ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment Possible At 4 Years Old

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New guidelines are now recommended for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). The new guidelines suggest that there will be an expansion of diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in children which can start at four (4) to eighteen (18) years old, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. “It’s a developmental condition characterized by inattention and difficulty concentrating, along with hyperactivity and impulsivity. Although some may have the disorder without the hyperactive element,” says Dr Dinah Jayson, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist at Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust, Manchester.

Symptoms of this disorder include: have a hard time paying attention, easily distracted from schoolwork or play, the child is in constant motion or unable to stay seated, not be able to play quietly, and act and speak without thinking.

The new guidelines set by the American Academy Pediatrics updated the old recommendations, which were published on the year 2000 and 2001, for diagnosing and treating children with ADHD which starts at age 6 to 12. Researchers claim that some behavioral problems can occur at an earlier year where the child is even at his/her preschool, also, the considerations are made that the disorder can continue until adolescence.

According to Mark Wolraich, MD, FAAP, the lead author of the report, he said: “treating children at a young age is important, because when we can identify them earlier and provide appropriate treatment; we can increase their chances of succeeding in school,”

Earlier detection in any kind of disorder is of importance because there is a greater chance that the patient will be given prompt intervention and prevents the disorder from progressing. In addition, widespread awareness on this disorder will make the public conscious about their children and pay more attention to the development of their child.

“Because of greater awareness about ADHD and better ways of diagnosing and treating this disorder, more children are being helped.”  Wolraich added.

The updated recommendations were drafted by a 14-member committee; it suggests that health professionals, specifically the pediatricians should look into the environment of the child for a more accurate diagnosis. It is better to confer with the child’s parents and school teachers about the behavior of the children at home and at school.

Hence, because of the expansion of the range for the age of children with ADHD, the guidelines emphasize good and open communication between the health professionals and the people present in the child’s environment, making diagnosis and treatment more accurate and precise.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

Boys are most likely to be diagnosed ADHD.

·         75% of boys with ADD are also hyperactive while 60% of girls with ADD are also hyperactive.

·         40 % of children with ADHD have a parent with ADHD.

·         50% of children with ADHD also have trouble sleeping.

·         Children with ADHD develop 30% slower than non ADHD children.




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