News: Specialized Press

Letter to parents from the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Urges Parents Not to Discontinue ADHD Treatment Abruptly

Source: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) / Date: May 2009 / Category: Specialized Press

(Washington DC, March 31, 2009)

The AACAP, through its website, asks that families not discontinue the treatment for Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) without consulting a medical specialist. This announcement from the AACAP comes as a response to information published regarding the MTA study, which currently at 8 years, was published in the electronic version of the magazine's own AACAP (Journal of The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) in March 2009.

"This study has different implications for different children and adolescents," said Robert Hendred, current president of the AACAP. “It’s incumbent on physicians to help parents understand how the research affects the individual patient and to recommend a treatment approach created for the unique child.”

This study followed 436 children and adolescents over 8 years. But it is important to note that among the participants, there are children of different ages in different stages of development, with various levels of affectation, some with other disorders co- occurring and with different family resources.

In the MTA the role of behavioral therapy is being studied, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Parent Training in Social Skills for the management of symptoms associated with ADHD. There are also references to the therapeutic community that involve the whole family and key individuals in the life of the child, such as school personnel.

ADHD is a behavioral disorder characterized by excessive restlessness, inattention, distraction and impulsivity. It is estimated that between 3 and 7% of schoolchildren and about 4% of adults suffer from ADHD.

Children and adolescents who have not received treatment for ADHD are at increased risk for school failure and dropout, behavior and discipline problems, abuse of alcohol and substance abuse, depression, interpersonal difficulties, difficulties in finding employment and holding a job, traffic accidents and problems with the law.

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