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Diagnosing and Treating ADHD in Toddlers?
Even though ADHD has traditionally been seen as a disorder of elementary school children, several people have recently contacting me about their toddlers, (3 and 4 year olds) who seem to fit the description of having ADHD. The question of when one could accurately diagnose a child with ADHD seems appropriate and yet being highly impulsive, distracted and oppositional may very well fit the description of many young children. So, how does one differentiate between a normal active child and a child with ADHD?
According to Dr. Alan Rosenblatt, who is a neurodevelopmental pediatrician, the level of impairment is much more apparent in children who have ADHD. “Children with ADHD are much more extreme than the average three-year -old. It’s not that a child with ADD can’t sit still. It’s that he can’t focus on any activity, even one that’s pleasurable, for any length of time.”
The 2 most apparent behavioral patterns noted in toddlers attending pre-school that are later diagnosed with ADHD is often the refusal to participate in school activities and the expulsion from school itself. (usually caused by aggressive behavior or the inability to follow rules)
If you are currently struggling with a toddler that you believe fits the above description, don’t hesitate to have an evaluation. This may help prevent future problems around low self-esteem and difficulty making friends.
As I always tell my clients, trust your instincts when it comes to your children. Parents usually sense when something does not feel right with their children and in many cases they are right.
Leslie is a therapist and Coach specializing in the treatment of ADD. For more articles and information on ADD you may go to www.ADDadults.net
© Copyright 2013 by Leslie Rouder, LCSW, CHt, therapist in Boca Raton, Florida. All rights reserved.