ADHD in young children : use recommended treatment first
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ADHD in young children : use recommended treatment first

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  • Alternative Title:
    Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity in young children
  • Description:
    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a biological disorder that causes hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and attention problems. Parents do not cause ADHD, but parents can play a key role in treatment. Behavior therapy is an effective treatment that improves ADHD symptoms without the side effects of medicine. It is an important first step for young children with ADHD and most effective when delivered by parents. With the support of healthcare providers and therapists, parents can learn specific ways to improve their child’s behavior and keep their relationships strong. Clinical guidelines for ADHD treatment recommend that healthcare providers first refer parents of young children for training in behavior therapy before prescribing ADHD medicine. However, more young children are taking medicine for ADHD than receiving psychological services, which may include behavior therapy. Most families will benefit from behavior therapy and there are instances where medicine may be appropriate. Healthcare providers and families can work together to make sure children with ADHD are receiving the most appropriate treatment.

    Healthcare providers can:

    • Follow the clinical guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in young children.,

    • Discuss with parents the benefits of behavior therapy and why they should consider getting training.

    • Identify parent training providers in their area and refer parents of young children with ADHD for training in behavior therapy before prescribing medicine.



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