Is my six-year-old son too young to be screened for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

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Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D., Scientific Council Member, 1995 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee, 2004 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research, Professsor of Psychiatry, New York University Child Study Center, Expert on Childhood mental illnesses including ADHD and anxiety

There is no rule as to the age a child should be evaluated because of behavior problems. It is possible for a 6-year-old child to be diagnosed as having attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); however, a previous history of excessive activity, inattention and impulsive behavior should have occurred. Young children with the diagnosis of ADHD exhibit difficult behavior in multiple settings, not only in school. If a 6-year-old has difficulty conforming to school demands due to hyperactive, inattentive behavior, and the same has been observed at home, it is reasonable to consider having the child evaluated to devise an optimal plan to allow the child to flourish.

Rachel G. Klein, Ph.D.
Scientific Council Member
1995 NARSAD Distinguished Investigator Grantee
2004 Ruane Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Research
Professsor of Psychiatry, New York University Child Study Center