ADHD Part 2

Once the diagnosis of ADHD is confirmed, the outlook for most children who receive treatment of ADHD is very encouraging. There is not specific cure for ADHD, but there are many treatment options available.

Each child’s treatment must be tailored to meet his individual needs. In most cases, treatment for ADHD should include:

  • 1. A long term management plan with:
  • _a) Target outcomes for behavior
  • _b) Follow up activities
  • _c) Monitoring
  • 2. Education of ADHD
  • 3. Teamwork among doctors, parents, caregivers, other health care professionals, and the child
  • 4. medication
  • 5. behavior thereapy including parent training
  • 6. individual and family counseling

 

Setting target outcomes

Your child’s target outcomes should focus on helping her function as well as possible at home, at school, and in your community. You need to identify what behaviors are most perventing your child from success.

The following are examples of target outcomes:

  • 1. improved relationships with parents, siblings, teachers, and friends
  • 2. betterschoolwork (eg, completing class work or homework assignments
  • 3. More independence in self-care or homework
  • 4. Improved self esteem
  • 5. fewer disruptive behaviors
  • 6. safer behavior in the community

The target outcomes should be

  • 1. realistic
  • 2. something your child will be able to do – achievable
  • 3. behaviors that you can observe and count

Medication for most children, stimulant medications are a safe and effective way to relieve ADHD symptoms. As glasses help people focus their eyes to see, these medications help children with ADHD focus their thoughts better and ignore distractions.

Which medication is BEST for my child?

Your child may need to try different types of stimulants or other medication. some children respond to one type or stimulant but not to another.

It is important for your child to have regular medical checkups to monitor how well the medications si working and check for possible side effects.

What side effects can stimulants cause?

Side effects occur sometimes. These tend to happen early in treatment and are usually mild and short-lived, but in rare cases can be prolonged or more severe. The most common side effects include:

  • 1. decreased appetite /weight loss
  • 2. social withdrawal
  • 3. sleep problems

Some less common side effects include:

  • 1. Transient tics
  • 2. Significant increase in blood pressure or heart rate
  • 3. Growth delay

Most side effects can be relieved by:

  • 1. changing the medication dosage
  • 2. adjusting the schedule of medication
  • 3. using a different stimulant or atomoxetine Behavior therapy

Most experts recommend using both medication and behavior therapy to treat ADHD. There are many forms of behavior therapy, but all have a common goal – to change the child’s physical and social environments to help the child improve.

 

Tips for helping your child control his/her behavior

  • 1. Keep your child on a daily schedule
  • 2. cut down on distractions
  • 3. organize your house
  • 4. reward positive behavior
  • 5. set small, reachable goals
  • 6. help your child stay “on task”
  • 7. limit choices
  • 8. find activities at which your child can succeed
  • 9. use CALM discipline

 

UNPROVEN TREATMENTS

The following methods HAVE NOT BEEN PROVEN TO WORK:

  • 1. megavitamins or mineral supplements
  • 2. anti-motion-sickness medication
  • 3. treatment for candida yeats infection
  • 4. EEG biofeedback (treatment to increase brain-wave activity)
  • 5. reducing sugar consumption

Always tell us about any alternative therapies, suppliments, or medications that your child is using, these may interact with prescribed medications and harm your child.

 

RESOURCES:

Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD)
800/233-4050
www.chadd.org

National Attention Deficit Disorder Association
856/439-9099
www.add.org

National Dissemination Center for children with Disabilities
800/695-0285
www.nichcy.org

National Institute of mental Health
866/6156464
www.nimh.nih.gov