Facts About ADHD in Children

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder most typically found in children, which is marked by short attention spans and difficulty concentrating. The disorder can lead to learning disorders and is most commonly treated using prescription drugs and in some cases counseling by a trained professional. If your child is diagnosed with ADHD, it's important that you understand what the symptoms of the disorder entail and what treatment options are available.

  1. Main Symptoms

    • Children exhibiting signs of ADHD will typically exhibit several different types of symptoms. The most typical symptom is difficulty following instructions; in many cases even the most simplest of instructions are hard for the child to follow.

      The child may also have a hard time paying attention not only when working, but also while at play. Because of this lack of attention, your child could also tend to lose items on a regular basis, especially if she exhibits signs of being completely unorganized, even with simple tasks. Children may also tend to "live in the moment," with difficulty when it comes to planning ahead. Finally, your child may become easily distracted when moving from one task to another and may become forgetful.

    Other Symptoms

    • Children with ADHD often lack the ability to play quietly, instead exhibiting overly loud tendencies. They may also interrupt other people's conversations and other children as they play. In addition, they might occasionally have a hard time waiting their turn for any tasks, even tasks they don't really want to perform.

    Non-Prescription Treatment

    • Several different types of ADHD treatments can be performed without the need for medication. Parents can offer behavioral intervention strategies, which typically involve changing the child's environment to reward them for positive changes they make in terms of concentration, planning and other improvements.

      Changing the educational program your child uses can also be a valuable tool; this often involves altering the context in which the child learns, which may mean a new learning program that focuses on your child's strengths while improving weaknesses. Other programs may also be offered by a trained family physician or psychiatrist.

    Prescription Intervention

    • Various prescription drugs are indicated for ADHD. The main options are Adderall, Prozac, Desipramine, Cylert, Catapres, Focalin, Buspar, Strattera, Ritalin and Wellbutrin. Those are the more popular, well-known treatments, but consult your doctor to learn about other options that may best suit the needs of your child.

    Warnings/Side Effects

    • Never take ADHD drugs without a proper prescription provided by a licensed doctor. Many ADHD drugs can lead to anxiety and nervousness, headaches, insomnia, dizziness, dry mouth, constipation and diarrhea. A full list of side effects for most major ADHD drugs can be found at ADHDNews (see Resources).

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