Focussing on the needs of the child in managing ADHD

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Summary media release information

14 September 2012
NHMRC Media Release
Contact for further information: 
David Cooper on 0422 008 512

New Clinical Practice Points on the diagnosis, assessment and management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents have a simple and strong message. Any approach to helping a child deal with ADHD symptoms must be centred on the child.

Released today by NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson, the Clinical Practice Points on the Diagnosis, Assessment and Management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents provides expert advice to health practitioners, carers and families dealing with ADHD.

“Decisions about the treatment of ADHD are not limited to whether or not to use medication. It’s about clinicians, parents, service providers being active partners in helping to manage the symptoms of ADHD using a wide range of strategies” Professor Anderson said.

“NHMRC has brought together an expert working group to consider the best practical advice for practitioners dealing with ADHD.

“This new advice shows that psychological approaches, medication, and educational strategies can all help. But ultimately, the best option for each child needs to be found by seeing a suitably trained health professional who will assess the child and also talk with the parents and teachers.

Clinicians can use the CPPs as a guide to good practice when diagnosing, assessing and managing children and adolescents with ADHD symptoms, particularly if they are thinking of prescribing stimulants. Before reaching an ADHD diagnosis, they will also be reminded to consider the symptoms as there is a broad range of possible explanations for the behaviour.

Parents and carers will know more about what to expect when professionals meet their children and can ask practitioners to explain their treatment recommendations.

“Any practitioner must exercise the strongest possible clinical judgement. It is reassuring to know that there is a broad range of treatment options to help decide what is best for the child. Any treatment must be monitored for its effectiveness. These practice points help parents and carers work with the health system to get the right outcome for their children” said Professor Anderson.