When to Know if Your Child Has ADD/ADHD
As the days tick down until the start of school, we begin seeing more children and teens in our clinic for medication refills for ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Often parents wonder if children truly need medications to treat this diagnosis and sometimes question if the problem is real or perceived. At times, there is pressure from friends or family not to let their kids become “dependent on medications.”
Here are a few facts to keep in mind when your child is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The symptoms of the disease are caused by a shortage of chemicals in the brain that allow one to focus. When there are multiple distractions, the body allocates neurochemicals to tune out each distraction. Without enough chemicals, your child can’t focus on the things that matter. Doctors prescribe medications to augment the brain’s supply of neurochemical. While there are also behavioral measures available to help children with ADD/ADHD, research shows 80% of kids benefit from medication.
ADD is more common in girls and ADHD is more common in boys. Hyperactivity is frequently the ticket for boys to be evaluated and begin treatment. That’s because behavioral issues often land them in the principal’s office where parents are made aware of the problem. Girls, on the other hand, are less likely to act out and the diagnosis is often missed. Parents need to consider the possibility of ADD/ADHD if their child does not perform well in school, has a family history of attention deficit, or has issues with childhood depression.
If you have questions about ADD/ADHD, please talk with us about your child. For more information, visit http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd.html.