October 20, 2011

Ages For Diagnosis And Treatment Of ADHD In Children Expanded By AAP

Updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offer new information on diagnosing and treating Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in younger children and in adolescents.

Since now HCPs could diagnose the problem only when children reached 6 years.
Now they can start at 4 up and treat young patients up to 18 years (former limit was 12).

The new guidelines describe the special considerations involved in diagnosing and treating preschool children and adolescents. They also include interventions to help children with hyperactive/impulsive behaviors that do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for ADHD.

I am not a psichiatrist nor a pedagogist.
I am worried that such an early diagnose could prompt treatments without a full evaluation of psycological and behaioural alternatives, although new guideline recommend in preschool children (ages 4 and 5) with ADHD, behavioral interventions (such as group or individual parent training in behavior management techniques) before starting drugs.

Behind every behavioural disorder It may be present complex problems and most probably the pharmaceutical solution is not enough olistic.

The promonters of such change state that "Treating children at a young age is important, because when we can identify them earlier and provide appropriate treatment, we can increase their chances of succeeding in school,"

ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder in children, occurring in about 8 percent of children and youth.

Reference: Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder - Pediatrics

Resoulces: Book ADHD: What Every Parent Needs to Know."
Parent information will also be available here Healthychildren.org website

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