AACAP Introduces New ADHD Practice Parameter-2007


Washington, D.C., February 22, 2007 – The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is proud to announce its new Practice Parameter and Pocketcard on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The Practice Parameter represents best practices in evaluating and treating ADHD and the pocketcard is the document's portable summary. Both the Parameter and Pocketcard were designed to teach health care professionals about the disorder.

Best Practice Guidelines on Identifying and Treating ADHD

AACAP's Practice Parameter shows that ADHD is a medical illness on par with diabetes or asthma. Like these conditions, ADHD can be successfully managed, but not cured. Left untreated, children with ADHD often experience failure at school, problems at home, substance abuse, and depression.

AACAP's Practice Parameter presents the effects, including the long-term data, of treating ADHD with and without medication. Although medications must be balanced against rare adverse reactions, the safety of ADHD medicinal treatment is equal to other pediatric conditions.

In addition to updating mental health professionals, the Practice Parameter and Pocketcard will teach health care professionals who do not specialize in mental health about ADHD. As there is a shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists, most youth with ADHD who receive treatment obtain it from their pediatricans or general practictioners.

The AACAP is a medical association committed to supporting its members' research on ADHD. Families interested in learning about the disorder should view the video, "ADHD, A Guide for Families," and read the AACAP Facts for Families, "The Child Who Can't Pay Attention."