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What kind of treatment do children with ADHD get?

Data from a national sample of children with special health care needs, ages 4-17 years, collected in 2009-10 showed that most children with ADHD received either medication treatment or behavior therapy; however, at that time many 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 behavior therapy, the preferred treatment approach for children ages 6 and older.
  • Only half of preschoolers (4-5 years of age) with ADHD received behavior 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.

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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.