ADHD in Children

If you are a parent and your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which often causes behavior and development problems in children, it may give you peace of mind to know that it is manageable.

ADHD symptoms are as follows: impulsiveness, hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, easily distracted by sights and/or sounds, restlessness, tendency to daydream and an inability to complete projects/tasks at a rate suitable for their age level. Symptoms vary from patient to patient, and range from mild to severe.

Causes of Attention Deficit Disorder

The causes of ADHD are not completely known. Some physicians claim that the brains of patients with the condition are different from patients with normal brain activity.

Treatment of ADHD

Since ADHD is such a broad disorder, there is no single test to proper identify the condition. Rather, ADHD is diagnosed after months of observation on a regular basis to pinpoint whether or not symptoms pertain to ADHD. Diagnosing ADHD also entails gathering information from other avenues as well. Then the doctor will weigh how your child's behavior compares to that of other children within the same age group. Since medical problems can also contribute to some of the symptoms evidenced by ADHD, your child's doctor will perform an additional physical exam to make sure none of the symptoms are a result of a preexisting condition.

There is no cure for ADHD, but symptoms can be alleviated due to certain treatments. Your child's doctor can choose to prescribe stimulants, which are medications used to treat ADHD, whether moderate or severe, in children over 6 years old. Your child's doctor may also try antidepressant therapy, which involves medications used commonly to treat patients who are depressed. It is proven, however, that antidepressants are not as successful as stimulants or other treatments at controlling symptoms. Antidepressant therapy also typically takes longer for full effectiveness to occur. It has also been shown that two drugs which are commonly used to treat high blood pressure have some effect on ADHD patients when used alone or with other stimulants.

If you are not comfortable using medication to treat your child, there are behavior-management techniques available to replace or be used in addtion to medication. Most studies and experts agree that a combination of both medication and behavior therapy is the most successful way to help children with ADHD to recover to the best of their ability. It is best to ask your child's doctor what the best treatment is for your child. Symptoms of ADHD may also lessen over time as your child progresses into adulthood.

Other ADHD Resources

American Academy of Pediatrics
Kids Health