Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Preschool-Age Children
Inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity are all
behavioral traits of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that also
are normal behaviors for preschool children. Also, everyday behavior
changes frequently in this age group, making it difficult to establish a
But very young children with ADHD generally have
behaviors that are extreme and much more exaggerated than those of other
children the same age.
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and the inability to control impulses. It affects an estimated 5.2 million school-age children in the U.S.
Everyone, especially younger children, may have symptoms of ADHD from time to time. But with ADHD, the ability to function with daily activities is affected. A diagnosis of ADHD can be hard to make, and evaluation must be made by a specialist.
There are several different approaches to treating...
Preschool children diagnosed with ADHD
are not usually treated with medicine, because they are more likely to
experience side effects. Parent training in techniques to improve a child's
behavior is usually tried first, except in extreme cases or unusual
circumstances. The Preschool ADHD Treatment Study (PATS) found
that methylphenidate (Ritalin) is safe for preschool-age children in low doses.
Preschool-age children taking stimulant medicine should be closely
Vitiello B, et al. (2007). Effectiveness of methylphenidate in the 10-month continuation phase of the preschoolers with ADHD treatment study (PATS). Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 17(5): 593–603.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
February 2, 2012
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
February 02, 2012
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