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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1768
Experience:  Parenting Workshops, Teacher, PHD Clinical Psychology, 30 yrs. Exp. 4 Children
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My 3 1/2 yr old son is always very active, has trouble calming

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My 3 1/2 yr old son is always very active, has trouble calming down, expresses social anxieties ("they are going to laugh at me"), and is "all boy", but my biggest concern is that he acts out in "fits" which last for periods of 3 days to 2 weeks where he is uncontrollable. Behaviors during these "bad days" include: hitting children with full force (recently this includes those much younger than himself--a new development and uncharacteristic of his personality), sneaking and hording sweets in large quantity, distruction of property, vandelizing with feces (I'm talking BIG messes here, not just an unpleasantry), giddy excited behavior that won't calm down....
He behaves this way at home, at preschool and at church. We are trying to determine what the triggers are. It is obvious that when Mommy or Daddy are sick or leave home for more than one night, THAT sets him off for sure.
Anyone want to take a stab at this?
I should include that we have just been through a traumatic year of both parents battleing cancer. My concern is that his outbursts are becoming worse now that our homelife is normalizing (6 months post treatment).
Hi, I agree that you need to have this child evaluated, however, he has been through a year where he "knew" something was going on and now things have changed and he isn't cognitively able to put it all together. Attention seeking behaviors and frustration is what he knows. When a parent (as you well know) is ill it is very difficult to focus on the behavior of a "toddler". You have to get some outside help. If you are not getting any return phone calls from the MFT then call someone else. I would check with your pediatrician and see if they can recommend a child psychiatrist who can evaluate your son. If he is having issues developmentally he may be eligible for additional therapies (occupational) from the school system. Once he has a full evaluation you will be able to formulate a treatment plan that is helpful to all of you. I wish you the best of luck, you are smart to seek help for him now. Please click accept and leave feedback so I get credit for my response and feel free to follow up with any other question. Thank you.
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