Identifying Early Signs of ADHD In Kids

Reported by: Lauren Gawthrop
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Updated: 7/09/2012 8:30 am
Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder exhibit an inability to sit still or focus, but parents may be able to identify some of the signs of ADHD very early on.

Doctors say ADHD can be detected as early as age three. At that age, it usually shows as hyperactive or highly impulsive behavior.

Experts compare the attention span of a child with ADHD to a leaf blowing in the wind, constantly changing direction.
the signs become more apparent when a child starts school.

That's because it's the first time a child is required to direct his or her attention to something they may not be entirely interested in doing.

But doctors say the symptoms will really show up in the 4th grade. 

"You start seeing an effect in 2nd grade, in third grade, a big effect in 4th grade when children stop learning to read and start reading to learn. Now they have to direct attention," said Mike Manos, Ph.D. of Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

Dr. Manos says medications are typically very effective in treating the disorder, but kids are also taught coping skills to use in the classroom.
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Wichard - 7/12/2012 7:12 PM
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If the first signs of ADD/HD are from the teacher, I suggest there is a critical lack of attentive parenting, and surely a lack of discipline-- 2 critical factors, yet you point finger at everyone else first with no reservation. A parent's first line of response should be a request for the school psychologist to do an observation of the child in-class. Then the parent could come in to observe and then "compare notes" to determine why, if there are any differences. In this, the teacher's behavioral management would also be considered. Very few parents are "trusty" at all these days, especially when there are those who are so willing to indict the entire line of staff with prejudice.

anestoiter - 7/10/2012 5:51 PM
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Sure there are exceptions, but for many parents, the first sign of ADD/ADHD are the complaints from the teacher. At this point, I think parents should spend a day or two following the kid from class to class and determine if their kid needs medication or the teacher is deserving of a pink slip. If the teacher has no leadership and commands no authority in the class, the teacher complains, the principal is lazy to investigate, parents are too trusty, and the kid gets put on the meds.
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