Children With Adhd - Recognizing Early Signs of Adhd in Children

By: Debra Sale Wendler

You will know your child is difficult before he is two years old, especially if you have other children. He exhausts you. He cannot sit still, does not listen to instructions, and gets in trouble constantly. A former foster mother of 36 children with severe ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) said, "These kids make your eyeballs tired."

If your child has behavior problems, it is hard to know what to do next. You may be reluctant to get him assessed right away because you still have questions. What if he just has a lot of energy? What is normal behavior anyway?

Typical Milestones of Children without Child Behavior Problems

At three years oldhe can initiate play activities and he enjoys playing with other kids.

At four years oldhe talks and plays with his peers, takes turns when playing games, cooperates in groups, and helps adults when asked.

At five years oldhe can follow established rules and routines. He apologizes when he hurts others, shows his emotions in different situations, is helpful to his peers, and seeks help from adults when crises occur.

When It Is Time to Get Your Child's Assessment

If your child cannot accomplish these tasks and he is more than five years old, there is a greater likelihood that he has ADHD. Do not wait any longer.

You need to seek a professional opinion for a proper diagnosis. Be aware that many doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists prefer to wait until a child is more than five years old to diagnose and medicate.

If children's behavior problems are severe, these medical professionals will make exceptions. Defiant children need specific help to keep from developing ODD (oppositional defiant disorder).

If you observe these signs of ADHD in your child before he is seven years old, start keeping a journal on child behavior problems.

Keeping a History Journal to Record Child Behavior Problems

Start your journal when you first notice your child's peculiar behaviorsknown clinically as his age of onset. This journal is more important than you can imagine.

Note the frequency and duration of his symptoms, including eating and sleeping habits, bruises left on siblings and peers, out-of-control incidents, and aggressive or destructive behavior. Enter the troubles he had in various settings, for example, nursery school, daycare, restaurants, grocery stores, and at family reunions and other social events. Document his response to your parenting and child discipline. You will need this information for his official assessment.

You Can Do This

If you suspect it's time to get your child assessed, I invite you to use these parenting tips to get started.

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