Home > School and Learning > Learning Differences > ADHD > Signs and Symptoms of ADHD > Five-Year-Old Is ADHD and Oppositional

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Five-Year-Old Is ADHD and Oppositional

LD and ADD/ADHD Expert Advice from Eileen S. Marzola, Ed.D.

Q: Our five-year-old has milk allergies, overly sensitive hearing, and ADHD. He's also exhibits a very high level of intelligence. He's done very well with his current medication. However, we are now dealing with oppositional and defiance issues.

He's been expelled from two preschools and is about to be removed from a third. We decided to keep him out of a traditional preschool, but we're afraid that if he stays at home he will not develop social skills.

Would enrolling him part time in a small family daycare be a good option? Am I being misled by my school district when they say that he must first enter a traditional kindergarten setting and exhibit problems (fail) before an IEP can be initiated? Please help. We don't want this great little guy to get pushed to the side or labeled a "problem child".

A: First, go back to your doctor and let him know about the oppositional-defiant behaviors. He may want to make an adjustment in your son's medication.

Next, call the national office of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (www.chadd.org) at 1-800-233-4050 to find the nearest parent support group in your community. They may have information about daycares or kindergartens with professionals who are trained to meet your child's needs. Too often family-run daycares, although they may be extremely well intentioned and supportive, may not have teachers who have the training to work with children who exhibit difficult-to-manage behaviors.

Someone at CHADD should also be able to walk you through the process of getting appropriate supports for your son at school. It is not true that he must fail at a traditional kindergarten before he can have an IEP. Many children in preschool have IEPs that they bring with them when they enter kindergarten.

I'd also have a look at Clare B. Jones' book, Sourcebook for Children with Attention Deficit Disorder: A Management Guide for Early Childhood Professionals and Parents (2nd edition). You can order it from ADD Warehouse at 1-800-233-9273 or go to their website at www.addwarehouse.com.

More on: Expert Advice

For more than 20 years, Eileen Marzola has worked with children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, and with their parents and teachers. She has been a regular education classroom teacher, a consultant teacher/resource teacher, an educational evaluator/diagnostician, and has also taught graduate students at the university level. Marzola is an adjunct assistant professor of education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Hunter College of the City University of New York. She also maintains a private practice in the evaluation and teaching of children with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks


Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Tips for Reading Aloud to Babies & Toddlers
The AAP advises reading aloud to babies and toddlers because it boosts brain power and has many other benefits. Get some tips for making the most of story time with your tot!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

How to Survive Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters and tips for surviving until September.

12 Birthday Party Favors that Won't Get Thrown Away
The next time you're planning a birthday, forgo the penny candy and cheap toys. Send your guests home with one of these fun and creative party favor ideas!