Pediatricians Lower ADHD Age From 6 To 4

10/18/2011 11:57 am ET | Updated Dec 18, 2011

Pediatricians are making news, and raising eyebrows, by lowering the official age that they can diagnose a child with ADHD from six to four.

The new guidelines, released at the American Academy of Pediatrics annual meeting in Boston yesterday, are generating headlines because they include the use of stimulant medications in preschool-age children.

The new guidelines recommend behavioral therapy as the first response to an ADHD diagnosis, but add that prescribing methylphenidate, known by the brand name Ritalin, is appropriate for treating kids with moderate to severe symptoms when behavioral interventions aren't effective.