Back to School at FamilyEducation.com
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Too Young for an ADHD Evaluation?

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

Q: My three-year-old was kicked out of preschool. I was told that his doctor should evaluate him for ADHD. I think that he is just too young. What do you think?

A: You're right to be cautious about evaluating someone that young for ADHD, but part of the criteria for diagnosis is that the behaviors appeared before the age of six. That said, it must be acknowledged that there is a wide range of behaviors that are perfectly normal for a three-year-old boy that might look like ADHD to the untutored eye. If you do decide to go for an evaluation, make sure that you choose someone who has a good understanding of normal development in young children, particularly young boys. Another caution is that many of the medications that are prescribed for older children have never been approved for children under the age of six.

You might want to consider a behavior modification approach to the problems your son is exhibiting in school. A good resource for evaluators as well as support programs can be found through the advocacy group, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorders (CHADD). CHADD has many branches throughout the country. Try accessing their website (http://www.chadd.org) to see if there is a branch near you where you can talk with other parents who have similar experiences to yours.

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

highlights

Handwriting Headquarters
We've got handwriting practice worksheets, handwriting tips, and answers to your child's writing struggles, just in time for back to school. Brought to you by BIC.

11 Coolest Lunch Boxes for Kids
Send your child's lunch to school in style! Check out our picks for the 11 best lunch boxes with great features from BPA-free accessories to spill-resistant fabric.

7 Important Back-to-School Safety Tips
Follow these back-to-school safety tips to make sure your child stays safe on the way to school, in the classroom, and while on the playground.

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!

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!