ADHD: What You’re Seeing in Your Preschooler

By Amanda Morin

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It’s possible to see signs of ADHD in preschool—particularly when your child interacts with other kids. The following symptoms are typical of ADHD. But keep in mind that they could signal other issues, including developmental delays or sensory processing issues.

164Found this helpful
ADHD: What You’re Seeing in Your Preschooler

Symptoms of ADHD can show up as early as preschool. If you’re noticing these signs, consider speaking to your child’s doctor. These signs are typical of ADHD—but they could be related to other issues.

Needs Constant Direction
At home: Your child won’t play alone and needs you to direct an activity.
At school: Your child has trouble finishing a task even though she has the knowledge or skills to do it.
The issue: Kids with ADHD often struggle with planning and staying focused.

Seems All Over the Place
At home: Your child appears clumsy and accident prone.
At school: Your child asks a lot of questions but doesn’t stay to hear the answers.
The issue: Kids with ADHD have difficulty controlling impulses and movement.
Throws Tantrums at the Drop of a Hat

At home: Your child cries, yells and overreacts to everyday situations.
At school: Your child falls apart when another child disagrees with her.
The issue: Kids with ADHD have trouble regulating emotions and reacting appropriately to others.

Can’t Stop Moving
At home: Your child struggles to wind down and keeps popping out of bed at night to do things.
At school: Your child can only sit still for story time for a few minutes before getting up and walking around.
The issue: Kids with ADHD often need constant stimulation and movement. But not all children with ADHD are hyperactive —some may seem daydreamy and off in their own world.
Graphic of ADHD: What you're seeing in your preschooler
Graphic of ADHD: What you're seeing in your preschooler

About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin

A parent advocate and former teacher, Amanda Morin is the proud mom of kids with learning and attention issues and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

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Reviewed by Bob Cunningham, M.A., Ed.M. Dec 04, 2013 Dec 04, 2013

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