what age to test for ADHD?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2003
what age to test for ADHD?
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 12:10pm
I just found your board, after searching around and reading more about ADHD. My 2nd grade dd is ADHD and after problems in preschool, kindergarten and first grade we finally had her tested--ADHD. Put on Concerta and she's happy, well-behaved but still bouncy (just more focused!!) little girl. And guess what?! We really AREN'T bad parents who can't control our child!! (that would always send me to tears when someone suggested we just needed to be more strict. Uh-huh, right.)

Well, 2nd dd just started kindergarten and already she is driving her teacher crazy. Poor teacher. I had a feeling this might happen, except this dd is much more distractable and while calmer in ways, she is much harder to keep focused and stay on track. Her teacher keeps telling me how poorly behaved she is and it breaks my heart. I want her to do well in school.

I know most pediatricians recommend waiting until 7 or so to test for ADHD, but since her older sister has it (And does great with meds) would it be worth seeing if we could have my younger dd evaluated too? I don't want to make her wait; I'm not a doctor but I know what I see, as a parent. And the teacher is frustrated, too.

We really tried changing the behavior, working with my older dd, limiting sugar and everything else, but honestly, nothing worked except Concerta. She went from being a TAG student who was a constant behavioral problem due to activity level to being much more calm, focused and still happy and a more controlled bouncy kid, lol. 2nd dd is just like a hurricane at this point--academics so far are super easy but behavior is horrid.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 3:39pm
Well I have strong feelings on when they should test.. But they do things their own ways....lol

I was told they can't test til age 7 but my oldest son was d/g at age 6 so I really guess it depends on the doctors....

Makes our lives harder when we can't help our children until a doctor tells us they are ad/hd

hope things get better for you




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 4:08pm
My son was diagnosed at age 5. We used three different types of doctors and all tested him at that age. No one told us to wait. My opinion is, if your child's self esteem is being comprimised, why wait? Waiting for us would have meant making my child continue to feel he couldn't maintain any control. His preschool teacher had no idea what to do. My son was starting to call himself dumb because of the behaviors, when in fact he was one of the brightest kids in her class she said. Good luck and I'm sure there are more doctors who would test at that age.
Avatar for kathy_in_ga
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 5:43pm
Hi. I am so glad your 1st DD is doing so well. Remember that not all children have ALL the ADHD symptoms nor are they all at the same severity. My son was over the top hyper when he was 2. We tried to get help from the pediatrician when he was 3, who refused to DX because of age. We tried everything, from behavior mods, going to a therapist, to spankings. At age 4, pediatrician refused to do anything else to help us so we changed docs. Our new doc gave us the papers to fill out to determine ADHD. After he examined my son, looked at the papers it was determined DS was in fact severe ADHD. We also got a 2nd opinion from a child psychiatrist. We did start meds while DS was in pre-K. The med we started him on did not agree with him. We had a whole new set of problems, along with the one we had before. We finally had DS evaluated at a hospital as out patient & a mood disorder or bipolar disorder was mentioned along with his ADHD. As of now I have a happy almost 8 year old, who is in school & focusing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 10:15pm
I had my oldest tested when he was in 1st grade. The wheels just fell off the cart that year, but I couldn't get any help until the spring.

When my youngest started K last year, I thought he would just breeze through everything. But we started with little problems just about every day, it seemed. And I didn't feel like he was learning everything that he should be. When his teacher suggested ADD, I went ahead and had him evaluated. I did not want a repeat of what happened with my oldest who ended up repeating 1st.

Sure enough, he was ADHD, too. But my ped didn't really want to start him on meds until he was 6, and I wasn't in a big hurry, either. The problems peaked around March, or so, and then APril and May were great months.

He is in 1st grade now, and we are stil waiting on the meds. My 2nd grader is taking Concerta and it is SO much better than nothing.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 08-26-2003 - 11:09pm
Our DGS is also in 2nd grade. Afer he had a rough year getting through kindergarten, we went to his pediatrician before he started first grade. He was diagnosed with inattentive ADD and put on Adderall. He did so much better in 1st grade, but his teacher could tell right away if we accidentally skipped a dose. He just started 2nd grade yesterday, and had his first homework assignment tonight, and I can tell already that we will need to resume the Adderall. I suspect that his little sister, who is in kindergarten this year, may also have ADD, though I think she's more hyperactive than inattentive, and she may have ODD as well. But I'll wait and see how she does for a while in kindgarten, and talk to her teacher before looking for a diagnosis.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2003
Wed, 08-27-2003 - 2:02pm
Thanks so much for all of your input--the game plan is that I'm going to wait a few more weeks and if she's still having behavior problems (mainly she just will not stay on task and won't focus and is active--and she is different than her sister, whose main problem was intense distractability in non-routine settings like a huge PE class) then get the ADHD packets from our pediatrician.

By then, too, the K teacher would know her well enough to do a questionaire, too. I don't really LIKE letting the teachers know that we're doing this, but my older dd's 1st grade teacher was great about it and never called back to bug us about "whatcha gonna do" about meds. It has never come up. The ped's office really likes to know what's going on, so I understand why they want the teacher's input.

She is definitely hyper and her teacher described her as zoning out--but I also know that once she gets more used to an environment and it isn't this constant stimulus situation of new experience over load, she may calm down.

I guess this time, I don't want to sound like I'm gunning for meds, but my gosh they have helped my eldest dd so much--we could see a difference almost immediately. And I know we are lucky that Concerta was a good fit right from the start, too.

Oh, and I think someone had asked if very bright/gifted kids are more likely at risk for ADHD--I think so, personally--my oldest dd is, and since she whips through the work so quick and is so creative, she has lots more time to get into trouble. ;) Fortunately, she has a great 2nd grade teacher (same as she had for 1st) and she finds her friskiness charming rather than annoying (thank heavens).

Thanks again!!!