Does my son have ADD?

Nicole - posted on 08/27/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 year old son who just started 1st grade. I just got off the phone with his teacher and we discussed how he is having a VERY hard time paying attention, focusing on anything he is doing, following directions, or even sitting still. I have been having these same problems at home (homework is a nightmare!) but just figured he was an active boy with lots of energy. I was thinking about taking him to the doctor. Does anyone have any advice?

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Nicole - posted on 08/28/2009

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Quoting Nerisse:

Hi! Below is a copy of the symptoms of ADD. These can help you rule out ADD or it can help you confirm whether your child has ADD.

DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD

I. Either A or B

A. Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level.

Inattention

* Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
* Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
* Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
* Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
* Often has trouble organizing activities.
* Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
* Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
* Is often easily distracted.
* Is often forgetful in daily activities.
B. Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level.

Hyperactivity

* Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
* Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
* Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
* Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
* Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor."
* Often talks excessively.

Impulsivity

* Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
* Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
* Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.

III. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).

IV. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder).

Based on these criteria, three types of ADHD are identified:

1. ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria 1A and 1B are met for the past 6 months

2. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met for the past six months

3. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion 1B is met but Criterion 1A is not met for the past six months.

Hope this helps....


Thank you this was very helpful. My son meets almost all the criteria and according to this would have ADHD combined type. He can not pay attention or sit still!

Nicole - posted on 08/29/2009

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Thank you for all your comments! I have talked to many people and have done a lot of research on this and medication is my last resort. I have many different things I am going to try with him and see how it goes.

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14 Comments

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Gena - posted on 08/29/2009

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becareful.. my son was in prek the teacher said he was always running around, not paying attentin,would talk when she was,and so on- i took hik to dr. and they said he had ADD. they put him on meds and it was lke he was a zombie. i will never do that again.. i have him in sports and watch what he eats.. your son is a boy.. trust me - my son was a monster. and if he didnt need meds im sure yours doesnt. he needs to have a strick teacher andstay hard on him.. he will be fine. watch his diet, get him in sports and if he has hard time with homework- do little at a time. it will take alot of your time but dontput him onmeds

Keshela - posted on 08/29/2009

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Quoting Nicole:

Does my son have ADD?

I have a 6 year old son who just started 1st grade. I just got off the phone with his teacher and we discussed how he is having a VERY hard time paying attention, focusing on anything he is doing, following directions, or even sitting still. I have been having these same problems at home (homework is a nightmare!) but just figured he was an active boy with lots of energy. I was thinking about taking him to the doctor. Does anyone have any advice?



I used to have the same problem with my 16 year old i put him on meds but he grow out of that when he got older

Teri - posted on 08/29/2009

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Being a parent and a partner of one who has ADD remember that you are not alone. I suggest that you try to find a support group for yourself once you get your child going on the right path. I have 3 kids with various degrees of ADD it's a challenge but all possible with a great support network. Good Luck

Jodi - posted on 08/28/2009

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i have a boy to that has add we had him tested he is now in a class now with only 8 kids one teacher and 3 teacher ast and it is working every good the only thing is i dont have him on med yes there are days that are hard but i try to do other things with him u should have the doc look in to it cause i also thought it was a kid thing

Nazarene - posted on 08/28/2009

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Hello,

I have two children that are on meds for ADD. Children are usually diagnosed with ADD/ADHD at the age of 6. The first thing you need to do is seek a professional opinion; the child's physician. The place you go is going to ask that you and your child's teacher fill out a evaluation form. After filling the evaluation form, take it to the physician and he or she usually calls you back to set an appointment. At the appointment the physician will go over the results with you and both of you decide what would be best if there is a problem. My two have this same exact problem with focusing and paying attention. Good luck and let us know what happens!

[deleted account]

Hi! Below is a copy of the symptoms of ADD. These can help you rule out ADD or it can help you confirm whether your child has ADD.

DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD

I. Either A or B

A. Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level.

Inattention

* Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
* Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
* Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
* Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
* Often has trouble organizing activities.
* Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
* Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
* Is often easily distracted.
* Is often forgetful in daily activities.
B. Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level.

Hyperactivity

* Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
* Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
* Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
* Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
* Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor."
* Often talks excessively.

Impulsivity

* Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
* Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
* Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.

III. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).

IV. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.

V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a pervasive developmental disorder, schizophrenia, or other psychotic disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. mood disorder, anxiety disorder, dissociative disorder, or a personality disorder).

Based on these criteria, three types of ADHD are identified:

1. ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria 1A and 1B are met for the past 6 months

2. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met for the past six months

3. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion 1B is met but Criterion 1A is not met for the past six months.

Hope this helps....

Irene - posted on 08/28/2009

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My 8 yr old was diagnosed with ADHD this year. He has had those very same symptoms for all of his school life. He could never concentrate or sit still. he would tend to want to wonder around the class room and could not take much in. I got him referred to a paediatrician to have him tested for whatever and he finally gave him this diagnoses. he was given a very low dosage of ritalin to help him only while he attends school and it has made all the difference. He now focus' on his school work, sits still and can finish alot of work before some other's in his class. Don't get me wrong, many people don't like to medicate but this low dosage does the trick with my son and he doesn't take it when not at school...He still is a full on little boy at home but we just adjust to his character and help when needed. But I do suggest taking your child in for tests to a paediatrician.

Kristin - posted on 08/27/2009

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Definitely take him to the doctor and have him evaluated. Also some other things to look at: make sure he is getting enough sleep. Children need 10-12 hours every night. Also pay attention to what he is eating. Some children are sensitive to additives and preservitives in processed foods. Another thought.....he could be bored. I'm an acupuncturist, and I had a friend who's son had similar problems. She wanted me to evaluate him, but I didn't feel he matched enough symptoms to have ADD. It turned out he was gifted and just bored out of his mind in class. He wasn't stimulated enough. His behavior improved drastically when he was put in a more challenging environment.

Nicole - posted on 08/27/2009

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Thank you to everyone. I have spoken with a few close friends with this issue and I am pretty sure there is something going on. I have a call in to his pediatrician to try to figure it out and was also recommended to take him to a psychiatrist that specializes in chemical treatments. So I hope I can find some good help and get down to the bottom of what's going on!

Breanna - posted on 08/27/2009

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My son was diagnosed with ADD at the beginning of his second grade year. His teachers told me to take him to a doctor to have him tested, since schools don't like to test before they're about 3rd grade (that's what I was told). His ADD was apparent from Kindergarten. I would write a letter to the school asking to have him tested because ADD often comes witth other disabilities, and not very often is it the only obstacle. Treating the ADD might be ineffective if there are other problems that are not being treated. Symptoms of ADD may also actually be the symptoms of something larger.

Tyler - posted on 08/27/2009

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My son has ADHD. I have ADD. So, the things you are saying sound like he may have one of these. Our Neurologist would not give us a diagnosis before my son turned 5 yrs old, so your son is at a good age. You should take him to the doctor. Your regular pediatrician can help, he can also give you referals to doctors that specialize in this disorder. I would suggest a Developmental Ped. or a Neurologist for the best testing. If you get a diagnosis the school can start helping him better too. I know this can be a frustrating thing to deal with, but the earlier you get him help The Better. Here are some sites you may find some more info. Best wishes to you & your son.

http://add.org/

http://www.chadd.org/

Sandra - posted on 08/27/2009

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The one thing I found out is children have to be an age before the doctor will even look at the child having ADD or ADHD. Both my children have ADHD and I, myself, was treated for ADD when I was younger. There are different things different doctors will look at before saying they have ADD or ADHD. If you are concerned about his behavor in school and at home I would say, take him to the doctor and see what they think is the problem. They may think it is ADD or ADHD or it maybe something he is going through,(example.. home life, school, teachers, family, sisters/brothers.) It can be alot of different things that can cause a child to act out. I have gone through a lot of different things with both of my children and I learned that the doctor became my so called best friend when they were growing up...

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