I am at a loss: My youngest is 3. For... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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I am at a loss

Morgoshoe profile image
15 Replies

My youngest is 3. For the past 9 months or so, there has been a huge shift in her behavior. It’s effecting her ability to have good relationships with not only her peers but adults as well. Her doctor has referred us to a specialist, but the earliest we are able to get in is in March. In the meantime, I need all the suggestions and help I can get. So here’s the problem…

At home, I experienced these behavioral issues from just blatantly ignoring my asks, her hitting her older sister(4), and was a menace in public with very large meltdowns when she didn’t get what she wanted. I have made some adjustments and now her behavior is sooooo much better. I redirect her energy, give her options, isolate her when she’s over stimulated, etc.

However, at daycare/preschool, she’s hitting teachers, biting classmates, won’t sit down for longer than a couple minutes, being disruptive to a point where the teacher can’t regain her focus, having meltdowns, and refusing nap time/quiet time. They sometimes are able to get her calmed down, but it’s often that I’m having to either talk to her over the phone or come pick her up for the remainder of the day. I have given the school fidgets and tips for what I have done at home and nothing seems to be working for them.

I’m at a loss here. I am a single mother who works full time to support my girls, so unfortunately her staying home full time is not an option and I cannot afford a full time nanny. We also happen to live in a small town where daycare options are limited.

Any tips, tricks, etc would be GREATLY appreciated. So sorry for the long post!

15 Replies
Bootsie1 profile image

I’m so sorry she is struggling. Maybe you can start by looking into possibly sensory processing issues she may be struggling with and figure out ways to accommodate those needs/sensitivities. It’s a start and may help reduce some of the unwanted behaviors until she can get a proper assessment.


Morgoshoe profile image
Morgoshoe in reply to Bootsie1

we’ve tried sending sensory toys to daycare, in an attempt to stop the outbursts there. At home, it’s not an issue anymore really. However, I’m able to give her the one on one attention she needs and positive reinforcement. For daycare, they have many kids to a class so I think she struggles with not getting that as often… great ideas though!! I’ll see what the daycare is open to.

LAJ12345 profile image

Also look at diet. Try removing all additives and processed food and sugar and make sure she is eating a wide range of vegetables and fruit. It’s worth a shot before any medical interventions.

Morgoshoe profile image
Morgoshoe in reply to LAJ12345

we’ve done this! I’m so glad we did. She’s so much better at home now!

LAJ12345 profile image
LAJ12345 in reply to Morgoshoe

Other things to try are eliminating all dairy for a few weeks to see if it helps , then adding it back to see if it affects her again, then gluten for a few weeks..

Also try ringing Hardys on their toll-free number and ask to talk to a product specialist about their daily essential nutrients and ask if they are suitable for her. These were used by a friends son from the age of 7 and it had a massive effect on his behaviour. I’m not sure what they recommend for a younger child.


MaudQ profile image

I’m so sorry you are going through this. What about occupational therapy? They can help with sensory and physical issues. And maybe could give suggestions to the daycare.

Morgoshoe profile image
Morgoshoe in reply to MaudQ

we see the specialist in march! Hoping for some additional ideas as well.

MaudQ profile image
MaudQ in reply to Morgoshoe

Oh - sorry - I wasn't clear. I'm assuming an OT would be a different kind of therapist. OTs are more like physical therapists. I don't know what the specialty of the professional you will be seeing, but my thought was that a lot of these fields overlap to some degree. OT, social worker, psychiatrist, neurologist, psychologist, developmental ped: it opens up the field for you in terms of getting on waitlists and what your insurance will take. I've learned you never know when you start calling around. Waitlists can open up surprisingly quickly - also sometimes the people in the offices can suggest other places to call. We got our kid an appointment in 3 months by doing this when many places told us 9 - 12 mo. The system is maddening - but you never know ...

Also, I forgot to say this but your state might offer early intervention services. No idea what the wait on that would be, but it's free ... They do an evaluation and, if you qualify, can provide services. It's basically an IEP process but for kids too young for school. This is how it works in my state dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?i...

SurvivorFan profile image
SurvivorFan in reply to MaudQ

These are both great ideas. We also had early intervention services through the school district with our son. He went to normal preschool but then in the afternoon a bus came to the daycare, picked him up and brought him to a specialized pre k class for remainder of day that had OT/PT/special Ed teachers. It was really nice. If I had been more open back then I also would have pursued private OT at that age instead of waiting a few yrs.

510Wins profile image


Hey Momma,

Im no Licensed Medical Agent. I’m just a Mom.

Sounds like your child could be experiencing a reaction to something that she’s eating or drinking or even air freshener.

Our kids are reacting to Chemicals that they have ingested by eating, drinking or smelling.

Try reading the labels of her foods and beverages and seeing if there are any Artificial Colors, preservative, MSG or High Fructose Corn in Syrup in it. Try eliminating Processed foods and feed her Real Wholesome food. See if her behavior changes. Make sure her Bowels are working everyday. If not, she may be constipated.

(What goes in MUST come out).

These kids (and adults) are consuming chemicals and not REAL foods. Their behavior changes because that is the reaction sign when their body is being affected by chemicals and/or becomes depleted of Nutrients that they need. Real nutrients, not Fake Gummies they call Vitamins.

It takes time to clean their bodies out from whatever is causing the reactions. Be patient and feed them REAL food. We use probiotics and real foods. Stay clear of all the Pretty fast/Fake foods. Change their diet, study what REAL and Fake foods are then protect them from anyone who wants to give them Candy, Sugar treats etc.

Most likely you’ll see her Behavior change for the good because she’ll be able to think again. Her impulses will calm down and she won’t be aggressive.

Observe her, monitor what time she eats and what she’s eating then what time her behavior changes. You WILL see a pattern.

Good luck and be patient.

It’s in the processed foods and drinks.👈🏽

eva2022 profile image

Wow-I just wanted to tell you what Ana aiming job you have done to see that turn around at home! What a wonderful thing for her to have a mother like you!

I don’t have any advice, just solidarity. Praying that you get in to a specialist much sooner.

flightgoddess profile image

To some degree or another, most to all of those behaviors are normal for almost all children at that age at one time or another during their growth and development. It is hard when so much is all at once, and there are so many outside factors you can't control, like teething molars, or a growth spurt or a sleep regression, or a milestone, etc. Love and patience. Pick one or two small things to focus on at the moment, everything can't be done all at once at the same time. PRAISE when you see good, no matter how small. Good luck!

NYCmom2 profile image

You mentioned it’s a small town and therefore not that many daycare options. I wonder if there is a small group daycare option or private home option with few children.

After one year of a crowded daycare I learned my child couldn’t take the noise, transitions and changing shifts of different people.

Pattimum profile image

Totally agree with the other reply- she is very young so she can’t tell you what’s wrong but it might be ‘sensory processing’ . Many children with ADHD have ‘sensory processing disorder’. You could try simple strategies- weighted blankets, wobbly wedge or round cushion to sit on (even her nursery/preschool can have one for her to sit on). If let’s say the weighted blanket would work at home you can ask preschool if they would allow it. Sorry that fidget toys don’t do the trick at nursery school. Maybe those tight ‘body socks’- you can even saw one yourself. I tried one myself on sensory processing training and I actually liked sitting in it like in a cocoon. You could also try headphones- would this calm her down when environment is too busy to have headphones on, maybe even with her favourite music or stories etc. Her preschool could facilitate this. Of course had you have Occupational Therapy assessment with her sensory profile and recommendations, preschool might be more likely to accommodate all these strategies and adjustments. However considering that it’s disturbing their daily routine at present- they might be open even to suggestions from you. Just try these strategies first at home.

Oh I think also there is this strategy that kids have their ‘sensory box’ where they have let’s say some playdoh, some pebbles or marbles, sand or whatever they like touching. I have heard in one of the ADHD trainings that the girl had a tissue infused with her mum’s perfume and when she was upset etc she would smell it and remind herself of her mum and calm down. I know it sounds surreal but hey, she is young and it may work.

You can see if a bath calms her at home- get her colourful bath tablets and when they dissolve the water is different colour, colourful bubble bath, foam body wash etc.

There are books about sensory processing and I think it’s often felt that only kids on a spectrum have those problems but ‘sensory processing disorder’ is an independent disorder. Many kids have it, even kids who don’t have any other neurodiversity, and then outgrow it.

The good thing about ‘sensory processing’ even with no therapy it usually gets better as people grow up. I know it’s not much of a comfort for you now when she is so young and she is causing all that ‘trouble’ which of course is not her fault.

kdali profile image

Nap time woes, I have some ideas! At age 3, a teacher would rub my daughter's back until she fell asleep, but that luxury was gone in pre-k. Currently, she has a pair of headphones, a nobby blanket (minky dot) for tactile comfort, and a lovie/plush toy. The fidget toys never interested her, so my next idea was/is to send a weighted blanket. She is able to grasp that rest time is quiet/still time and rarely gets sent to the hall for being disruptive now, but I think I spent 6mo prepping her daily for surviving nap expectations 😱 and rewarding her for the wins 🎉 She appreciates stickers!

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