Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Experts recommend testing for ADHD at age 4

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends parents get children tested for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at the age of four.

Some parents who struggle with the disorder agree with the new recommendation, saying they wish they would have tested their child sooner to improve situations in time for kindergarten.

When Bradley Olsen was four years old, his mother Mindy knew he was unusually obsessed with things.

“I knew and I tried when he was that young, but he was that age it was ‘Wait until he's in school. Let’s see how it goes with the teacher,’" said Olsen.

Previously, there had not been guidelines for pediatricians prior to the age of six, previously,” stated Bradley’s psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey Katz, who works in Virginia Beach. He says the new guidelines telling doctors how to screen for ADD and ADHD at age four won’t necessarily lead the four year olds to be on the drug Ritalin.

The guidelines for four-year olds demand a child be monitored for nine months instead of the previous six months and encourages behavioral therapy and parenting training before medication.

“So they're being much more cautious in how they're diagnosing a kid,” stated Katz.

It also acknowledges the genetic component and discusses how the part of the brain that controls impulses is weak in certain kids.

Olsen says this information could have saved her son from a lot of mental anguish.

“The earlier you can get it done, the better,” Olsen said.

Read more: http://www.wvec.com/news/Testing-for-ADHD-recommended-at-age-4-132648183.html

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