marshaD asks:

my 3 1/2 year old boy is a very energetic and excited child.  Whenever he gets excited, he cannot pay attention and concentrate on a task.

We recently went to his school and he was supposed to sing a short song with all his classmates.All the kids were able to stand in their own spot trying to sing while he kept shaking his head exaggeratedly from side to side and not singing the song and the parts he sang, he sang it wrong on purpose.He also threw himself on the ground and crawled with a big smile on his face the whole time.  He knows the song since he sings it every now and then at home.He's a smart but I feel he can't control his excited emotions.
I often see him clenching his teeth, running in place and shaking his head vigorously from side to side while touching someone as if he's ready to squeeze them but for the most part he doesn't.Sometimes, he gets carried away and he does squeeze hug them like his young brother or a friend.This only happens when he is excited.  I don't know what to do.I can't wait till he's 7 to curb this behavior if it's ADD/ADHD. He is able to sit and concentrate on building and playing with his trains and legos for a long time.He can sit through a couple of books but with questions on every few pages even if he's read the book so many times.I've also noticed that when he plays with his friends after school, he's often not playing with the big group of kids and he keeps asking me or another grown up why the other kids don't understand. Usually, it's because he wants to create a story line different from what they have i.e. from a giant squid as opposed to just running from a dragon
In Topics: ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago



Dec 23, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Hello and thank you for writing to JustAsk,

Preschool can be a tricky age. First, I would talk with the teacher and see if his behaviors are always "random" or is there a pattern.  Have the more unusual behaviors just appeared?  

To help you, consider contacting your local public school and request in writing to have a meeting with their early intervention team.  Outline your concerns and that you are seeking possible assistance.  They should get back to you within 30 days with a meeting time.  (This is assuming that you live in the United States)

Also, you may wish to share your concerns, especially those that are physical (e.g. teeth clenching) with his physician.  

Lastly, keep a log of his activities from day to day.  Does he engage with you better in the morning than afternoon?  Is he difficult to get to sleep every night or just after eating a lot of sweets during the day?  How much time did he successfully play without adult participation?  Was he able to sustain a peer play time without many problems?  All of these kinds of observational data will help any team or physician.  Many parents find keeping a diet diary helpful, too.  

There are many reasons for behaviors with children.  ADHD is only one of many possibilities.

These resources may help you:  (Her parenting book with solutions is exceptional)  (another wonderful resource- check out the articles) (Again, blog and resources for parents)

To learn more or if ADHD is indeed your son's diagnosis then you may wish to avail yourself of this group:

Thank you again for writing.

Warm regards,

Louise Sattler
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Owner of Signing Families™

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