Should we get an Evaluation?

Avatar for daisychain2001
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-2003
Should we get an Evaluation?
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 2:21am
I've been looking through the internet for information on ADD and AD/HD for young children, (my daughter just turned 4) but I can only find info on symptoms that seem to fit school aged children. I thought I could share some of her behaviors wth you all, and possibly get some feedback. I should also say that there is ADD in the family, my brother (her uncle) was diagnosed with ADD in highschool.

My daughter gets very frustrated when things don't turn out the way she wants them to. One instance, we recently went shopping for fall clothes, and when she tried on one shirt that had sleeves that were a bit too long, she took it off, yelled "Stupid Shirt!" and proceeded to *angrily* growl and chew on the sleeve for about 10 minutes. There are times when if her drawing doesn't turn out right or if *I* do something to it that she didn't authorize, she'll rip up the paper. There are other times, when seemingly for no reason, she starts growling in a very frustrated, angry fashion.

When I ask her to do things (or not to do things, as the case may be) I often have to repeat myself over and over again untill she finally "listens". She requires constant attention, and has difficulties playing by herself. I guess the part that really strikes me is her level of frustration with things, and her inability to cope with things that don't fit into her ideal situation. She's very sensitive.

She's not in school or daycare, so I don't know if she's able to pay attention in that type of environment. There are some things that can occupy her for about 20 minutes at a time, but not consistently. She isn't all that hyper (not bouncing off the walls) but everything she does is done to the extreme (mosty noise level).

My mom says that she is a lot like how my brother (ADD) was when he was a kid, and that prompted me to try to find more information as to whether or not I should investigate this further. Any help would be appreciated.



Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 6:11am
It sounds likes she's very intense, perhaps to the point of being a 'perfectionist.' It's hard to diagnose ADD/ADHD or anything else on kids so young because, in truth, there are many 'traits' of ADD/ADHD kids that would be 'common' to young children. Most 4 y.o. kids don't have long attention spans. Many younger kids have low frustration tolerance ... hence, the terrible twos. Because children have limited vocabularies, they often act out when confronted with situations that upset them primarily because they aren't able to express their feelings in words.

I think I would, first, try to help her understand her frustrations ... put words to the actions. Like when the shirt thing happened, you could hug her and say something like "I can see you're not happy with this shirt ... you seem to be angry because the material isn't what you'd hoped for and disappointed that it doesn't fit right. That is frustrating. How about we put this back and see if we can't find something else that fits you better." By acknowledging her feelings, and giving them 'names' she may be able to better control things. Teach her words for her feelings and maybe you'll find her expressing them in different ways.

BUT, I am also a firm believer in checking things out ... if you as the mom feel there is something going on, then there's a good chance that there is. That intuition stuff needs to be listened to, and IF there is something going on beyond the fact that she's 4, then the sooner you find out, the sooner you'll be able to help her. I don't know if the doc will give her an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Generally, behaviors need to be present in at least 2 settings (home, school, docs office, etc.) and be present for 6 months ... they also look at behaviors in excess of what is typical of their peers. If there aren't 'peers' to compare to, it makes it harder. Like I said, most young kids have short attention spans.

Oh, and finally, there are 3 components to ADHD ... attention, hyperactivity, impulsivity. A child can have just one and receive an ADHD diagnosis. My DS, for example, really isn't hyper at all ... it's the impulsivity that led to his diagnosis. So, because she isn't bouncing off the walls isn't necessarily an indication of anything. You may want to start keeping track of her diet, her sleep patterns, and her behavior and see if you can find any coorelation between them. Sometimes food allergies or sleep apnea cause symptoms in kids that mimic ADHD, and you'll want to rule out any physical causes first.

(((HUGS))) and good luck!



<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" />
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2003
Thu, 09-18-2003 - 6:41pm
how many other children do you have? are you a single mother ? do you work in or out of the home? has your DD EVER been to preschool, even at church or something of that nature? where do you live? plus i have a hundred other questions?


iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2003
Sat, 09-20-2003 - 9:23pm
My DS has been doing the growling thing since he was 4. Now that he's 10 I've asked him why he does it and he has said because he gets frustrated and angry at things and that the only way he knows to release his anger without hitting things or yelling. He says he also does it when he can't think straight and theres too much noise. I have also been doing ALOT of research online lately and have found that my son fits the CAPD category (Central Auditory Processing Disorder) you might want to check that out. Like the last person said acknowledging theirs feelings definately helps some, but a drawn out statement can sometimes makes him even more angry because when the level of frustration is that high talking is the last thing they want to hear. I usually tell my son to take a minute somewhere quiet and then we can talk about it. Good Luck... I know your frustration..