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I am concerned my daughter (3 years old) has symptoms of ADHD. We live in Thailand currently, and I took her to a doctor there (not a specialist in ADHD) who stated she is ‘normal’. She more often than not refuses to do as she is told and will even not aknowledge you despite being called about five times. She often has a tantrum, throwing an item violently onto the floor. She has on two occasions taken money from her grandmothers purse within her handbag. Despite being told on numerous occasions that she is not allowed a treat from a shop without going in with money, she enters shops (including her aunties) and selects sweets, leaving without paying. She has slapped her mother’s face several times. Two days ago at her nursery she slipped out of the classroom and was found on the road outside by the security guard. I fear for my daughters future and feel that she needs help and/or medical assistance.

The symptoms you are describing could be compatible with the diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) but a physical exam is needed.

Patients with ADHD are easily distracted, have difficulty focusing, forgetful, and frequently jump from one task to another. In addition, they may exhibit impulsive behavior such as nonstop talking and have difficulty being still and quiet. easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another.

To have a diagnosis of ADHD, the child must demonstrate impairment and inability to function in at least two of the following settings: playground, school, home, community, and social settings. Children should also have other medical conditions ruled out such as chronic medical conditions, hearing/visual disability, anemia, hyperthyroidism, and heavy metal poisoning.

Patients with ADHD can be treated with pyschotherapy or pharmacotherapy. With or without treatment, about 50-70% of pediatric patients have their ADHD resolve by adulthood.

It is impossible to diagnose your child without a proper physical exam by a pediatrician or psychiatrist who is trained to diagnose ADHD. To support the diagnosis, specific observations and reports from your child’s school/nursery/daycare may be needed to document her behavior.