Ask the Experts

Too Young for Treatment?

“What’s the youngest age at which a child can be diagnosed with and treated for ADHD? Like his older siblings, who have been diagnosed with the disorder, my three-year-old is hyperactive, and I worry about his safety.”

It’s unusual for a child to be diagnosed before the age of five. But since your son is showing signs of ADHD (and considering the strong family history), there’s no need to wait. Have the doctor who diagnosed your other children evaluate your three-year-old, and ask about starting medication. The latest research from the National Institute of Mental Health shows that, at the appropriate dosage, stimulants are safe and effective even for preschoolers.

For more on this research and on treating preschoolers with ADHD, see
A Diagnosis for Preschool Children with ADHD.

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