Current Treatment Options in Pediatrics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 94–107 | Cite as

Current Best Practices for Assessing and Treating Children and Adolescents With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Thomas J. Power
  • Jamie Hom
  • Patty Huang
Mental Health (WF Njoroge and TD Benton, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Mental Health



This article provides updated information about the diagnosis and assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), multimodal interventions, strategies for combining behavioral and pharmacological interventions, and approaches for treating ADHD when it occurs with other conditions.

Recent findings

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder with a well-documented genetic and neurobiological basis. The assessment of ADHD is grounded in criteria delineated in DSM-5 and includes an assessment of ADHD symptoms, symptom-related impairments, and comorbid conditions. Evidence-based interventions for ADHD include medication, in particular stimulants, and behavioral treatments, including behavioral parent training, classroom behavioral intervention, peer behavioral intervention, and organization skills training. Strategies for combining and sequencing behavioral and medication treatments need to take into account family preferences, problem severity, intervention accessibility, safety considerations, and family level of engagement and motivation. Disparities in ADHD service use as a function of socioeconomic and minority status point to the need for system reforms to improve access to care for all children and adolescents.


Evidence-based interventions for ADHD need to be more accessible for children and families, and strategies need to integrate the efforts of health providers, mental health professionals, and educators.


ADHD Assessment Behavior therapy Medication Educational interventions 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Patty Huang declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Thomas J. Power has a financial interest in the ADHD Rating Scale-5, published by Guilford Publications, which is a measure used to assess ADHD. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has received support from Shire and Pfizer Grants for Learning and Change, which have supported Dr. Power’s efforts in educating families and physicians.

Jamie Hom reports grants from Medgenics, outside the submitted work.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Pediatrics and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Roberts Center for Pediatric ResearchChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Developmental and Behavioral PediatricsChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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