Parents of children afflicted with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder understand full well how this condition impacts day to day life. While the condition was relatively unknown a decade ago ADHD is now being diagnosed in school aged children who demonstrate severe behavioral problems. Currently there are several treatment options available to children suffering from the disorder which comes as a relief to their parents, teachers, and classmates.
What is ADHD?
• Constant fidgeting
• Extreme restlessness
• Excessive talking/unable to remain quiet
• Interrupts at inappropriate times
• Inability to sit still and quietly
If left undiagnosed a child afflicted with this condition will find it very difficult to advance in school and will continue to act out. Of course, it has been said that some of the best drama students suffer from ADHD but treatment should still be administered.
Treatment for ADHD
Luckily, there are several prescription medications that alleviate the symptoms of ADHD. For children that suffer from the condition these medications are often the only opportunity for a normal life. These drugs are classified as psychostimulants and are designed to balance brain chemicals. This allows children to find a balance when it comes to their ability to pay attention and curb impulsive and reckless behavior. Parents often find that birthday parties and sleep overs are a bit more manageable after their child begins taking psychostimulants.
These stimulant drugs are considered controlled substances and should only be taken as directed.
Other medications that have been shown to help with the treatment of ADHD include:
What to Know about Treatment
It is important for parents and their children to understand that there are possible side effects to ADHD treatment. Possible side effects include:
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Stomach ache
• Difficulty sleeping
• Rapid heart beat
• Chest pain
Parents should weigh possible side effects against the benefits gained by their child taking the stimulants. Many believe that having a child with the ability to stay in control with a possibility of an upset stomach is better than watching their child struggle with ADHD.
To help avoid possible side effects parents should make sure that their child is taking the medication in a safe and responsible manner. Always follow the doctor’s instructions when it comes to giving the medication to your child. If your child is old enough to take their own medicine make certain that they understand the importance of taking the proper amount.
It is recommended that the medication be taken with food to help avoid an upset stomach. Parents often inquire if their child can ‘take a break’ from the medication on the weekends. This decision is best left to the doctor who will determine if it is safe for the child. If it is many parents find that overnight parties at the skating rink or a weekend trip to the grandparents’ are in order. Of course, if these options are not possible just remember that your child has a medical condition and needs your love and understanding.
There are two forms of medication that may be prescribed to a child demonstrating ADHD symptoms. The typical medication is taken twice daily; before breakfast and at lunch. However, if your child is unable to take the medication during school hours your doctor may prescribe the long acting form of the medicine. This form stays in the child’s system longer and is taken before breakfast.
While ADHD medication has been proven to improve a child’s concentration and focus it is still unknown whether or not other life skills such as relating to others, reading skills, and the ability to retain information are improved.
A Final Thought
Many parents do not like the idea of putting their child on medication believing that they will be forced to stick with the medication for a life time. The fact is, ADHD medication improves the quality of life for the child. Better grades, an ability to socialize easier, and the ability to behave are just some of the benefits. Parents soon find that their child is happier once the ADHD treatment has started and in the long run that is all that a parent could ever want for their child.
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