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ADD kids/earliest age for diagnosis & treatment

ADD kids/earliest age for diagnosis & treatment2010-12-16T22:46:56+00:00

The Forums Forums Ask The Community ADD kids/earliest age for diagnosis & treatment

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    What is the earliest a child can be correctly diagnosed with ADD or ADHD? What is the earliest age they can take medication?

    I realize this site is for adults, but so many are saying they wished someone had helped them whem they were children and my Godson is being diagnosed by doctors and social workers but how can anyone, even a professional, tell the difference between ADD and a rambuctious 4 year old?

    He was born premature (25 wks) to a woman who took crystal meth during pregnacy and has many issues. Besides his pysical problems now they say he is ADHD and meds should be considered. Thank goodness he was adopted into a great family (my friends) who have given him a wonderful life but does a 4 year old really need meds?


    Post count: 14413

    I had been taking ritalin since the age of 3 so that’s how early I was diagnosed. Took the meds until I was 23 because it gave me anxiety. Now I’m on anti-anxiety meds.


    Post count: 109

    Miguel, I’m sorry your ADHD meds created other problems for you!

    Auntie Jane, I understand your concerns. From everything I’ve read in the last 13 years or so, ADHD is usually diagnosed when kids enter Grade 1, as that’s the first time they have a really structured school experience.

    Not sure where you live, and I know some places have some really whacky ideas. In the state of Florida they actually let TEACHERS decide if a child has ADHD and if the family won’t drug the child the state removes the child from the home.

    Perhaps if you let us know where you live somebody in the forums could direct you to a reputable clinic/doctor in your area.

    Good luck!


    Post count: 14413

    Thank you, we are in Long Beach, California.

    The little guy is in a Pre-K through the school district and there is concern if he will be able to handle regular kindergarten next September. Right now he is in a class with 4 kids, being in a class with 20-30 is going to be tough, especially when he is no longer the favorite LOL and he can’t sit still either. Also, it’s not fair to the other kids for him to be such a distraction that they can’t learn, but he is so dang smart it doesn’t seem fair to put him in the special needs class when he is so far ahead of those kids.

    I know it’s a long way off but I am thinking that if he does need meds maybe find the right one and work out any side effects before school starts?


    Post count: 14413

    Auntie Jane, it sounds like he has quite a lot on his little plate (so to speak)! I’ve had a lot of experience with little guys like him over the years as I’ve been teaching ‘Kindies’ and first grade students for a long time. Our local children’s hospital lists a bunch of factors that often linked with ADD kids and some of them probably would apply in your nephew’s case.

    Do any of these sound familiar?


    *low birth weight

    *need for an incubator

    *oxygen therapy


    After listing all these factors, the website goes on to state that alcohol and nicotine use are implicated/found to be used by the mother’s of ADD children. I wonder how crystal meth would fit into the equation? Probably not in a positive way.

    Of course, having experienced any of the above issues would not necessitate an ADD diagnosis for each and every child. However, with your nephew’s past history I’m betting that he already has a top-notch pediatrician that he goes to see on a regular basis. If that is the case, his doc would already have an eye out for things like ADD, especially with the little guy’s history.

    You’re right, he may have a tough go at school especially with a ‘full’ class of kids for the teacher to deal with. That’s an issue I do battle with all the time. How much time can I reasonably allot to the ADD kids in my class when it means I have to curtail the time and attention that the other students receive? We ADDers are very labour intensive, at least in the primary grades. Then of course, many of them also have some learning disabilities that only make things more difficult for them.

    Unfortunately, getting those LDs diagnosed takes a lot of time and effort. Teachers have to prove that they’ve used a variety of teaching methods with little gains made by the student before the school board will even begin to consider psych testing (the ‘right’ results sometimes means extra support will be provided for the student).

    So I guess what I’m saying is that he could have a difficult road ahead of him but then again, he could do just fine. He has a good set of adoptive parents and an aunt who loves him. With good support from them and a developmental pediatrician following his progress, he could well do just fine!

    What ever you do, don’t woryy needlessly or think there is no hope. I always advise my parents to remember that even the parents of the ‘normal’ kids that I’ve taught (what is normal anyway??) have worried about how their child will do and almost every week they’ve wanted to tear their hair out.

    With good support, he will do fine.


    Post count: 6

    Our daughter was diagnosed at age 3 1/2 years old and started taking medication. Some signs where that her being rambunctious wasn”t just moments, it was almost all the time. She would wear out 6 adults around her for a few hours. I felt like the energy was constantly sucked out of me, and I was exhausted. She also displayed the same behaviors/symptoms in a variety of settings. Our pediatrician didn’t feel comfortable diagnosing her at that young, so he sent us to a neurologist whom we have been working with.

    Good luck.


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