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?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

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 clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as 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.
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