Putting 4 Year Olds On Ritalin?
1 year ago
Pediatricians recommend diagnosing preschoolers with ADHD
The American Academy of Pediatricians is recommending that parents and teachers check for signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as early as age four and as late as 18 years old, an update from the previous medical wisdom that said to check for it between the ages of six and 12. A statement published in the journal Pediatrics says that there are behavior therapies and medication available depending on the age of the diagnosed.
Don't fret thinking that schools are about to start riddling preschoolers up with Ritalin. The doctors say that for four and five year olds, that parents can be taught behavior management techniques to help ADHD kids cope. Students with the disorder can have individualized lesson plans or receive less homework. Only when those don't work after time should the children later be considered for medication.
Said University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine professor J. Russell Ramsay to Reuters Health, "The diagnosis is a process. There may be symptoms that are screened for in the preschool population, but (ADHD) should be tracked over time and reassessed to see if it is persisting."
Kids who exhibit only some of the signs don't necessarily need to be medicated. But letting the disorder go untreated into the teen years could lead to other problems. According to Ramsay, teens with ADHD are more likely to get in car accidents, have unplanned pregnancies and contract sexually transmitted infections.