You don't have to wait until your child is in the first grade to have him tested for ADHD. That is the decision of your school district, but there are other facilities and individuals who are able to evaluate children before they start school. There is a concern that testing children at too young of an age could produce inaccurate results and labeling. But if your son is struggling to the point it is affecting his relationships with peers and with your family, you are smart to seek outside advice.
Some parents believe their children have ADHD but in reality the children have developed a serious behavior problem. In instances such as this, a different approach to discipline may be what it takes to correct the behavior. But you know your child best and if you feel he needs to be evaluated, then you should go with your gut instincts.
In many major cities there are Children's Hospitals which provide evaluations for young children. There are also independent providers who perform evaluations. Just make sure that the person who evaluates your child is experienced and is a licensed mental health provider. Clinical Child Psychologists should have the training for this.
If you would like referrals or to talk with one of our parenting counselors, please call our toll-free Hotline. We are here 24/7 to help parents with any issue or problem. We also have a website which is full of parenting ideas and information. Take care and best wishes to you and your son!
Boys Town National Hotline