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Diagnosing and Medicating Young Children
"Our three-year-old shows signs of ADHD. Is he too young to be diagnosed with ADHD or to take ADHD meds?"
If hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsivity have been present in his behavior for as long as you can remember—and if these behaviors occur at home, in preschool, and with peers—you can establish a diagnosis of ADHD. Drug therapy is generally not advised for children under age five, but if your child cannot function at preschool or at home, ask his doctor about a trial of ADHD medication.
Larry Silver, M.D., is the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities. He is also a clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C.