ADHD in Preschoolers: Overmedicated and Undertreated

Psychology Benefits Society

Young boy with sad expression

Doug Tynan, PhD (Director, Integrated Healthcare, APA Center for Psychology and Health)

An estimated 194,000 toddlers and preschoolers (age 2-5 years) in the United States have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and about 1 in 2 of them is not receiving the recommended treatment according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yes, that is correct – about half of the young children diagnosed with ADHD are not receiving the appropriate treatment.

Since 2011, the treatment guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended that preschoolers diagnosed with ADHD receive behavioral therapy first before medication. But, almost 50% of diagnosed preschoolers received no behavioral therapy. Too many are being treated with stimulants and other psychoactive medications as the sole form of treatment.

This is a serious problem for four reasons:

  1. There are no valid diagnostic criteria for ADHD for children in this age…

View original post 720 more words