Is my 7 yr old son ADD?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Is my 7 yr old son ADD?
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 1:19pm

My son is now 7 yrs old. Very bright child says his teachers. We noticed in Kindergarten that he had a hard time staying up to pace with the other children. He is constantly lolly-gagging, you have to stay on him otherwise he will not complete a project. He is easily sidetracked. His kindergarten teacher said he doesnt have ADD but that he just needs more work in getting him on a schedule and routine. We worked on that. Trying to get him to do chores and so on. He does stay focused on things he wants to do such as music (piano), or when he is playing with his stereo or any other electronic gadgets.

It seems it has gotten worse in 1st grade. He isnt anxious or hyper as I beleive ADD kids are supposed to be. He can sit quietly with no problems. This year his teacher said she couldnt get him to do much work. He needs one on one attention in order for him to get his work done. He is very forgetful too. More so than my daughter who is younger or any other child I know. He cant remember things you say to him straight to his face even minutes after you tell him. He forgets his personal items no matter what the reward he will get for bringing it home or the consequence of forgetting it. We have worked all year long on responsibility and he does lots of chores and doing much better but I am still so worried about his ability to remember his belongings and talks that we have. He tends to zone out for no reason at all and looks tired or out of it. He gets 10 hrs sleep every night!

His teachers say that he is so very smart despite his attention span and picks up everything regardless of whether he is looking attentive or not. But more than not he misses out on his work assignments and falls behind with the actual work. Another thing I just thought of too is when he is walking down the street, he cant focus on where he is going and easily walks into objects or people. He doesnt seem to rationalize danger for streets or strangers even after many talks about these subjects. Its so scary.

Ok, well thats an overview. Any advice or ideas would be great.

Thank you


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 2:26pm
Welcome! Children can have ADD without the H (Hyperactivity). The forgetfulness is a short term memory problem that some children have, but my son who is ADHD, has it in regards to some things also. It is amazing what he CAN remember, but some short term things like math facts he has trouble with memorizing/memory. Kids are wired so differently, as I posted somewhere else on here. It does sound to me like your son has some of the ADD characteristics. One book I'd reccomend reading is called "A mind at a time" by Dr. Mel Levine. His newest book is the Myth of Laziness (or something along that line) and that may also be helpful. He's a firm believer in finding ways to help our kids with their weaknesses. (Including short term memory issues etc.) Your son, while not hyper, may have attention and focus difficulties while working at school. If you want, you may benefit from having him tested/or seeing a child psychiatrist or behavioral pediatrician.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 11:16pm
Could be - or it could be something as simple as him needing 12 hours of sleep.

Definitely something to ask your doctor about.

I have a DS who is almost 8. We noticed problems in K, but he had a great teacher who worked with him. He was able to follow the cues of those sitting at his table - when he got ready to.

1st grade was as awful as you could ever imagine. He got mostly A's in conduct, a handful of B's and 2 C's. So many of his "offenses" were 'not following directions' or 'forgetting to take his math book home'. He also had an evil witch for a teacher, who did absolutely nothing to work with a child who needed a little extra.

you could send him to his room to get his socks, and he would forget along the way where is was going and for what. He would see something in a parking lot and jump into the lane of traffic to pick it up - without checking to see if something was coming. The word that best described him was "oblivious". Or at least he seemed to be.

Unlike your DS, he did not pick up things when he appeared not to be listening. He missed big parts of his 1st grade skills because his mind was elsewhere.

He can, however, sit and watch an entire movie - maybe even twice. And he can just about repeat entire Spongebob episodes to you (so why can he still not remember his spelling words?)

So, yes, it sounds like you have valid concerns. Could be ADD. Could be something else.

ANother book rec - "Driven to Distraction".

Good luck in your search for answers.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-21-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 1:27am
For many years it was thought that only hyperactive kids could have ADD. We now know that this is simply not true. Clinicians now distinguish between attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and attention deficit disorder (also referred to as ADD- inattentive type) without hyperactivity. Although it makes sense to think ADD is an impairment of the child's memory, actually the child is unable to pay attention long enough for the information to be assimilated. The reason he cannot recall something is not because he cannot remember- it is because the information never "got in" in the first place.

Your son sounds to be exhibiting a number of the signs of ADD, but he also may be exceptionally intelligent and easily bored. There are no simple tests to determine whether or not a child has ADD, but you may explore the use of the Connor's Teachers Rating Scale by your son's teachers, which is one of the primary tools used to gather data regarding ADD. In the meantime you may want to visit Dr. Amen is a leading authority on ADD/ADHD, has written several books on the subject, and offers free diagnostic surveys that help folks identify the likelihood of ADD/ADHD in their child or themselves.

Good Luck.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 1:52am
If I understood your post correctly, your DS understands a lot, but doesn't produce much of anything. Is that correct?? If so, I would definitely have him tested by a child psychologist ASAP. My DD was much the same way and she was just DX'd with a Learning Disability and ADHD. We are now going to have to change schools to get her the accomodations she needs for the LD.

HTH, Susan