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ADHD: An Age-by-Age Guide

The Early Years
At 11 months, Moira Munns' son, Zachary, was a whirlwind of activity. "I would be cleaning up one mess and he'd already be into the next one," says Munns, president of the Attention Deficit Information Network, Inc., a Needham, Massachusetts ADHD support organization. "This went on all day. When he learned to walk, I never sat down again." Zachary's interest in climbing and "no sense of caution" led to the first of many trips to the emergency room and eventually to a diagnosis of ADHD at age four.

In his book, Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete, Authoritative Guide for Parents, Russell A. Barkley, Ph. D., says that potential predictors of ADHD include a family history of the disability, a greater-than-normal number of complications during pregnancy, and a pregnant woman's smoking and alcohol consumption and poor health. The following symptoms may indicate that an infant, toddler, or preschooler has ADHD:

· A strong, intense reaction to being stimulated
· A high activity level; finding it hard to sit still, being constantly in motion
· Demanding and being persistent in their desire for things
· An inability to play with a toy or do one activity for a long period of time
· Inattention, negativity and a low capacity to adjust to change
· Having trouble sharing, waiting, and taking turns
· Poor eating and sleeping habits
· Serious defiance


Next: Ages 7-12 >>

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