Last week my son was diagnosed with ADHD. He is only 5. According to the tests the psychologist gave him, he did not score well on the “auditory attention span for unrelated syllables” test. Apparently he scored the age a child would at 3 years and 9 months old, below the 1 percentile for his age. He scored a little better on the noise auditory test (the GFW?) but still low for his age. From what I understand those test results means he can’t focus well on things that he has never been exposed to before. The psychologist also gave him a shortened IQ test. Apparently he scored very well on that, which made me feel a little better considering he did not do well on the other two tests.
As a counselor (not employed and definitely not experienced), I understand the importance of getting treatment when you need it. My son is only 5 and is very young, so hearing about his diagnosis at such a young age did make me think twice if he really does have ADHD. I am not debating the psychologist, she is the expert. I don’t doubt he has focusing problems. I really researched all the psychologists in my area to make sure I found someone who is very experienced with children my son’s age. I do see that he has attention problems. He has a hard time focusing on some things and gets especially frustrated. I don’t think he has the hyperactivity part of the diagnosis, in fact, that wasn’t really even discussed at the appointments. The energy that I see is just him being a normal 5 year old boy. He can definitely sit down and be calm.
These are some things the psychologist suggested to me as ways to help him:
- Make sure we do things to boost his self esteem because he gets easily frustrated which affects his self esteem.
- He needs a quiet environment for homework. Possibly during school exams when needed. I do know he can be sensitive to people or sounds when he is trying to concentrate, do school work or listen to an audiobook. He has made a point in telling me this before.
- Make a point to reward him for good behavior so he doesn’t feel like we are only calling him out on bad behavior.
- Repeat back directions at home and at school because he might not process the directions the first time.
- Give him frequent breaks. I think she was talking about when he does homework or something that requires long concentration.
- Put him in aerobic activity, she said soccer was perfect (he is in that right now).
- Give him OMEGA 3 fish oil.
- For the next few weeks we will be going to “family therapy” as a family to learn how to work with his ADHD. He is too young for meds and she believes in therapy first anyways, which I agree. He is only 5 so as he gets older we will really be able to tell whether this is something he is going to have to deal with or not down the road.
Do you have a child diagnosed with ADHD?