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Teacher Says I Should Have My 2 Yr Old Son Checked for ADD. Is This Too Early?

My son goes to precshool. He's about 2 yrs and 8 months. His current teacher of 1 month told me that he has a short attention span, gets bored with activities very quickly, and is super hyper in school. I thought this was just normal for his age. Just a brief backgound, he was in a toddler class prior to his current preschool class. At the toddler class, the age range was 1.5 to 2.5 and they had 2 teachers for every 7 kids. I didn't have any complaints from his teachers there. In his current class, they have 2 teachers for 20 kids ranging from 2.5yrs old to 5 yrs old. He is currently the youngest in class. I don't think he has ADD or ADHD. I am thinking maybe the teacher is not used to having someone that little and not as behaved as the older kids in class. As of now, he is quite advanced in his age. He is already able to read 3 letter words and was able to learn his ABCs and spell his name at 1 year and 8 months. His memory is very good. When you teach him a song, he will already have memorized it in a day. I am thinking maybe the activities they make him do, he knows already that's why he's getting bored. His teacher wants me to bring him to a developmental psychologist to evaluate if he has ADD. Do you think this is too early? I thought 2 yr olds are supposed to have short attention spans and be very playful. I am afraid they might misdiagnose him.

What can I do next?

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Yes!! This is way too young. What do you think she is suggesting if he does have ADD? A doctor will never put a kid this young on meds (if he is ethical that is)... AND, if she thinks his symptoms are similar to ADD (which does mimic typical 2-3 year old behavior), then she should use behavioral strategies that work with kids that may have ADD! I don't see the point in labeling him ADD right now. Seriously, what is the point? Seems crazy to me to be quite honest with you. On the flip side, he is very young to be in preschool, and she may not be use to that developmental stage. It's a tough situation because you have a very bright kid intellectually, but socially/developmentally, his "deficits" (which sound within normal range for his age) may just be more apparent in this particular classroom. I highly doubt that a professional would diagnose him at this age! If they do.... get another opinion!

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Many two year olds have short attention spans and are hyper. When they go to school at 2 years old, they will not behave like 4 year olds. ADD or ADHD kids can be just as intelligent as non ADD/ADHD kids - my daughter (a very hyper little kid) is an honor student, a freshman in high school with a 93 overall average and knew all her letters/numbers/etc at that age, but diagnosed with ADHD at age six. Yes, two is too young, they don't have appropriate screenings for that age. Doctors don't typically diagnose before age 6.

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I think you're son is just as smart as they can be and gets bored with what they have for him there. It is too early, in my opinion, to diagnose him with that. He's only 2!

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I think you are right; the teacher probably is overwhelmed and trying to shift the blame for what's going on in her class onto your child and maybe a few others kids as well. If I were you, I would probably speak to the director of the school about the conversation you had with this teacher. My concern is that this teacher is there throwing out possible medical diagnosises (sp?) to the parents, getting the parents all worked up, when this teacher most likely doesn't have the medical training or experience to make that assessment. Also, she may need extra supports in the classroom or more training on how to manage a classroom that size and the director really needs to know about this.

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My 3rd daughter was also very smart, was reading letters early, could memorize songs etc. The way we knew she had ADHD was that she bounced off the walls literally. There was nothing she wouldn't climb. She had and showed no fear at all. If she did fall she laughed it off. She apparently never showed much pain. She let a doctor stitch her up once without being numbed up just because it was late and the doctor wanted to go home! She didn't even flinch. My daughter was only 10 months old when she learned how to get out of the house and pile things up to get on top of the fridge. We had 5 locks on the front door to give me time to get to her. She was funny, happy, but just a wild-child. She would climb on a chair and do a belly flop on the floor.

If your child sounds a little bit like this, I would say you have decisions to make. But just know that we never had her evaluated. We homeschooled her until she was 11. Then she switched to a public school. They complained constantly. I told them to stuff it. She became a manager at McDonalds the day she turned 16. She's worked full-time and gone to school for years. She's turning 20 this year, doing well in junior college and has become a mother already. She's doing a great job with her son. She's still without fear. But she's smart and she's doing what she has to do. I'm very glad I never medicated her. Her PERSONALITY may not have been a joy to work with in a school setting. But she's fine the way she is.

In the 8th grade her teacher complained that she wouldn't stand on the allotted number on the field outside. He said she'd be running around her number instead of standing on it. OH SO FREAKING WHAT! She'd never make a good soldier in the military. But she is a natural born leader and will always do well in life.

Tell the teacher to get some skills and deal with it.

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Um... Yeah. It's waaaaaaay too early. Way, way, way too early.

Now... giftedness is a sign of adhd, but it's also a sign of out and out giftedness, aspergers, etc. You can't claim adhd purely because a child is gifted.

As to dx'ing... she's looking for all the WRONG symptoms. In order to dx any disorder the evaluator looks for things that are not age appropriate. Just to name one: in toddlers, they would be looking for hyperfocus (up to several hours in a toddler) not distractibility. And high energy doesn't equate until her peers LOSE their high energy (which happens typically between 6 & 9... although they still have more energy than adults). ALL kids are high energy. It's part of the nature of being a child. It builds strong bones, teaches the brain how to judge distances/proprioception/force, and lays neural pathways for large and small motor movements. Plus the whole muscle development thing. Now, some kids are "lump babies" (happiest to have the world come to them... the sunny disposition babies/toddlers who will happily stay in one place) and others are adventurers (happiest to be out discovering the world and risking life and limb doing so)... but both are high energy. Just two different expressions of personality.

Even then, you've still got a classification problem, because while all adhd kids and adults have hyperfocus (in addition to the hypofocus/dispersed focus that the disorder gets it's name from)... gifted kids also display hyperfocus in the areas of their talents. So if you've got periods of long concentration it could be adhd or it could be something else entirely, and it usually takes a few more years of brain maturation to accurately diagnose what (if anything) is going on. But the short attention span in toddlers is NOT a sign of adhd... the opposite is.

Could your daughter have adhd? Sure. But you won't be able to get an affirmative dx for a bare minimum of 2 years... and more likely 4. It is soooooo way to early to tell.

If it's a good developmental psychologist, you and they will get to have a good laugh together in the office while you make a followup appointment for a few years down the road.

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Yes!! This is way too young. What do you think she is suggesting if he does have ADD? A doctor will never put a kid this young on meds (if he is ethical that is)... AND, if she thinks his symptoms are similar to ADD (which does mimic typical 2-3 year old behavior), then she should use behavioral strategies that work with kids that may have ADD! I don't see the point in labeling him ADD right now. Seriously, what is the point? Seems crazy to me to be quite honest with you. On the flip side, he is very young to be in preschool, and she may not be use to that developmental stage. It's a tough situation because you have a very bright kid intellectually, but socially/developmentally, his "deficits" (which sound within normal range for his age) may just be more apparent in this particular classroom. I highly doubt that a professional would diagnose him at this age! If they do.... get another opinion!

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So many people missunderstand ADHD, from soup to nuts. So from the get go, this teacher's missunderstanding would make me wonder if she knew what she was seeing. ADD is now ADHD innatentive type, for starters, and if he is hyperactive, she should not "suspect" that anyway. If she knew what she was talking about, she would have said tht she suspected that he had ADHD, combined type, so that is your first clue.

Second, she is a teacher. It would be appropriate for her to tell you what his issues were, and that it was her opinion that you seek an evaluation to determine if there was an issue, but it is not at all helpful for her to have inaccurately said what she thougth it was. That is the function of an evaluation, and she did your son a disservice by not focusing on the behaviros she saw, how often she saw them, what the enviornment was when she saw them, what her intervention was, and how sucessful her intervention was. THAT is her job, and if she sees a problem, she should document it for you so that you can get assistance from a professional if that is what he needs.

He is not too young to be diagnosed, that is a myth and a missunderstanding that many lay people hold. He can be assessed by a developmental pediatrician at this age, and many neurodevelopmental conditions like ADHD can be diagnosed. Psycholgists ,of any kind, do not diagnose anything, they may treat and provide therapy for many conditions, but they are not medical doctors and they are not the appropriate profession to start any evaluation for a medical issue (red flag number two that this teacher does not know what she is talking about.)

Abscent her doing a good job of documenting issues, she is comparing him to 5 year olds. That being said, I caution you that even when teachers do things that make them appear to be idiots, and that make us angry, sometimes they have valid observations. At this point, I would not discount her observations out of hand, ask for appropriate documentation, and keep a keen eye on his development. Calling EI for a quick evaluation in your home might make you feel better about it.

Good luck,

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they can't diagnose a 2 and a half year old with ADD. it's too early. they usually wait until age 6. your son sounds like my super smart 5 year old. my husband says she has ADD. i have told him that was the last time he comes with a 3 letter anything regarding my children. she will sit still long enough to do her homework otherwise she's happy, bouncy, full of energy. she's my mini me. i was and still am exactly the same.
back to you. thank the teacher and tell her your son is too young for a diagnosis like that.

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Kids do have ADHD at 2 years old, but at this age, the dr won't really do anything unless it is an extreme case. We've known since my son was 2 that something was up, but he didn't start getting meds or anything until it interfered with his ability to succeed in school (at 7yo). He is exceptionally smart, as are many adhd kids, but was failing simple things like using the computer because it wouldn't work fast enough for him and he'd click, click, click on the mouse thinking it would speed it up.

I think your son is bored out of his mind. The teacher needs to give him more and/or harder work to do. You should see if there is a Montessori preschool in your area. They teach to the childs ability, not their age.

The teacher may have had the psychologist confused with psychiatrist. You'd want to make sure he saw a psychiatrist who specializes in adhd so you can be sure they know what they're talking about.

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I'm concerned that the teacher is asking for an evaluation for a specific diagnosis. Professionally trained teachers do not do this. Both of my grandchildren have been diagnosed within the past few months as having ADHD after having been involved in the school system for several years. Teachers would describe behaviors, compare them to standard milestone markers and suggest getting an evaluation. When I asked the one teacher if she was suggesting that my granddaughter had ADHD she replied that she does have some symptoms of that but only a professional in child development could make that determination.

My grandson is nearly 7 (June 27) and has been in the special ed system since he was 2 1/2 because of a speech disorder. It's only been in the last couple of months that anyone has mentioned involving a developmental pediatrician. He's had major behavior issues from the start,

I don't know if 2 1/2 is too early for an evaluation. If your son is having developmental issues then it would be good to have one. It's never too early if there is the possibility that a child will benefit from specialized care. However, a short attention span, gets bored easily with certain activities and being hyper (super needs a definition) is a description of a normal 2 1/2 year old.

If they mentioned or you've noticed other difficulties or developmental delays such as being unable to speak, unable to respond when asked to do something, being so uncoordinated that he frequently runs into walls, purposely hurts other children, doesn't interact with his care takers, that sort of thing then he may need to be evaluated but not only or necessarily for ADD or ADHD.

I'm guessing that this is a privately run preschool with teachers who may have a certificate but who are not licensed as an early childhood educator. They have minimum training and perhaps very little experience.

Is the school licensed by the state? In Oregon, 2 adults for 20 children of that age is insufficient. I don't know how many are required but I do know it's more than 2 per 20. My grandson attends an in home day care. The provider is licensed as a preschool also and she is limited to 6 children. She has to have 1 adult for every 5 children after that.

I also recommend that it is not helpful to have that wide a range in one room. The needs of a 2-3 yo are different than those for a 4-5 yo. My granddaughter attended a preschool and the children were divided so that each classroom had children who were close in age. The 5 yo were in pre-k and the classroom only had 5 yo who would be eligible for K at the beginning of the next school year. The school did not accept anyone under the age of 3.

Perhaps this is not the right place for your son. I would not want my 2 1/2 year old in a classroom made up of 20 kids with this wide of an age range supervised by just 2 adults.

I suggest that you evaluate whether or not this school is providing the kind of care and opportunities that your son needs. I might also talk with his pediatrician about where he is in the way of development. I would ignore any reference to ADD or ADHD. His activity and focus level sounds normal to me.

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Many two year olds have short attention spans and are hyper. When they go to school at 2 years old, they will not behave like 4 year olds. ADD or ADHD kids can be just as intelligent as non ADD/ADHD kids - my daughter (a very hyper little kid) is an honor student, a freshman in high school with a 93 overall average and knew all her letters/numbers/etc at that age, but diagnosed with ADHD at age six. Yes, two is too young, they don't have appropriate screenings for that age. Doctors don't typically diagnose before age 6.

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As a special ed teacher, I can emphatically say YES he is TOO YOUNG to consider such a diagnosis already. He may be exhibiting early signs, but it is irresponsible for a preschool teacher to suggest a label without more than a month's exposure to a child-especially one so young. Keep an eye out and store the info in the back of your mind, and definitely read up on some behavioral strategies to try at home and at school. But don't put the cart before the horse- try the least invasive techniques first (behavioral intervention strategies) and let him mature some more.

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YES - that is way too early. Tell her to back off. He's a toddler. He's a boy. What does she want him to do, sit at a desk and crank out some essays??

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WAY TOO EARLY. This teacher is clearly not educated in child development, or the diagnostic procedures for diagnosing ADD/ADHD. And any reputable psychologist will not evaluate a 2 year old for ADD/ADHD. By nature/development, 2 year olds exhibit ADHD like behaviors! I'd seriously think about changing schools.

My humble opinion.

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That's ubsurd!

Maybe he needs a nap or less sugar or more exercise, but he definitely doesn't need to be tested for ADD!!! Good Lord what is up with people now-a-days!?

Children are all different and all have different energy levels. He is fine, she needs to upgrade her teaching tactics!!!

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YES!! Don't let them label your child. Kids can be high energy, not listen, misbehave and NOT have ADD. Honestly, I would consider a different preschool if a teacher at the school said that to me!

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WAY too early. That teacher should be fired.

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WAY TOO EARLY!!!! He's an active, energetic little boy. We went through this when my son was three, and now that he's five he's fine -- already reading, bright, intelligent, and able to sit still with no problem. I agree with the other post, tell them to back off!

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First: trust your instincts about your child.
Second: Teachers should be more trained to recognize the signs of such "diseases"...BUT still trust your instincts. How long has this teacher been teaching? How much experience do they have with young boys or younger children in general? And do YOU trust this teachers opinions?
Third: I think it would probably be better for your child to be put into an age specific class. His class has too broad of an age group. So he may not be getting the appropriate one on one attention that his age group needs. Or he may be too distracted by what the older kids are doing to concentrate on his work.

I am in a similar situation...except it's a good friend of mine who has insisted from the time my son was about 2 (he is now 5) that he should be tested for ADHD. But ALL of his teachers insist that there is nothing wrong with my son. In our preschool there is a 6:1 student teacher ratio. There is one class for each age level (2's, 3's, and 4's). So it's a small school where all the teachers know all the kids very well. He has been at the school since he was 2. None of his teachers agree with my friend. The director of the school who also sees my son everyday doesn't agree with my friend. I don't necessarily see eye to eye with all of the teachers at the school in general, but I do highly trust his current teachers. Both have been teaching for over 20 years and have raised boys of their own.

I would ask the director of the school, and any other teachers who come in contact with your son for second and third opinions.

I have also asked our pediatrician about his opinion. He says that he doesn't think my son has ADHD based on what limited time he's seen my son and based on his teachers assessments.

It could also be that your son is just bored there. I know with my son he needs a lot of physical and mental engagement or he starts getting out of hand. But his teachers know how to handle him even better than I do and can always get him to settle down (they either make him run a few laps around the playground or set him off to the side to complete his school work so he's not distracted by others). I think your son might just be getting lost in the chaos of having a class with such a large age group. Maybe being in a class just for 2's would be better for him. That way the teacher could give him more one on one attention and do activities that are more specific to that age group.

Anyhow, don't feel stressed about this (I know I stressed about it a lot). You know your child the best. Get another opinion. Trust your instincts.

I would call the pediatrician and just ask. I'd think it was too young too. But, maybe she is seeing SOMETHING...I have a kid w/ attn problems-and it was evident very young. and i blew it off as normal-well, when they start kinder it becomes a problem. an evaluation won't hurt.

Hi J.!
You are right, she is WRONG! So often now, kids are misdiagnosed because of this unfortunately pervasive idea that kids are suppossed to behave only a certain way. As if children expressing their individuality through play and action is contrary to being a child. Stick to your inner wisdom. You know your child best and know what his challenges and stregths are.
You might want to look into a different school for him as this does not sound like the best fit. I am fond of Play Mountain Place because they have a Humanistic approach with children and families. They recognize that each child is an individual and deserves respect for their own unique talents rather than be pushed into things they may not be ready for in their development. You can look them up, they're in Culver City.
Good luck with your little one.

Haven't read the other responses but...first of all it sounds like the teacher is out of line and overwhelmed. I do think it's too soon to test him, and a misdiagnosis is a real concern. At the same time, you can keep an eye on him and you'll know if something's not right. I actually knew something was a little different about my daughter from about 2 yrs old. If you'd like details you can message me, I'm happy to share. It wasn't until years later when my husband was actually diagnosed with ADHD that it all fit together. The way their minds worked was identical, and it explained a lot! But I never felt the need to take her to a doctor for an official diagnoses/label.

Now that they've said something, you'll probably have that in the back of your head every time he has a hyper moment. But like you said, all little ones are like that at times. And if you're going to be looking for patterns, it's important to be educated about it. People with ADHD don't always have a short attention span, they can hyper focus on things for a long period of time, i.e. a book or a game or a project. They can be very smart, as are both my husband and my daughter. He's an engineer and she's always been a straight A and model student. In fact none of her teachers ever saw anything indicating it till 5th grade, although I already knew it was there. The best way to describe it is just that their brain changes channels on them frequently. And they generally only hear and process a fraction of what's said to them. Then they may fill in the gaps with their own mind like my husband, and think they heard things they didn't, or they just ask questions, seemingly obvious ones, continuously, like my daughter does. I've never told her that she has ADHD, because she's the type that will take a label and run with it. But she knows she has certain "issues" like everyone else that she works on.

Sorry I'm so long-winded...point being, I think the teacher is wrong and it's too soon to have any testing done. Watch him yourself if you're concerned, but with an educated eye. If it's a real problem, you'll know. If it's a minor problem, you can deal with issues as they come. But don't let it worry you. Right now he's sounds normal to me!

What do you think a doc would reccomend for your son? Would you be willing to medicate him? Heck no!!! Some people may say that ADD could be diagnosed that early. He's a little boy! I don't believe that he could be diagnosed at this age but even if he was you wouldn't DO anything about it. He's not having trouble at school his teacher has a problem with him! You can try to remedy the things the teacher complains about by talking to him about keeping quiet while other kids are finishing an activity and following instructions. I think you are right. He's bored. Is it possible for him to join a class with kids just a little older? No matter what your son is not doing wrong and shouldn't be treated like he's bad. Your son is normal!

My son was just diagnosed at 5 with ADHD. While we were a bit suspicious at a younger age, it was definitely too early to formally diagnose. They typically recommend that you wait until they are in a structured school environment (Kingergarten or higher) to diagnose. My son, like yours, is incredibly intelligent and a very fast learner. He would get bored easily in preschool which is when there were more behavior problems. His preschool teacher was wonderful though and would find ways to make his work more challenging from what was provided to the other students, let him help "teach" the other students and tried to always position him for success (closer to a teacher, etc. for a bit more one-on-one time). While your son may not have ADD/ADHD, I would suggest working with her to find ways to more effectively engage him in the classroom. It doesn't sound like she's naturally taking the initiative that she should be as a teacher. If she isn't willing to work with you, I would suggest seeking out a different teacher or school. Not every teacher/school is for every student! Hang in there as I know it can be very difficult.

FYI - Most doctors don't like to diagnose or treat until Kindergraden, so you may not be able to get a diagnosis or treatment plan at that young age anyway! Many little boys are energetic and it's completely natural, so they don't like to make any conclusions until they are old enough to truly see if they are having focus/impulsivity/hyperactivity issues that are hindering their progress in school and socialization with other kids their age.

Best of luck! Cherish that little guy each and every day - energy and all! :-) Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to speak with someone about the challenge of having a wonderfully energetic son! he he

Hello J.,
Many people have spent many years of their lives with an ADD and ADHD diagnosis yet it turns out to be Aspergers and they haven't been educated or treated properly. Aspergers is a gift, many are highly intelligent: Einstein, Bill Gates, Dan Akroyd. I agree with the other moms, this age group is very self centered and a lot of his behaviors sound age appropriate. If you are going to take the leap for a diagnosis for ADD, don't rule out assessments that include Aspergers, they are different conditions and need to be treated differently.
Good luck,

ok just have to say, how smart he is and what he knows has nothing to do with whether has add/adhd or not. you're talking about apples and oranges. she is saying he doesn't sit still, pay attention, follow along...my son did the same at first but he was 3 1/2 going into preschool for the first time. my son was also bright, intelligent, caught onto things quickly. super smart. but after a couple weeks in preschool he calmed down and was able to fit into his class. he's only 2, to me that seems very young to expect a child to sit in a class and follow along listening to the teacher. and i definitely think it's too young to diagnose add/adhd. i'm pretty sure anyone would tell you the same thing. you can follow along with her and let them "diagnose" him, but he doesn't have to be put on medication or anything, that's up to you. taking him to begin with is up to you. you could politely tell her that you know he is an active child but that from your research (assuming you do some) you would prefer to wait another year (or two! but she doesn't have to know that) and see if he calms down, because of the risk of misdiagnosis at this age. you could also ask that he be moved to another classroom, if you feel she isn't handling him properly. just some suggestions.

I've always heard that minutes spent in time outs should be equivalent to the age of the child. I'm no child development expert but I've always presumed that rule to be related to the child's attention span/capacity at that particular age. Having said that, your child should be able to sit still for about 2 minutes.

If the teacher is expecting to be holding "class" then I can understand her frustration. But, at best, the longest attention span for the group is going to be about 5 minutes. Her expectations sound a little unreasonable.

Trust your Mommy instincts. You don't have to tell the teacher "no" - just acknowledge her observations and take them with a grain of salt.

DON'T DO IT! He is displaying perfectly normal behavior for his age. Dr.'s aren’t able to get accurate diagnosis for ADD ADHD at 2yo. They usually wait until 6 or 7 years of age. I was told the same when my son was 5 and he end up being severely nearsighted. the prescription that cured him was...Glasses! The school tested his eyes and so did our pediatrician but only the optometrist can really give an expert diagnosis. He is in 2nd grade now and his teacher says he is a pleasure to have in her class.

I would find a new school (and teacher ;) ASAP!

Gee. he's 2yrs old and a boy! Maybe he's just being a boy...today's teachers want to dummy our boys down ...and not be bothered ...that's my take on this...I'd find another school/teacher !!! Plus two year olds are distracted by so little...the world is so fun!

Good luck...


YES, it is far too early. Kids are kids. It is normal. I am 41 and still I have a short attention span, I get bored with activities very quickly and I am super hyper. I wonder what she would say about me??

J., there is NO WAY a child of 2 should be at the doctor looking for a ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Let him play.

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Ask your doctor about it. I've heard (from teachers and our doctor) that it usually can't be diagnosed until they're school-aged. But my brother-in-law was really bad with it and, since there was a family history with his two brothers, he was diagnosed at 5. But that was considered really early and it was only because his symptoms were so obvious and there was the family history. Apparently ADD isn't easily distinguishable from normal pre-schooler behavior, so they have to wait a bit to be sure that they're not just acting their age.

I know I'm weighing in late, but yes 2 years old is way too young. My son who has severe ADHD was finally diagnosed at age 8 after many tests and observations. Even then there were many disclaimers about him being too young to make a concrete diagnosis. Keep an eye on your son and see where it goes. I woud also discuss the teacher's recommendation with the director of the pre-school. She knows just enough to be dangerous.
Enjoy the beauty of that age, because it won't last forever.

Trust your gut. Wait till he's in regular school, unless you see signs of something that doesn't seem normal to you.

My son is 3, has never been in daycare before - just home with me, and with a babysitter if I was working. I took him to an in home daycare that my friends kids went to (they've been going since they were infants). She told me after 6 days with him that she thought he might be autistic/aspbergers - because he didn't look at her, repeated what she said, etc. Basically, he behaved differently with her than he did at home. I talked to my sitter, who said if she's not interested in him (i.e. playing vs. just watching), then he's not interested in her. She was right. I switched to a kindercare environment, and they don't see these issues at all.

My son went through that age, and both his pediatrician and psychologist had said it is too early to diagnose about ADD or ADHD before the age of 7 or 8. Trust your instinct, I think it is the closest thing to reality.

I absolutely think you shouldn't have him tested. Primarily
because of the age range in that class. The overall question
you have to ask yourself is does he display those behavior
traits at home or on small playdates? If the answer is no
and there are truly no other complaints, than you really have to
consider the source based on her circumstances. Before I'd
have my child tested or labeled, I'd consider taking him out
of that class and perhaps transferred to a smaller more age
appropriate class where his intelligence isn't challenged by
his obvious lack of social maturity due to age.

You want to caution yourself and son with this teacher because
often times once their minds are made up about a child it's
difficult to deter that initial suggested request of having him
tested and you don't want you son to start developing a complex
and feel based on her assessment and therefore response
of him that he is a problem child.

If he must stay at that school, I'd advise you to sit in an all day
class or make surprise visits and observe your child. AsK lots
of questions regarding before and after any incident. Again
based on what you've written the teacher is dealing with an
intelligent two year old who overall isn't socially ready for
school. My gdaughter is equally as bright yet was cautioned
early on to not put her in school before time just because
she was really smart. I waited and started @ three and believe
me though there were still a few challenges socially she was just
a lot more mature. Pray about it. Make your own persoanl
assessments based on your experience with your child and
you'll know what to do. If these accusations blindsided you in
then I feel you have your answer. I pray God's best for you
and your son and in short feel like it's the school and not him.
Hope this helps, C. P.

Our son was kicked out of preschool at three for signs of ADHD. I can tell you from experience that you can get help at a young age. Our son was a neon sign for ADHD from a very young age, but even with medical help starting at three (starting with behavioral therapy), we didn't get the official diagnosis until he was almost five. He's an extremely smart child, which is pretty typical with children with ADHD. We knew something was off based on his behavior both at home and at school ... it was just far more extreme than any other child.

The teacher really had no business saying what she did. But a word of warning ... she has the power to help get your child kicked out of that school, so start looking now for another one. Preschools can and will kick out children who don't fit within their definition of the "norm."

Yes by far this is too young of an age. A teacher, especially a preschool teacher cannot and should not make that recommendation until your child is much older. Most children can't even get a general diagnosis until they are 6 or 7 years old. Your child is the youngest in the class and that is just the way it is. Don't stress and worry over one persons opinion. You know your child and no one can dictate to you how you need to have them treated or diagnosed.

His teacher wants me to bring him to a developmental psychologist to evaluate if he has ADD. Do you think this is too early? It is not to early... you can find out if he is ADD, ADHD, normal or super advanced! It is always better to know so you can help your child use the tools they have!

Follow your instinct. Don't let them put him in a box and you certainly don't want to alter your own view of him.

He can be accessed later when he is ready for kindergarten through a kindergarten readiness test.

But put it out of your mind because you do not want to be analyzing his every action. You'd already know something is not quite right, if it weren't.

He just may be gifted.... I am sure Mozart would have seemed like he had ADD too and they'd have him drugged up by now. Have they even taken his into account? Do they provide stimulation? Check out their credentials, years of experience. If they have not run across a gifted child before and if they don't genuinely seem interested in his advanced abilities and providing proper stimulation for him, then something is wrong with them. If I were teaching a smart child, I give him smart stuff to do. Assume he is gifted and get him tested for that and get guidance for that.

And why are 5 year olds in the same class with 2.5 year olds. I have never seen that before. At my son's school every age is seperated by when they would start kindergarten together. 1-2's,2's, 2-3's, 3-4's 4-5's. If you are in the south bay area - check out CrossRoad Learning Center on Crenshaw across from El Camino College. They take 18mo-5yrs olds and it is a Christian Preschool with very experienced teachers.

Maybe the teacher should do a better job and a teacher should NEVER be telling a parent a diagnosis. There is such a problem nowadays in our school system that does not allow boys to be boys.

For you as a parent, how about looking into diet and changing some things there such as no preservatives, no dyes (this is a big one with behavior for most kids), no artificial sugars, go back to the way grandma use to cook.

Medication - last resort.

Hi J.----I also feel that there is no need to have your son looked at. The add/adhd diagnosis is way overused. Granted, sometimes intervention is needed, but at your son's age, it's likely just age related.

If you want to be sure that you never receive that diagnosis, take steps at home right now. Be sure he is getting adequate sleep. If he's tired, he'll have trouble paying attention. Be sure his diet does not contribute to his being an active child. Avoid chemical additives; msg (an excitotoxin), HFCS or any other artificial sweetener, food colorings or preservatives. These can all contribute to being overactive or behavioral issues. An optimal diet will consist of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Minimize animal protein. Use it sparingly, like a flavoring for soups or stews.

If you would like substantiation about any of the topics I've touched on, please contact me and I'd be happy to oblige. Good luck and don't stress about what this teacher is saying. But do what you can at home to make sure that you are reducing the 'risk' of this diagnosis in the future.

In health, D.

I say that he is way too young, most boys tend to be more hyper than girls and teachers like kids to be calm. Medications zone them out this is why boys tend to get put on them(not that all diagnoses are wrong). As long as he is learning and not being disrespectful or mean then he is fine- I think he is very bright.

Just as a side note I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was little and my mother refused the medication- I got straight A's in school because my parents chose to channel my energy into gymnastics. This ended up with me cheering in college. If I had been put on medication I would not have done that. So trust yourself as my parents trusted themselves.


J., You've received some great responses. I felt this frustration when a teacher "diagnosed" our son with ADD. (which they are not supposed to do) I found that our son did have some nutritional needs. When we took care of that he was much more comfortable in class. It was not ADD by the way.

One thing we did learn is that it is not physically possible to diagnose ADD as a toddler as the brain has not developed enough. You are so right on ...toddlers learn in their playfulness, which unfortunately is not allowed for in school settings. To their credit, can you imagine managing 20 toddlers?

Would the teacher "accomodate" your son's advanced abilities by increasing the level of activities so he is not bored? Asking him to help or lead or teach others can be a great way for the teacher to help your son or more accurately, help the teacher manage your son's energy and activity.

I'm curious how this turns out for you and your son.

I am not too familiarwith ADD, BUT 2 years old seems very young to be able to determine that "something" is worng. Attentions span, being bored and being hyper seem like very common issues with a 2year old. At that age they are curious, exploring and so much energy that putting a label on a child seems so worng. These days it seems that there are some teachers that cant handle a child and try and make their own assessments and are quick to label that child. If you have any doubts or want to live in peace you should bring it up to his pedeatrician. If they confirm that it is too soon to tell or confirm that nothing is wrong, maybe speaking to the schools administration about this teacher would be a good idea. Her credentials arein education and not medicine. In either case, I would suggest you move your child out of that teachers classroom. Best of luck to you.

I don't think a 2 year old needs to be evaluated for ADD. Way too early in my opinion. They are supposed to have a short attention span at 2 years old, especially boys! I have a 2 year old son, so I can tell you that he is a wild child, but I don't think you can attribute it to ADD, it's called being a kid! I don't agree with having 2 year olds and 5 year olds in the same class. That is a recipe for disruption for the older children. They should be separated more by age (i.e. having a 2-3 year old class and a 4-5 year old class). This would help the older kids learn more advanced skills and not have to have teachers dealing with 2 year old behavior. I would have a chat with the teachers and/or school director or find a new school for him. Good luck! He sounds very bright and perfectly normal to me.

Don't do it! Your son sounds fine! He probably would be misdiagnosed and put on some kind of medication...he's 2, that's far too early in my opinion. I am not a professional, but I am a mom of an awesome 2 year old myself, and I believe doctors are very quick to try to "fix" kids at a young age (I had one doctor suggest growth hormones for my son...I was fuming). Anyways, just trust your own judgement, and let your kid be a kid. And find a school where he is not in such a large group if possible!

I think you're son is just as smart as they can be and gets bored with what they have for him there. It is too early, in my opinion, to diagnose him with that. He's only 2!

You need to tell the teacher that SHE needs to educate herself on proper evaluation techniques and ages. Unless there is a BIZARRE situation going on, most child psychological professionals won't even consider evaluation until age 3 at the earliest and then only if other remediations have been tried. You're exactly right -two year olds have VERY short attention spans and are primarily interested in play. They are COMPLETELY self-centered at that age because they're supposed to be!

On the quick fly by, sounds more like he's gifted and bored. However, gifted kids can be 'twice' gifted which means they can be gifted and have things like ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, etc.

He is young and is normal to have a short attention span - especially if he's bored. How does he do with an older kids class with more 'interesting' stuff going on ?

If you are looking for a good psychologist for clinical diagnosis, we used Dr. Mary Large. She was great. Even a call to her might tell you if your son is too young or not.

Good luck!

I've never seen so many unanimous answers to a question on this site! I went through this exact process - because my 2.5 year old son wouldn't nap at preschool on his SECOND day! Yes, he was a wild child. The director called me at work and I had to pick him up - she said I should call the county for an evaluation. I was devastated but made the calls. Everyone I spoke to said that 2 is too young - they will start doing some testing at 3.

My son also could read (sight and sounding out) three letter words at two, so they sound very similar.

I switched preschools right away, wrote a long note to the new school explaining my child's spirit and challenges, and from day 1 they loved him up. In three years I never got a note or talking to, and it was the best thing I did. The new school was much less structured and had different activities set out (inside and outside) every day, with the kids being free to go where they pleased except for a short group time, lunch, and a couple of story times. Very free and easy. I recommend finding an environment like this. Just because your child very bright/gifted does NOT mean they need academic activities and structure at this age.

Because you say he's in a class from 2-5 year olds, and the ratio, I am guessing it is Montesorri, or Montesorri inspired. This can be an amazing type of school for some kids, but absolutely not for wild ones. It works best with with independent and compliant kids. Good luck!

Good luck!

WAY too early, IMO.
At least wait until he is 5 and in kindergarten to even think about this, he still has a lot of growing and developing before he gets to the age where school gets serious and ADD/ADHD will really start to hinder him in a classroom. Sorry but it's just pre-school. Teacher needs to deal. It's not like ADD/ADHD is some severe developmental disability that must be identified the earlier the better. If he has it, it is not going anywhere nor is it going to get any worse without intervention. Wait a couple years, it will be more evident by Kinder or 1st grade. I really don't think you would be looking at any interventions (especially of the medication type) this early even if you did find out he had it.
Don't even worry about it at this point, I say. Enjoy your spirited and smart little guy!

2-year-old boys are supposed to be active, and there aren't a lot of very young kids who have wonderful attention spans. That teacher (very ignorantly) spoke out of turn. I would pull him out of her class and demand another teacher, or perhaps even change schools.

Find another school, that is too big of an age gap to all be in the same classroom together. That may be why they find him too hyper, I can see a difference between kids in my son's class who have a september birthday between the ones who have summer birthdays. (making them 8-9 months older)

I think you should trust your gut. In fact, I know you should trust your gut. It's so easy to label kids who are a little different with this issue. Is it possible for you to go and observe him in the class and see what you think? Also, maybe he needs something more like his earlier class with more attention from the teacher. Would that be possible?

Get a new preschool! That ratio is far too high, and it sounds to me like you have some overworked/lazy teachers who can't handle the energy of a 2 year old. That is a wide age spread, and of course the 5 year olds are easier to handle. It makes me so mad that they are even suggesting there might be something wrong with him!! If he were behind in benchmarks, that would be cause for concern, but it sounds like he is excelling in learning. Kids are expected to sit still all day, which is actually BAD for their health. Moving from activity to activity at this age is just evidence of a curious mind! Don't let them squash his active spirit and energy - he will need those to succeed in life!

I say find a different school or at least a different teacher...a 2 1/2 year old boy is going to have a shorter attention span than a four or five year old! I think your gut is telling you the right thing...there's nothing wrong with your son.

I think some teachers like to label more active kids as kids with "problems" just because they haven't figured out how to deal with them best.

Good luck!

He sounds like a normal 2/3 year old to me. I think you should go with your instinct, and see about finding a new teacher. (I'm a psychologist, by the way.) This is one of the reasons Montessori schools work well at this age. And, it doesn't necessarily have to be Montessori per se, but something that is more flexible and child-led. Teachers who want to follow a stricter schedule will have a tough time at this age!!

I really think that some teachers are not qualified to handle kids that don't fit in what they call "normal", some kids are more active and some are less active, in few words every kid is different. According to your words and perception your kid is fine, I am more on the side that he definetly needs more to do. I am no expert but I would ask the teacher to be more specific and present you with the general program she is giving to the kids, at this age, kids have not learn what pacience is.

Yep, too early. I've heard different ages as far as when to diagnose.....6 years old up to 12 even. But...here's another thought - I watched a documentary a few years back about how drug companies give kick backs to schools based on how many kids have ADD / ADHD, and so teachers are willingingly diagnosing perfectly fine kids, and hello....they aren't doctors! Not sure how true that is, but food for thought.

Be wary. You know your kid better than anyone else.

He's 2. He's a boy. He sounds totally normal.

Read this: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/2488.html

I'd have a chat with the director. Perhaps a different teacher may be necessary.

Good luck.

I haven't read the other responses but don't worry! Our society is so quick to diagnose for everything. Your boy is simply being a boy. The fact that he has only been there a month tells me that he is still getting used to protocol in the classroom. The other kids have probably been there a lot longer and know what the rules are. Give him time. I have boys and my youngest was the same way and eventually mellowed out. Some kids are naturally more curious about their environments, more active and bore more easily. This energy and tenacity is what will make him a success later in life.

We have similar situation with my son at the previous preschool. The teachers will immediately blame the child with some kind of problems when they are not a "star" behavioral student. And, my son's preschool also mixed the age groups of kids. I was wondering that they actually just tried to reduce number of teachers in the class since the young age group will need more teachers. Now, they mixed them, they kind of having some rooms to adjust. My son was the youngest one, he was new to preschool and he needed more attention. However, one teacher will need to take care of at least 12 children. Then, when the teacher asked us to get our son tested, she keeps comparing my son to other older children and some of them are almost 4 years old. And, she kept referring to my son, he is already 3 year old. But, he was actually 2 and half only. Once we pulled him out from that preschool and found some smaller ratio center, he is doing absolutely fine. You can also talk to his ped to seek for advice.

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