Can Preschoolers Go On ADD Medication?


"Our son is having severe behavior problems at preschool. Is he too young to go on ADD medication?"


Recent studies suggest that four-year-olds can use ADD drugs safely and effectively. Ask your pediatrician if your son might benefit from medication.

Of course, medication should always be used in conjunction with behavioral approaches. Preschoolers do best with lots of structure (a daily schedule), brief instructions ("Put the blocks away"), and reinforcement that is both positive and specific ("You put the blocks away so neatly. Good job!").

Another good idea is a token system, in which your son receives a "ticket" or another token for on-target behavior. At the end of the day, he exchanges tokens for a reward or privilege.

Dr. Clare Jones was an educational consultant in Scottsdale, Arizona, respected throughout the psychological community for her work with ADHD children and adults. She passed away in late 2006 and is truly missed.
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