THURSDAY, Oct. 3 (HealthDay News) -- When preschoolers have
trouble staying still or paying attention, a combination of parent,
teacher and clinician observations helps most in predicting the
child's risk of having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) at a later age, a new study indicates.
Many previous studies on school-age children have shown that
parents and teachers -- rather than clinicians alone -- are more
likely to assess ADHD accurately, but there's little evidence to
support similar conclusions with preschoolers, according to the
Sarah O'Neill, of City University of New York, and colleagues
followed 104 hyperactive and/or inattentive 3- and 4-year-old
children for two years. Their behavior was rated by their parents
and teachers, as well as clinicians who conducted psychological
tests on the children.
By the time children reached age 6, nearly 54 percent had been
diagnosed with ADHD. A child's likelihood of such a diagnosis was
higher when parents, teaches and clinicians all rated the child as
having high levels of inattention or hyperactivity at age 3 or 4,
according to the study in the October issue of the
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
Parents' reports were critical, particularly combined with
either teacher or clinician reports, according to a journal news
release. Teacher reports alone were not as useful.
The researchers said their findings show the importance of using
information from multiple people who have observed a child in
different settings. While input from parents appears to be crucial,
their observations alone are not sufficient. Reports from teachers
and clinicians are also important.
Being able to identify children at increased risk for ADHD may
help parents, teachers and clinicians plan appropriate
interventions, the researchers said.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about