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How Young Is Too Young For ADHD Diagnosis?

Aug 17, 2007
Some parents notice signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity in their kids even before they start school. The child may not be able to sit still for very long, or pay attention to games or television. However, not all children displaying these signs suffer from the disorder. Children develop and grow at different rates; therefore, it is crucial to get a professional opinion.

ADHD may not be noticed by parents or others, and may go unobserved until the child runs into problems at school. Since school is very structured and task-oriented environment, ADHD will be more apparent there than anywhere else. It is often a teacher who first notices ADHD in a child. Teachers come into daily contact with all types of children, and, with experience, become aware of children who have learning difficulties in comparison to the average child. They may then mention their suspicion to the parents and suggest getting the child evaluated for ADHD.

One thing that teachers do not notice, though, is passive children, who "blend into the woodwork". These children, who suffer from inattentive ADD, are often quiet and spacey - qualities that do not stand out in the classroom. They are also not paired with the image of the hyperactive child that comes to mind when you think of ADHD.

Once it has been suggested that a child may have ADHD, the next step is to rule out that the symptoms are not caused by a physical disorder, such as thyroid problems, which can mimic ADHD symptoms. A pediatrician or a general practitioner can physically evaluate your child to rule this out. Subsequently, it will be necessary to find a specialist who is qualified to test the child for ADHD. Doctors that test for ADHD include child psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and other types of licensed mental health professionals.

After you find a specialist, you will need to bring the child being evaluated as well as a family member who has known them since they were young. A thorough history will need to be taken to accurately document when the problems associated with ADHD began. This will be followed by several diagnostic tests.

ADHD is not diagnosed at any specific age; however, once a child enters school that the symptoms are very likely to be more apparent, due to the structured environment. Still, there are many individuals who remain undiagnosed until adulthood; and indeed, the rate of adults diagnosed with ADHD is skyrocketing.
About the Author
Aliza Adar Levine,an RN,TCM Herbalist,and Medical Researcher,was part of the hospital research team that developed "Clarity", a safe, natural ADHD treatment, proven highly effective, in clinical trials. Watch
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