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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Boy studying

How is ADHD Identified?

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) can be identified in children based on many behavioral tendencies such as inattention in school, speaking out of turn, excessive energy, inability to focus, etc. According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine, ADHD affects an estimated 4-12% of children.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD or you are taking the steps toward a diagnosis, it is important that you are aware of the various treatment options available for your child. Treatments vary according to age and the severity of a child's case of ADHD. If you have questions about your child's level of ADHD severity, contact your pediatrician for more information.

What are ADHD Treatment Options?

There are a variety of treatment options when it comes to ADHD. Treatments include the following:

Medications

There are several types of medications that can help alleviate a child's ADHD symptoms. For instance, according to the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), many children rely on psychostimulant medications that allow them to perform better in social situations like school. Medications like Adderall and Ritalin work to stimulate the brain by stabilizing its chemicals to reduce symptoms such as inattention and hyperactivity. These medications are a common option for many people suffering from ADHD and have been studied for many years. Speak with your child's pediatrician if you believe that your child would benefit from taking a psychostimulant medication.

Talk Therapy

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), behavior therapy can help children keep behavior tendencies at bay. Behavior therapy can help a child adapt to social situations using training in social skills that they learn in therapy. In addition, behavior therapy can assist a child in learning to control certain behavioral tendencies associated with ADHD.

Healthy Lifestyle

Nutrition, exercise, and a regular sleep schedule can help a child manage his or her ADHD symptoms such as an inability to maintain focus or to sit still. In addition, according to the Mayo Clinic, a regular schedule and limiting screen time for your child may also help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. In addition, Boys Town Clinic's Julie Almquist, M.S., LIMHP says that family meal time may help a child with ADHD if the meal time is a sit-down event with clearly established rules: "turn the television off. Focus on conversation that includes all family members, limiting adult-only conversation. Also, don't use mealtime to nag or punish your child for behaviors that aren't related to mealtime."

Parenting Classes

Classes that are focused on helping parents work with their children suffering from ADHD can be extremely beneficial to the child, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. When parents know how to ensure that their child's family life will help with learning positive behavioral skills, the child may be able to perform better in high-stress social situations like school or group sports. These classes often encourage parents of children with ADHD to support each other, helping them to cope with their children's symptoms.

ADHD comes in different forms and with different symptoms that vary according to each child. If your child is suffering from ADHD, talk with your child's pediatrician to create an individualized plan to manage your child's symptoms. At the moment, there is no known way to prevent ADHD, but there are many ways to treat its symptoms.