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ADD. ADHD. All you need to know

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 17:49

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

  • ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It describes a range of behaviors that include difficulty paying attention, impulsive behavior, and hyperactivity.

  • In the U.S., about 3% to 5% of school-aged children have ADHD.

  • The different types of ADHD include inattentive ADHD, hyperactive/impulsive ADHD, and combined ADHD.

  • When they are really involved in something or having fun or working for a reward, children with ADHD are not easily distracted

  • About one-third of children with ADHD appear to grow out of some, but not all, symptoms.

  • It is likely that a combination of factors, including genetics and environment, ultimately contribute to the development of ADHD.

  • Just because a young child has trouble sitting still and seems to have a short attention span does not mean that the child has ADHD. The diagnosis of ADHD must be made by an expert after a thorough assessment.

  • Treatments for ADHD include educational strategies, behavioral strategies, medication, and other options.

  • Teachers can help children with ADHD to avoid distractions by making classroom tasks as interesting and stimulating as possible, and by providing a system of rewards that children can earn for completing tasks.

  • Parents can do many things for children at home, including improving organizational skills and teaching social skills.

  • Rewards can help change behavior. They can be used to reinforce the specific positive skills or behaviors that you want to see more often.

  • If a child is to be punished for breaking important rules, it is especially important for children with ADHD to know exactly what type of punishment to expect.

  • Treatment with medication can often be very successful in a child that really needs medication. Medication will help your child be more receptive to learning, paying attention, and controlling impulses.

  • Medication can’t do the job on its own. It should be used as part of a comprehensive program that includes behavioral strategies and educational strategies.

  • Some alternative therapies have been found to be of no value, while others are as yet unproven. What works for one child may be ineffective for another. Discuss other options with your doctor.

  • Counseling (or “coaching” as it is sometimes called) can be beneficial for children with ADHD, particularly if they experience problems related to anxiety or depression.

 

ADD AND ADHD