New here, 4yr old with ADHD

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2003
New here, 4yr old with ADHD
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 10:42pm

My 4 yr old son has been diagnosed with ADHD. I lawys knew he had it but wanted to try everything before medication. The last 2 weeks he was on dexamphetimines which made him 10 times worse than before medication and now he is on Ritalin, which hasnt done a great deal either but he is a little calmer i guess.

I myself at am a total loss i Just done know what to do with him anymore. No form of discipline works, i have 2 other daughters as well and i feel so guilty as Liam takes up all my time. I am a single parent and have been for almost 2 years. Liam's dad only seems him once a fortnight and refuses to help out in anyway.

Liam has this rage insinde of him and just explodes over the smallest thing. He is fussy with his clothes his shirts have to be the rigth length, socks have to put on perfect or he will have a complete meltdown. Same with food, if there is not enough milk in his cereal bowl he will have a fit. He has no friends at kindy, some at daycare.

He woke up at 6am this morning screaming because he hates his hands and was biting them:( All his artwork gets torn up because in his eyes its not perfect. Yesterday he broke his cup he made for fathers day tomorrow because he didnt wrap it properly. (we live in australia).

I guess for the first time i'm realising my son is not normal and its really upsetting. I'm not sure how much mentally of this i can take.


Sarah 33 Brad 36


trying for one of our o
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 11:24pm
Hi Sarah,

First, I should point out our sons have at least one thing in common; they are both Liam!

I am afraid they my have something else in common other then AD/HD. Have you ever heard of sensory integration dysfunction? You should do a search on Liam and read some of my posts both on this board and on the Sensory Integration board. Also, a great book you might want to read is *The-Out-of-Sync-Child*. The things with the socks and milk make me think of that.

My Liam has SID, Central Auditory Processing Disorder, and ADD inattentive. I just found out he doesn't have Asperger's Syndrome. A rare, very mild, form of Autism. If you want to know about that, there is a great PDD-NOS/Asperger's board here at parentsoup. Children with Asperger's are usually extremely bright, even genius, but quite literal, have a need for sameness, are prone to obsessions (like for trains or Pokémon),aren't good at comprehending other people's emotions, and socially awkward. OK, sorry, I'm still digesting that my son isn't Aspergers! Because of my son's CAPD and ADD, he has a very hard time socially in a group. If you'd like to know more about that, a great book is *Asperger's Syndrome* by Tony Attwood (from Australia).

I can totally relate to your feelings of frustration and the guilt about the sisters. I feel the same way! I spend so much time on Liam, my daughter, Linnane gets the short end of the stick. Or, like tonight, I have much different expectations for her. I am not as tolerant as I am with Liam. He just exhausts me, so when she acts up, she gets little wiggle room. Liam is 6, and Linny is 4.

I can tell you the best thing I've done was to have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist. We go for our debriefing, or show and tell, on the 24th. She hasn't told me too much except he has the CAPD, confirmed his ADD, and he isn't on the autism spectrum. But just knowing those things, she's given me a ton of insight into why he acts like he does. I've been on this journey sense last year. I say the not knowing for sure is the hardest part.

I send you an internet hug and hope for much better days for you and your Liam!


Short for Siobhain

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 09-07-2003 - 6:17pm
(((SARAH))) I read your post and just cried. He's only 4 ... he's still a baby ... he shouldn't have such turmoil in his life. It's also so hard to 'label' such a young child with such a big label ... ADHD. Sigh!

No form of discipline works ... OK, if he really has ADHD, then 'discipline' is not so much an issue because he isn't in control of his actions and behaviors. So, punishing a child for things beyond his control won't be effective. Some of what you said points to SIDS (Sensory Integration Dysfunction) but others, perhaps, ODD ... and that's where I 'might' be able to help.

Here's a link to my website:

Two sections I want you to look at. The first is the Book Review Section (after reading the What Is ODD? part.) The other is one I added just this afternoon: Behavior Charts. That totally might help you. This is SOOOOO effective with ODD/ADHD kids ... and most younger kids. Perhaps moving from a punishment/consequence mode to a positive reinforcement one might offer both you and your little boy some relief.

I would also like you to rule out some physical causes. Food allergies, for instance, can cause behavioral problems in children. Sleep apnea often mimics ADHD symptoms and many kids are misdiagnosed. Check out: for more info on that.

Remember, too, that God doesn't give us more than we can handle ... so no matter what, He wanted you to have this child because only YOU are equipped to deal with it, not matter how different that might feel at any given moment.

(((HUGS))) to you. Welcome to our family.




Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 9:17am
I feel for ya hun. I have been there, and some days am still there. My sons socks drive him batty, we have no tags on our clothes, and he can't stand anything sticky. I took him to a theme park last weekend and he had a panic attack. There were tons of people there & he said they were all talking & bumping into him. He kept holding his ears & crying. I had to leave the park and wait outside for the rest of our group. He is also the prefectionist, tears things up if it is not just so.

A few things I have learned not to do with my son & his sensory problems is to make him do what he can't. He can't go on forward if his socks bug him, or a tag is bothering him. We have even sent him to school with them inside out. ANYTHING to get over that hump. I have to pour syrup in a small bowl for him to dip his pancakes in because of the stickiness. You find out what helpsm, and do it. Another book that helped me was "The Explosive Child" by Ross Greene. It helped reduce the stress in our home by showing me some of the things I was demanding of my son were really not THAT inportant for him to do at the time. For ex: bath time was a huge fight. I insisted he take a bath every night. Well, why? I have no idea why, so we changed that to at least every 3rd night (until mys on was stable enought to go back to every night).

Another thing to look at is the meds. It may be aggravating the problem. There are other meds (Adderall, Strattera) to try. There is no need to keep going through the day with him feeling like this. Talk to his doc, or take him to a child psychiatrist to get him help. Hang in there, it does get better. I never thought my son would have friends & be able to accept that his art work is beautiful. There is hope!

Here is a link to a company that makes socks & such.... Sensory Comfort sells products for children and adults. They have socks, clothes, all kinds of things.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 10:35am
Everyone else here already said it. You do have your hands full. And your girls will get used to it. Mine did. They don't like it, they gripe at times, but they got used to it. My girls are fortunate enough to have people outside the family that think they're pretty special so they get a break from it.

I'm just sending you hugs. You already got the advice.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-05-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 7:02pm
Nancy, what a great post. I enjoyed reading your views and thanks for posting the links.

I agree with you.............

Take Care!