play happening now. His eye contact has improved tremendously over the last month or so. He actually looks you in the eye when you talk to him, etc. His language is still behind, but improving.
    advice???

    thanks for listening.
    tracy [/B]
    If he is only hyperactive at bedtime, then I wouldn't think that he would be ADHD. What do the teachers at daycare say about him? Is there any way you can observe him with other kids without him knowing you are there? If he is able to interact normally at daycare, it may be nothing more than a sleep issue. He may just be too tired to go to sleep, or very determined that he isn't going to sleep, or he may feel rushed to sleep. What time is he getting up in the morning? He may be getting too much sleep but still need a nap during the day. If he is sleeping past 6:30 or 7:00 am he may just not be tired at 8:00pm. It's really hard to figure these little guys out sometimes! Anyway, I wouldn't be rushing to the specialist for a dx yet either--it doesn't sound like the "problem" is big enough to warrant that right now...although you do need your sleep so something will have to give!
  11. by   nurs4kids
    Carol,
    Thanks again. No, he isn't exactly interacting "normally" with his peers. He still is just as happy alone as he is playing with other's. BUT he IS 2 (parallel play) and he IS improving. I'm not convinced there's a true problem and I'm not convinced there isn't. He's smart and seems to show his knowledge only when he wishes to (ie; he counts to 10 all the time with me, dad, sister, babysitter..but will NOT do it for anyone else when prompted). I think we may have figured out the sleep problem. Got up at 5:30 this am (with me), took a 1 hr nap..just went down at 8pm with a little crying, but not the drama of the past. Anyhow, we follow up with the neurologist in Nov. I'm going to sit on it for now and see how he improves. I can't decide if I'm trying to be in denial or if I'm being realistic..grrrrr

    again, thanks!
    tracy
  12. by   prmenrs
    Tracy--will he sit w/you in a rocker and relax? How does he handle music? There are some CDs I got for work called "Baby got Sleep"--I've used them on irritable kids in the NICU w/success.

    I agree that if it's mostly a bedtime issue, it's some sort of "too tired" thing.

    I'm sure it's not fun for either of you to feel so out of control. Let's hope it's a temporary kind of deal.

    Sandi
  13. by   prn nurse
    I'd give him his crib back. Regardless of his chronological age, emotionally, he may be a few months behind.

    he doesn't know how to quiet himself and soothe himself into slumber time. The last hour before bedtime he should be in his room with a parent. story time, a lamp on..music...are you all near him? Bedroom wise? does he feel abandoned?

    He's too young for all this diagnosing...I agree with you. If he is okay all day, I'd relax and do it His way...after all..
    he's trying to tell you he prefers his crib.
    I'd give it to him.
  14. by   prn nurse
    And, my boys never were good talkers til age 3, and one it took him til 4. we just waited til they grew into all their normal behaviors....and they all did.......................we are low anxiety people.........believe in letting nature take its' course.....as long as things are chugging along...

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