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CDC Emphasizes Behaviorial Treatment Over Medication for Children with ADHD

CDC Emphasizes Behavior Treatment Over Medication for Children with ADHD

A new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the treatment of children suffering from the learning disorder ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) says that children should first be offered behavioral treatment before medication, although this is not currently the standard.

The CDC says that 49 percent of children with ADHD are only receiving medication for the disorder as opposed to accompanying behavioral treatment, let alone receiving some kind of behavioral treatment first.

ADHD medication is particularly controversial in its use because of the long list of side effects from the often-times powerful stimulants prescribed.

While ADHD as a learning disorder causes children to have problems concentrating and an inability to finish tasks, some of the most commonly prescribed medications come with side effects like loss of appetite, inability to sleep, restlessness, and increased irritability. 

The CDC recommends that before children are prescribed medication, healthcare providers should first tell parents about the benefits of behavior therapy and then refer them to a therapist who can both teach behavior management and monitor progress.

ADHD is an increasingly relevant topic in classrooms as more and more young children receive diagnoses and treatment.

The CDC estimates that there are 6 million children diagnosed with ADHD with 2 million of those being diagnosed by age 2-5.

Read the full report.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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