How can a parent know if their 3 or 4 year old has an attention problem? Is it possible to recognize Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) before a child starts to grade school? Dr. Mark Mahone, director of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Maryland says yes. He feels that it is important to identify ADHD as early as possible because of the impact that it has on a child’s academic performance in school. Interestingly, warning signs of this disorder frequently appear in preschool, around age 4. By school age, the Centers for Disease Control reports that one in 11 school children have been diagnosed with ADHD.
The following early signs are associated with ADHD.
- Avoids tasks that require sustained attention for up to one to two minutes.
- Does not maintain interest in a task after several minutes, and switches to another task.
- Is more verbal and noisier than same-age peers.
- Climbs on furniture and other items when directed not to.
- Unable to hop on one foot by four years of age.
- Is constantly restless, wiggling feet and hands and not wanting to stay seated.
- Puts self in danger because he exhibits no fear.
- Not cautious of strangers
- Displays inappropriate aggression with peers.
- Frequent injuries (broken bones or stiches) because of impulsivity.
Of course, any time a parent has concerns related to their child’s development, they should consult with their pediatrician.
Source: Psychology Today
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