ADHD – 2,000,000 School-Age Children Affected!

by Richard H Ealom

INTRODUCTION: ADHD is a common behavioral disorder that affects an estimated 8% to 10% of school-age children and stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a medical condition that affects how well someone can sit still, focus, and pay attention and used to be known as attention deficit disorder, or ADD.

ADHD has no known cure, but it can be successfully controlled. This condition is not caused by poor parenting, excessive sugar, or vaccines, But has biological origins that are not as yet clearly understood.

SYMPTOMS: Appear over the course of many months, and include Impulsiveness ( a child who acts quickly without thinking first) and also include excessive worry, fear, or panic, which can lead to physical symptoms such as a racing heart, sweating, stomach pains, and diarrhea.

Such symptoms often get better as children grow older and learn to adjust, But although some may “grow out of” their symptoms, more than half of all kids who have the disorder will continue to show signs of the condition as young adults. The good news is, with proper treatment, children can learn to successfully live with and manage their symptoms.

TEST: Because there’s no test that can determine the presence of ADHD, a diagnosis depends on a total and complete evaluation. Your child’s doctor may also perform a physical exam as well as tests to check hearing and vision so other medical conditions can be ruled out. A definite diagnosis is difficult because there are no tests that consistently detect this condition.

Very few parents are surprised when the results of a doctor administered Attention Deficit Disorder test return with a positive diagnosis of their child having the Disorder. They already suspect a hyperactivity or attentional problem or they would not be in the physician’s office asking for an ADHD test in the first place. The greatest problem with such a test is that diagnosis is purely subjective and frequently depends on the tolerance of the observer.

TREATMENT: Effective treatments for ADHD are available, and include behavioral therapy and medications. Ultimately, the primary care doctor gathers the information, makes the diagnosis, and starts treatment. Some treatments are better than others at addressing specific combinations of symptoms. Any good treatment plan will require close follow-up and monitoring, and your child’s doctor may make adjustments along the way. When determining the correct treatment for your child, the doctor might try various medications in various doses, especially if your child is being treated for ADHD along with another disorder. Your child’s doctor may recommend additional treatments and interventions depending on your child’s symptoms and needs.

A number of alternative therapies are promoted and tried by parents including: megavitamins, body treatments, diet manipulation, allergy treatment, chiropractic treatment, attention training, visual training, and traditional one-on-one “talking” psychotherapy, But scientific research has not found them to be effective, and most of these treatments have not been studied carefully, if at all.

Anti-depressants are sometimes a treatment choice; However, in 2004 the FDA issued a warning that these medicines may lead to a rare increased risk of suicide in children and teens. Since it’s important for parents to actively participate in their child’s treatment plan, parental education is also considered an important part of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder management. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, see your physician.

CONCLUSION: ADHD is a real condition that starts in childhood, is more often found in boys than girls, and it affects 8%-10% of school-age children in the USA. It must be diagnosed by a doctor who specializes in these kinds of disorders in cooperation with parents and teachers.

Teachers should develop abbreviated assignments or provide extended time for children with ADHD. Although it can often be challenging to raise kids with this condition, it’s important to remember they aren’t “bad,” “acting out,” or “being difficult” on purpose. For more information about ADHD and Adult ADD, contact your doctor or other health care professional.

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