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Hope for the Treatment of ADHD in Children

By: Miriam Vered - Updated: 27 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
Adhd Attention Deficit Disorder Adhd

Ritalin belongs to a class of drugs related to amphetamines called stimulants. Thesedrugs are not addictive and do not make the child feel high.

They help children with attention deficit disorder to focus and function better at home, at school and while socialising.This can be a godsend to families that were disrupted by ADHD and the improved abilityto focus on schoolwork may influence the child's whole future, including his careerprospects. He may be less likely to suffer from emotional problems and addictions later.

Is Ritalin a Wonder Drug or Cocaine for Kiddies?

The highest rates of Ritalin prescription are in Singapore, where academic achievementdrives society. In some parts of the US 1 in 10 schoolchildren are taking Ritalin. In theUK it's closer to 1 in 100, and rising. Some groups, such as certain religiousfundamentalists are strongly opposed to what they call "cocaine for kiddies". They feelthat ADHD causes "tunnel vision" in the system, so that the context of behaviouralproblems like attention deficit disorder can sometimes be ignored, and the attitude of a "pill for life's problems" can beencouraged.

Sceptics question the objectivity of academics whose research is funded by the drugcompanies that have profited hugely from ADHD.

But most experts agree that Ritalin is effective and pretty safe. It can transform theexistence not only of a child suffering from attention deficit disorder, but also of parents and siblings when it's usedappropriately. The main disagreement is over where to draw the line in the question ofwho really needs it. Side effects from Ritalin range from common sleep disturbances to rare heartproblems. Nobody wants Ritalin to become a way for pushy parents to improve theachievements of a normal child. According to some this has already happened.

What About Other ADHD Treatments?

In most cases, both the child and family benefit from counselling as an ADHD treatment and a variety of otherinterventions can also be helpful. These include psychotherapy, behavioural therapy,social skills training, support groups and parental skills training.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Help My ADHD Child?

Yes, you can do a lot to help a child suffering from attention deficit disorder. Experts agree that parents can help with simple behavioural interventions that are effective ADHD treatments.ADHD children need consistency. For example, help him to organise. Have a fixeddaily routine, including homework time, mealtime, bedtime and playtime. Write out aschedule of activities, stick it up on the fridge, and if there's a change, make it in advanceif you can.

Make a fixed place for all his things like clothes, bags, schoolwork, pencil case and makesure that those things are kept in their places.

Remind him to write down homework tasks and bring home needed books.Try to have clear, consistent rules, for example, about TV watching and rudeness.Try to reduce disruptions and distractions like TV or siblings in the room at homeworktime.

Work together with school or nursery teachers on coping strategies for everyone.

What About the Future – Will He Grow Out of Attention Deficit Disorder?

Some children do grow out of ADHD as they get older, but in others the problems persistand in some cases ADHD treatment may be recommended for many years. Tips for parents ofteenagers with ADHD include clear and appropriate setting of routines and rules andtrying to have a calm attitude.

Can Adults Have ADHD?

Sometimes, while seeking help for their children, parents start to suspect that theythemselves may also have had unrecognised ADHD since childhood. Drugs similar toRitalin or antidepressants may be recommended for adults with attention deficit disorder.Also, it can be a relief to start to understand and face problems that have existed for along time, with a new perspective.

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