CDC examines how US treats ADHD in children

The CDC issued the first national survey on Wednesday detailing the use of behavioral therapy and medication in children ages 4 to 17 years old with ADHD disorder.  

The agency analyzed parent-reported data from the 2009-2010 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs. The analysis found that four in 10 children with ADHD were treated with only medication—one in 10 received just behavioral therapy—and three in 10 received both.

Data show that in the four- to five-year age group one in two preschoolers received behavioral therapy and another one in two were taking medication for ADHD. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended behavioral therapy alone for treatment in preschoolers in its 2011 treatment guidelines.

CDC principal deputy director Ileana Arias stated, "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."