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AACAP Practice Parameters

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Practice Parameters for the Assessment and Treatment of Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 46:7, 894-921, 2007

These practice parameters focus on the assessment, diagnostic, and treatment planning process, emphasizing a developmental perspective. Recommendations are based on extensive review of the scientific literature and clinical consensus among experts in the subject. Assessment includes clinical interviews with the child and parents and standardized rating scales from parent and teachers. Testing of intelligence and academic achievement is usually required. Comorbidity is common.

The cornerstones of treatment are support and education of parents, appropriate school placement, and psychopharmacology. The primary medications are psychostimulants, but antidepressants and alpha-adrenergic agonists are used in special circumstances. Other treatments such as behavior modification, school consultation, family therapy, and group therapy address remaining symptoms.

See the AACAP order form to order "AACAP Pocketcards: Managing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (version 3.0)." 

Practice parameter on the use of psychotropic medication in children and adolescents
American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
September 2009

This practice parameter describes treatment with stimulant medication. It uses an evidence-based medicine approach derived from a detailed literature review and expert consultation. Stimulant medications in clinical use include methylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and mixed salts amphetamine.

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