Childrens Health > Childhood ADHD
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD for short, is an ever-increasingly diagnosed problem in both children and adults, and is a very popular children’s health issue. Dealing with an ADHD child is no easy task for both the parents and the teachers involved. Only a doctor can diagnose the disorder, but there are several symptoms that ADHD children must exhibit to be diagnosed with the problem.
Children with ADHD are often inattentive, hyperactive or impulsive. They tend to be in constant motion, finding it hard to sit still in classes, at the dinner table or even while watching television or movies. They often talk excessively and do not seem to listen to their teachers, parents or even friends. ADHD children may interrupt people in the middle of conversations, sometimes leading to poor social skills. They are also easily distracted and torn away from important tasks like homework, taking tests or listening to lectures.
A primary care pediatrician can diagnose a child with ADHD using specific standardized guidelines. Diagnosis is typically not possible or recommended before the age of six, and it is often more difficult to diagnose after a child reaches teenage years.
To diagnose the disorder, information must be obtained from several sources, including parents, teachers and other adults involved in the child’s life. Medical history is also considered to rule out other possible causes of the behaviors.
Treatment for ADHD in children may include behavioral therapy and/or medication. Research shows that a combination of these two treatments surpasses the benefits obtained by either one on its own. However, medication is the most-used and typically most effective treatment for ADHD in children. Psychostimulants such as Ritalin and Concerta are typically effective in most cases. Recent studies concerning newer non-stimulant medications such as Strattera show benefits similar to the more common stimulant medications, often with fewer side effects.
ADHD medicines enable children to focus on tasks at hand and to control their thoughts. They are more able to ignore distractions, and concentration is improved. Behavioral therapy treatments involve creating more structure and routines for the ADHD child, as well as teaching him or her skills to improve social behavior, as proper social functioning is an integral part of children’s health. Parental education is also an integral part of a child’s treatment, as knowledgeable parents can better help a child cope with his or her challenges.
ADHD is a combination of symptoms, including inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. However, some children may exhibit some of these symptoms and not others. Many children are inattentive, but they do not exhibit hyperactivity. This disorder is known as ADD, and it often goes unnoticed because children do not cause classroom or other social disruptions. These children may still experience challenges due to inabilities to concentrate, and if undiagnosed and untreated these challenges could cause greater problems in adulthood. Conversely, hyperactivity and impulsivity can also occur in children who still maintain abilities to concentrate. For a diagnosis of ADHD, a child must exhibit hyperactivity and inattentiveness in combination, and these symptoms must cause the child or those around him or her distress. If you suspect that your child has ADHD, there are many books available on this popular children’s health subject.