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To worry my nephew has ADHD?

(16 Posts)
HarriettPotter Sat 18-Feb-17 17:55:06

NC for this. My nephew is nearly 5 and has always been a bit of a handful. He's a very loving, kind boy, and he's very bright and funny. He's just incredibly hyperactive and has a very short attention span.

I went out today with my BIL, and my two nephews. Older nephew is very calm, relatively quiet etc. Younger nephew wouldn't sit at a particular chair and had a big tantrum. It ended with us all moving chairs until he was happy.

He wouldn't eat his dinner and struggled to drink with a straw. He seemed unable to do it without spraying his drink everywhere. He couldn't pick up his raisins - BIL ended up feeding hem to him by hand. Nephew then seemed to calm down once dad was helping him more.

Obviously I've known him all his life and he's always struggled with eating. He's never been able to use a fork or a spoon and they just let him eat by hand (no judgement from me as at least he will then eat).

I was just struck today by the feeling that things are getting worse the older he gets, and it's getting harder on BIL and Dsis.

Another thing about nephew is that he gets upset every few minutes then gets distracted by something, then gets upset again. He can't sit down to watch TV for more than a minute or so, and he can't play a game because he gets distracted.

If he doesn't get his way he gets very angry but it never lasts long because he quickly becomes distracted. But then he will get upset over something else just minutes later. He always seems to be on an emotional rollercoaster.

I know that DM thinks he is hyperactive but I'm not sure she thinks it is a problem. Should I just keep my beak out?

SmileEachDay Sat 18-Feb-17 17:59:33

The drinking issue and the eating with cutlery would maybe point to dyspraxia- and some of the hyper behaviour could be linked to this, because he's finding things tricky. Are there any other motor issues?

Pretty young to be looking at ADHD.

Thefitfatty Sat 18-Feb-17 18:03:03

I'm ADHD and that doesn't describe me at all. But everyone is different. I don't think 5 is too young too be assessed but I also don't think you should be the one suggesting it.

ghostyslovesheets Sat 18-Feb-17 18:05:49

he sounds five

with some issues around fine motor control - not adhd

My DD is 12 and eats with her fingers when she can due to a minor brain injury that means she can't use both hands in unison so things like cutting are difficult

HarriettPotter Sat 18-Feb-17 18:06:54

I hadn't thought of that.

I know that he can't put his shoes on because DSis was trying to teach him and he just couldn't manage it and would get distracted and give up. The cutlery issue I have mentioned, not being able to pick up small objects like the raisins. Also one thing I have noticed more recently is how hard it is to understand him when he speaks. He has a good vocabulary but he struggles with forming sentences. again id always put that down to him having a short attention span.

d270r0 Sat 18-Feb-17 18:14:49

Honestly I think its up to his parents, I wouldn't menton it. He is still young, and is likely something they have wondered about themselves. If it comes from you they may get upset and feel criticised.
I have a 5 year old hyperactive ds also, who I have noticed is always much worse when out with family etc., he plays up and acts all silly for them. I do sometimes wonder what they think, but he is usually different at home. If one of them said something I think it would upset me.

SmileEachDay Sat 18-Feb-17 18:15:32

Very often in small children "short attention span" is because the thing they are doing is hard.

How is he with organising (quite tricky to assess in a 5 year old!) - both his stuff (does he forget his drink/book bag/coat etc) and his thoughts.

Does your sister have any concerns?

HarriettPotter Sat 18-Feb-17 18:20:36

DSis and BIL just run off their feet. When BIL was feeding DNephew by hand today he looked at me with a worried look on his face, but I didn't say anything. Older nephew seems a bit withdrawn as younger nephew needing constant attention from both parents. DNephew1 very clingy with me today wanting a lot of my attention as BIL was v preoccupied with DNephew2

HarriettPotter Sat 18-Feb-17 18:21:01

DSis has not said anything to me but I know she's told DM she thinks he's hyperactive.

Thefitfatty Sat 18-Feb-17 18:22:34

OP there are several red flags in what you are describing, none of which I would associate with ADHD. But I would let a professional flag these issues with the parents. Stay out of it.

Crusoe Sat 18-Feb-17 18:25:19

My DS has ADHD and this honestly doesn't sound like him at all.
I think I would stay out of it unless you are specifically asked for your input.

HarriettPotter Sat 18-Feb-17 18:27:01

Thanks I won't say anything unless directly asked for my opinion. I doubt they will ask and I suspect they already have their own concerns. BIL seemed concerned today.

PastysPrincess Sat 18-Feb-17 18:33:40

Personally I wouldn't offer any sort of diagnosis; if you aren't qualified to assess him, you should say nothing. What you should do is support them and create an environment where they don't need to defend themselves or child against criticism.

My son has a speech delay and I have to contend with all sorts of diagnoses from well meaning but ill informed people; it is very wearing and unnecessary especially when you are worried yourself.

HarriettPotter Sat 18-Feb-17 18:40:35

Pasty they don't, and never will, have to defend themselves against me. I am not criticising them or DNephew. I feel concerned but that doesn't mean I'm going to wade in.

Msqueen33 Sat 18-Feb-17 19:00:19

I have a six year old with asd and ADHD and a four year with asd officially diagnosed probably ADHD but won't be diagnosed for a while. Look at dyspraxia you can also get oral dyspraxia. I'd say he acts out to distract with what he finds hard. My eldest is 8 and is very lively, a total chatterbox and quite hyper but I don't think ADHD.

I'd say be there for them and offer them as much support as possible but unless they're very open minded and you are very close and to them I wouldn't suggest ADHD. Plus has school said anything? ADHD symptoms have to be present for more than six months and across more than one setting.

onbroadway89 Sat 18-Feb-17 19:47:19

I have twin boys. One who has ADHD and the other with dyspraxia. I have to say from your description your nephew seems far more like my son with dyspraxia. In fact some of your description is almost the complete opposite to my son with ADHD. Of course all children on the autism spectrum are different, and many conditions overlap, but would think ADHD was unlikely in this case.

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