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The Right Treatment for Preschoolers With ADHD

Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 08:34 AM

Bart Simpson, Roadrunner and the Minions of "Despicable Me" display impulsive, unfocused behavior associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

And while their shenanigans are amusing for a lot of folks, for the 6.4 million kids ages 4 to 17 who've been diagnosed with the disorder, ADHD-triggered behavior is not fun!

It makes it hard for children to establish friendships and almost doubles their risk for serious physical injuries.

That's why the American Academy of Pediatrics established best practice guidelines for the treatment of young sufferers. For preschoolers, the AAP warns about the risks of prescribing anti-ADHD medication right off the bat. Instead, they suggest "parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as the first line of treatment."

Only when that approach fails and moderate to severe behavior problems persist should meds be considered - and then the only med that should be used is methylphenidate (such as Concerta and Ritalin).

But, unfortunately, 20 percent of docs say they use medication as their first-line treatment, not behavior therapy. And a third of specialists prescribing meds to preschoolers with ADHD say they choose a drug other than what's recommended: Almost 20 percent prescribe amphetamines and 19 percent choose non-stimulants.

If your preschooler is diagnosed with ADHD, find a program that provides behavior modification training for your child - and you.

If your doc wants to medicate your preschooler right off the bat, say "No, thanks," and find a specialist who follows recommended guidelines.

© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© King Features Syndicate

   
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Bart Simpson, Roadrunner and the Minions of Despicable Me display impulsive, unfocused behavior associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. And while their shenanigans are amusing for a lot of folks, for the 6.4 million kids ages 4 to 17 who've been...
oz, preschoolers, adhd, drugs
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2014-34-19
Thursday, 19 Jun 2014 08:34 AM
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