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Kids as young as 4 can have ADHD
October 16th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Kids as young as 4 can have ADHD

The American Academy of Pediatrics has broadened its guidelines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, expanding the age range for diagnosis and treatment to ages 4 through 18.

While the previous guidelines, from 2000 and 2001, targeted children ages 6 to 12, the new report covers children from preschool to the end of high school. This is based on recent evidence that supports including preschool children and adolescents in ADHD diagnosis and treatment management.

"The primary care clinician should initiate an evaluation for ADHD for any child 4 though 18 years of age who presents with academic or behavioral problems and symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity," the report said.

Children as young as 4 are already receiving diagnoses of ADHD, but with this report the American Academy of Pediatrics codifies how to approach preschoolers with these symptoms, said Dr. Jonathan Posner, assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University Medical School.

Diagnoses of ADHD are on the rise, with 9% of children having it in 2007-2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's an increase from previous estimate of 7%.

For ages 4 to 5, the report recommends behavioral interventions first, but if there's no improvement and the child has moderate to severe symptoms, the stimulant drug methylphenidate (marketed as Ritalin, Concerta and others) may be used.

Behavioral interventions include parent-training programs, which may involve learning how to deliver positive reinforcement, helping a child stay organized and generally managing a child. If children qualify for Early Childhood Special Education services through local school systems, their program evaluators and teachers may be able to keep track of a child's ADHD symptoms.

ADHD: Who makes the diagnosis?

Research in the last few years has shown that methylphenidate is safe and effective in the preschool age group, Posner said. However, these kids tend to be more prone to short-term side effects, such as mood swings, lack of  appetite and insomnia, which tend to be manageable. And sometimes methylphenidate leads to slowing of the growth in children, as well as eyesight changes. Patients with a history of seizures may be more prone to seizures.

Long-term side effects haven't entirely been ruled out, but parents should also consider that the condition itself can lead to significant problems, Posner said.

"When you consider the potential benefit of ameliorating the symptoms, it can outweigh the potential risk of long-term side effects," Posner said.

Although Posner views the guidelines for preschoolers positively, Dr. Claudia Gold, a pediatrician and child mental health, expert is concerned that they will lead to more overdiagnosis and overmedication in the preschool group. In fact, a 2010 study found that there are already nearly 1 million children with a misdiagnosis of ADHD. In her opinion, below age 6 is too soon for ADHD medications.

ADHD is a constellation of symptoms representing problems of emotion, regulation and attention. Treating children as young as possible is important, but that doesn't mean their problems are necessarily ADHD, or that ADHD medication is the best answer, Gold said. The ADHD label excludes many other possibilities that could be leading to a young child to be hyperactive and inattentive, such as sleep deprivation and family conflict.

"Once there’s the question of ADHD rather than the question 'What’s going on for this child?' already you’ve narrowed your thinking," she said.

Because the brain is more amenable to change at early ages, interventions that are more relational or involve working with a parent and child together can have a bigger impact in the preschool years than at ages 7 to 9, Gold said.

"If you just look at what are the symptoms and what is the label, you miss a lot. But that is the standard of care, that’s how it works, which is how kids get all those labels," she said.

Parenting.com: What every parent should know about ADHD

The guidelines also address how to approach ADHD in teenagers, a change that Gold praised because it is sometimes the case that young people don't present with clear symptoms until adolescents. For middle- and high schoolers, who probably have multiple teachers and spend less time with their parents, keeping track of symptoms may be more challenging than for younger children.

Clinicians should try to get reports on symptoms from at least two teachers and other people from the school or community, the new guidelines say. Doctors should also try to establish whether these behavioral and attention problems were present earlier in the child's life, and perhaps missed.

ADHD in adolescents increases the likelihood of substance abuse, especially when untreated, as well as the risky sexual behaviors and mood and anxiety disorders.

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soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. teresa

    ADULT STEM CELLS CURE'S AIDS / HIV and A NUMBER OF OTHER THINGS BUT WHY????? IS AMERICA BEING HELD BACK FROM THE MAJOR LEAP IN MEDICINE DOES AMERICA WANT TOO KILL YOU ??????? OTHER COUNTRIES MAKING MAJOR LEAPS INTO MEDICINE BUT AMERICA IS STILL IN THE STONE AGE WHY????? WHO BENEFITS THE FDA BIG CORPORATIONS .......?

    October 17, 2011 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      You have no clue

      October 18, 2011 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • MegaMagicPower

      What the hell are you talking about? America is at the forefront of medical technology and has made great strides to using skin cells. Check the video below; its an American made gun that can heal severe burns in only a day by shooting stem cells. You sound like a brainwashed tool.

      [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXO_ApjKPaI&w=640&h=390]

      October 19, 2011 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
  2. erich2112x

    When my kids get over excited, that means it's time to get them over to the park for some softball or football. After a couple of hours of burning off all that excess energy, their so wiped out that all they want to do is eat, (like a pack of buzzards), and take a nap. What the heck is so wrong with the old school methods? Why are we becoming so dependent on pills?

    October 17, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • J

      It's a lot easier to pop your kid a pill than to put in the effort to take them to a park or outdoors, or even (GASP!) play with them for a while. I had "ADHD" as a child as well, but my mother cured it by kicking me outside for most of the day during the summer so I could run around like a little monster, ride my bike, swing... and limiting my tv time instead of pretending that it was another parent.

      October 18, 2011 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      I agree with you! I understand a lot of kids probably do need medication, but for the most part, it's parents not wanting to deal with hyper kids. My son is 6 and is always bouncing off the walls, but he's a kid, he's supposed to do that.

      October 19, 2011 at 07:48 | Report abuse |
  3. Ryan

    BS, I was diagnosed with ADD, but I was just a kid who went to 10 different schools (was raised by the television) and had an unstable hectic single parent home. Disciplined parenting healthy diet and a stable home life is more a remedy than pills.

    October 17, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rocksor

      Lucky you, others are not so fortunate.

      October 18, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  4. dystopian5

    I have ADHD, but it was missed in me until I was an adult. I'm actually thankful I was never sent to a doctor for it as a child. I was actually misdiagnosed as bipolar as an older teen, and the medication almost destroyed my life until I finally took myself off of it. Had I been put through that as a child, with all the medications and doctors and labels, I probably would not have had the ability to get where I am now. I really think we have to think about whether every problem needs a pill and a bunch of interventions. What happened to growing up and learning to deal with things? Yes, I take Ritalin now and it's extremely helpful, but I honestly feel I would not have developed my hard work ethic and ability to compensate for obstacles I encounter had I been labeled and put on medication as a child. I also chose to take it rather than being told to/forced to. I understand treating children who are very severe, but it seems like everything negative is now a disorder instead of a learning experience. Also, it seems that our classroom environment is only acceptable of what society considers "normal", with no room to be a bit different. I know from my own experience that without being diagnosed I still found ways to compensate for it. I'd take away distractions, force myself to concentrate by manipulating my surroundings, and so forth. It's also neglected that ADHD also can have an element of "hyperfocus", where something is focused on to a higher than normal extent, especially on things the person likes. For me, that was extremely helpful in the field I am in. There are often issues at home that would be better addressed than giving a pill. And then when you consider the issue of misdiagnosis, which I personally know happens, it seems so risky to be giving children strong medications whether for ADHD or anything else when they can cause a misdiagnosed person to actually have disorders they never had. I see the validity of medication in adults who can make risk/benefit assessments and children who are severe and everything else has been tried, but I think it's gotten to the point of being an easy fix that fits into our society's mentality of not wanting to deal with anything or learn through hard experiences.

    October 17, 2011 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. mdc

    Total BS!

    October 18, 2011 at 04:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dr Bill Toth

    Are diagnoses of ADHD "on the rise" because the definition has expanded again? Better consider giving the teachers ritalin so they can keep up with the kids...because as Kirkegaard said; "When you label me, you negate me". Live with Intention, DrBillTothCom/blog

    October 18, 2011 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ADD parent

    I think that this is a hard subject to deal with and that each child really is an individual case. Yes there are some kids who are misdiagnosed by those who don't want to take the time or the effort to give their child the need focused attention, but there are also those who like my child have ADD and still need that little bit of help from her medication. I would work with her extensively and her teachers very closely to provide her with help, but no matter how much time we devote she would still have her anxiety and lack of focus spells that we could not get over. I hope with the amount of CBT that I provide her and the extra work I put in at home and school on her behalf, she will one day be moved off her medication. But that can only come with time, training and a little bit of help for now. I also feel that a lot of parents like myself who have tried and still are trying to work with our children are made to feel bad and guilty for our decisions, as though we haven't tried hard enough or given enough of ourselves to our children. This kind of guilt just make me feel sad and that though I am devoting my best to my child it isn't enough by society's standards. I think that each case should be judged individually and now condemned as a whole.

    October 18, 2011 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • skeptic

      I wish all the people who are afraid of their kid being assigned a label would realize he or she already has one. He is the kid who can't sit still. She is the girl who stares out the window. He is the boy who can't keep his hands to himself. She is the girl who can't stop interrupting. Sure, kids will be kids, but look at a classroom of 20+ students and see how many have these impulse control or behavior problems, day after day, that have nothing to do with what's going on in the room. They bring it with them.

      Maybe some of it can attributed to shoddy parenting (not that anyone wants to be graded or assessed on that) like too little sleep, poor diet, lack of structure, limited parental interaction. But not all of it, by any means.

      So sure, reject the idea of labels, let them suffer unhelped and alone. Keep them from mastering their gifts, from learning good study habits or basic social skills, all in the name of sparing you the embarrassment of having a child with a label. If a child needs glasses, do we provide them? If they have a hearing problem, do we get them hearing aids or teach them with signs? Why are mental health or cognitive disorders so hard to accept? Why are we willing to marginalize children rather than try to understand and help them?

      And methyphenidate is not the only medication: it represents one kind of stimulant that works for some but not for all and happens to be well-known. But my own experience is that there are better choices that work where it doesn't.

      October 23, 2011 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
  8. ADD parent

    Oops. I meant NOT condemned as a whole.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Vijender

      I don't think the majority of plpoee who changed their profile pictures thought that this would solve child abuse. I say majority because I am sure their are some plpoee out there that feel that they have done all they need to do, but it raises awareness of the problem. Even plpoee, such as yourself, who found the whole thing to be ludicrous are now aware of the issue. And by aware I mean of course that it is in the forefront of their minds or at the very least floating in the mind somewhere around the forefront.I applaud your efforts to increase awareness of this idea of slacktivism which I agree is an issue and a bothersome one at that,but don't be fooled into thinking that posting a few links to child abuse hotlines is some huge call to action.I just fail to see the difference between plpoee sitting around changing their profile pictures and plpoee sitting around complaining about it.

      March 4, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
  9. BLP

    How utterly ridiculous. How about having kids go outside and play to burn off some excess energy. Kids weren't meant to just sit in a classroom at a desk – none of us were! We gripe when our kids are too active, we gripe when they're not active enough – GIVE THE KIDS A BREAK AND LET THEM GO PLAY! I find it interesting that you don't see kids play in neighborhoods anymore – everything is an organized activity. Kids aren't ever just allowed to be creative, and lose themselves in creative interaction with other kids. No running and playing outside anymore, not without adult supervision – which quite frankly puts quite a damper on a child's (or anyone's) ability to be creative. Let the Children Play!!! It's where they get their social skills from, their ability to stand up for themselves, their ability to interact with others, LET THEM PLAY! And stop giving them these disgusting drugs – we have drug induced obese kids that have no idea how to interact with others unless it's in a controlled environment. Horrible, absolutely horrible.

    October 18, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      Kids are kids, play with your kids outside or inside, take them to the park, these are mostly just lazy parents. Our son is hyper, has been since day 1, but my husband and I discipline and also have him in activities. He's been racing BMX since he was 3 years old, that wears him out and also gives him exercise. We also play with him. My parents used to tell me to go play outside and not to come in till dark, what is wrong with parents now a days???

      October 19, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse |
  10. ELISSA

    BY ALL MEANS...LETS TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO POP A PILL IF THEY DON'T FIT IN! THEN WONDER WHY THEY BECOME DRUGGIES! LETS MEDICATE THEM TO BE SLOWER, LESS INTUITIVE,, LESS CREATIVE, MORE ADMINABLE TO CURRENT LOCAL SOCIAL NORNS. LETS MAKE SURE THEY DON'T ASK QUESTIONS THAT STIMULATE MORE QUESTIONS. LETS PRODUCE MORE DOCILE, ROBOT ADULTS WHO DO AS THEY ARE TOLD AND NOT PROTEST IN THE STREETS! WHAT HAPPENS TO THE VISUAL LEARNER WHEN SHE/HE IS STUCK IN A ROOM WITH AN AUDITORY TEACHER/PARENT WHO DOES NOTHING BUT TALK? ACT OUT? DOODLE AND DRAW?
    GAZE OUT THE WINDOW? CAUSE 'TROUBLE'? WHAT ABOUT THE KID THAT LEARNS THRU
    TOUCHING/FEELING/PUTTING THINGS TOGETHER? WILL HE RACE AROUND THE ROOM CAUSING MAYHEM? WHAT ABOUT THE CHILD WHO LEARNS FROM THE WHOLE TO THE PARTS..NOT LIKE OUR SCHOOLS...BITS AND PIECES...MEMORIZE THEM BUT BE UNABLE TO USE THEM. LIKE PHONICS..BITS AND PIECES AND THE KID WILL NEVER READ!! WE NEGATE THE VERY CORE OF OUR CHILDREN AND THEN WONDER WHY THEY ACT OUT AND DON'T COMPLY! HOW DID I GET SO SMART? I AM ONE!!! A VISUAL, RIGHT BRAINED LADY WHO BUSTED OUT OF THE SYSTEM 71 YEARS AGO!

    October 18, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rocksor

      You need a chill pill.

      October 18, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  11. HideyHo

    Sigh. I usually don't like to read any ADHD related articles on here, because of all the comments saying "ADHD isn't real, it's just poor parenting/poor diet/too much video games/etc." I finally decided to read this article, and comment for once.

    First of all, I'd like to say that not everyone with attention deficit disorder has a hyperactivity/impulsivity component. There is a form called "ADHD – Inattentive Variety" or something like that. Basically, people with that are slow, inactive and quiet (the opposite of the stereotype), but still have issues with focus. Usually, people with this form do not get diagnosed right away.

    I would like to share my story with all of you. Here are the important points:

    1. I am a 21-year-old woman with the inattentive variety of ADHD.

    2. Although I have had ADHD-related issues my whole life, I was not actually diagnosed until I got to college (yes, we are capable of going to college), and I did not go on medication until the summer after my freshman year.

    3. I believe I flew under the radar because I seemed to function well. However, appearances aren't always reality. In elementary school, parent helpers would always comment on how polite and mature I was. Yet, I could not pay attention in class for more than about ten second intervals. (And yes, that is extremely short, even for an elementary school child.) I got good grades and was an honors student for most of high school. Yet, homework literally took me all afternoon because I could not focus on it for more than five minutes at a time.

    4. My parents (especially my mother) are very much "diet and exercise cures all" kind of people. We were not allowed to get video games as kids. They made us play outside as much as possible. We barely had any junk food in the house, and I was actually on a gfcf (glutein free casein free) diet for over ten years. And yet, I still have ADHD!

    5. When I finally went on medication, I do not think that it is an exaggeration to say that it was a miracle. Not only could I focus on things and be more efficient, my family noticed that I seemed more "in the here and now" and that I was calmer/happier. (ADHD can also cause mood dysregulation in some people.) And when I say I could be more efficient, I don't just mean in terms of school work. For instance, on weekends, it literally used to take me half a day to do my "morning routine" (showering, brushing teeth, etc.). ADHD disrupted my whole life, and now that I am on meds, I am slowly regaining control.

    6. ADHD is a developmental disorder (meaning that you are born with it, even though symptoms may not become apparent until much later) and I do believe it has a genetic component. After I was diagnosed, my brother realized that he probably has the hyperactive/impulsive form (and his struggles are a whole other story) and my mom and I realized that my dad probably has the inattentive form as well.

    So I guess what I am trying to say, is that ADHD is very real, and that it doesn't always present the way you might think. Yes, I can imagine that it would be hard to tell the difference between an ADHD four-year-old and a four-year-old with normal hyperactivity and distractibility. I definitely agree that it can be overdiagnosed. I agree that people have wide variations in personality, intelligence, activity level, and focus abilities. I agree that medication isn't always helpful for everyone (not to mention, medication is generally supposed to be used in conjunction with some form of therapy). I agree that, for some people, nutritional changes and exercise can help diminish or even eliminate ADHD-esque symptoms. I agree that most American kids do need to spend more time outside and get exercise. HOWEVER, lack of diet, exercise, etc. do not cause true cases of ADHD, and increasing exercise, changing diet, etc. do not "cure" true cases of ADHD.

    I apologize if this is too long/rambly – I just wanted to get my points out there.

    October 18, 2011 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ADD parent

      Well said. It's hard when so many people negatively judge something they do not personally experience.

      October 18, 2011 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • T3chsupport

      I had much of the same experience. My grades were pretty terrible though, I doodled more than I did my classwork, and still can't pay attention to anything that I can't hold in my hands for more than a few minutes at most. I'm glad I wasn't diagnosed until later though, because I had to learn to cope with my ADD without it. I only take medication once in awhile if I know I'm going to have to sit through training or something. If I had been medicated when I was a small child, I'd be hooked on it. Maybe not physically, but I would be dependent on it to live my life in the way I was used to. Medication should be a choice, not forced on kids who are going to need to cope one day without it.

      October 18, 2011 at 17:09 | Report abuse |
    • OvernOut

      No one questions if people with ADD or ADHD could handle university work–of course they can. The problems that I can see are that the resources for college students with disabilities are stretched so thin that it is almost like having no resources. At the campus my daughter attends, most of the students with disabilities are those with ADD or ADHD. All disabled students are requested to "self-advocate" for themselves, which translates to "you're on your own, kid". My daughter happens to have epilepsy. If there are even more persons diagnosed with ADD and ADHD in the future, the pathetic resources allotted for students with disabilities will be spread thinner still.

      October 18, 2011 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • Kapukane

      Listen....you have bought into all the hype and myths. There is NO SUCH THING as ADHD!....PERIOD!...That is a absolute 100% fact!......We have got to stop this and expose these drug companies and doctors for what they are doing. My doctor friend also says this is the biggest scam going and most doctors agree.

      October 18, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Amen. I'm in the same boat as you, and I only discovered it as an adult when my son was diagnosed. It was always hard for me to focus in school, but my Tenth-grade dropout Mom and my Dad, as much as I love them, were clueless; they thought my low grades in Math, Science and History were because I was "slow," and "not too bright." Goodbye, self esteem...after high school I went to Secretarial school, where I did pretty well, due to the fact that I type and can take shorthand very well. But I could not stay focused at work, often forgot things and subsequetly got fired. Over and over. Years later, after thinking I was an idiot for most of my life, and after my son was having difficulty in school (after a teacher pointed out to me she had seen this many times in the past, and to avoid the heartbreak of a child who is constantly yelled at for being forgetful or not paying attention, which wreaks their self-esteem as it ruins mine), I had him put on meds and at the same time, recognizing my own possible ADD, which of course was not diagnosed in the fifties because they did not know what it was, which answers the question "why didn't we have this when I was a kid?" question....I started taking Adderall XR, and it changed my life. No I am not a zombie, I am not a nervous wreak, I am not a drugged-out basket case, I am an intelligent, upbeat, efficient and capable woman with a huge capacity to remember and an eye for fine detail that has given cause for my boss to give me more responsibility and a salary increase. If I had this stuff forty years ago, maybe I would be the one on the other side of the desk and making six figures instead of five. Whatever. My son's grades have improved tremendously, he is more oganized and on time, he sleeps and eats well and it's all good. I tried the homeopathic route, not to mention all the other "self-help" fixers...at the end of the day, they don't work. I wasted hundreds of dollars before giving in to this, and I have no regrets. Anyone who talks about over-medicating children and how they're just lazy and need to be "hit harder," as some have recommended to me, either don't have children or are just another armchair quaterback who thinks they know it all because of misinformation they get on the internet and from the media. Science has worked wonders for people like me, and modern medicine is nothing short of a miracle. ADD meds redirect your brain, they are not harmful. There may be minor side effects; sometimes you have to wait a few weeks and they will disappear, other times you may need to switch to another drug, but at the end of the day THEY WORK. If your child had diabetes, would you refuse to get him insulin? Or would you give him what he needs to help him? It's the same concept. The fear of meds is nothing more than the media getting hold of it like they always do and running with it without doing their proper and thorough research.

      November 27, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  12. yvonne

    if you dont have a child with ADHD then you should keep your mouth closed. It not about taking them to the park to run around.

    October 18, 2011 at 15:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NO

      No – I'm not going to keep my mouth shut. I'm going to voice my opinion and speak up on ANY TOPIC I DAMN WELL PLEASE. You want people to shut up move to a communist country because for now this is still a FREE COUNTRY!

      October 18, 2011 at 15:54 | Report abuse |
    • california perspective

      I have a child with ADHD and I am going to tell you that I am so angry at the parents who medicate their kids. Why? Because they have created a false sense of normal in our society today. If people stopped medicating and started pushing healthier interventions then the school system and our society would be a much friendlier place for all children – those with hyper sensitive nervous systems and the like. I would take a child (like mine) who wears me down, isn't always great socially and doesn't perform up to expectations in school any day over one who is drugged. Shame on any parent who uses this horrible "medication" on their 4 year old.

      October 18, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  13. One Mom

    They want a medicated, easily controlled population. We can't have anyone thinking for themselves. My boys aren't going to be perfectly behaved 100% of the time. They are bright, independent children. The powers that be don't want that. They want Sheeple, so they can continue to push the herd in whatever direction they choose.

    October 18, 2011 at 15:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Kelly

    I have a diagnoses for a hyperactive 4 year old – It's called being 4 years old.

    October 18, 2011 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RobD

      Kelly: Where did you get your MD?

      November 1, 2011 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • Wildan

      Recently i stumbled on your site siumbt and still have been reading through coupled. I have come across several weird remarks, nevertheless typically My spouse and i highly trust the style the other commenters are saying. Experiencing numerous wonderfulgreat reviews of this web site, I figured that we also need to jump in and also explain how I must say i loved perusing this content. So i think this could make my initial review: I can see you have produced a number of genuinely exciting things. Not really more and more people would certainly truly ponder over it how you just did. I am genuinely impressed that there is much relating to this topic that is uncovered so you made it happen thus nicely, with much school!inch

      March 3, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
  15. C

    4 yr old can NOT have ADHD! It's called being 4!! "Behavioral interventions include parent-training programs, which may involve learning how to deliver positive reinforcement, helping a child stay organized and generally managing a child." – That's called parenting. Too many may be waiting til the child is a teen to 'parent' them...? The Age of The Ritalin Rats is at hand!!!

    October 19, 2011 at 04:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Nicole

    C, I totally agree with you! Parents are lazy these days! For all the parents out there medicating their 4 year olds or thinking about it, put on your big boy/girl pants and deal with it! Your kid is 4,5,6 of course they don't have an attention span! Our pediatrician said not to worry about any of this ADHD stuff till kids are at least 9, by then they have been in school for a while and you can give a proper diagnosis, most kids grow out of it also. Start paying attention to your kid, it's called being a parent!

    October 19, 2011 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. skeptic

    The article at Slate is interesting. It makes the case that kids can be assessed as early as 4 but that it becomes easier when they reach school age, as they have a teacher who is both experienced and impartial. There are clear criteria and expectations of behavioral and developmental readiness and unlike parents, teachers and school staff have a universe of more than one or two children in their data set.

    But from the comments here, it's pretty clear that if a child is assessed for a cognitive or behavioral disorder, too many parents are going to be in denial and the child is not going to be helped. So he'll struggle against his nature until he gets help or gives up, meanwhile wrecking his learning environment through disruption or missing opportunities through passive indifference and inattention. But so long as his parents don't have to deal with the stigma of a child with a label or go to extra meetings at school or work with the teachers, that's OK.

    October 23, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Babar

      to the boys basketball coach,” you have to be cfuearl of what you say; people's pensions will be involved if this thing gets out of hand. If this matter of inappropriate behavior with minors is as important and fragile as has been presented this past week on TV, then why hasn’t this incident with Michelle styles and the Buffalo Board of Education been thoroughly investigated? Is it because some high-ranking officials will be implicated if this incident is investigated? I hope this warrants the proper attention to reveal the truth of what really happened at McKinley High School. Margaret Sullivan of the Buffalo News was instrumental in helping Williams pull off his escape from prosecution of not revealing what he knew. Margaret Sullivan is the same editor of the Buffalo News who had to apologize and explain her senseless comments on CNN about victims who were murdered in a shooting incident. In one article about the scandal, Sullivan herself vowed to find the truth of the matter. It seems they all knew the truth but did not want it revealed. If these administrators go unpunished, there is no justice. An Anonymous Observer

      March 5, 2012 at 23:30 | Report abuse |
  18. Laura

    Thank you so much for your negative and narrow-minded opinions! When your 4 year old is getting in trouble every day because of not listening, playing and talking when he should be still and quiet and then he tells you that he wants to be good but he just can't stop. Then it is time to seek medical and educational advice. I want so much for my son to get the most out of his education and to be able to function well in society and be liked by his peers, rather than an ignorant, delinquent outcast because I was too narrow minded to think that my child may have a problem and do whatever it takes to help him, even if it means pills.

    November 3, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse | Reply
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