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Clinical and Research News
Parents Can Get Expert Advice on Treatment of ADHD
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 21 page 2-2

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and APA have issued a new medication guide for parents and guardians of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The guide contains an overview of the symptoms and neurological basis of the disorder and detailed explanations about the types, effectiveness, and side effects of ADHD medications. The guide also covers possible comorbidities, psychosocial and behavioral interventions for the disorder, and other resources such as readings for parents and children.

The guide's safety section addresses many parents' concerns about the side effects and risks of ADHD medications and summarizes clinical evidence in an easy-to-understand format. The guide is available in English and Spanish.

At the press conference to announce the guide's release, Adelaide Robb, M.D., a child psychiatrist at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., commented that this guide will be helpful to psychiatrists because it gives parents a better picture of ADHD symptoms and the effects of treatment, so that when children are referred to a psychiatrist, the parents can educate themselves and are better prepared to ask questions. She pointed out that the guide is also informative to adolescents and young adults who are diagnosed with ADHD and are seeing psychiatrists for the first time.

"Most ADHD patients are seen and evaluated by primary care providers," Read Sulik, M.D., medical director of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Department at St. Cloud Hospital's Behavioral Health Services in Minnesota, said at the press conference. An average visit is so short that most primary care providers have little time to provide adequate education and background information to parents and patients. "This guide provides a tool to assist the providers in engaging the parents and empowering [them] with consistent and sound information about ADHD and treatment options," he said.

"Millions of American children and adolescents live with ADHD," said Thomas Anders, M.D., AACAP president. "The ADHD medication guide is a user-friendly resource that will help parents make informed decisions for their children."

"Medication Guide for Treating ADHD" is posted at<www.parentsmedguide.org/pmg_adhd.html>.

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