- Mental Health
ADHD Symptoms And ADHD Treatment
What is ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a collection of specific symptoms and it is often known my its acronym ADHD. These symptoms are found in 9% of children in the United States according to Dr. Tanya E. Froehlich, a developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Cincinnati Children's Medical Center. She goes on to point out that only about 32% of those children are receiving any kind of ADHD treatment involving drugs.
ADHD itself is controversial, since it is hard to draw the line between what are clinical behaviors and what are environmentally caused behaviors. One way to address this is to begin some sort of ADHD treatment and monitor the results of the ADHD treatment. Children with clinical ADHD will respond positively to ADHD treatments whereas children with environmentally caused behaviours will not.
Symptoms of ADHD in Children
There are 3 major symptoms that define ADHD, inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
We are not talking about the normal distractibility of a child, but instead, ADHD suffers have an inability to focus on tasks, instructions, or activities. If this inattention is interfering with the child's development then ADHD treatment may be necessary.
Hyperactive symptoms differ from inattention in that the child is always moving. They fidget and have a difficult time sitting still. Again, if this behavior is interfering with the child quality of life, ADHD treatment may be warranted.
All children are impulsive to some degree or another, but when we are looking at an ADHD child, they are several degrees above their peers in impulsive behavior. Their impulsiveness is constantly getting them into trouble and they do not have the facilities to keep it in check. If a child's impulsiveness is interfering with their quality of life, ADHD treatment might help.
Boys More Than Girls
More boys are diagnosed with ADHD than girls but that could be due to girls being under diagnosed. Girls with ADHD are often characterized as day dreamers. The component of hyperactivity is often exhibited in scattered activities like doodling and day dreaming so it doesn't draw as much attention as the little boy bouncing off the wall. Still, girls are in just as much need of ADHD treatment as boys
ADHD Treatment in children
There is no known cure for ADHD, but there are medications used in ADHD treatment that are very effective in managing the symptoms. Some of these ADHD treatment medications stimulate the the parts of the brain that control impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and inattention. Other ADHD treatment medications are anti-depressants that also aid the child in controlling his or her ADHD symptoms.
Along with these drugs or in some cases instead of these drugs there should be psychosocial therapies, psychotherapies and attention building activities that include story telling and oral reading to the child.
Promising results have also been obtained by including dietary changes in ADHD treatment programs. Children with ADHD symptoms should not be given refined sugars, caffeinated beverages, refined starches, and foods with a lot of preservatives or chemicals added to them. The closer the food comes to its natural state the better it is for an ADHD child.
Great progress is being made in ADHD treatment and perhaps someday there will be a cure, but until then the best we can hope for is to manage the symptoms so that they do not interfere with the child's quality of life.