New Help for Parents Whose Children Have ADHD

Psychiatrists offer free online guidance on symptoms and treatments.

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Parents at a loss about how best to cope with a child's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder just got some authoritative—and free—help. The new Parents Medication Guide to ADHD, prepared by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Psychiatric Association and posted today at ParentsMedGuide.org, features detailed information on symptoms, how to manage side effects, and advice on combining drug treatment with behavioral therapies. A combination approach may allow children to take lower doses of medication.

"While we can effectively help the majority of children, adolescents, and adults with the disorder, research tells us that many young people aren't receiving the appropriate treatment they need and deserve," says David Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Burlington, Vt., and a cochair of the joint committee that developed the guide. The group hopes that making the medication guide easily accessible will encourage parents to take the first steps toward getting help.

The ADHD guide is the latest addition to the ParentsMedGuide.org website, which was founded by a coalition of family and patient advocacy groups and medical organizations in 2005. The site also features a handbook on medications and other treatments for adolescents and teenagers with depression; that particular guide has been accessed by online users over 1 million times.