ADHD and Your
In many instances, ADHD and other problems with hyperactivity are not diagnosed until a child enters kindergarten or elementary school, around the age of five or six. This delay occurs not because ADHD symptoms are not present earlier in the child's life but because certain aspects of hyperactivity and inattention do not blend well with new, structured, classroom challenges. It may be that many parents and children do not view symptoms of ADHD as problematic before they interfere with a child's learning achievement. For example, parents might describe their toddler as "energetic" or "anxious," but they would not necessarily view this level of activity as a problem for their home structure or neighborhood. There are often fewer environmental conditions at home than at school that are problematic for the hyperactive child. Few children at home have the stimulating experience of sitting in a room with twenty other, fascinating children. Some symptoms of inattention, such as difficulties maintaining vigilance, may not be apparent until a child is faced with learning a list of spelling words or learning to count by tens.
To a five- or six-year-old, school is virtually a new world of time, structure, and social interaction. Suddenly, there is a group of fifteen to thirty other children to contend with, each exploring