A simple tool to help you differentiate between ADHD and the most common overlapping comorbidities in children
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-Dr. Joseph Austerman, DO
Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have a temperament-neuropsychological profile characterized by argumentativeness, irritability, and impulsivity—making differential diagnosis a challenge.1
The table below can be used as a guideline for the differential distinctions between ADHD and behavioral disorders.
This table is intended as a quick reference guide only. For full diagnostic criteria, please refer to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–V).
In pediatric patients with ADHD, comorbid behavioral problems should be addressed in the treatment plan.1 A multimodal management approach that involves pharmacologic therapy as well as participation of the child’s parents and school are recommended.1*
You can learn more about the multimodal management of ADHD comorbidities here.
There is no FDA-approved medication for ODD. However, antipsychotic medications are frequently prescribed if a child is at risk of being removed from school or the home.3
References:1. Austerman J. ADHD and behavioral disorders: assessment, management, and an update from DSM-5. Cleveland Clinic J Med. 2015;82(suppl 1):S2-S7. 2. American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing; 2013. 3. Kahn S, Down J, Aouira N, et al. Current pharmacotherapy options for conduct disorders in adolescents and children. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2019;20(5):571-583.