3 year old with ADD - what are the symptoms?

Subhashini - posted on 06/26/2013 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have a 3 year old boy and have been very concerned lately that he may have some sort of an attention deficit disorder. He has no interest in writing or drawing or doing puzzles of any sort. When I sit him down with a set of blocks or colors, he asks me to do the task and then he just runs away. The maximum any new toy can hold his attention is a couple of minutes. The only toys he is interested in are cars - he is obsessed with cars and can now recognise a good number of cars by their logos. He can identify alphabets more or less, though he has no interest in trying to write one or play with those simple alphabet games. He can count upto 10 and more pretty easily. He loves to be read to and can sit down with books for a good 30 mins to an hour, as I read to him. He is not hyper usually and sleeps well at night. He was a late talker - he started talking when he was more than 2 but he communicates well now and seems to have a decent vocabulary. I am also concerned about his fine motor skills - he does not like to eat on his own and doesnt even like to hold a crayon.

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He sounds like a pretty normal little 3 year old. I wouldn't be concerned about ADHD yet. A lot of doctors are diagnosing it earlier now, but mostly to please parents and teacher. It is still not a good idea to diagnose a disorder like that before 7 years of age, when milestones and skills level off. The problem with early diagnosis is that kids develop at very different rates. There are no medical tests to diagnose these disorders, diagnosis is based solely on behavior, which cannot be regulated at this young age.

That said, there are things you can do to guide and teach your active little guy.
He is not going to sit down with blocks or colors if he is not interested, but he can get the same skills designing and building tracks for his cars. Buy some of those snap together tracks that can be assembled in different ways for him to drive his toy cars on. Sort the cars into groups based on colors and race them--which group is faster? The blue group or the red group? To teach letter recognition, create flash cards with the logo and name of the car on them. Lay them on the floor and have your son put the toy car that matches on top of the flash card. Have only the name of the car on the other side, and have him do the same thing with only the name of the car for a challenge (Just make sure you do logo and name first so he'll know what the written name looks like--he's too young to sound it out or read).

Many kids his age do not like feeding themselves--it's way more fun to have mom do it. To break this habit, you have to stop feeding him. Serve up lots of finger foods during the transition then add one or two spoon/fork foods a day until he is more fluent. with that, his hand strength should improve and he'll be more open to crayons.

To get him to hold the crayons, try having him color pictures of cars rather than just drawing on his own. If you have a large dry erase board, you can let him practice by drawing tracks for his cars, then driving the car along the lines he made.

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