Recent New York Times stories on the diagnosis and treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggest that pharmaceutical companies, doctors, and even parents have added to what is the perceived overdiagnosis of this developmental disability and that the benefits of medication as a primary treatment have been overblown. While we need to be cautious about overdiagnosis and prescribing medication when unnecessary, we also need to take ADHD symptoms seriously, especially when it comes to injury prevention and driving.
We previously posted about a "perfect storm" of inexperience, adolescence, and ADHD that increases driving crash risk. Today, I’d like to discuss what we know about managing ADHD symptoms and driving among teens.
There is convincing evidence that individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at heightened risk for unsafe driving behaviors, including teens. Despite a “perfect storm” of inexperience, adolescence and ADHD that increases crash risk, only emerging research about potential interventions exists for these teens. This can be frustrating for both parents and clinicians, like myself, who frequently discuss the risk of driving with teens with ADHD but have little information to offer about specific ways to keep them safe. In an editorial published today in JAMA Pediatrics, my CIRP@CHOP colleagues Flaura Winston and Catherine McDonald address this need head-on.
Last week we discussed why children with developmental disabilities are at risk for unintentional injury. Today I'll share some tips and resources on keeping kids with developmental disabilities safe, especially in the summer.
A couple of summers ago, I awoke to the sound of the doorbell ringing at 7AM. Puzzled, I looked through the window and saw a young girl with Down syndrome standing on our front step. She said that she was lost and didn’t know where her mom was. We quickly called the police, and thankfully, her mother found us within a short period of time, explaining that her daughter had run out of the house while they were preparing for a move. Thankfully, no one was hurt during that experience, but it was a dangerous situation. With the recent buzz of excitement in my clinical practice about summer’s increased outdoor time, I thought it would be helpful to discuss why children with developmental disabilities are at higher risk of unintentional injury when the weather’s warm. And in a future post, to share prevention tools that are available.
As a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, I primarily care for children and teens with developmental disabilities, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, and learning disabilities, among other conditions. Much of our focus in clinic is the early childhood years, where interventions may be the most effective. However, as our kids grow, so do their needs, and an emerging area of research is in the transition to adulthood period. Issues in the transition to adulthood period very much include driving.