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How do you know if your child has ADHD?

My four year old daughter never stops. From the time she wakes until the time she goes to bed, constantly running and changing from one activity to another, nothing seems to keep her attention for very long. Is she just a normal four year old, or is it something I should consult her doctor about?

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Asked by amiralou22 at 1:36 PM on Nov. 8, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (10)
  • simple answer: you don't.

    it CANNOT be diagnosed before school age. and typically that means 1st grade thru 3rd.... generally not kindergarten.

    an activity that she LOVES.... will that hold her attention? a movie? an arts and crafts project? baking cookies? a swimming class?

    Answer by hibbingmom at 1:39 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I personally think she is to young to worry if she is ADHD.

    Answer by louise2 at 1:39 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • That same question just crossed my mind today when observing my 3 year old....does not stop. Then, she is so wild, never paying attention to what she's doing, kicking and hitting people in her path. She doesn't mean to, but she seems not to be able to help it. She seldom will do one thing for a long time. I guess it's not That important before school, it's just that I can't always keep up.

    Answer by mommy_cannon at 2:11 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Yes, it CAN be diagnosed before school age. It is not common to be diagnosed that early, but it can. Get your facts straight, hibbingmom. Geez.

    You don't talk to your pediatrician. You see a developmental pediatrician and a psychologist first. You voice your concerns, you listen to what they say, you fill out a lot of questionnaires.

    You don't listen to morons here who obviously don't deal with ADHD in their kids.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:29 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • My son was diagnosed at the age of 4. I had pretty much known that he had it at about the age of 2. I was going to wait until he went to school but his implusiveness got so bad that I feared for his safety. Right now, we are using a combination of medicine, diet, and play therapy to help him learn to cope with this disorder. Like the pp said, take your child to a developmental peditrican/psychologist. There will be forms to fill out, observations that will need to be made, etc. Does she go to a preschool? If so ask the teachers there what they think about your daughter's behavior. The teacher's will have to fill out a form as well. In order to be diagnosed the behavior has to been shown in more that one place (school, home, etc) Good Luck!


    Answer by JeremysMom at 2:43 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • This can be diagnosed prior to school. Learning Disabilities can't be diagnosed prior to school as many children perform LD types of things as their neuro-muscular (nervous system and muscle development) selves are developing.


    Answer by Anonymous at 3:15 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • My son is in K ans is currently under the care of a psychologist who is looking for what causes my son to be the way he is. ADHD is the primary concern right now. i questioned his behavior as early as 3 but never even talked to the ped until he was almost 5. What you describe sounds very much like a typical 4 year old. We started noticing serious problem with my son in pre-k. He was un-atentative, below level in motor skills, unable to sit still during story's and table games he would get angry at teachers for trying to gain his attention to the point of screaming fits, very short tempered in general when you were trying to keep him on task... this year in k is not much better... The key things i was asked by the psychologist on the first visit was : Does he act as if driven by a motor? Is he an excessive climber, Does act rashly(a risk taker) with out concern for consequence? Does he speak rapidly and/or constantly?

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:16 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Is he unable to sit still when sitting still is to be expected? Like my son can not sit in his chair during dinner. And can't stop talking long enough to eat. He has been corrected had his food removed when he got up had a timer set and food removed when time was up...He just can't stay in his chair. he gets up and starts wandering off still talking fork in hand... If you are still concerned then I totally agree talk to a psychologist.

    Answer by But_Mommie at 7:18 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I have two children who are ADHD, among other diagnosis. They were both diagnosed at the age of 3-4 years old. I suggest getting a good Pediatrician. Actually sit down and talk to them about your concerns. Every child seems hyperactive at that age, but some really are. At 6 years old, my son is on Focalin each morning and Clonidine at night to help him sleep. He sees a therapist, but it is not required. In some states, Pediatricians won't prescribe meds due to liability if the child isn't seen on a regular basis. So, they will send you to a Psychiatrist. There is a lot of paperwork to fill out, but it is better to have them tested and find out now so that you can begin to teach them to handle it themselves as adults.

    Answer by JannaR1980 at 11:25 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Thank you all for all of your advice, and the more I read from the moms who are actually dealing with kids with diagnosed ADHD, I think I was just being paranoid. But this year she has really changed and it scared me to death. I didnt know if I was dealing with something deeper than a normal four year olds hyper-activity. I might still talk to her pediatrician just to be safe, but I really really appreciate all the advice all of you experienced Moms have given me! Thank you so much!

    Answer by amiralou22 at 5:33 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

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