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ADD & ADHD Center

Children 5-6 ADHD Symptoms in Kindergarten

author image Michelle Bolyn
Michelle Bolyn is a licensed mental health professional and has worked since 2006 as a therapist. Bolyn has been writing mental health, wedding-related and relationship focused articles since 2007. She is published on and Bolyn received her master's degree in social work from New York University.
Children 5-6 ADHD Symptoms in Kindergarten
Children in kindergarten class. Photo Credit: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

A child who has a hard time sitting still in class, throws temper tantrums and has trouble concentrating long enough to finish a simple worksheet can get labeled as a bad kid at school and by other parents. He may have untreated Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This disorder is characterized by impulsive behaviors, lack of focus and hyperactivity.

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If the child likes what she’s doing, she’s able to concentrate. For instance, she may love to color and be able to sit and color for an hour without getting distracted. However, if she’s instructed to say her ABCs, it could take her 20 minutes to get through it with extreme prodding from her parents. Every child around the age of five or six becomes distracted when bored, so it can be hard to distinguish between a child with ADHD and a normal child. If the child almost always has a hard time concentrating on tasks that she doesn’t enjoy, she may have ADHD. If you think this sounds like your child, seek the help of a licensed mental health professional to get clarification.


All young children interrupt adults when they’re talking, get impatient and make decisions without thinking. A child with ADHD has a more difficult time learning social cues, especially in kindergarten. For instance, a child with ADHD may blurt out answers before the teacher has called on someone. This happens to many children; however, it happens on a regular basis with a child who has ADHD. Even though he might be sent to time-out for his behavior, he continues to do it. He’s not trying to seek attention or behave badly, as some may think. The child knows that he shouldn’t blurt out the answer, but he can’t seem to control it.

The teacher may call home due to the abnormal amount of times the child displays impulsive behavior, can’t follow instructions and doesn’t seem to listen. The child stands out among his peers as impulsive and disruptive.


A child struggling with ADHD is hyperactive. In kindergarten, the child may have a hard time sitting still during story time, taking a nap while the other children are sleeping and being quiet while the teacher is giving instructions. Children with ADHD may wiggle in their seats, tap their feet constantly or make other constant movements. In school, young children are expected to follow rules and sit at their desks for much of the day. For a child with ADHD, this is extremely difficult and almost impossible.

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