Each child with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) should be individually evaluated before being considered for treatment.
In some, medications alone will be effective, while in others a combination of treatments will be required.
The following are the treatment modes that are effective for children with AHDH:
a) Medication-'Stimulants' are a group of drugs that are effectively used in the treatment of ADHD. The right dose of these drugs emphatically reduces hyperactivity and impulsivity besides dramatically improving the patient's physical coordination and the potential to focus, work, and learn.
Neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine are reported to be involved in the dynamics of ADHD. The stimulants work on the neurotransmitter dopamine, while a new drug, recently approved by the FDA called Strattera, or atomoxetine, works on the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine.
Adults too are treated for ADHD with stimulants; anti depressants may also be used in treating them.
Side effects of the stimulants are far and few, and often results due to incorrect dose. Higher doses results in greater side effects. Common side effects due to the stimulants are-
- Decreased appetite
- Increased anxiety
- Mild stomach aches / headaches in some children
The following is a list of ADHD medications-
|Trade Name||Generic Name||Approved Age|
|Adderall||Amphetamine||3 and older|
|Concerta||Methylphenidate(long acting)||6 and older|
|Cylert*||Pemoline||6 and older|
|Dexedrine||Dextroamphetamine||3 and older|
|Dextrostat||Dextroamphetamine||3 and older|
|Focalin||Dexmethylphenidate||6 and older|
|Metadate ER||Methylphenidate(extended release)||6 and older|
|Metadate CD||Methylphenidate(extended release)||6 and older|
|Ritalin||Methylphenidate||6 and older|
|Ritalin SR||Methylphenidate(extended release)||6 and older|
|Ritalin LA||Methylphenidate(long acting)||6 and older|
*Due to its potential for serious side effects affecting the liver, Cylert should not ordinarily be considered as first-line drug therapy for ADHD.
(Source and Courtesy - http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/ADHD)
b) Psychotherapy helps individuals with ADHD to accept and like themselves, despite their condition. This treatment does not address the causes or the symptoms; instead it prompts the patient to confess self-defeating thoughts and behavioral patterns and teaches them to cope with their emotions.
c) Behavioral therapy (BT) works by developing effective ways to solve a pressing problem. Behavior therapy helps to change the thought pattern which may then lead to behavioral changes. Practical assistance is provided to organised their life in a better fashion. They are taught to schedule their lives and also to maintain notebook organizers. The affected children may be motivated to control compulsive behaviors and are taught to like themselves.
d) Training in social skills helps children to learn new skills and behaviors in order to develop and maintain better social relationships. The child is taught to seek help if need arises, share things like toys, wait for their turn and other such behaviors that will help them to interact better with adults and children their age.
e) Training in parenting skills, given by therapists, provides parents with tools and techniques for managing a child with ADHD. One simple technique is to reward good work; another is to punish the child through isolation when the child gets out of control. Such times provide the child with an opportunity to sit quietly and to calm down. Parents are encouraged to spend quality time with their children and this lends them an opportunity to observe their child closely.
f) Support groups help parents and care takers of affected individuals to reach out to others who are similarly affected. Support group members often meet regularly to air their failures and achievements and also to listen to experts talking on the subject. There is a great relief in knowing that there are others out there who have similar problems and that one is not alone.