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October 17, 2011

Kids as young as 4 can have ADHD

They can show the symptoms even younger than that, but it's very hard to distinguish between a hyper toddler and a child with ADHD.

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Kids as young as 4 can have ADHD

The American Academy of Pediatrics has broadened its guidelines for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, expanding the age range for diagnosis and treatment to ages 4 through 18.

While the previous guidelines, from 2000 and 2001, targeted children ages 6 to 12, the new report covers children from preschool to the end of high school. This is based on recent evidence that supports including preschool children and adolescents in ADHD diagnosis and treatment management.

Although Posner views the guidelines for preschoolers positively, Dr. Claudia Gold, a pediatrician and child mental health, expert is concerned that they will lead to more overdiagnosis and overmedication in the preschool group. In fact, a 2010 study found that there are already nearly 1 million children with a misdiagnosis of ADHD. In her opinion, below age 6 is too soon for ADHD medications.


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