First Defense for Kids With ADHD Should Be Therapy, Not Meds: CDC
A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that studied insurance claims for 5 million American children between 2 and 5 years old, all of whom were all receiving treatment for ADHD, found that only about half of the kids received psychological services (including behavior therapy) for the condition. But 75 percent of the kids received medication for ADHD -- medication that can, of course, have side effects ranging from sleep problems to slowed growth.
Guidelines issued in 2011 by theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics recommended behavior therapy as the "first-line treatment" for younger children with ADHD -- while acknowledging that ADHD medications may certainly be appropriate in some cases.
"We are missing opportunities for young children with ADHD to receive behavior therapy," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director at the CDC, told a news conference. " Behavior therapy has been shown to help improve symptoms in young children with ADHD and can be as effective as medicine, but without the side effects," Schchat stressed.