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ADHD or Immaturity on 5 year old boy

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Old 09-01-2010, 02:33 PM   #1
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ADHD or Immaturity on 5 year old boy

My son was a 25 weeker micro preemie baby. He is now repeating PreK due to his Aug 14 birthday and his immaturity. His teacher is now claiming to see red flags with his behavior, wiggling alot at rest time, talking during rest time and yet after observing the others in class he does not seem that bad. However, she did say that today was a good day. My main question is with his being a micro preemie is his development delayed any due to this. He was born Aug 14 but not due till Nov 27th. He seems to hit his mark later on after his birthday closer to his true gestational date. I just don't want to label him ADHD if it is just immaturity. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-03-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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Re: ADHD or Immaturity on 5 year old boy

Definitely, compare him to other children born on his due date, not other children born on his birthday. By that standard, he's still only 4, and wiggling a lot isn't unusual in a four-year-old. In fact, many experts believe one shouldn't even try to diagnose ADHD in children younger than five, because it's so difficult to distinguish hyperactivity from normal toddler behavior.

As I see it, it isn't really necessary to do anything about it one way or the other yet. He's not in danger of failing academically as a grade-school kid would be. If, in a couple years, he's still more impulsive than other children, then consider the medical route.

Ultimately, the time to treat ADHD in childhood is when the child is SUFFERING from it. When he can't make friends because he fails to observe personal space, or blurts things out inappropriately. When he's frustrated and hurt by academic difficulties. When he clearly wants to behave, wants to please parents and teachers, but just can't.

For the moment, I'd just let the boy grow at his own pace.

Old 09-16-2010, 10:17 AM   #3
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Re: ADHD or Immaturity on 5 year old boy

The only reason I can be considered an "expert" on ADD is that my son, at the ripe age of 17, has just received verification of that diagnosis. (In all fairness, he has the "inattentive" type which is harder to detect than the hyperactivity version.) At any rate, as a result, I have been doing lots of reading about it. I quote, then, from the book "Answers to Distraction" by Hallowell and Ratey: "Theoretically, ADD can be diagnosed at any age. In practice, people differ as to when the earliest cutoff point is. I myself {this is one of the authors talking; both of them are medical doctors who happen also to be ADD} do not diagnose ADD in children younger than five......In children under five who present with symptoms suggestive of ADD, I recommend nonmedication treatments like increased structure, consistent limits, predictable schedules, plenty of play and exercise, and increased parental presence, if possible.

However, many responsible practitioners do diagnose ADD--and treat it with medication--in children younger than five, even as young as two..."

My personal thinking is that his age for the moment still should be "adjusted" for his prematurity. I think at some point premies probably do sort of catch up, so a few months' difference doesn't matter as much. I did note that my first son (not the ADD) was born at 36 weeks gestation and that was noted as a "caution" in his medical chart!

I suggest that you run this question by your child's pediatrician--and maybe even by more than one. Best wishes!

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