What is adhd?
A child who is hyperactive and fidgety, often talking nonstop, and can’t sit still may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If that behavior has gotten out of control, it could lead to serious problems.
Besides being disruptive, ADHD can affect the way kids learn and do their daily routines. They may have trouble getting organized, staying focused, and making realistic plans for their day.
What are the signs of adhd?
A primary care provider, child psychiatrist or mental health professional can diagnose ADHD based on a complete evaluation. This includes a detailed history from caregivers and teachers, observations of behavior, and psychoeducational testing. The evaluation also includes tests for intelligence and other skills to help determine the type of ADHD.
What is the severity of ADHD?
The diagnosis of ADHD is based on criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). How severe it is can change throughout a person’s lifetime.
Treatment for ADHD focuses on using medicines, psychotherapy, or education and training to manage symptoms and improve functioning. Medications can reduce hyperactivity and impulsivity, increase focus and attention, and improve learning.
Stimulants, which stimulate the brain to pay attention and think more clearly, are most commonly prescribed for ADHD. Some doctors also prescribe non-stimulants. They can be used in combination with stimulants to increase the effectiveness of these medications, or they can be prescribed when a stimulant is not working well.
Medications, like other medications, can have side effects. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of each medication.
What are the best ways to treat ADHD?
A combination of medicine and therapy is generally the best approach for a child or adult with ADHD. This may include medications, such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers, or psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
Parents can make a big difference in the quality of life for children with ADHD. They need to model the behavior they want their child to have, set clear rules, and follow through on consequences for bad behaviors.
Parenting strategies that work for children with ADHD are the same for other children and teens. These include consistent schedules, a sense of order, and structure at home and at school.
Avoid telling your child that they are not “smart” or that they are not capable of doing their homework. These comments can lead to a negative self-image, which is counterproductive for a child with ADHD.
Don’t use anger as a way to discipline your child; teach him or her to calm down and take responsibility for their own actions. When a child loses control, let them know what they did wrong, but set a time for them to calm down and take a break.
Keep your child involved in their schoolwork and other activities that interest them. This can be hard for some children with ADHD, but it is essential to their development and growth.
Maintain a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and reduce stress to help your child with ADHD stay focused, calm, and organized. This may help them learn more in class and get better grades.