Harvard Mental Health Letter

Preschool attention deficit disorder

New studies show that both drugs and parent training can be effective.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is no longer just for schoolchildren. As we have been learning, it can be a lifelong disorder: the symptoms of impulsiveness, inattentiveness, and hyperactivity may occur at any age. At one end of the age scale, adult ADHD is taken increasingly seriously. At the other end, ADHD has already become the most common diagnosis for children ages 3–5 who are referred to mental health professionals. Researchers have begun to explore more systematically the use of drugs and other treatments for these preschoolers.

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