American children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are increasing in number, say the US government experts. It is important for the disorder to be recognized and treated.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, ADHD when left untreated can cause serious problems for children such as falling behind in school, difficulty making and keeping friends, conflicts with parents.
Those children with untreated ADHD have more emergency room visits and more likely to have self-inflicted injuries than those who receive treatment, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Also teens with untreated ADHD are more likely to take risks such as drinking and driving and have twice as many traffic crashes as those receive treatment.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the number of American children aged 4 to 17 diagnosed with ADHD rose from about 8% in 2003 to 11% in 2011. The disorder usually appears between the ages of 3 and 6 years and can continue through the teen years and into adulthood.
Child psychiatrist, Dr. Tiffany Farchione, said that parents who think a child has ADHD should consult their family doctor or pediatrician.
Two types of medications are approved by the FDA to treat children with ADHD, they are: stimulants and non-stimulants. Behavioral therapy can also benefit children with ADHD. Parents should contact their child's school and community support groups for information and advice on how to cope with a child's ADHD-related behavior. "It's helpful to engage with the different individuals who are involved in a child's life when managing the disorder," said Farchione.
Not only children, even adults can have ADHD, say FDA experts. Around 4% of American adults are believed to have ADHD, the FDA said. Problems such as poor time-management skills, restlessness, and difficulty with multitasking and activities that require sustained concentration are caused in adults. "For some adults, a diagnosis of ADHD can bring a sense of relief," because it offers an answer for their problems and leads to treatment that can help them, said Farchione.