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

06.24.2009 · Posted in Home and Garden Articles

INTRODUCTION: ADHD is a common behavioral condition that affects an estimated 8 to 10 percent of school-age children and is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a medical condition that affects how well a person can sit still, focus, and pay attention and used to be called attention deficit disorder, or ADD.nnADHD can’t be cured as of yet, but it can be successfully treated. This problem is not caused by poor parenting, too much sugar, or vaccinations, But has biological origins that are not as yet fully understood.nnSYMPTOMS: Show up 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 signs such as a racing heart, sweating, stomach pains, and diarrhea.nnSuch signs often improve as children grow older and learn to adapt, But although some may “grow out of” their symptoms, more than half of all kids who have the condition will continue to show signs of the condition as young adults. The good news is, with correct treatment, children can learn to successfully live with and manage their condition.nnTEST: Because there’s no test that can determine the presence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, a diagnosis depends on a total and complete evaluation. Your child’s physician may also perform a physical exam as well as tests to check hearing and vision so other medical problems can be ruled out. A definite diagnosis is hard because there are no tests that consistently detect this disorder.nnVery few parents are surprised when the results of a physician administered Attention Deficit Disorder test come back 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 doctor’s office asking for an ADHD test in the first place. The biggest problem with such a test is that diagnosis is purely subjective and often depends on the tolerance of the observer.nnTREATMENT: Effective treatments for ADHD are available, and include behavioral therapy and medications. Ultimately, the primary care MD gathers the information, makes the diagnosis, and begins treatment. Some treatments are better than others at addressing specific combinations of symptoms. A good treatment plan will require close follow-up and monitoring, and your child’s MD may make adjustments along the way. When determining the proper treatment for your child, the MD might try various drugs in various doses, especially if your child is being treated for ADHD along with another disorder. Your child’s MD may recommend additional treatments and interventions depending on your child’s symptoms and needs.nnA number of alternative therapies are promoted and used by parents including: megavitamins, body treatments, diet manipulation, allergy treatment, chiropractic treatment, attention and visual training, and traditional one-on-one “talking” psychotherapy, But scientific research has not found them to be effective, and the majority of these treatments have not been studied carefully, if at all.nnAnti-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.nnCONCLUSION: ADHD is a real illness that starts in childhood, is more commonly found in boys than girls, and it affects 8-10 percent of school-age children in the United States. It must be diagnosed by a health care professional who specializes in these types of disorders in cooperation with parents and teachers.nnTeachers should develop abbreviated assignments or provide longer time for children with ADHD. Although it can often be challenging to raise kids with this problem, it’s important to remember they aren’t “bad,” “acting out,” or “being difficult” on purpose. For additional information about ADHD and Adult ADD, visit your physician or other health care professional.

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