Does My Squirming, Jumping, Always-Moving Pre-Schooler Have ADHD?

Boy Doing Break Dancing MoveAttention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that affects school age children and is characterized by the presence of AT LEAST six of the following:

* Has difficulty following instructions
* Has difficulty keeping attention on work or play activities
* Loses things needed for activities at school and at home
* Appears not to listen
* Doesn’t pay close attention to details
* Seems disorganized
* Has trouble with tasks that require planning ahead
* Forgets things
* Is easily distracted

These children are often much more active and impulsive than usual for their age, giving them the bad rap of being ‘difficult’ or ‘behavior problems’. It is more common in boys than girls, and is diagnosed in between 4% and 12% of school-age children in the US, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The causes of ADHD are complex and poorly understood, and its diagnosis and treatment are often controversial, but that’s NOT what I’m here to talk about. What I want you to know is that a diagnosis of ADHD is only appropriately considered in children of SCHOOL AGE. We’re not talking about pre-school or kindergarten, we’re talking about elementary school when kids are developmentally expected to sit still and pay attention.

Any talk of ADHD in a child under the age of 6 or 7 just does not jive with their developmental stage. Particularly for boys, whose developmental clock ticks at a different rate than girls’. Pre-schoolers from 3 – 6 are just discovering how their bodies interact with the outside world they’re being introduced to.

Their pliable little brains and neuronal connections are growing by leaps and bounds — so fast you can almost see it happening. What an exciting and energetic place to be! It’s no wonder they may have it rough sitting quietly in ‘Circle Time’. If you do find them sitting still you can bet they’re accompanying their play with engine noises or special effects.

If you watch a 3 or 4 year old involved in even a ‘quiet’ activity, like drawing or imaginative pretend play, you’ll often notice that they’re narrating as they go. They need to share the story and experience the reaction. They learn through the interaction of their small inside world and the big outside world. It’s not time yet to sit still and keep it in.

So don’t worry about your little wiggle worm, and don’t let anyone else worry you. Enjoy him. He’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to.

Email This Post Email This Post

Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


Warning: Illegal string offset 'echo' in /home/mamasonc/public_html/mama/wp-content/themes/hybrid/library/extensions/custom-field-series.php on line 157

Leave a Reply

Loading

MAMAS ON DEMAND

PARENT COACHING
& CONSULTATION

With One or Both of Us


Go to AskDrMama.com & AskMamaEllen.com for the scoop!

Phone • Internet • Your Home or Group

Watch This!

Teach your kids to step in and step up when they see a classmate being teased. Show them how to respond and tell them what to say. Let's try to make our world a little kinder and a little warmer. Please?

What You Said

  • Maggie sullivan: I have a neighbor, will holler and wave at me if i am near porch but if i try to sit in the yard, or...
  • Ellen Schrier: Thank you so much! Please come back often!
  • Ellen Schrier: Hi Lisa, Sorry for the very late response. We are sorry to hear about your daughter and are sure that...
  • Lisa jacobs: My daughter was in a car accident and now has a concussion. She is plan to go to Mexico City which is a...
  • RF: Well my baby had her first two bottom theeth at 10 months old and i tought so far so good and then now at 11...
  • ofertas cine: That is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Thanks...
  • Commercial Real Estate: Hello there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to...
  • actualite: Hi to every one, the contents present at this website are really remarkable for people knowledge, well,...
  • bonne année 2017: You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest websites on the web. I’m going to...
  • Samantha: My daughter wakes up with a rash on her face, back, neck, arms and some times hand. Once she starts moving...

Just so you know

The Mama ButtonThe information provided by MamasOnCall is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, but is for information purposes only. You assume full responsibility for the health and well-being of your family. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical or psychiatric condition.