Hyperactive 5 year old -- Help!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 06-25-2008, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone out there dealt with this issue at all? My 5-year-old daughter, Hannah, is so "high spirited"...she literally bounces off of the furniture and walls daily. It is so hard to contain her energy or even find an appropriate outlet. I realize that most 5-year-olds have an exhorbitant amount of energy, but hers is different. By the end of the day, I am mentally exhausted from her. My tantrum-throwing 20-month-old is a piece of cake compared to Hannah. Hannah is an incredibly bright child...possibly gifted. Sometimes I wonder if that plays into her energy level or not. She also has a lot of food and environmental allergies, which may play a part, but we've pretty much gotten her allergies under control with Zyrtec and food avoidance. She is able to concentrate for somewhat long stretches of time during play, so I don't think it's ADHD, but then again I really don't know much about the disorder. She is an extremely outgoing child...almost to a fault. She doesn't understand "personal space" and she is often in other childrens' faces, or picking them up, or touching them, or grabbing them, etc...including her sister (all...day...long ) She is also starting to do really odd things that she doesn't even realize, like fluttering her eyes a lot and doing a really bizarre thing with her lips (kind of like lip syncing). It's like a nervous habit that she just recently developed. She does it when she's deep in thought. I'm not sure where to go from here. Should I have her evaluated? Thanks for any advice you all may have.
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#2 of 5 Old 06-25-2008, 03:18 PM
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Sounds a lot like my DS. His ped. says it's too early to worry about ADHD testing - though DS's Montessori teacher definitely hints that he should be assessed.

My guy is definitely smart - all his teachers repeatedly say so while they are criticizing his behaviour. I don't know if it plays into his behaviour at all, but I am starting to suspect that DS may be mildly dyslexic as well. Like your DD, he has an attention span when he is interested in something, but he can't be bothered to stick with something that doesn't capture his attention.

We haven't had much success with anything other than physically exhausting him outside, which is a real challenge, but makes a difference. We are really struggling with the personal space issues and the odd habits (he picks his cuticles so badly that they get infected and damage the nails). I wish I had some good suggestions, but we are right in the middle of it.

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#3 of 5 Old 06-25-2008, 04:37 PM
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Not to be alarmist, but you might want to investigate Tourette's Syndrome. I have an acquaintance who has a child with it and I guess it manifests very very early as hyperactivity, then the tics start. Take a look at this page that she emailed me to help me understand this syndrome.

The fact that she is starting to have facial tics kind of made me think of this little boy. I hope it's nothing, but you might just read through that page and see if you recognize any other symptoms.
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#4 of 5 Old 06-25-2008, 07:43 PM
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5 yos sometimes get tics that usually go away. But if it doesn't, I agree that asking your ped is a good idea.

What is she like when she's not on Zyrtec? My first suspicion when a child is on a systemic med like Zyrtec would be to see what she's like off the meds.

If it's more than then meds, I would read: Sensational Kids about sensory processing disorder. Not saying that your dd has it, but she has a few behaviors that make me suggest at least investigating: 'no sense of personal space', 'constantly in motion', 'touching/grabbing'. Sometimes kids who are sensory seeking are confused with kids with ADHD.

ADHD, as I understand it, is a disorder of REGULATION of attention. So, it's not that kids with ADHD can't attend at times, but if they're focused, then shifting attention is hard. There are also different types of ADHD. But, the real question is whether these issues are impairing her life or just the signs of an active child. I'm not sure you can tell that at age 5 yet.

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#5 of 5 Old 06-25-2008, 09:32 PM
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my ds has some odd symptoms when he is hyped up on preservatives and food colorings and artificial sweeteners. You may want to explore the foods she eats and see if these are in them? Normal processed food has all of these things, but organic health foods often do not as well as fresh produce.
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