How do child ADHD treatment patterns compare with the recommendations?

Data from a national sample of children with special health care needs, ages 4-17 years, collected in 2009-10 showed that many children with ADHD were not receiving treatment as outlined in the best practice guidelines released in 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

  • Less than 1 in 3 children with ADHD received both medication treatment and behavioral therapy, the preferred treatment approach for children ages 6 and older.
  • Only half of preschoolers (4-5 years of age) with ADHD received behavioral therapy, which now is the recommended first-line treatment for this group.
  • About half of preschoolers with ADHD were taking medication for ADHD, and about 1 in 4 were treated only with medication.

More recent data are needed to understand if the treatment patterns have become more aligned since the current guidelines were released.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.