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Nonmedicinal treatment touted for preschoolers with ADHD
Date:8/21/2007

ial skills. Teachers saw similarly strong results; in the classroom, there was a 28-percent improvement in both categories. Early literacy skills improved up to three times over their baseline status.

Medication may address the symptoms of ADHD, says DuPaul, but it does not necessarily improve childrens academic and social skills. And because this is a lifelong disorder, without any cure, its important that we start understanding what tools and strategies are effective for children with ADHD at such an early age.

Theres simply a lack of understanding about the type of non-medicinal services that are available to preschool children and their families. Our goal is to address behavioral and academic issues before they become more problematic in elementary school.

Early intervention techniques include highly individualized programs that often rely on positive supports to reinforce behavior. For example, in consultation with parents and preschool teachers, Project Achieve researchers modified the environments in home and school (such as altering tasks and activities in the classroom to accommodate for ADHD students) in an effort to improve behavior. The highly interactive techniques were presented as alternatives to medicine.

ADHD is a lifelong mental disorder that may become apparent in a childs formative preschool years. The disorder, which makes it difficult for children to control their behavior and pay attention, affects about 7 percent of the school-aged population. The disorder has become a public health concern, however, because 40 percent of children who show signs of ADHD are suspended from preschool, while approximately 16 percent are eventually expelled.

The researchers suggest that a multi-tiered approach to intervention, offering more traditional services to at-risk children and more intensive services to children in greatest need, may be the most practical and cost-effective strategy for helping preschoolers ov
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Contact: Tom Yencho
yenchot@lehigh.edu
610-758-3172
Lehigh University
Source:Eurekalert

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