ADHD Medication for 3, 4 and 5 year olds?

We know that ADHD is real.

We know that ADHD is a developmental disorder – which means that it starts in childhood.

We also know that the cause of ADHD is primarily genetics – in fact genetics accounts for over 80% of the cause. Of the 20% of causes which are not genetic – these are acquired cases. Most acquired cases occur before the age of 3 years old.

So, knowing all of these facts – can’t preschoolers have ADHD?

The answer is yes.

Some kids can be clearly diagnosed at the ages of 3, 4 or 5 years old with ADHD.

The issue with treating these children with medication has been a real concern because they are so young.

Their brains are still developing, and until now – there had been no reliable published research on using medication in such young children.

The November issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has several articles about a large study of preschoolers with ADHD.

The study was called “The Preschool ADHD Treatment Study”, or ‘PATS’. It was a large study, with 303 children aged 3-5 enrolled. It was funded by the National Institues of Mental Health
in the US, and there were 6 major centres in the US involved in the study, incluing Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, UC Irvine and NYU.

For the 303 children enrolled in the study, the children and their parents took part in a 10 week pre-trial behavioral therapy and training course.
To take medication in the study, the children had to meet three criteria:

  1. The children had the most severe ADHD
  2. They did not benefit from the behavioral treatment
  3. Their parents agreed to a trial of medication

While all studies go through review boards for ethical reviews, this study went through extra steps and precautions to ensure that there was true informed consent, and that the study was designed completely ethically.

The medication arm of the study compared the use of methylphenidate (the generic medicine also found in Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Focalin and Biphentin) to a placebo.

The study found that preschool children responded well to doses from 3.75 mg per day to 22.5 mg per day. All doses were given three times daily in equal dosing. The average medication dose was 14 mg per day.

There was a side effect of note – showing that children of this age have some growth slowing related to the medication. This is a side effect in older children as well, though generally recognized to not occur in more than 3% of children on stimulants.

There were 11% of medication treated children who had to stop the medicine related to severe side effects. These included: decreased appetite and weight loss, insomnia, mood disturbances, feeling nervous or worried, and skin picking behaviors.

It was found that children in this age range were more sensitive to these side effects than children of older ages.

One of the main conclusions of the study is that the use of methylphenidate in preschool children can work, but children in this age range are more sensitive to side effects. Thus, the decision to treat with medicine should be considered very carefully. Certainly a good trial of behavioral treatment is a must before considering medicine.

To read the abstracts (summaries) of these studies, click here:

What does this mean to you?

If you have a child who is 3-5 years old, and you suspect ADHD, please talk to your doctor. It is best to have a specialist involved – i.e. a Child Psychiatrist. If after a good trial of behavioral treatment, there is no improvement, it may be worth a trial of medication.

This study is very important, because it establishes practice guidelines for these very difficult to treat children, because prior to this, doctors would be working with very little research to back them up.

We all know that making a decision to medicate a child for ADHD can be difficult, but it is often even more difficult for a preschooler. This research sheds light on how and when to use medication in these kids.


  1. My daughter is 5 1/2 and was diagnosed with adhd yesterday by her ped , it was after one semester of 3 parent teacher conferences and actually shown her work she has done compared to the other kids in her class and how she is always up and not paying attention. She is in danger of failing kindergarten and is a very loving child . She does have social , school and behavior problems bc of this . I am having a hard time deciding about the Meds , she was prescribed focalin xr . Does anyone know anything about this med besides what the internet tells us .

    Thank you

      • I think that taking their belnigongs is a good idea. However, if they are left unattended all day with nothing to do they are apt to destroy more of your things. Make them do chores and odd jobs to pay for the things that they break and eventually they will learn how much it sucks to work so hard for one small possession.

    • My daughter had the same problems as your daughter in kindergarten shes now 9and years old theres different methods you can take like going to a mental health clinic for children and try therapy they teach your child ways to have self control and how to behave well this has helped my girl a bunch after one on one therapy 6-12 months they will try group therapy and during the time your doing therapy you can try a no sugar no red dye the yellow dye with a organic diet with plenty of protein in breakfast time is good for adhd you can try vitamins for focus for kids costco has them and just know this rought is long and not easy but it works for some and worth doing also in therapy they’ll tell you different ways to get your daughter to behave like a star chart or marble jar a reward system and they supply parent classes with kids with adhd you learn different techniques and have a support system and it will be parents with kids in your daughters age group now after all this is done if you feel medications are still needed at least you have piece of mind and know more about adhd in my daughters case shes not only adhd so i ended up trying medication the first med we tried was not a good fit but the lowest dose of concerta was really good with risperdone mg. 25 for calming and sleep at night she no longer has a behavior problem at school in the first grade she had a half day only schedule because she couldn’t sit and behave in second grade concerta helped her life isn’t perfect at home theres alot of her being alover and teasing siblings and forgetting to follow threw on things but a set schedule helps wonders so basically its up to you what your gonna do just know your not alone and if you dont feel right with giving your daughter meds try other methods and dont let a doctor or school force you into doing so if your uncomfortable and also if you do start the medication dont let any people put you down in the process ignore them because some people can be horrible mean remember your mama and you know best for your own good luck

    • I was on focalin from third grade to 8th grade. I think it really helped my ADD. It was like I had blinders on…it didnt change my personality or anything, it was just enough to focus on class and homework. My sister started on focalin at the same time but it wasn’t a high enough dosage, she ended up going threw 5 different t medication s before our parents found d one that really helped her without turning her into a zombie

      Hope this helps, Noelle

  2. I am literally typing this in tears right now. If there is one thing on this earth that I love more than life itself it’s my 4.5 year old amazing, smart, loving, little boy. He has been going to therapy with a child psychologist for over a year now and had been diagnosed with ADHD & EBD (*Emotional Behavioral Disorder) in May of 2011. I am a single mother and his father is not involved (his father, by the way, has the same two disorders & has struggled his entire life with them.) Daycare is our means of taking care of him so I am able to work and create an income for us both. He had been going to this one specific daycare since he was 6 months old. About a year and a half ago, he started showing terrible attention problems so I thought maybe it would benifit him to be in a daycare where there were less kids in his class…thought maybe it would help him focus and calm down. So I found a daycare (with the same legal 12 child to 1 adult ratio) that had less children attending in that age. There were about 8 in his class and sometimes there were more than one teachers helping out in there. He was doing good for about a month. Then the owner of this daycare told me that he could not stay on task AT ALL and was having behavior issues. Everyday for a month I got phone calls at work to either come and get him during the day or talk to him, followed by a stern meeting with the owner everytime i would pick him up about how he needed to be on some medicine immediately. I didn’t appreciate that she was telling me to put him on medicine, not trying to educate me and help me explore options. Her daughter had been put on medicine at age 5 and she said “my daughter has been a different child ever since, no more problems.” ‘Every child is different. What worked for your child may or may not work for mine,’ is all I kept thinking. I felt like she was trying to force me to. I called a program here in our area called “First Steps” for them to come to the daycare and evaluate him and work with him one on one. Instead of coming and seeing him they just called me and asked how he was doing developmentally and with his speech and motor skills. They crossed him out and ineligible for the program (over the phone without ever have meeting or watching him interact at daycare) because he only had a small lisp and was above his age group developmentally and had no physical ailments. The daycare owner then told me that they could not handle him and that i had to put him on some medicine or take him elsewhere….so. I took him elsewhere. Tried another daycare. I explained to them what was going on, how he was acting, and how bad it hurt to hear people give up on my baby so easily. They said, “that’s rediculous, he’s just a boy and he’s so young.” They took him, but within a month they were telling me they couldn’t handle him because he couldn’t stay on task at all and was being resistent to his teachers (who were all high schoolers btw with no children of thier own). So I had to move him again. I took him back to his original daycare at this point. His behavior got worse and worse. He was starting to be violent with his friends and teachers: hitting, throwing chairs, yelling “no,” etc.. His ability to focus on anything since then has just been deteriorating and behavior issues have escalated. Then he picked up on bad language from his father’s house and took it straight to daycare. We could not get him to stop for anything. He was getting punishments at home everyday, phone calls from me and my family to talk to him throughout to day about making good choices while at daycare, and this lasted for about a month. They were MORE than lenient to let him stay that long with the words he was using. He ended up causing four other children to go home and say those words to thier parents and the parents complained. They had to kick him out. That daycare LOVES my son like he is thier own, a good christian daycare with people I trust and love like family and I know for a fact that it killed thier hearts to have to let him go, but I understand they had to look out for the other kids as well. So daycare hopping we go again. I didn’t have much notice to switch and find somewhere new and the only daycare that had any openings was the one I didn’t ever want to take him to. I had no other options though besides quitting my job, which was not really an option. I told the owner of this new daycare his issues and why he had been kicked out and she explained the rules to me. We pep talked him all weekend at home, me, my family, and my friends. Explained the great outcome of good choices and not hurting our friends and teachers physically or with those bad words. I’ve tried making him a “good choices” chart to keep on the fridge with his personal responsibilites on it like picking up his toys, getting dressed by himself, using good language, good day at daycare, etc. and bought stickers to put on each one as he completed them. I told him he would get a reward for doing all these things. I didn’t want to tell him he would just get a reward for making good choices at daycare beause I didn’t want him to think that he should get something in return for trying to do the right things. I want him to understand that we control our actions. I do believe he has ADHD, but I also believe there is alot of it that he purposely doesn’t control because of two reasons. One: at home it is only he and I. He has no one that he has to fight with for my undivided attention. He does NOT act out at home AT ALL like he does at daycare. He is nothing other than a normal four-year-old boy with a normal (and manageable) four-year-old attention span and behavior issues. Two: He knows that at daycare (because of law) they cannot do anything punishment wise for his bad actions besides time-out, long talks, light seclution, and taking away toys or activities. To him, that is no big deal. It makes him a little angry, but it doesn’t anger him enough to change what he is doing. He takes FULL ADVANTAGE that they can’t do anything more severe. The first day at this new daycare he was using foul language, climbing on the doors numerous times, screaming no at the teachers (all of them at the daycare tried to talk to him), threatened to “tear up everything”, tried to hit his teacher twice, and wouldn’t listen to a word. I got calls. Then i kept him home for a day and took him back the next day. He was good for about two and a half hours after getting there, then took a turn for the worst again. I got told to come pick him up and that he had one more chance to do better before being kicked out. I cried my eyes out. Not just because this is severely threatening my job & my nerves, but more than anything I have an amazing little boy that keeps having to get taken in and thrown out and taken in and thrown out of environments. I know this is hurting him worse to not have stability in that area and having to transition so much, but I don’t know what else I can do. I feel like the only daycare that never gave up on him is the original one he went to, who made it very clear to me that once his behavior was straightened out a little more he could come back. Since the first day he was at the new daycare he hasn’t had any more language problems, but has been doing all the other things still. I feel like I’m just waiting nervously all day, each day, for a call from them telling me he can’t come back and wondering what in the world I am going to do after that. It probably helps to know these other things too: my 14-year-old brother has ADHD also, my son’s father has been in and out of his life since he was about a year old, he goes to bed at 8 pm every night and has never had problems sleeping until recently. He has had about 6 episodes in the past 7 months of these “night terrors” I guess is what they would be called. Where he would wake up and be looking right at me, but crying for me and calling out my name saying he wants me. I keep telling him over and over “i’m right here baby,” and he continues until I hold him tight to me for about fifteen to twenty minutes and he begins to REALLY look at me and seems to be completely coherent. It almost seems like he is asleep with his eyes open, it’s crazy. I thought about in-home care for him, but can’t find anyone that I trust and feel comfortable with. I have tried research, changing his diet, psychiatry,…the only other option now that I haven’t tried (or that I’m aware of that I haven’t tried) is medication. I honestly think he is too young and after hearing how alot of the medications zombify kids or take almost thier entire personality away, plus the side effects too, it scares me to pieces. Facing possibly having to quit my job, knowing it’s our main source of income, is the one thing that is pushing me to try it. I have not allowed everyone telling me he needs to be on it be a factor in my decision. He is MY child first and foremost, and the only person that truly matters in this situation is HIM. What is BEST for HIM, not what is best for everyone else. I have read this entire column, and am so glad (and saddened of course) to hear so many other parents having the same issues. It hurts so bad to know that the most important person in your life has an illness that you can’t control and is hurting them, emotionally, environmentally, and possibly longer term with the outcomes of having to be moved over and over again. I need opinions, advice, more stories, support, and most importantly YOUR PRAYERS for my son and our family. I am at a loss….i don’t know what else to do. I’m so upset that it’s having to come to this, but maybe it will be a positive thing. Praying for the rest of you and your situations with your children, and thankful for any advice that can be given.

    • Hello My name is Jolene Seal, in my rounds of research on ADHD as my 4 1/2 son has ben diagnosed. I have been through the exact same thing you just published. Except this started at age 3 getting kicked from daycares. I am pleased to give you advice. Our childrens brain’s are having issues with being focused. Inattentiveness is inability to focus and stay on task. I couldnt beleive it either when i read your story, its awful that childcare providers will do this. I had the same problem this year with Pre K Program in a Nursing home facility. I have done the reward chart, good behavior works. My advice to you sweety is to Start a play therapy if you havent already. Put him in Public school pre k not private. Talk to your doctor about having the inattentive, hyperactiveness, and impulsiveness behavior these are the three categories they look at in ADHD children or in your case ADD attention Deficit Disorder, which your child is in Definance. I went to a shrink and they tested my son positive in ADHD with a severe case of having boarderline Depression. Your child’s behavior sounds like impulsiveness. My son is fine at nannas house but if we are at home the rebellion begins. Since he’s started Ritalin 20mg on Feb 23 2012 he has had a remarkable change. Their is a side effect of not wanting to eat, but he’s such a different child. Alot of parents disagree with Ritalin but, I think its working for the most part for my son. We just moved so change was a big factor on behavior having this change in your sons’ life has problely effected him in a negative way. The seperation from his father, and living in two seperate households, has a factor. The other factor is the change in daycares. Since my son’s been on medication the first week before we moved at his old school we dropped to half day pre k. I had the advantage of having him in the morning so daycare wasnt the option on me. I would say take him to the doctor if you havent already; do a trial of medication and find out if he’s totally different at the daycare. If his impulsed behavior has limited your set if it doesnt work find out from your healthcare provider to get more sources for help! Good Luck


      Jolene Seal
      mom of a 4 1/2 year son with ADHD

      Good Luck

      • Hi. I desperately need to put my son on some type of ADHD medication. I’m having trouble finding a doctor or a child psychiatrist that is willing to put him on medication since he is four years old. Where do you live? What state?

      • Hello Jolene could you please tell me is this 20mg given at once or separated doses. I’m trying to figure out what would be a good dose for my son. He’s 5 autistic and ADHD and 5 Mg does nothing just tried 10mg.

    • I have just read the exact situation we are in with the only exception of my son has not yet been thrown out of his daycare. He is on the verge. We are trying to find a shadow for him to help out. We pay ~$1000 a month for his day care and are facing another ~$900 on top for the shadow. I used to believe that these ADHD is pure laziness. After dealing with my 3 yr old son now I truly do believe that this an issue and can affect young children. I pray that you get the help you need. Good luck!

      • ADD/ADHD not only effects children but adults, too. I am an adult with bipolar depression and ADD/ADHD symptoms. Adult ADD/ADHD is real like bipolar depression is. I take Zoloft and Ritalin. ADD/ADHD is a psychiatric disorder that effects an individual’s ability to focus, concentrate, pay attention, or remember subject topics due to a chemical imbalance in brain. I didn’t start talking Ritalin until was 32 years old and it helps me a lot. Many people who have psychiatric disorder of some sort might understand best in way than those who don’t.

    • my son is 3 yrs old. his ped sent him to a psychologist just before he was 2 and he is still seeing her. now they have a psychatrist seeing him. he was put on meds and after 2 weeks we had to take him off. he became even more violent. things are horrible. i love my son but he makes life very unhappy. he hits and kicks the dogs and cats for no reason. he has hurt my older daughters and his 6 month old brother. just in january his ped seen his temper and said he thought my son needed an exersisism. he is very violent. doctors agree he has an anger issue but they don’t wanna prescribe anymore meds. we have recently gone to the school district for an early IEP and trying to get him into Headstart.

      • Jess – please keep trying different medications. Just because one didn’t work does not mean that another won’t. You have many options for therapy and medications that will benefit your son (and you). We tried 3 different medications before we landed on the one that made a huge difference.

        I know it is very difficult for you to handle what is happening to your son, just think how difficult it is for him! This is the one thing that parents of “special needs” children must face. Think long and hard about how horrible it is for your child!!!

        They want to do all the things that everyone wants them to do, but they can’t. Our job as parents is to make our children feel loved, nurtured, and safe. Any and all means available need to be taken to assure them of that.

        I had to swallow my pride big time and figure out what was best for my child, and once I did things began to get better quickly.

        Please try whatever means you can to assure your son has as close to a normal life as possible. If that means medication, so be it. There is no stigma attached to medications anymore and if it makes him feel better than it is worth its weight in gold.

        Best of luck on your quest.

      • my grandson is 5 and was just diagnosed with adhd,they started him out on riddelin and that made him a very agressive child,he was hitting and kicking kids at his pre k,,they now have him on adderoll 10 mg and he is wired for sound he cant sit still and they have him on clonidine 1m to sleep at night.hes always fighting with his younger brother,talking back to his parents.we are now making another appointment with his doctor to change this medicine once again,we are all just hoping we can get his meds regulated before his new school yr starts up again,another thing we are having problems with is hes fully potty trained but every 3 months hes pooping himself and then it stops for awhile we have asked the doctors why he does this and they say hes being defiante,i find this hard to believe cause hes the sweetest boy normally ,,we feel like yes he was hyper to a point but since hes been on these different meds it has changed his personality so much,does anyone have any advise for us,,we could sure use it ,thank you

    • I recently started my 4yr old little boy on Advocare Spark and it has helped alot his teachers at his pre-k have said he is doing much better you may want to ck into this option and see if it might help.

        • I do the same thing and I give my 6 year old a third of a packet a day. He takes it to school and drinks it throughout the day. It has worked WONDERS for him. I cannot say enough about it. He is able to do things he just couldn’t do 2 weeks ago – he can participate in and enjoy school and sports!! It’s amazing! ??

    • Well I have been through this with my son since he was 1 and situation is just about the same and I am in tears hearing yours. Cause I feel like I have no one willing to give mine a chance. He starts public school this year and man I am scared to death. But I am lucky to have an individual who was his teacher at his first daycare and is now working from home. She for some reason can keep him in line and has very few issues with him or complaints. She watched him after school this year and was willing to go get him for me when the school called about his behavior. My son is extremely defiant and purposely does things to get in trouble. He has bad language, violence, anger, and constantly on the go. Absolutely not scared of anything, its scary. He does not listen or follow directions. His father has alot of issues and I see similar things in my son, that make me wonder if its hereditary. I stay home because of his behavior because I am scared of his actions when we go out. He can not interact with children or adults and his actions embarrass me. So I am a prisoner, I got to work and straight home. We rarely go anywhere cause it gets bad and I don’t know what else to do. He does have a 7 yr old sister who does not have the same father and is ADHD and she has been on Medication for about 2 yrs now it has helped with here hyper behavior but she also refuses to read and now she will have to do summer school and the possibility of retention. I am not perfect and I try to change my ways so that my son could see the difference since I have been told his actions were learned behaviors. I feel your pain and I have done the round and round and still do not have an answer. I pray for your son and you. Your blog helped me understand that there are children out here suffering and being shut out and I pray that I can find and answer for mine because yes he deserves a fair shot at life and all I want is him to be successful in life and it is my responsibility to give him the knowledge and tools. He has all the other qualities he can be sweet, kind, and he is SO VERY SMART… Has knowledge and catches on the things alot faster than my 7 year old. I wish I had an answer for you but know you are not alone. I hope I have helped a little bit.

    • Omg that is my 6 year old all the way. My son was kick out of daycare last year with the same problems. Its a none ending battle with us right now because I just quit my job. because I feel my son is falling through the crack of the school. He was diagnosed last year with adhd/odd. School was notified and still fell to get my son the proper help. My advice is keep it all in writing. My brother is in jail now for letting his anger get the best of him. I’m go fight to prevent it for me and my baby. That’s all we can do. Its hard, I felt it was time I was picking between work and my child. I can’t do it no more. School called almost everyday. He been suspended. Not allowed to go to my parents house because he sneeks and run off. It’s alot going through the same thing you going through. Some days I cry, I have anxiety now cause I feel lost, but I know I have the strength to do everything that’s necessary at this point.

    • I thought i was reading the story of my son’s daycare experiences. I swear my story is almost identical to yours. I don’t know what your area is like as far as specialized schools for your son. After a lot of work i was able to enroll my son into a school called The Bush school which specializes in add, adhd, anger issues and just special needs in general. I, like you am very hesitant to start my son on any medications. I’m hoping that this new school will get to the root of my son’s inability to fit in at daycare and hopefully teach him some coping skills. I’m just happy that I’m avoiding any medicating for now. I pray things work out for you. Best of luck!

    • That is exactly what I’m living with EVERYDAY …. they say my son has ADHD he is 5 1/2 and VERY violent when he is not with me.

    • Nicole,
      Bless your loving heart! Such a great mommy!!! I read your post with my mouth open…in shock that I’m not the only mom going through this. I wish I had some miracle answer, but I don’t. My son is 3 1/2 and recently diagnosed with ADHD. Been kicked out of preschools. Doc wants to out him on meds, but I just can’t do it. It doesn’t seem fair or right for his little body. I work with him and try different things, but there is not a 100% solution. I have been VERY blessed with his current preschool. They will not and have not have up in him…even with all the issues, outbursts, physical-ness towards kids and teachers. They try new things, new approaches. If you’re in the So. Cal area, I’ll give you their info. In the meantime, God bless you and thank you for sharing! I truly felt alone in the world!

    • You STILL won’t put your kids on med? what the HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?? Do whats best for your kids! you think a “zombie” personality or slower growth is WORSE that the lifetime of social problems he’s going to have? he can’t learn. he can’t sit still. he can’t function and you won’t give him meds because of your own ignorance. Yes ignorance. Are you a Dr? No. You’re not. Have any of these Drs had ADHD? OR KIDS WITH ADHD? I bet they don’t. pull your head out of your ass. give your kid the meds. give him a fighting chance! would you deny yourself blood pressure meds, antibiotic or otherwise?

    • I urge you to research the Feingold diet. Read Dr. Feingold’s book, “Why your child I Hyperactive: The link between artificial colorings and flavors and ADHD”. He was the original researcher who discovered the link between ADHD related behaviors and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. There I a volunteer parent group online that supports parents who want to use the diet before drug therapy. I didn’t put my son on the full restriction diet, I only eliminated allartificial colors, flavors, and the preservatives BHA, BHT, and TBHQ. A 3 week very strict diet will tell you whether this is affecting your son. These additives cause neurobehavioral toxicity in some children and adults. My son is now a normal, thriving child. His behavior not only improved, so did his asthma and eczema. We were afraid he might be kicked out of pre-school. In kindergarten we changed his diet. It worked. In 1st grade, he was a favorite of his teacher, put in the most trusted spot in the class, and received excellent behavior reports. He is now in 2nd grade and reading at a 5th grade level and although he is still strong-willed, his behavior is now in a normal range at home and at school.

    • Look up Feingold. Org it has to to with diet changes and it has changed my 4 year old life and mine! It was a miracle! !

    • I too am going through the same thing. don’t want to put my son on medication.. Did you put on son on Medicine and did it help? I don’t know what else to do.

    • Hi There Nicole McKinney!

      I know you wrote this years ago but you described my baby perfectly. Exactly the same but he has a mentally ill and very abusive biodad who entered his life (unfortunately my doing) in 2013 when he was 2. Now we risk it all with his behaviour. School and daycare is suffering.

      Please if you can tell me how your little one is doing now and what you decided?! I would love to know there is change coming for the better.


    • Just wondered what ever happened with your (Nicole McKinney) son..?? reading this makes me so sad for you and especially for him,.. But even though you didnt at the time want to end up having him take medication, that may have been the only option to benefit him. and just cause he would be on medicine, doesnt mean its a forever thing!! But, anyways, if he is struggling and having that many issues, if I were you, I would have instantly taken hiim to the closest Childrens behavioral center around you so he can be evaluated!!!! regardless of what you want, medication at this time may be a must to help your son feel normal and function better!! I hope everything turned out ok!! My son was having some similar issues so I took him to be evaluated and turned out my son has severe ADHD and had to be on medication.
      My heart goes out to you, but remember he is little and cannot control what he’s doing or feeling a lot and by sounds of it, he does need on some kind of medication to help him a little. :) He will be ok!!

    • Try meds. If on correct dose won’t be like a zombie. Like my son, these kids don’t enjoy always being in trouble as it does get too much for others and they end up with no friends and being kicked out daycare they love. They can’t control the behavior. You end up with this little kid that getting depressed cuz s Mike once said” my friends don’t like me” or everyone hates me. They suffer as much as those he puts thru hell. Just like mike did. I didn’t think it was fair to him, if there was something I could at least try ,that would make his life”most important” a little easier for him. I couldn’t take watching him suffer or not fit in..I finally tried the meds for adhd even after family gave me tons of shit not to do it. Well once the dose for him was right, the difference was like day and nite!!! I was in shock at the diff in him. He was a happy kid, people liked him alot more and didn’t mind when he was around. He could sit and do things without the up, down, up, down. He gave lots of hugs instead of kicking people or being a mouthy brat. I thank God I put him on the meds cuz he wasent miserable anymore. He could enjoy his days. That’s more important than the old…I’m not putting my kid on drugs…kid suffers the most. Please think about that for his sake..

  3. I dont believe in all this crap, I was hyper as hell in school got into trouble and was adventurous all through elementary school did all the thing that they define as adhd. just like all other kids did, we didnt have this adhd scape goat back then, we would get disciplined for being bad, as we got older we knew right from wrong and some just choose to do one more than the other. 3,4,5 y/o adhd dont believe in it. A teenager having a hard time focusing, we have tutors to help, and that might be the time to even consider medicating them, wanna start drugging ur kid at an early age? I know a guy that sells crack so they can continue it as adults. Honestly just wait till they are a bit older before you start feeding them pills to keep them doped up and calm. I have a 5 y/o that acts just like I did as a child, I dont even consider it, cause i turn out just fine and never took a single pill.

    • I understand where you are coming from to an extent, but until you have a child with the exact same difficulties and differences as mine and all the other parents who are experiencing it then I don’t think you have a right to judge us and definetely not to make us out to be horrible parents who just want to drug thier kid because they are “just hyper.” You have no idea what we are going through or what our children are going through. My son doesn’t just have ADHD, he has other issues too that coinside with the ADHD and creates a problem. My son gets discipline, spankings, time out, corner, groundings even from his electronics and playing with his friends. When the discipline has been going on for over a year and does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING you start exploring other options. What if the scientists and doctors who found a management through a pill for high blood pressure or created screenings for people with hearing problems to find a solution to help them hear better had an attitude like yours. Even high blood pressure and hearing impairment can start out as something small and become more severe, just like ADHD or other other emotional problems. Everyone is entitled to thier opinions, even you, but the way that you presented it was biased, hateful, and inexperienced first hand.

      • I totally agree with you Nicole. My daughter is deaf and I am almost certain has ADHD & ODD. She goes to a school specificially designed for deaf children with cochlear implants and even they are threatening to kick her out because of her inattention, aggression, and overall noncompliance. I believe that people who don’t understand what we go through on a daily basis seem to think that it is necessary to judge and tell us we are bad parents for starting our kids on drugs. When you have tried everything….you are at your wits end and enough is enough and will try anything. I can’t even tell you how many specialists my daugher has seen and she is only 3! She towers over all the kids in her class so she thinks that it is OK to abuse them and not the older kids. My daughter can hear now but I don’t know how much she can understand. I could discipline her all day long and not even phase her. People need to mind their own damn business and stop judgeing others! Until you have walked in my shoes…shut your mouth!

      • I completely agree with you I have a 6 year old that has severe adhd and we have been trying medication for the past year. he has been on about 5 different medications and we’re still trying to find something that works. I have a great support system with my mother who also is in his life a lot and we know that he has adhd and to judge these kids is absolutely wrong. I had exhausted everything every option I could possibly do before resulting to medication and we are still working on it I hope this helps and for the other person that posted that message you are absolutely wrong and you disgust me for judging. please email me about your son if you would like to my email is

    • We are going through the same thing with my 4 1/2 year old..his is to the point where he has accidents and doesnt even realize it until we point it out at which he is then embarrassed….still working on our options since insurance won’t cover it cause of his age.

    • with people like you in the world no wonder these children and their parents have to fight all the way! i do very much hope that you are blessed with chidren who dont have any problems as you would clearly never cope and probably be embarrassed by their condition!

    • yeah well i was diagnosed with this since i was in 5th grade. i had trouble making friends and i would not pay attention to anything i would stop listening to the teacher literally i would zone out therefor miss what she said i had to do and not do my homework. my grades became very bad.the medicine helped and yes i also had a tutor on top of taking them but just a tutor would never help and seeing as i have personally gone through this you cant tell me what i felt otherwise. so anyways this problem runs in my family and my dad had it but when he was a kid they didnt have this and u know what happened to him he grew up in new york city and was ALWAYS getting into fights and dropped out of highschool at 16 so if you would deprive your kid of medicine that he needs just to have this happen that would be crazy!!! my dad did turn his life around because he eventually outgrew this and was a corpsman for the navy and had several good jobs after that. but me and my brother both have this disorder and i can tell you that this medicine (i took adderall) is in NO way addictive!!! yes it hurt my appetite but i knew i had to eat even if i wasnt hungry so its not like i starved to death. i was more focused in school had great grades and even made some friends i wasnt very loud or perky during school hours but i wasnt a zombie i was just quiet and did what i was supposed to. after my medicine was done which i took extended release so i could get through homework at home, i was crazy and funny and had a great time. i took this medicine from 5th grade through highschool and i dont regret it at all. it allowed me to get good grades to go to college. anybody who doesnt want that for their child is a lost person. i went from c’s and d’s to a’s and b’s overnight!!! no therapy just medicine. i was the same child mentally i was just toned down. at bed time i couldnt sleep so i took melatonin which is a natural chmical our brain produces to relax and go to sleep so its not like an actual drug it was just a boost of what my body wasnt producing enough of. i slept fine. they tried me on clonadine or something but it didnt work right so i stopped taking it and just stuck with melatonin. as a college student i really think i should be taking this medicine still but im old enough to realize without the medicine i need to focus without it and this is how it should be at a certain age you need to find your way but as a child there would have been no way for me to progress and get where i am without it!!!! so if someone has a child with this problem i suggest medication. (ps i never had anger issues or anything just attention problems and social problems)

      • i love my mom and dad for letting us take this and another one of my brothers had this and my parents were totally against him taking it and he ended up doing drugs and in and out of jail. he had anger issues. he just got out of a year and a half scentence because he didnt focus in school therefor not getting good grades not going to college and unable to focus on jobs so he sold drugs…..when me and my other brother got diagnosed you bet they were saying hell yeah they need to be on the medicine. my brother brother who was taking it with me lied to my parents and stopped taking it like 9th grade and he graduated which was a miracle but he too got into drugs and didnt go to college. both brothers now in their twenties have outgrown all this and are working a decent job and signing up for college this fall. but they would have been done with college by now if they just took medicine. like me….. i have been in a three year relationship so the medicine doesnt affect you at all after you stop taking it so there is no long term affects after its stopped. we were dating while i was still on it and it didnt hinder being able to form a relationship with someone so if your worried about your child in the future if he or she could be in a relationship or struggle with it im telling you its not a problem. even if it is just friendship relationships your worried about it shouldnt be a problem.

    • As an adult who was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, I find your ignorance insulting. I have a genius level I.Q., scored well in my courses, participated in athletics and the arts. My parents explored every avenue to assist me with my inattentiveness, medication is the only thing that worked. There is an incident, which few know of, where I electrocuted myself 3 times in a row in High School because I was messing with a charging cord while doing something else. My hands had a tenancy to do things while I wasn’t paying attention. I have already obtained my first bachelors in Engineering, in the first semester I attended I pursued my degree without medication and began to fall behind. While I can function and preform in day to day activities without the medication I do need it to keep me on track every now and again. Now I have a 3 year old who was diagnosed with the same problems. I will, much like my parents, try to pursue other venues for treatment, but I will not hesitate to medicate him when things fail, because a life where you have no control over your actions and body is not fair, nor is it fair for someone who has no experience to judge. I don’t judge you for speaking your opinion, though formed without being properly informed or being properly composed, so i ask that you might do the same.

    • U sound just like my family did when I said I was going to try adhd meds. Let me tell U something. Being you as a child or early teen was probably normal. A parent can see when their child isent like other kids. I have 4 and Mike was not like other kids. Unless your there dealing with this sort of issue in your own child, I’m assuming u don’t have kids. You don’t have a clue what your talking about!!! Nor do you have any business running your judgemental mouth about any of us. If you do have kids, thank the good Lord that they r normal kids as u put it. I could see u beating your kid if they had this issue cuz you would never be able to deal with it. People like are so not nice. Had to curb my tongue there. Have a nice nite, day.I.whatever

  4. It was with great hesitation, after more than 2 years of therapy and half a dozen doctors and an intense preschool special needs program, we decided to try some medications for our 4 year old. The first one we tried was daytrana. I wanted to use it because I felt I had more control over it. I could take the patch off and in an hour or so he would be off of it. In my opinion this medication was/is most flexible for a young child. It worked good but the rebound for my son was his worst impulsive behavior TIMES 1000! It was not worth it. At first it was 20 minutes of complete craziness than it got to about 2 hours…SO we took him off of it and he is on Vyvanse. The capsule is disolvable and can be equally distributed to lower doses…So we started with 2.5 mg. I felt like a mad scientist making his medicine but we saw a positive effect and NO rebound. We slowly, since Nov, have raised him to 10mg. His behavior is great! I can take him out for the first time in his life and not have to be on edge. Vyvanse has been a Godsend to him and our family. His preschool sp ed teacher even thinks that in the fall he will be able to attend a mainstream kindergarten class. THIS IS GREAT!!

    To the people who think that medicating your child at this age or any is sinful. Or believes that we are talking about a hyper child; your understanding of having a child with severe ADHD is wrong and I pray to God that you never have to understand what we are talking about. I have spent the last 3.5 years of his 4.5 years of life getting him things that he needs and unfortunately he needed medication to survive. For further clarification…stimulants to a person with ADHD calm them. IF your child does not have ADHD and you give them the medication it would be like giving them speed.

    • You have helped me alot with this post I have been having alot of problems trying to decide what to do I have a 4 year old little boy that we have been to a spec. and has been diag with ADD/ADHD but we decided to do OT therapy at this time but I still wonder if we made the right decision on not doing meds right now but I love what you wrote and it has given me alot to think about with my own child thanks for sharing your story.


  5. If you dont believe in it its bc your child is being a child and not a child with adhd, untill you have a child who truely has adha then u dont have a clue what a parent goes through with this, so stop judging ppl and obviously if the doc has proof of adhd through numerous test and observations then it must be true next to u being 1 person who think its a scapgoat!

  6. My son is 3 and he is super active and sometimes unresponsive even though her is right in your face… I am positive he is ADD/ADHD i was ADHD but my dad refused to have me put on medication. I have gotten my son to understand that the things he does gets his toys movies and play time taken from him… He responds to that… He is very smart but her has the attention spand of a bowl or fruit sometimes he has never been in daycare due to this reason so he has a sitter who knows how to handle him… His father is ADHD also so poor baby has it coming from both sides. Just be patcient with him and if you really can’t handle it then you have an open option…

  7. I have a almost 3 year old, and she is unlike any child I have had. She is beautiful, intelligent, strong, and very very very active. The problem is that she is so high strung that she is a danger to herself. She is scared of nothing and does not respond to disapline. I love her more than life itself but I am going to get her the help she needs behavioral therapy, speech, and meds. I am behind her a 100%. Her father has suffered a tramatic childhood because his parents were unable to control him so they tied him up. Not the solution for any child. I wish all of you good luck.

  8. My son is 5 years old and has ADHD. He is on medication. He takes adderall xr and clonidine. This has helped him tremendously. I have no regrets! He was a danger to himself. He would bolt so we had to constantly hold his hand and we had to put alarms on the doors because he would leave if he had the chance. We had to try a few different meds until we found what worked for him. A lot of people think I medicated him to make my life easier. That is untrue! Think about how your child must feel on the inside. Not only are they always getting yelled at and usually socially undeveloped, their insides are racing out of control. I like to compare it to this: Have you ever taken diet pills that didnt agree with you or have way too much caffeine…to the point you are crawling out of your skin? That is how a lot of these kids feel. They cant control their constant moving or talking. My son is not zombie-like on his meds. He is like any other ‘normal’ kid. I have helped him in the only way I could. Our lives were once chaotic and arent anymore!

    • My daughter is 5 years old and just got Diagnosed with ADHD… her Md put her on 10mg of VyVanse once a day. My only concern is he put her on this med before looking at her blood work? I go this week for her blood work. He did a little exame in room, like draw a picture of a house, tree a person. Asked her her three wishes and so on…. i not too sure I believe she has ADHD she does though have a Behavorial Issue…. she doesnt listen to ME….
      Her father and I are seperated been for 3 years and now my daughter and I are living with my BF for almost a year now. My BF is also seperated and has two Kids (Older, 11 and 13)…. he doesnt have his kids all the time. My Daughter just doesnt listen, runs away from me in stores even in NYC and thinks it’s funny. She talks back to me, wakes up in the middle of the night; up to 3 times. I thought maybe this was all an adjustment disorder? The medicine does relax her I must say, but i dont want to be drugging up my kid if she doesnt need it. idk if MD’s do give this med. for Behavorial issues, or is jshe ust a regular 5 year old ?? I wish i have the answers…

      • I forgot to add she is a wonderful child at preschool…for when i told her teachers they were in shock!! She sits still, listens, consoles other children…. Anyone else have this type of Issue with their preschooler and that are on Meds….?

  9. I forgot to add that she is a wonderful student in Pre-k….listens, doesn’t fidgit, consoles other children that may be upset..shes a little class clown makes everyone including the teachers laugh :) he teachers are in awe over what I had to tell them about her MD saying she has ADHD…

    • Wow this is kind of shocking! We got extensive testing done before my son was labeled HDHD. From what you have said it dose sound like she is just going through a lot of changes and for any kid, much less a 4 year old that’s alot. She could just be acting out to get your attention. Like I said i don’t know your ped but I think he may have been a little quick to give that diognosis. ADHD kids have a hard time at school. They can’t stay in their seats. They don’t focus for more than a few mins. I had to have my sons teachers fill out a questionaire too. Maybe get a second oppinion or see a behavioral specialist. Good luck!!!!

  10. I need help! I have a 3 yr old son who is constantly kicked out of daycare. He hits, kicks and does not listen to anyone. It is to the point where I will not take him out in public anymore and if I do I end up regretting it. Just yesterday we went to the store and because he couldn’t have a fruit snack the world was going to end. He had the biggest out burst ever. I am scared he is going to hurt himself. He just throws his self on the ground and screams I literally had to pick him up to get him out of the store. While I’m holding him he is kicking and hitting me and trying to pull my hair. I take him to see a therapist who said he is ADHD but will not give him any medication because he is too young. I am a single mom and active duty army. I have to work Monday thru Friday and can’t just call out of work. But I don’t know what else to do to try to help him. No daycare wants to watch him cause he hurts other kids. If someone knows something that can help me please let me know. We have seemed to try everything.

  11. Danielle, it’s so good you reached out to this group. I’m not an expert, but I think there is more than possible ADHD here. Did your doctor provide any other kind of referral? I am curious to know since you mentioned active duty if you had to serve and be apart from your son for any length of time? Where do you live? There are home visitors and services available at many of the US bases as well as child care resource and referral agencies that are equipped to better understand military families. Are you in the U. S.? Where? I work for Parents as Teachers and can try to connect you. I am also a parent of a 7 yr old son with ADHD and Behavior Disorder. There are also some good resources on emotions and parenting based on some work by John Gottman. There is a website that I found recently that does a good job with explaning developmental phases.
    You might want to check out the “social” tab it looks like theres a video on tantrums.

    • They didn’t give me any referrals. I am at fort hood. The longest I have been away is two to three weeks. The social worker we see is really weird. She doesn’t help at all. She basically told me to suck it up. I’m just scared he is going to hurt himself during his outburst. She said something about he has a hard time transitioning.

      • He is very good with my friends kids and when they watch him they have no issues. I think that daycare just has too many kids for him and he doesn’t get that one on one interaction that he needs.

        • Have you looked into behavioral therapy such as PCIT (Parent Child Interactive Therapy) It really helped with my son when he was four and it has gotten better. They also started medicating him when he was a little over 4 1/2 and that helped as well. Wish I had more, but that’s what has helped with mine. and it still isn’t perfect and there are still bad behaviors but I’m able to handle them better and he is making improvement. Hang in there!!!

  12. Hi Danielle, I found this family resource for Fort Hood. Maybe you are already familiar with it, but of not, check out Children and Youth Services and also Outreach Services. I think your social worker was not helpful. You as the parent know your child best and know what’s needed. Please let me know if you’ve already tapped into these resources- I can also contact others in the field of child care and related.

  13. Jennifer – Thank you do much but yes CYS is not helpful and everyone on base has referred me to CAPS which is where I met with the social worker. I am going to call this week and ask for a new person. She told me that I had to see her before I could even see the doctor but I don’t want to see her anymore. I appreciate you looking up references for me. My next step after requesting someone new is to ask to go off base to a civilian doctor.

    • Hi Danielle,

      OK- sorry CYS is not helpful. I’ve emailed the Parents as Teachers TX state leader to ask if she knows of PAT or other home visiting services in your area or if she has other suggestions. In the meantime, maybe some of the information at this website help4adhd regarding child care can be of use:

      I also found this piece with some big picture parenting tips:

      And from my personal experience with my ADHD son (now 7) he’s also very emotional and throws tantrums over small things in public places even today. He also had some experiences biting and hitting other kids. Not enough to get kicked out, but enough to cause problems. Even though your son is only 3, you can begin to coach him to “use your words” when he is angry. Speak in a calm but firm voice and look him in the eye as you tell him that hitting, biting, and/or pulling hair is not allowed. It takes time, but it gets better. The other things I have noticed with my own son is that his mood is very affected by how much sleep he gets (my son needs at least 10 hours a night) and if he is hungry (my son needs to eat something about every 3-4 hours). He is a totally different child. Another thing I’ve noticed is that when I pick up my son from someplace where we have been apart for a while (child care, school, family) it’s important that I totally focus all my attention on him, just like you said, that one-on-one, so that he feels reconnected. It doesn’t mena I have to do that all evening, but for even 15 minutes or 30 minutes if he gets my undivided attetnion, then he’s happy and can entertain himself while I do something else. If I don’t give him that time he’s really difficult and fussy and whining. It is really hard as a parent, I know. I’m exhausted by how much strength it requires to be constantly teaching, and to always be as patient as possible. Many times I’m not able to be patient at all and I know I’m not being a good role model, but I run out of energy. Anyway I will let you know what I find out for additional resources. I agree with you — get a different social worker too. And a doctor should be able to properly assess him for ADHD when he is 4 years old. Don’t let any doctor prescribe ADHD meds without a thorough assessment. We can continue here, or if you prefer to take our conversation off this website, my email is Hang in there!

    • Yes, I guess I offended someone, oh well. I didn’t mean to be preachy in any way. My intentions were to be helpful as a fellow parent with a child with ADHD who is 4 years older that yours. I’ll also share that while we suspected our son had ADHD in preschool, we had him assessed at age 5 towards the end of kindergarten. I was initially opposed to meds, and we started seeing a psychologist to help us parent and help our son learn more on his own about self-regulation and impulse control. When he entered 1st grade it was clear within 2 weeks he needed to be on meds or he was going to be sent home for behavior. It’s been a roller coaster this year trying to figure out the right medication. We’ve tried Vyvanse, Adderall, and now are trying Intuniv. We have continued to see the psychologist almost every 2 weeks without fail, and the combo of meds and psychotherapy has been good. I’m not sure we are addressing our son’s issues the best wsy we could be because we have concerns about anxiety and he developed a tic, a throat clearing breathing thing while on vyvanse. He hasnt been on the vyvanse for 3 weeks + now and he still has rhe tic, so are going to see a developmental pediatrician to help us. Anyway.., hope things are going better for you. Still waiting for a response about possible home visiting services in your area. Hope you have a good memorial day weekend. I value your commitment and sacrifice in service to our country.

      • I don’t see how anything u said could offend anyone and I appreciate everything you say and the links you provide.

  14. I have a son who has been diagnosed with adhd, I went to a ped neurologist. She took all are info on how he has been acting in preschool and his behavior in the office and prescribed focaline. I just wonder if she was too quick to start meds? My son has just turned 5.

  15. I am also going thru the same thing. My son has beed diagnosed with ADHD along with a Behaviorial Disorder. Recently recommended to be evaluated for Aspbergers Syndrome. He currently Vyvanese and Intuiniv. Where it calms him down it also acts like a downer. He was on clonidine for the night terrors,but I took him off because it seemed to make it worse. After talking with his sleep dr., we decided to try 1 mg melatonin everyday. So I have to see how it works. I am looking for an natural alternative to the meds he is on. My problem is obtaining a Behavioral Dr to do his evalaution for Asperberger/Autism sooner than 6 months in the Dallas Area.

  16. My grandson just turned 5. We have noticed many behaviors that suggested he had adhd. When my daughter took him to pediatrician to discuss this he agreed he probably had adhd (the child’s father was recently diagnosed with adult adhd…has had a history of difficulties in relationship and drug abuse). The pediatrician sent him to a dentist to make sure nothing there was causing the problems (he did need some dental work which has been done) and sent him for a hearing test, which showed he had some hearing loss…he was referred to a specialist. The specialist determined that it could be corrected but said he needed another set of tubes and his adenoids out. He said my grandson’s hearing was similar to how we hear under water. All this has been taken care of now. I do think some of his problems focusing has improved but his impulsivity has not! The pediatrician refuses to prescribe medication for adhd to a child this young. I work in an elementary school system teaching reading intervention to k-3. I know that when he starts kindergarten his behaviors will inhibit his learning and he will struggle to make that up. I also know there are many teachers who after hearing about his behaviors will give up on him (this is wrong but unfortunately true). We really want to find a dr. that would be open to discussing medication at this age. He also appears to suffer from a sleep disorder. I so want to find help for my little man.

  17. Hello everyone, I have. 3year old who have ADHD and I promise it hurt me so bad to look at my 3year old little girl and say in my mind that it take Ritalin just for her to focuse. Yall it sad what these kids have to go throw but us parents got to be strong and don’t give up just have faith in them and in due times I promise it will get better, so to each and everyone who child I going thro this stage they are in my prayers, cause prayer do change……GOOD LUCK YALL.

  18. Reading these comments makes me so glad to know I’m not alone. My son has been acting out since he was 3, he is now almost 6 and was evaluated by a behavioral specialist who said he had a 97% chance of being ADHD with a possibilty of Oppositional Defiance Disorder. My son had been seeing the specialist since he was 3 so it’s not like he was handed the diagnosis. Everyone including my mother is giving me a hard time about the fact that I am considering putting him on medication, I don’t want to but we’ve been dealing with this for 3 years and if a small amount of medicine will help then I don’t see how that’s a bad thing. People on the outside don’t understand what we as parents go through with these kids. It started out with him hurting his baby brother so we thought it was just some new sibling jealousy, but he hasn’t gotten better at all. He is the most hateful and belligerent child one minute and sweet the next, it’s like he doesn’t know he’s doing these things. He has horrible impulse control issues and when we get on him about doing things the poor kid looks like a deer in headlights, he literally can’t control himself. We’ve done sticker charts and rewarded good behaviors but it hasn’t helped a bit. He went to a preschool where they take all kinds of children special or typical, he went in at 2.5 as socially and emotionally deficient. His teacher that first year was a horrible woman who blamed all his behavior on us and was just vile with him, saying that he was basically a little monster. The teacher he’s had for the past 2 years told us differently. Yes my child needed a little extra help but what he needed was a teacher who had the patience to work with him, and teacher #1 didn’t have that patience. The work teacher #2 did with him helped him greatly improve, so much so that my son is listed as a typical/normal student for school. Had it not been for that one excellent teacher my son’s impulsiveness and aggression issues would have put him behind in school. I have been very lucky to have a school that understood my son and worked with him to prepare him for regular school, however, I’m not sure he will thrive as well with all the new teachers he will have. My mother informed me that once you have a child diagnosed and medicated that a school will stop at nothing to keep them labeled and medicated because they get extra funds for having kids like that, and she then went on to say what a terrible and lazy mother I was for wanting to medicate my son. I do not want to medicate my child, it needs to be done so he can focus for school and be a normal kid. I don’t want a zombie, I want a happy and healthy child, not the angry and unhappy little boy I have now. It just infuriates me so much how people can be so judgmental and hateful regarding these kids and us as parents. I just want something that can take the edge off for him so he can be the kid he is when he isn’t having his epic mood swings. We actually thought he might have been bi-polar because of how bad they were, but the tests said ADHD with ODD and possibly OCD, what more can I do after 3 years of therapy with no improvement?

    • Don’t listen to your mother. She is wrong. My son has the exact same diagnoses and was having a really hard time in school and couldn’t learn, even after two years of therapy. I started him on meds and now he is catching up to his classmates. My son is able to focus and to learn and it is wonderful. He can now write his name. And rest assured, he is no zombie. If he is acting like a zombie, he is on the wrong meds. He is also in the special ed program because of his behavior and we have now discovered some other learning disabilities now that he can focus. Yes, people are cruel and I’ve been there, but medicating my child was the best thing I could do for him. I often equate it to if your child had a heart condition, you wouldn’t withhold medicines that could help him; it’s the same for our kids. Best of luck and I hope this helps

  19. Hello
    My 4 and a half yrs old son its my everything he’s always happy,he cares about me and give me love. He’s not a bad kid but ocassionally he disbehave and always want to sleep with me and like to reach my limit.he started kindergarten and the teacher try to kick him out in the first day.he try to hit her,he spit a kid in the face, and cut a notebook that belongs to a classmate.ect all that and more in 3 hours .I don’t see him as a bad kid but to tell you the truth I’m afraid to take him to a ped to evaluate him cause they can break he’s future, he’s very smart he can do better without pills. This case is different he’s not agresive at all at home and all he did in school was like he was trying to get attention . he don’t throw nothing he was smiling I also think he was playing in his own way. What you guys think.sorry for my orthography I’m Hispanic.

  20. My daughter has been acting very impulsive,not paying attention, & hyper since prolly 2 1/2 in the back of my mind I always thought she had ADHD but didn’t face it she is now almost 4 1/2 and it’s soo much worst at home and anywhere we go there’s constantly tantrums not listening screaming at us throwing herself around not paying attention to us. Now that I want her to be seen I have people telling me I am stupid that she doesn’t have it. Even if he doesn’t there is definitely something going on. I really don’t know what to do for her.

  21. Hi Folks,
    I myself have ADD as a 45 year old man. I am married with 4 daughters and have always worried about passing my ADD on to my kids. So far 3 have no problems but I’m worried about my youngest, 6 year old. She is having attention/concentration problems and struggled through kindergarten. I hate to see this happening to her. At the parent teacher conferences we have been talking about holding her back but so far have voted against it.
    When I was a child around age 6 my mom found a pediatric specialist working with ADD/ADHD children. He was in the KC MO area back in the early 70’s. I was put on Ritalin in attempts to improve my behavior in school, ie: keep me seated and focused on my work. I just want to say up front to everyone reading this; everyone is different and I’m only stating my experiences as an ADD child growing up into adulthood. I’m not offering advice but want to tell my story. The Ritalin made me sick with all the usual side effects. I was then put on Dexedrine and once the dose was adjusted once or twice I was doing great. Dexedrine was too strong to start so I fell asleep in class until it was corrected in case anyone was curious. Not sure about the difference in the two drugs other than Dexedrine worked with mild side effects where the other was not tolerable. Unfortunately my family moved when I was a around 10 and I never took meds again and again I struggled through school. Once in college, University of Missouri I tried to get an Rx for the same but the doctor wanted me to start on Ritalin against my request and again I was sick. The side effects were exactly the same and the doctor just kept saying I need to get accustom, adjust the dose, etc…After 3 months I never went back because I was so sick. I did request Dexedrine which made him cautious about me wanting a specific drug and he refused like I’m a drug addict. I’ve never been a drug addict and I don’t drink. Anyway, moving on.
    Here I am present day (2012), about 15 years after college and I found myself struggling at work and school again so I made another appointment and went to a doctor in Raleigh NC who gave me the Dexedrine and after 1 month I’m regretting not doing this sooner. It helps a lot. I’m work in the IT networking field and working towards a Voice over IP telecom position through education/certification and need to constantly study which has not been easy. I failed a much needed certification test 2 times but once on the med I passed. The med made the difference. The test is timed and both times I never finished the test for the fact I had to read the questions two or three times to understand. I know the material. I’m just having issues concentrating, focusing and acting on the questions in a timely matter.
    Today I’m better off with 15 mg of Dexedrine time release but now but I’m looking at my 6 year old and wonder if or when I need to have her tested. I don’t want to say anything to my wife but I’m worried. I don’t want my 6 year old to lose all the time I’ve lost. If I would have stayed on the Dexedrine all my life I would have been so much further along in my education, career and ability to support my family. Remember folks, 4 daughters which means 4 weddings & 4 college tuition bills coming my way in the future. Good luck to everyone.

    Michael, concerned parent

  22. I am so glad that I found this blog. I seriously thought I was the only person in the world who was dealing with a child with these severe type of behaviors. My son is 4 1/2 – he was kicked out of his first daycare at 2 1/2 for biting. We are now having serious issues at daycare again – this daycare has really worked with us but we are now just getting him on meds for ADHD. He was so out of control – we could not take him to the store or to a restaurant because he would not sit down & would cause all kinds of chaos. One day he ran away from me in Wal-mart because I would not buy him a toy & was lost in the store for about 20 minutes until managers were able to find him. He was walking in the garden department with a costume he wanted for Halloween. Nothing phases him – I was scared he was going to get hit by a car because he would take off running from me in parking lots. Also the car was a nightmare – he would not sit in his carseat. He knew how to get out of the carseat & would hop all around in the car. The first med he was placed on was chlonodine which worked in the beginning but he started falling asleep at daycare & we had to pick him up when he did this so now he has been switched to Adderol – we are still in the process of trying to get the dosage correct. He is going to see a specialist in November. He can be such a loving child & I would do anything in the world for him but he is draining me physically. I hope in time this medicine will work or we will find the best medicine for him. I felt guilty at first for putting him on meds this young but his safety is my first concern. I am also a Kindergarten teacher & I deal with kids like this all the time. The sad part is I hear administrators at our school constantly saying to each other “It’s the parents fault. It’s the home life!” They do not have a clue what it is like to raise a child like this nor do they know it is not the parents fault!!!! I am so tired of people constantly looking & judging!! Yes my son is hysterical at times & people laugh at him but they are clueless. I even have a family member who thinks it is our fault – that we do not discipline him enough. I seriously am going to go off on this person one day. It drives me nuts that they do not see that discipline does not work!!!!!! My son has done time-outs & spankings. He apologizes all the time & cries & says he will do better. He has no control over this & I hope one day I will be able to walk in a store with him with no chaos & let a teacher for ONCE say that he had a good day!! As a teacher, I know how important it is for parents to hear that.Your comments give me hope & I especially loved reading about the children themselves who are ADHD because I want to know how my son will feel knowing he has this. My husband & I adopted my son at 2 days old & he was a great baby. But when he started walking we started to see more outbursts with behavior. I will nevet give up on him no matter how many people want to sit back & judge you!! Many blessings to all of you!

  23. Hi , ive been diagoned with adhd since i was 14 (i am now 20) but before i was 14 i was allways a spaced out child allways an outcast for being differnt , i allso have dypraxia and impulsive disorder, during 2nd school i got aggressive and more naughty as so, never going, smoking drugs sniffin c etc had my first tatto at 14 had 2 full (allmost) full sleeves by the time i was 16 , all this prove and find myself, why was the way i was , so took some time till i started the meds and understanding wot and how it was apart of me and my personalty , and thats when i found and understood myself, to xontroll the adhd and the disorders, and to cut a story short, im 20 with a family got 2 kids and a house , and work as a careworker for the mentally impaired , understanding is all it took x

  24. My child started taking Procentra and it is safe in children as young as 3. Plus its a liquid so its easy to take. Procentra has been great for us.

  25. I have 2 kids, a 16yo & a 12yo. I had no problems with my 16yo but the pediatrician wanted to put my 12 yo on ADHD meds when he was 4. I said “NO”. ADHD runs in my family, my sister placed my nephew on meds for ADHD. It’s been difficult, but I have successfully managed to raise my son without the meds. He does well in school, A’s & B’s, but it is a constant challenge. There are places that we did not go when my son was little because I knew it was dangerous for him because of his hyperactivity (think zoo, beach). I am glad I did not medicate him, but, I can see how much calmer our lives would have been with the meds. It took lots of discipline & instruction but I am pleased with the results. Good luck with your kids everyone.

    • Congratulations. Someone on here does not mind taking the time to learn proper techniques in the management of a “difficult” but often “normal” child. By the way, for best results, this “learning” should occur prior to school-age (or even preschool if the “problem” is already in evidence). Anytime after that, and it gets harder on yourself for not comprehensively addressing the issue much sooner.

      I know everyone that parents’ such children means well, but in the great majority of cases, medicating a young child with a Schedule II controlled substance – stimulants are prescribed by far the most often for ADHD – ( over a number of years is not in the child’s short or long-term interests. Instead, take the time and make the long-term commitment to receive proper behavior management training for parents of young children, and also systematically upgrade other aspects of the child’s environment (e.g., nutritional intake, reading time versus TV time, monitor family conflict levels, exercise, sleep, etc…..). Good luck to all, but please rethink again the medication treatment option.

  26. My 4 year old grandson has non stop distructive energy. He is very intelligent so this does not stop him from learning. He has been kicked out of a few preschools and play groups due to this endless energy.

    My hopes are that the doc will opt to medicate him, or he will not be able to develop a normal social life.

    To those that feel meds are wrong for a child that young, try spending a few hours with a hyper preschooler,

    • Linda,
      We had a similar issue with our 4 yr old son. We had a bit of a some chaos until we finally got him evaluated and medical coverage to attend a special clinic which handles children with mental and behavior issues. The doctor on staff and his therapists finally said that he needed to go on meds. He was formerly diagnosed with PDD and prescribed Risperidone . Wow what a difference it makes with him. In the first week we could tell. I feel that he is happier and much more like the little boy that he wants to be. He has become more polite, loving and for lack of a better word “normal”. Good luck with your battle. I would start calling your county’s intermediate unit. They helped us get started with some evaluation services and therapy services. They do this because they certainly don’t want a behavior issue child starting public school and disrupting the class and hurting themselves, students or the teachers.

  27. My son is almost 6. I am a single mother and my sons father has never been involved in his life. All of these stories help me so much. A couple of years ago I noticed the behaviour changes in my son. He was very angry, outbursts, fighting. I thought it was just him being an active little boy. I would have never thought I would have even considered giving my son medication. Now I am at my wits end! He has ADHD and ODD. He is uncontrollable. No matter what myself or anyone else does it means nothing to him. He has no regard for consequences. He is in senior kindergarten and thankfully he has an amazing teacher who is willing to work with us in any way possible. I have asked family members and friends for advice on whether or not I should medicate my son. No one actually has been through this with a child though so it’s only an opinion. My son said to me that he wants to take the medicine because he doesn’t want to be bad anymore and he doesn’t know why he’s bad. It breaks my heart because its affecting his school and life in general. His friends don’t want to play with him, bus driver yells at him. I have people telling me that I should not medicate him but if its for his own good I don’t see why not.
    Thanks for all your stories everyone. It has helped a lot!

  28. My 16 year old daughter is finally getting her grades where they should be. It took her being put on 70mg Vivanse before she was able to do what comes natural for her. I am her Dad and I am 53, I take the same 70mg Vivanse. I can see a better result than with previous medications. I also don’t think we are where we can be. It’s like watching a movie on 300X search, thats our life. With the 70mg Vivanse it slows it down to 100x search, which is good. But still have a lot of the same issues, just not as often.

  29. There has never been any ADHD in my family or my husbands family. But both of our kids have it. Our daughter ,now almost 10 also has aspurgers. Her ADHD didnt start until about 5 or 6. Our 5 year old son is the worse case we’ve ever seen. We knew he had it bad as he was approaching 3 years old. He’s on clonadine now (half pill twice a day of lowest dose). It was working great for the first couple months and I was finally able to school him. He wasn’t allowed in public school because even the top specialists in the school could not handle him and I was going to school with him for several weeks…and now it’s just stopped working. He wakes up like he’s on crack and goes to bed like he’s on crack. I’m looking forward to our next appointment at Kennedy Krueger in Baltimore (world renoun autism and ADHD center) they are amazing.

  30. Hi all,

    Reading all of your posts is really helpfull for right now, i have an 11 year old son whom was diagnosed with adhd here in the uk 5 years ago , as his farther i was always very dismissive of this syndrome that in my eyes seemingly did not exist outside of america.
    His mother and i seperated when he was only 2, he had been on concerta 18 from the age of 8 , this frustrated me alot as i was very concerned about the side effects i had read about, and sadly it wasnt until 2 years ago that i started to accept that this was a distinct possibilty with my son.
    im still unsure if the medication helps him or not.

    9 months ago i was diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia and 4 months ago , add following some problems at work, and now i feel like the worlds biggest hypocrite ,i always knew i had some serious problems with attention and learning new things, in my youth i would get very frustrated easily and lash out, sometimes violently, got involved with drugs and firearms which in the uk carries serious penalties, ultimately know as a father limiting where i take my son abroad for a holiday ,
    i have had it described to me by psychologists that i can find it hard to interperit a conversation ,i.e the other persons remarks , due to the time it can take me to process the information , in which time i would be aware of this, get anxious and stressed and respond with abuse or a threatening manner as a defence mechanism. This is clearly neither productive or what is socially considered to be normal , but is only a tip of the ice berg of things my whole life , which im sure some of you may be familiar with.

    I am 34 years of age and feel like ive had so many questions answered and at the same time angry that it was never picked up, just called lazy and thick as a kid, the shortfalls of this in hindsight have caused me massive problems with work and study and relationships even recently, as its difficult to explain to people that im not taking the piss out of them when they think im ignoring them or i forget to do something ive been asked to do.
    Ive lost a lot due to the lack of understanding and knowledge of this and someone i loved, and feel like ive let my son down massivley due to just not knowing and lack of education on the subject.

    But know hopefully i will turn things around for my son and myself, i refuse to let him grow up baring the pain, troubles and frustrations and loses that i did.

    Sorrry if ive harped on a bit , its still tough for me to convey information and am in the early days of concerta myself.
    If there is any advice or information or even links to information anyone may have to pass on to me , it would be really appreciated.
    many thanks


  31. I give my son 1/3 a packet of Advocare Spark per day. I blend it up to avoid the gritty texture. He takes it to school and drinks it over the day. This has absolutely worked wonders for him. He has gone from literally not being able to learn to enjoying learning! I am so happy I found this vs having to give my 6 year old amphetamines. It has been such a blessing! He is so much happier! I would recommend this to anyone who has a child with moderate-severe ADHD but does not want to medicate :)

  32. hi parents,
    so my 8-year-old has lots of things going on… anyway after 5 years of all kinds of therapies (which he still continues) with his auditory processing disorder his new doctor recommended Concerta 18mg.
    but when we got the meds it was methylphenidate 18mg. both pharmacist and doctor were saying it’s ok to take and that it’s the generic version. do I for his second prescription ask for just concerta and no generic?? or go along with the generic version??

    we’ve had a couple of really hard weeks on the meds.. the first week it was all no sleep.. he usually falls asleep at 7pm and wakes up at 5am and couldn’t fall asleep until 930 still wakes up at 5am.. his appetite was gone.. he eats none stop so that was incredible wierd.. he just wasnt hungry.
    then we had a burst of snow days so the second week was a miss at school but I continued to give it to him.. to regulate his body to it.
    the third week his teacher said she saw no changes in his work. (i was baffled by this.) I don’t want to give up if it’s going to help him… she is going to up his dosage to 27mg… starting next week.
    but I also wanted to add.. it’s been incredibly difficult for him emotionally.. his anxiety is worse I think… or maybe i just get him at a down time but .. i feel like behavior wise it hasn’t helped.. he’s a pretty good kid so if there is no change in his beahvior or focus.. on 18mg..
    i wondered if other parents have gotten any of the same repsonses from their children..
    he has been incredibly negative about himself.
    feeling/wondering what poeple think about him.. very insecure. errattic behaviors, being controllabley silly or emotional and unable to listen at night .. like a simple night time routine is very hard for him
    anyone else having similar experieces???

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