Teens are easily overwhelmed
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A new clinical guideline issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics is now calling for children as young as age four, and up to age 18, to be screened for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

The recommendation, once only heard by individual clinicians and small organizations such as the now-defunct Jewish Association for Attention Deficit Disorder (JAADD), was announced last week.

Clinical issues specific to preschoolers and teens were discussed in the new guideline, which covers evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

Mark Wolraich, MD of the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, OK and chairman of the writing committee for the new guideline, said in a statement, “There was enough evidence that we could feel comfortable about the criteria being appropriate for preschoolers and that the process for making the diagnosis was similar enough to what primary care physicians were doing with the elementary schoolage children that it would be appropriate to recommend their diagnosing to four years of age.”

An earlier version, which recommended screening from ages 6 to 12, issued separate guidelines for evaluation and diagnosis, and treatment.

The Academy has also developed a separate process-of-care algorithm to guide physicians in implementing the new recommendations.  The article containing the new guideline, and one discussing the algorithm, will both appear in the November issue of the journal, Pediatrics.