October 17, 2011
New Guidelines For Diagnosing ADHD
New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offer new information on helping doctors diagnose and treat children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
The guidelines describe the special considerations involved in diagnosing and treating children and adolescents.
The new guidelines for children from ages 4 to 18 also help children with hyperactive/impulsive behaviors that do not meet the full diagnostic criteria for ADHD.
"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," Mark Wolraich, MD, FAAP, lead author of the report, said in a press release. "Because of greater awareness about ADHD and better ways of diagnosing and treating this disorder, more children are being helped."
The guidelines say doctors should first try behavioral interventions, like group or individual parent training in behavior management techniques.
The drug methylphenidate may be considered for preschool children with moderate to severe symptoms, starting with a lower dose.
"Because ADHD is a chronic condition, it requires a team approach, including the patients, their parents, the pediatrician, therapists, and teachers," Dr. Wolraich said in a press release.
The guidelines also provide a single algorithm to guide the clinical process of diagnosing and treating ADHD.
The AAP released a newly revised and updated ADHD Toolkit to assist doctors in diagnosing and treating ADHD in their patients.
The report entitled "ADHD: Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis, Evaluation and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder" will be published in the November 2011 issue of Pediatrics.
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