Could my son have ADHD?

[deleted account] ( 1 mom has responded )

So my oldest son will be 3 in less than a month and for a long time now he has been displaying all the symptoms of ADHD. My husband and I have tried everything we could to make sure its not just typical toddler behavior. What are some suggestions that could possibly help with this?


[deleted account]

That is VERY young for an ADHD diagnosis. Some doctors will diagnose ADHD earlier, due to pressure from parents and teachers, however, there is very little uniform diagnostic information for diagnosis in preschoolers.

First, he could not have been displaying all of the symptoms of ADHD for a very long time yet because he is not old enough to display many of them.
For example: One of the first symptoms is an inability to pay close attention to details--no 2 year old can pay close attention to details on a regular basis.
Another is an inability to follow through on directions or finish chores. Most 2 year olds cannot follow through on directions more complicated than one step without direct supervision.
Difficulty organizing tasks and activities--again, not a 2 year old skill for any toddler.
Loss of required items for specific tasks (like pens, pencils, toys, etc.). 2 year olds are not expected to keep up with their supplies and their brains have not developed to the point where they can recall where they put things down (aside from putting something down in a designated place).
Avoidance of tasks that require continued mental effort--again, 2 year olds do not have the attention span for this in the first place. They will usually not focus on a "still" activity for more than 2-5 minutes at a time.

Specifically, what symptoms is he displaying? By identifying specific symptoms, you can identify the problem, as it very well could still be ADHD, but it could also be another form of disruptive behavior disorder, or something such as high functioning autism, aspergers, borderline personality, oppositional defiant disorder, a pervasive development disorder, or even an affective disorder.
Have him fully examined and evaluated by a TEAM of mental health professionals. Try to include at least one psychologist and one psychiatrist and make them agree on a diagnosis and defend their diagnoses to both you and each other. Treatment for the wrong disorder can be very detrimental. An improper diagnosis can also result in parents chalking up certain behaviors to the disorder which are not a part of the disorder, and thus dealing with those behaviors improperly, which again can do damage to self esteem, relationships, and further derail the child.

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