The American Academy of Pediatrics this weekend expanded its guidelines for diagnosing and treating kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, recommending that doctors evaluate all patients aged four to 18 who show signs of the condition.
The new guidelines update decade-old recommendations that focused on diagnosing and managing ADHD in kids aged six to 12. But behavior problems, over-activity, and trouble paying attention can show up earlier, researchers said and ADHD often persists into adolescence or even adulthood.
Pediatricians should also look out for learning disabilities, anxiety, and other issues that can go hand-in-hand with ADHD. And, they should tailor treatment with behavior therapy and medication based on kids’ age and severity of symptoms, says a statement published in Pediatrics. (here)
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between six and nine percent of kids and teens have ADHD, with rates higher in adolescents than younger kids.
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