ADHD Treatments for Children: Be Sure They Get What’s Best
Has your child been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? If so, like many other parents, you may be struggling with how to best treat your child’s symptoms. These decisions are often complicated, scary, and stressful.
A lot of information on ADHD exists online and this can lead parents in different directions, unsure of what treatment is best for their child. The good news is that researchers are learning more about ADHD all the time. We know a lot more today about how to help children with ADHD thrive at home, at school, and socially with friends.
Most children with ADHD ages 4-17 are receiving either medication or behavioral therapy for the disorder. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives this advice to healthcare providers, psychologists, educators, and parents of children with ADHD:
- For preschoolers ages 4-5 with ADHD, use behavioral therapy before medication.
- For older children and teens with ADHD, use behavioral therapy along with medication.
Parents are part of the solution, too. Collectively, the child, parents, educators, therapists, and healthcare providers are a team in supporting each child in their quest for long-term health and well-being. Make sure your child gets what is best!
For more information about ADHD, visit www.cdc.gov/adhd.
For information on the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines on diagnosing, evaluating, and treating ADHD, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/guidelines.html.
Recommended resources to review include:
- Infographic on ADHD treatment for preschool-aged children (PDF - 950 KB)
- Infographic on ADHD treatment for older children and teens (PDF – 1.4 MB)
- CDC’s resource page on ADHD treatment http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html
Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH, is Director, Division of Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disability, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Susanna Visser, DrPH, MS, is with the Division of Human Development and Disability, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disability, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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