Treating ADHD in children and adolescents
An update about the latest clinical guidance and controversies.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. It affects at least 3% to 5% of American children, although two nationwide surveys suggest that the percentage has been increasing, and it may currently affect as many as 8% to 9%.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), defines three ADHD subtypes: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-compulsive, or combined. Although symptom severity varies, ADHD can be devastating, wreaking havoc with attention and causing irrepressible energy and impulsive behavior that can strain family relationships and impair achievement at school.