ADHD tag to go as low as 4 yr olds
According to consumer health information site www.itsmyhealth.com.aukids as young as four could now be formally diagnosed with ADHD with US paediatricians recommending the age be lowered from six.
In what is bound to spark controversial debate over medicating children so young, the American Academy of Paediatrics acknowledges that there could be some risk of misdiagnosis which could lead to inappropriate treatments, but said the benefits outweighed the harms.
They recommended behavioural therapies should be tried first for under-sixes with ADHD, and that methylphenidate (Ritalin) should be prescribed only if behaviour does not significantly improve.
Australian experts say many people will question the recommendation but added that it’s “sensible”. They say they are seeing children excluded from prep schools which has a “devastating” effect on the families.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean giving medication, it means supporting a child, supporting their parents, and giving advice to schools so that the child can have the best entrance into school that they can. It’s terrible when you see a child excluded – the parents are absolutely devastated,” said Dr James Scott, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research.
Thefullarticle is available at http://www.itsmyhealth.com.au/healthy-living/parenting-and-babies/adhd-label-extended-to-4-year-olds