ADHD Diagnosis Three Times More Likely for Children in Foster Care

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Researchers from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examined 2011 MarketScan Medicaid claims data from 11 states to identify the medical histories of children aged 2 to 17 years.

Not only were children in foster care more likely to have been identified as having ADHD when compared to their peers by a wide margin (26 percent vs. 7 percent), but they were also more likely to have a co-occurring internalizing disorder, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, or an externalizing disorder, such as oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder.

“This is important because the presence of co-occurring conditions may affect decisions made to determine the appropriate treatment for the child’s ADHD,”said lead researcher Melissa Danielson in an email to The Chronicle. “It is important for caregivers, doctors, and other providers to look for the presence of co-occurring disorders such as depression or conduct disorder when developing treatment plans for these youth.”

The team of CDC researchers research also revealed that children in foster care who were receiving clinical services from Medicaid were about as likely to have received ADHD medication as other children and more likely to receive psychological services for ADHD.

The research is part of an effort to evaluate how well current diagnostic and treatment practices for children with ADHD match up with recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other organizations.

Currently, AAP recommends that treatment for children between the ages of 6 and 18 with ADHD include both medication and behavioral therapy as the preferred treatment combination.

For younger, preschool-aged children (4 to 5 years old), behavioral therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment.

To read more about the study, click here.


By Jeremy Loudenback This post ADHD Diagnosis Three Times More Likely for Children in Foster Care appeared first on The Chronicle of Social Change.

Written By Chronicle Of Social Change

ADHD Diagnosis Three Times More Likely for Children in Foster Care was originally published @ The Chronicle of Social Change | The Chronicle of Social Change and has been syndicated with permission.

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