ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood, and often persists into adulthood. About 1-10 children in the US, 4-17 years of age, have been diagnosed with ADHD. Currently, there is no known cure for ADHD. However, it can be successfully managed and often times, some symptoms disappear with age.

Children with ADHD experience a wide array of symptoms, such as acting on impulse, hyperactivity, and difficulty paying attention and staying focused. These symptoms over time can create issues at school, at home, or with friends. Children with ADHD often display other behavioral problems including learning disabilities, engaging in risky behavior leading to self injury, rebellion, anxiety and depression.

If one is concerned about ADHD, the first step is to get an accurate diagnosis. There is no single way to test for ADHD. Recently, the APA (American Psychology Association) has updated its guidelines for diagnosing ADHD. In most cases, this disorder is most effectively treated by a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. Treatment methods differ by age, as younger children benefit more from behavioral therapy and older children benefit more from psycho-education. A good treatment plan includes close monitoring, frequent follow ups and many adaptations along the way.

Parenting a child with ADHD can be difficult. Some useful tips include creating a routine, staying organized, avoiding distractions, being clear and direct, employing the use of goals and rewards, and practicing effective discipline. Helping the child discover a talent is also beneficial as it will enable them to experience success in order to boost their social skills and self-esteem. It is important for parents to take care of themselves as parenting a child with ADHD can be incredibly stressful and take a lot of effort.

ADHD comic

Adapted from: http://www.cdc.gov/features/adhd/

Written By Austen Goddu