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ADHD in Preschool Children: Overview and Diagnostic Considerations 

ADHD in Preschool Children: Overview and Diagnostic Considerations
ADHD in Preschool Children: Overview and Diagnostic Considerations

Jaswinder K. Ghuman

and Harinder S. Ghuman

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date: 05 August 2021

This chapter presents an historical overview of the definition, nomenclature, and etiology of ADHD in general, with a focus on how it pertains to preschool children. The historical overview traces the early descriptions of ADHD symptoms and behaviors, conceptualizations and terms used for the disorder, and understanding of etiologic factors and related treatment interventions. The role of important historical figures influencing the various transformations that took place over the last 200 years is described. Discussion on epidemiology focuses on the prevalence of ADHD in preschool children. Etiologic considerations in ADHD are presented with brief descriptions on the status of findings in genetics, pathophysiology, and environmental factors. A comprehensive discussion of critical factors and challenges involved in the diagnosis of ADHD in preschool children, including developmental issues, temperamental influences, and diagnostic controversies, is presented. The importance of context, including relationship-specific symptoms and issues of parental relationship and mental health status in reporting about child’s symptoms, in the assessment of preschoolers with ADHD is emphasized with a case example. The chapter concludes with a description of the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and changes in DSM-5 that are relevant to preschool ADHD.

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