a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities c) often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly d) often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (no if oppositional behavior or doesn't understand instructions) e) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities f) often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks or activities that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework) g) often loses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools) h) is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli i) is often forgetful in daily activities
a) often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat b) often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected c) often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness) d) often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly e) is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor" f) often talks excessively g) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed h) often has difficulty awaiting turn i) often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
With all due respect, my son would definitely not be diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. I also have a bachelor's degree in psychology (in addition to a law degree) and spent my working career dealing with severely emotionally disturbed children. He can sit and listen to stories for hours (has ALWAYS done this), and has no problem completing tasks put in front of him. If anything, he begins one of his "projects" (ie, making a washing machine from boxes and by pretending to plug in electrical cords to "generators", etc. and becomes irate that he can't finish it when we have to leave the house to go to school, etc. I know you've never met my son, but I do believe that he is highly gifted; he could recite the cabinet members of the White House before the age of 2 and knows more about the solar system than most college grads. I truly think that he bores easily, likes getting a rise out of people, and has a very demanding personality. He is my first born and was most definitely bathed in attention from day 1. However, even as an infant he would be incredibly challenging and demanding...he would constantly fight sleep, he would scream bloody murder if you sat down while holding him (wanting you to walk around and jostle him slightly). He's just a very temperamental child. Does he have somewhat of an explosive disorder? Yes. He is very impatient and can most definitely lash out when things do not go his way. However, I am not about to drag him into a Dr's office to make him feel as if there is something "wrong" with him until I exhaust every possible parenting solution first. I don't mean any disrespect by that and I do appreciate your response, but I really don't believe in "labeling" children, especially at the age of 4.
I apologize for my knee jerk reaction to your follow-up email. I most definitely respect the fact that you have many years of education, training, and experience in the mental health field. I just had one of those terrible days of parenting and needed a bit of "TLC", so to speak, and some suggestions as to how to effectively deal with a sweet, yet challenging 4 year old.
In going through the DSM IV criteria though, the only trait that really fits my child is the c) does not listen when spoken to directly. I really don't feel that in my heart of hearts he has ADD/ADHD. He's never been the fidgety/can't sit still kind of little boy who needs to run around in circles to get out energy and he really has no problem completing tasks, listening to stories (he even likes chapter books with no pictures and Winnie The Pooh poetry books), or engaging his mind in challenging tasks. He has literally demanded A TON of attention from his first day on earth and I think that he often doesn't care if it's positive or negative. I'm going to try and remove all negative attention to the best of my ability for the next several weeks/months and see if that has an impact. If not, I will most definitely seek out a mental health professional to meet with me and consider other options. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX XXXXX concern and responses.