How do you determine if your child has ADD or ADHD?

Tabetha - posted on 08/19/2009 ( 46 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 6, I am concerened that she might have ADHD or ADD. Are there any tell tale sings, to tell me one way or the other.

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Karen - posted on 08/25/2009

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I work for a psychologist so I have some professional knowledge but also personal knowledge. 6 years old is a little young for any type of official testing to determine ADHD. It is a general rule to wait for testing until about grade 2 or 3. Before that age the range for developing is very wide. Some questions to ask yourself: does she go from one thing to the other without finishing? How is she with direction when asked to do something? Can she focus when she is doing something whether it is playing a game or watching a tv program. If you think she is ADHD here are a couple of things you can do to help her at this early stage in her life (without medications): when you are talking to her or giving her direction make sure she is looking at you and is focused on what you are saying. Have her repeat things back to you to ensure she heard it. Again, 6 is very young to start any type of medication but if it is severe enough you might want to consider this in the future. Both my boys were on Concerta. My oldest son started it when he was in grade 3 and stopped taking it in grade 10 (his choice). He was ADHD with slight hyperactivity. He is now in college and is doing ok. My youngest started concerta in grade 7 and stopped in grade 10 (again it was his choice). He was ADHD inattentive type only. He is now is grade 12 and is doing fine. Hope this helps.

Carol - posted on 08/24/2009

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I am now a Grandmother and participated in 2 visits to Toronto for my 10 year old grandaughter, they asked questions, measured the size of her head and did a photo comparison between her and children with autism. My daughter and i were surprised/shocked to hear the doctors say "there was no real test for ADHD. However, in school testing will determine if there is a learning disability. We also watched her for "stressors" which made her hyper, arguementative, unco-operative etc.( please excuse my spelling). Talk with a professional if you can and find out more before anyone talks you into medicating, changes in routine may help as well, every child is different. I hope this will help a little.

Diane - posted on 08/24/2009

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My son was in kindergarten, he couldn't stay still. Eating, watching TV etc. I had him tested by an outside person,(not in the school system). He has adhd. He is now in 6th grade mostly "a"'s with one or two "b"'s. Yes he is on medicine also..

Tina - posted on 08/24/2009

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Quoting Tabetha:

How do you determine if your child has ADD or ADHD?

My daughter is 6, I am concerened that she might have ADHD or ADD. Are there any tell tale sings, to tell me one way or the other.



My daughter is now 10 and has ADHD.  As a mom you just know but I can give u some clues, her attention span is very small-she has a hard time working on one thing at a time and staying with it.  She has a hrad time just setting in one place. Also we were having alot of problems at school but when I would talk to the school they did not help at all. I went to a psy. dr to get her testes and I was right. She has been on med now for about a year and a half and life is great. School is great a, b, c grades now. One good idea is go online and just read read read that will help alot. good luck.

Linda - posted on 08/23/2009

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Watch for a lack of focus or attention. Be aware of fidgeting or an inability to sit still for long periods of time. I've been a teacher for 15 years and I've seen these warning signs.

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Brandy - posted on 08/26/2009

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Hi, You can always bring your child to the doctors. They do have forms that you fill out as a parent and if your child goes to school there is a form for the teacher. So hard to determine at a young age but maybe this can help you out, it's a start. Good Luck. :)

User - posted on 08/25/2009

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I was diagnosed with ADHD(which is the hyperactive form of attention deficit disorder) at age 7. My teacher at the time noticed my behavior, that i tuned out to what i was supposed to be focusing on, had relentless energy such as babbling to myself or humming(many other forms as well). I did not socialize as well because of my behavior, and struggled throughout grade school. I tried ritalin, concerta, aderol, and they all had their benefits but risks such as very little appetite. I am a mom now of a little boy who us 14 months, since ADHD can be hereditary and common among boys I will look into taking a notebook and recording his behaviors as much as possible, asking his teachers, and then talking to him about how he feels about schools, peers, etc. Then present this to a pediatrician you TRUST. Having all this information ahead of time will better prepare your doctor, you, and your daughter for assessing if she does or does not have a form of ADD(or ADHD).

I hope this helps. Sincerely,
Brittney

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My daughter was diagnosed when she was 3 with ADHD. I took her to a psychologist and her pediatrician. She could not sit still she could not complete a task and it was like she had so much energy it was unreal. She is now 14 and doing great she has not been on her meds for 4 years now. So in the end all will be well Hope this helps a little

Lavinia - posted on 08/24/2009

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What type of behavoir is u experiencing from ur child?. Is he or she real active, talkative, very low tension span?

Nancy - posted on 08/24/2009

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My son has ADD. I told the pediatrician everythign I was having problems with. I had to say everything to him 50 times, and sometimes still didn't get a reaction. It wasn't only with me. School was a trial to say the last. it took two years, but had him to a neurologist who finally diagnosed him. It was only slight but a chore. I didn't have him taking any medication which made it harder. With ADHD there is also hyperactivity, and I don't know too many that have ADHD that aren't on mmedication. Talk to your pediatrician,.

[deleted account]

mybe she is Just bored My son came out of K. reading and had a time in school they would not give him any more work ..... some kids learn faster and then get bored and teachers are to fast to put kids on meds............ so they donot need to teach or have things for faster kids to do ...................... you will find this from K--- 12 ask to have her tested the school has this and it is FREE to students.................

Karyn - posted on 08/23/2009

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I'm a pediatric nurse practitioner AND a mom w/ a ADHD son (10 1/2 yrs old) and an ADD daughter (15yrs.old). Your daughter's pediatrician should have you and her dad, the teacher, and another adult family member/friend complete a Vanderbilt questionnaire for ADHD/ADD. It's as close to an objective diagnostic tool as is available at this time for ADHD/ADD. Your daughter would have to exhibit enough of the "signs of ADD/ADHD" in 2-3 different environments (i.e. school and home) before they usually will diagnose a child w/ ADD/ADHD. There are also varying types of ADD/ADHD. Studies have shown that stimulant medication WITH Behavioral and in some cases diet modifications have the best results in managing this condition. Consistency in discipline and a structured environment definitely help (from personal and professional experience). Good luck!

Tammy - posted on 08/23/2009

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I had my doctor send my duaghter to a specialist.I have two kids both have ADHS and ADD, there is a possiblity that they both have SPD as well. You need to check out all the possibilities.

Kate - posted on 08/23/2009

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There has been a lot of good advice here but I just wanted to add that any kind of diagnosis for ADD or ADHD requires the child to display the behaviour in a minimum (I think) of 3 environments (eg Home, School and one other). I guess that this shows that the child is not simply behaving in a learnt way rather it is more internal than that

Judy - posted on 08/23/2009

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Tabetha, I am a mother of a 14 year old girl...My youngest brother was and stll is ADHD...but now that your daughter is in school really pay attention to what the teachers tell you....look for signs of not being able to sit still, talking alot, not being able to follow more that 2 simple directions (try this at home) does she get frustrated, do you have to ask her more than once to do something...how is she with other kids? My daughter is add and was also diaganosed with Bio-polar syndrome last year, we were having alot of emotional problems for years and no social worker could really give me a straight answer, you really want to have the school test her by 3rd grade and find a therapist that specializes in add/Adhd there out there you just have to do your research and believe me its worth it!!

Good lUck

Lisa - posted on 08/23/2009

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The only way to really know is to talk to your pediatrician. They will ask you some questions about her ability to focus and listen to your concerns. If the pediatrician sees a reason for concern they will give you a survey to fill out and also one for her teacher to complete. Since it is the begining of the school year you may want to see her tacher from last year or give her new tacher a week or so to observe first. After the survey is complete either the doctor or in some cases like my own the Pediatrician office has a specialist in house that will meet with you and discuss there assesment and possible treatments and/or things you can do to make her life easier and teach her impulse control (the most comon problem with the condition). It is a process but from experience I can tell you it is worth it. My son's life is so much better now that we have a diagnosis and methods to help us concur the problem. Good Luck. :)

Heather - posted on 08/22/2009

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I agree with Vesna ~ there are absolutely no quick fixes. . .I will also say that if your child is diagnosed with this, and there are TONS of people who disagree, but then again, they aren't dealing with a child who has this ~ that you have to watch their eating, children tend to lose weight ~ the med. tends to make them feel less hungry and I take my daughter in monthly to have her blood pressure checked. I want to help my daughter succeed in everything she does and all I can do is hope and pray that she grows out of this.

Vesna - posted on 08/22/2009

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ADD or ADHD egzist in such a wide spectrum, one would wonder how many kids would fall in one or another categorie, if all the parents are to seek a diagnosis. Give her all you love and support , it is most important thing you can do. There are no quick fixes.



 

Heather - posted on 08/22/2009

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My daughter is 9, we started treatment in Jan. 09 for ADHD. For us I think the signs were she was always into something, couldn't sit still ~ example, would start playing with something and move on to something else and something and something else, She is very very smart and when she started having trouble keeping up it became apparent to me that she seriously lacks focus. We definitely saw a difference in Jan. when we put her on the meds she was barely passing 3rd grade, in May she was making A's & B's and was reading at a 4th grade level.
I hope this helps.

Tanya - posted on 08/21/2009

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Concerta is a wonderful Drug or medication that is completely safe for children. There is not long term effects of the drug either. This medication is not one that will make a child a zombie like other medications. It allows a child to still be a child and does not make it the Teachers Babysitter, if you know what I mean.

Tanya - posted on 08/21/2009

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when your child can not focus on one thing without being distracted by something else. Also I have found that my daughter that is sever (sp) ADHD had a hard time being able to just sit and watch TV. She had to be moving a part of her body ALWAYS.



Good lUck

Stephany - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hey! Don't jump to a label. They seem easy but they can cause difficulties. Do some of your own research: Right brain child in a Left brain world, Misdiagnosis and Duel Diagnosis

Sandra - posted on 08/21/2009

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My child is ADHD, he is hyper and constantly figidy. Since he was a very young child ... infant ... movement has been soothing for him ... so much that I bought him a Lazy Boy rocker/recliner for his 2nd bday. If he is somewhere an dhe cannot rock ... he is MUCH MORE HYPER and cranky.

April - posted on 08/21/2009

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my oldest is ADHD. he never stoped moving. never walked, went right from the rocking lunge to climbing and running. once he learned to talk it was just more movement. he once tald me that he had so many thing running through his head that he just had to do them all to stop thinking about them. you can have a doctor or councelor diagnose ADHD or ADD. if your daughter has a problem with impulsiveness, being still or you get calls from school about her blurting out in class at inappropriate times or messing around in her desk or even getting up out of her seat when she shouldnt be you might want to ask her doctor about ADHD. With ADD i dont believe there is as much activity

Ashley - posted on 08/21/2009

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i am adhd myself alot of trouble in school that will be a major sign if they are bouncing off the wall my mom said i had problems sitting still, when watching tv, no matter what i was always moving weather it was my hands my feet just constantlly moving my bf has add and anything that is a distraction they will have a very difficult time on consitrating. my sister is 6 and she has adhd also and she demands attention she lies and she bounces off the wall.

Heather - posted on 08/21/2009

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CHADD has a good list of symptoms, your pediatrician should be able to do an evaluation and recommend the next steps if it is a problem. I have been going through this with my 6 year old for the last 6 months

Claudia - posted on 08/21/2009

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A lot of schools will have testing for everything from speech therapy to ADHD to Autism. It involves the school psychologist, nurse, resource teachers..the testing is very kid friendly after all is done they bring the parents in to go over results. Your pediatrician should also be able to test.

Helen - posted on 08/21/2009

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if you are in the uk talk to your childs school as all assessments start from there

Tina - posted on 08/21/2009

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My son is ADHD, and we confirmed it when the Doctor gave him Tylenol with Codeine. Most kids it will knock out but not him. He was bouncing off the walls. But your doctor would know the signs,,

Louise - posted on 08/21/2009

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Hi, I have found doctors are too quick to pronounce little ones as ADD or ADHD. My son is almost 6 and has the energy of a duracel bunny. I limited his sugar intake and started giving him the OMEGA 3 fish oil burstlets and a multivitamin ( BRAINCHILD from Dischem in SA ). I also make sure that the activities he does during the day are stimulating mentally and physically. He is a different child - no medication required! I also found that TV hypes him up HUGELY. I suggest you try the above first for about two to three months ( but you must be vigilant in giving it to your child every morning ) and then reassess. Louise

Jennifer - posted on 08/20/2009

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Get a doctor to decide. And let the doctor decide about the medication too but talk to them about any concerns about meds you might have. My son has ADHD and I refused medication for years. Then last year he ended up in trouble with the law and got a juvinile officer. His grades are terrible, and he hates school. All because I wanted to keep trying alternative methods that required a more ridged schedule than I could keep. My son has an IQ of 138 and he is a D student all because I refused to get him the help he needed. Also I am now in debt of over 800.00 for therapy I can't afford and I don't know when he will get off probation. And most of this could have been avoided if I had tried medication. How? He would have been able to concentrate in school and got better grades, His brain would have been moving slower and may have helped him make better decisions than the ones that got him in trouble with the law. Make good educated decisions based on good information not on just the horror stories people will tell you. Because there are just as many horror stories for children who weren't medicated we just don't hear about those or I hadn't until I began living it.

Jane - posted on 08/20/2009

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My son was diagnosed with ADD when he was 6years old. I saw the school L & A teacher and mentioned my concerns with my son and they agreed to get him tested with the physcologist who works for the school district. He was diagnosed with ADD and some other learning disabilities. I did have to push things to get moving with the school. I chose not to go the medication route, and once you know what the outcome is there are other ways of coping. My son is now 17 years old, its still a struggle and we had to make some changes with his school to make the situation work better for him but he is doing quite well in fact he will be graduating next year.

I hope this helps you.

Marcie - posted on 08/20/2009

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My11 yr. old son is ADHD, it was his kindergarten teacher that saw what I was thinking it might be. He saw two different Doctors and one was not ready to label any kids ADD/ADHD or any label for that. I have been blessed to have REALLY GOOD teachers in my sons life. What Cherly Halluin said is great and to the point on the difference of ADD/ADHD. Good luck in your search.

User - posted on 08/20/2009

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Your first step is to talk to your pediatrician. He or she may refer you to either a developmental pediatrician or a psychologist. A Functional Behavioral Analysis may be preformed if you daughter has the signs of either ADD or ADHD. Impulsiveness, inability to preform a task for a set amount of time, lack of concentration, and difficulty in social situations are some signs of both.

[deleted account]

Dont be quick to put a label on your daughter. ADD\ADHD are different with ADHD being with hyperactivity. ADD is short attention span, fidgetity in their chair, not able to complete any one task without constant reminders. Hyperactivity well she will be bouncing of the ceiling, constant talking, cant sit still....etc.

Could there be other learning issues? Her vision, is it 20/20? Her hearing is it good? Make sure you eliminate the basics before jumping to the number one conclusion.

My son is severe ADHD and has been on meds since he was 4, he is now 16. But the diagnosis ADD/ADHD tends to get a bad name because everyone is so quick to think there kid is ADD/ADHD because of problems in school.

A friend of ours had a daughter and they thought she was ADD and in reality she had dislexia. So be sure to check the basics first because acting out could be her way of telling you something is wrong. Good Luck.

Brittney - posted on 08/19/2009

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Quoting Veronica:

Dont be quick to jump on the meds either -- there are great alternatives without damaging the internal organs. (Ritalin (spelling?) killed a 14 year old boy because it stripped away at his heart and made it weak - he had a heartattack.) So make sure you do your back ground on stuff - and get several opinions - some doctors are pill happy, while others will help you with diet change, good supplements, and so forth.
Take care.



 



 



also be careful of aderol.....make sure u do ur homewrok on ahdh and dd meds before putting ur child on anything





 

Pamela - posted on 08/19/2009

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Quoting Veronica:

Dont be quick to jump on the meds either -- there are great alternatives without damaging the internal organs. (Ritalin (spelling?) killed a 14 year old boy because it stripped away at his heart and made it weak - he had a heartattack.) So make sure you do your back ground on stuff - and get several opinions - some doctors are pill happy, while others will help you with diet change, good supplements, and so forth.
Take care.



I TOTALLY agree my daughter's teacher has ADD herself & tried to tell me my daughter did as well. I took her to Dr. and he wrote prescription for some form of ritalin and my husband & I thought we should get a second opinion before filling it; good thing we did the 2nd Dr said she is borderline and shouldn't take any meds

Veronica - posted on 08/19/2009

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Dont be quick to jump on the meds either -- there are great alternatives without damaging the internal organs. (Ritalin (spelling?) killed a 14 year old boy because it stripped away at his heart and made it weak - he had a heartattack.) So make sure you do your back ground on stuff - and get several opinions - some doctors are pill happy, while others will help you with diet change, good supplements, and so forth.

Take care.

Brittney - posted on 08/19/2009

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ask ur doctor what he thinks, he will refer you to a counsler and after a few counsling sessions if they determine that she does they will send her to see a psyciatrist and that will be the one to give you a confirned diagnosis of add/adhd. Before you go thru with that try taking red dye #40 out of her diet. You can look up the dye to see why I tell u that, if she does have adhd u will have to remove it completely from her diet. Be strong, it is aggrevating. my son was diagnosed at 3 with adhd...it does get better.

Jackie - posted on 08/19/2009

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I work at a school. You need to talk to her teacher and see if they see signs of it as well. They will recommend you see your pediatrician. The doctor will usually have the teacher and the parent take surveys about their behavior and use that to start to diagnose the problem. Good luck! Not something you want to try to diagnose yourself, ask your child's teacher or pediatrician. It is some common these days!

Dawn - posted on 08/19/2009

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Hi , my 11 year old son wa diagnosed last year with ADD. I always figured there was something there but like you wasnt quite sure . He was and still is very clumsy, forgetful, absent minded, easily distracted, fidgety cannot sit still at all which is his main problem in school . It was very hard at first because teachers and people in general just think they are bold it has got easier since his diagnosis as he gets learning support in school so he doesnt fall behind . I decided not to go down the medication route but have opted for O.T. which he loves and a change in diet ( no sugar or processed food) which has had an amazing effect on him . I would also recommend fish oils to help with concentration . I hope this helps

Veronica - posted on 08/19/2009

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Get her checked out for it. Then go and find the book: Healing the New CHildhood diseases: Asthma, Allergies, autism and adhd/add by Kenneth Boch



Its very informational. And I'd like to add -- that I know where you can get specific products for this health concern.

But for now, find out for sure - if so, read the book, and for questions or help - send me a message. Take care, and let's hope this isnt the case at all.

V

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