My son ‘s 7 years old. I’m worried he might have ADD but I haven’t taken him for assessment. My question is: could being spoiled and the inconsistencies at home be misinterpreted as ADD? If I establish a structure at home and be consistent with him all the time, could the symtoms of ADD go away?
A: ADD is characterized by careless mistakes, difficulty sustaining attention in tasks, not listening when spoken to, not following instructions, not finishing chores, homework, etc., avoiding tasks that take mental effort, losing things, and distractibility. The asnswer to your question is clearly yes. That list could also describe a spoiled child who hasn’t had to learn to respond to limits and thinks he can do anything he wants.
One way for you to figure this out is to do what you suggested, i.e,, establish a structure and stick to it. Do this in a friendly, matter-of-fact way, not with any display of annoyance or anger. Just explain to him that you want to do a better job helping him learn to get things done and get them done well. Stick with it for 3 months and see what happens. If, at the end of that time, you still question whether he has ADD, take him to a child psychologist for an evaluation. At that point, you will be able to report how your son responded to kind and firm limits, applied consistently over time. That is essential information for the psychologist to have if she or he is going to be helpful.
I wish you well.