5 year old just diagnosed: Hi everyone... - CHADD's ADHD Pare...

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5 year old just diagnosed

Krispies99
Krispies99

Hi everyone! I am brand new to this community :)

My son will turn 5 tomorrow, and he was just diagnosed with ADHD.

His impulsivity and aggression with children have me thinking that medication is going to be suggested soon, but I’m so uncomfortable with the idea since he’s just 5.

Anyone else have medication suggested this young? What did you do?

26 Replies
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Hi there. My son was 6 when he was diagnosed, and medication was one of the first things suggested. Initially, I was in planning to hold off on meds until we have exhausted everything else. However, my son is really struggling in so many ways (academically, socially, etc.) and I am starting to seriously consider it.

I wish my son had been diagnosed in preschool but there can be such a wide spectrum of development that they didn’t want to go that route until 1st grade. I’ve been posting a video by a well known expert on ADHD that I recommend everyone to watch. It is very informative. You can try emailing and see if he replies. I had a question and emailed and he replied. It’s worth a shot. Best.

Thank you for the reply.

My son is bright and social, and currently the problem of “not focusing or finishing school work” isn’t a thing yet since we are in preschool. It’s the rigidity in him that gets us in trouble (non-compliance, screaming, kicking, pushing etc.)

It’s quite exhausting, because it’s hard to discipline him for things he did hours ago, or to try and explain how he needs to act tomorrow. He just doesn’t have that “future thought”, and he doesn’t seem to make those connection unless they are immediate in the moment.

I think it’s great that he was diagnosed in preschool. Looking back, I can see that my son’s ADHD symptoms really started around age 3 or 4. We were bullied by his preschool teacher into thinking that he was a “bad kid” for his behavior (not sitting quietly in circle time, not listening, yelling, running in the classroom, etc.). It was so bad (I didn’t want to deal with that teacher anymore) that instead of holding my son back for another year of preschool, I decided to send him to kindergarten. He is an August baby and we are in New York, so he is young for his grade, which is why I was on the fence. My thought process was, “well he’s a smart, social kid, so maybe he is bored. I’d rather not keep him back to be with the younger kids where he’d potentially regress. Maybe if he had older kids as role models, and was challenged academically, it would help.” Honestly, I constantly regret this decision. Kids with ADHD typically are behaviorally 2-3 years behind their peers, so it would’ve been better to hold him back. But, I had no idea at the time. I would recommend researching effective ways to discipline kids with ADHD, and then share it with his teachers. The way you approach a child with ADHD is really important. Positive instead of negative reinforcement, and shifting the lens that kids with ADHD aren’t trying to be “bad” or have “bad behavior”. It’s simply the way their brains are wired, so they don’t have control over their actions. Punishing them for the things they can’t control, especially if it’s hours/days later, is really completely ineffective. Even at 7, if my son isn’t corrected in the moment, or shortly thereafter, the correction or consequence is lost on him, and all he feels is the shame of doing something bad again. there is some really good literature that explains this better. I will post some links for you.

chadd.org/for-parents/presc...

chadd.org/for-parents/overv...

There are many, many more, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. 🙂

Thank you!

We started on meds shortly after our 4-year old son was diagnosed with ADHD + ODD. At the time we were in total crisis mode, having just been booted from a summer day care program AND dropped by a nanny agency within days of each other so we were scrambling to figure out the rest of the summer, then the fall, etc. Our son's behaviors were so severe we needed the meds to even have a hope of working on our positive parenting skills being productive in any way.

We're still on fairly low doses (5 mg Adderall twice a day + 1 mg Intuniv at night), but it's just enough improvement we can start to cope. (Though last couple of weeks have been a challenge.)

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Nats2005

I know exactly what you are/have gone through. We’ve been booted from 2 daycares and 1 in-home daycare. It’s nerve wracking not knowing whose going to look after your child.

My son particularly struggles in large groups. While his preschool ECSE (early childhood special education) classroom is small with 6 kids, daycares are huge, (24 kids)

His aggression comes out the most in large groups. As you can imagine, I’m terrified about Kindergarten this fall.

Nats2005
Nats2005
in reply to Krispies99

Indeed. Our son is currently in a morning special needs preschool class through the county schools and with a nanny the rest of the day. The nanny is actually a CNA through an agency that specializes in home medical care but happened to offer nanny services for special needs kids. It's expensive, but working. They've been sending us older women who are parents and grandparents, some have even had a child or grandchild with special needs. So they are more understanding than a college student or young adult whose primary experience is babysitting neighborhood kids or helping their parents change diapers for a sibling.

We're worried about the fall too. Luckily in our area there are a couple of private schools that cater to children with special needs. There's at least one that even claims "ADHD is their bread and butter" and claims they understand/tolerate the associated behavioral issues. In any case, they all have small class sizes, some have OT and ST built into their programs.

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Nats2005

That’s so nice that those classes exist where you are.

Where I live they either do LRE (least restrictive environment) or a pretty segregated classroom, I think it’s mostly for kids on the spectrum.

My son will end up with LRE because he is academically on track, but I think it will be a real struggle for him behaviorally and emotionally.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of a program called Supernanny? I just coincidentally finished watching a program about ADHD. That at 5 it’s too early to diagnose them for that? Happens too I have a 5 year old grandson who can be aggressive and doesn’t Listen. My daughter asked the school about ADHD, she was told the samething he’s too young. So if your son does get diagnosed and is told he does? I’d get a second opinion. I read that too many kids are being misdiagnosed and being put on medication unnecessarily?

Yes, we’ve been diagnosed twice at this point, by the school psychologist and then by an independent practice.

I recommend looking into broad spectrum micronutrients. They were recommended by our son's psychiatrist. There are two companies, Hardy Nutritionals and True Hope. I also recommend seeking a psychiatrist who practices integrative medicine looking at the whole child.

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Cjkchamp

Thank you! I will check it out for sure.

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Cjkchamp

Did you try either? Notice an improvement?

Cjkchamp
Cjkchamp
in reply to Krispies99

FYI, my son is now 8 and in 2nd grade. Yesterday he brought how his report card which had all Es. In addition, the teacher wrote that his is a leader and had positive comments about his behavior. This is the change we experienced from a year ago when they removed him from general education, and he was placed in a self contained classroom at another school. He has been back in a general education classroom since the end of first quarter, and he no longer requires a paraprofessional. I have nothing against medications, but they did not work for our son. Micronutrients changed our lives. I would definitely recommend trying them for at least six months. They benefit from them more and more every day. Biggest difference was with emotional regulation and the other symptoms. It took around six months for us to see the full benefits with the hyperactivity.

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Cjkchamp

We have a doctors appt next week. I will definitely ask about this!

We use Hardy Nutritionals. Kept my son from being placed on Prozac and he has been off all medication for over nine months. He had trouble with emotional regulation, anxiety, depression, and aggression. These symptoms were all in addition to the inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

My child was just diagnosed at 5. We started meds are are seeing consistent improvement. I wish she had been diagnosed at 4, we would have avoided a terrible year where she fell far behind her peers due to behaviour impeding her ability to learn. It won’t get better without meds. I know that seems like a harsh reality. The meds will give you the space to do the behaviour modification and get the academic accommodations. Good luck.

My son was diagnosed just before age six. Most meds aren’t covered by insurance before age six since that is the minimum indicated age but with our psychiatrist and doctor’s support and guidance we pushed for approval and got it. It sounds like your son is having behavioral struggles that may follow him as he ages and are probably very difficult for him, as well as for you. You don’t go into detail as to your reasons for wanting to hold off and that’s fine. That said I would urge you to consider giving it a try. There is no long term down side. Meds - as we all learn - are effective daily with little to no residual. This means if one doesn’t work after a while you can try another or go right back to where you were by going off them. But keep in mind academics are just one part of it. If you could choose for your son to be able to control his behavior like many other kids can, would you? That is one of the goals of medicating. With a doctors support the right meds can be life changing. We all know how exhausting it is just surviving with our young adhd kid. Meds can help improve that quality of life for you and do For him. Good luck whatever you choose. I just urge you to not discount meds since he is not yet having academic challenges. Once these negative behaviors get ingrained they will be even harder for him to control as he ages.

Dear Krispies, please watch this video about ADHD from a well respected expert. You’ll learn so much about this condition. I wish I had seen it early on after my sons diagnosis in 1st grade. Best

google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q...

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Danseuse

Thank you!

I sent you the wrong link. Here’s the correct one for parents...https://youtu.be/SCAGc-rkIfo

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Danseuse

Can you send again? That one has no hyperlink

Krispies99
Krispies99
in reply to Danseuse

Thank you!

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