A new US study on behavioral therapy, medication, and dietary supplements to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) among children ages 4-17 shows that only less than one half of children with ADHD received behavioral therapy in 2009-2010.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, 'Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder among Children with Special Health Care Needs,' provides a snapshot into how ADHD was treated just before the release of the 2011 clinical guidelines for treatment of the disease from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
According to the study published in The Journal of Pediatrics
, among children between the ages of 4-17 years, about 1 in 10 children with ADHD were treated with medication alone, 1 in 10 received behavioral therapy alone, 3 in 10 were treated with both medication and behavioral therapy. The data shows that 1 in 10 received neither medication nor behavioral therapy. Overall, about 1 in 10 children took dietary supplements for ADHD.
Researchers say that 1 in 2 preschoolers aged between 4 and 5 with ADHD received behavioral therapy and about 1 in 2 were taking medication for ADHD. Almost 1 in 4 preschooler children treated with medication alone. Among children ages 6-17, fewer than 1 in 3 received both medication and behavioral therapy.
Ileana Arias, Principal Deputy Director at CDC said that, "We do not know what the long-term effects of psychotropic medication are on the developing brains and bodies of little kids. What we do know is that behavioral therapy is safe and can have long-term positive impacts on how a child with ADHD functions at home, in school, and with friends. Because behavioral therapy is the safest ADHD treatment for children under the age of 6, it should be used first, before ADHD medication for those children."