"For the first time in a decade, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued an updated set of guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that now include younger, preschool children and adolescents."
The article may be found here. - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/751596?src=nl_topic
The crux of the article is that: "We've expanded the age group to include children aged 4 to 18 because there's certainly new evidence to support recommendations for the broader age group," said Dr. Wolraich, lead author of the guidelines.
The last 10 years have also seen an increase in the number of medications that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of ADHD, and the new guidelines reflect this. They also emphasize the chronic nature of the disorder
"We had pushed for the idea that ADHD was a chronic illness in the initial guidelines, and that clinicians needed to use chronic illness principles in treating it, and this has been further emphasized," Dr. Wolraich said.
Other key recommendations include:
* assessing children for other conditions that might coexist with ADHD, such as oppositional defiant and conduct disorders, anxiety, and depression;
* making sure that Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, criteria have been met;
* obtaining information primarily from reports from parents or guardians, teachers, and other school and mental health clinicians involved in the child's care;
* first line of treatment for preschool-aged children 4 to 5 years old should be evidence-based parent- or teacher-administered behavior therapy;
* titrating medication doses to achieve the maximum benefit with the least adverse effects; and
* for adolescents, the primary care clinician should prescribe FDA-approved ADHD medications with their consent.