Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. According to the CDC, approximately 11% of American children 4-17 years of age (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011, up from 9.5% in 2007 and 7.8% in 2003. Inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity are the telltale behaviors of ADHD. Some sufferers only have problems with one of the behaviors, but most struggle with both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity. For an individual to be diagnosed with ADHD, the symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity must be chronic or long-lasting, impair the person’s functioning, and cause the person to fall behind normal development for his or her age.

Despite Official Recommendations, Young Children Are Still Receiving Drugs Instead of Therapy for ‘ADHD’

In 2011 the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued guidelines recommending therapy over stimulant drugs as the primary treatment for children diagnosed with ‘ADHD.’ New research from the CDC reveals, however, that children between ages 2 and five are still prescribed medications before receiving the recommended therapy or psychological services.

Children with attention-deficit problems improve faster when the first treatment they receive is behavioral than when they start immediately on medication, a new study has found. Beginning with behavioral therapy is also a less expensive option over time, according to a related analysis.

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