What teachers see: How ADHD impacts learning in preschool

By Amanda Morin

Expert reviewed by Bob Cunningham, EdM

Preschoolers with ADHD may need a lot of supervision. They can be very active and may have intense emotions. Here’s what the teacher might see.

Needs constant supervision

  • Your child gets into materials easily.
  • Your child jumps off the top of the playground equipment.

The issue: Kids with ADHD have trouble controlling impulses and act without thinking.

Lacks physical boundaries

  • Your child knocks things off shelves and bumps into things.
  • Your child sits too close to other kids and invades their personal space.
  • Your child slides out of the chair and rolls on the floor.

The issue: Kids with ADHD can have difficulty controlling movement.

Has frequent meltdowns

  • Your child gets very upset over unimportant things.
  • Your child yells and screams when disagreeing with another child.
  • Your child doesn’t apologize after hurting someone’s feelings.

The issue: Kids with ADHD can have trouble regulating their emotions and reacting appropriately to others’ feelings.

Never stops moving

  • Your child can’t sit still for more than a few minutes for calendar or story time.
  • Your child runs in circles on the playground instead of playing with other kids.
  • Your child asks a question but doesn’t wait for the answer before asking again.

The issue: Kids with ADHD are often in constant motion, both physically and mentally.

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