Researchers disagree over new ADHD treatment guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released new guidelines recommending children five or older diagnosed with ADHD to take medication and get therapy as soon as they are diagnosed. However, according to researchers at FIU’s Center for Children and Families, their studies have found that children should receive behavioral therapy first because it leads to better long-term outcomes.

Erika coles

Erika Coles, clinical director at the Center for Children and Families shared in an NPR interview that these new guidelines are a “huge disservice to not just the children that we’re trying to treat but also to the parent who would prefer to have behavioral interventions.”

A recent study by Coles found that behavioral therapy reduced the need for a child with ADHD to be medicated. Coles and her colleagues found that 37 percent of children ages 5-13 who received therapy first didn’t need medication at all.

This interview first aired on NPR on Sept. 30, 2019.