Attention deficit disorder, also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is characterized by an inability to control reactions and activity levels. In 1994, ADD was renamed ADHD, as the two disorders were merged into one. Diagnosis can be difficult in the early years as children experience many developmental changes. ADD symptoms in 4-year-olds, however, may be the first definitive signs of the disorder 2.
Crying and Tantrums
Even before a child reaches age 4, it is possible to tell if they may be developing attention deficit disorder. Young children developing ADD often cry incessantly, do not sleep well and have tantrums. They may scream excessively, be restless and demonstrate a reluctance to cuddle with or be consoled by parents.
Signs of inattention in a 4-year-old include:
- being easily distracted
- not following orders
- losing objects
- trouble paying attention
- not having a desire to do anything that requires continuous mental effort
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