The five most common ADHD questions asked by parents?


Understanding if the problem is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or another related disorder, can be important for parents of children or teenagers who have been experiencing problems at school or home for over six months because they are struggling with learning, attention, or behavior.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition and the most common mental disorder in childhood. In most cases, it can treated effectively. Improvement is most rapid when a combination of medication and behavior therapy is used.

Parents and caregivers who have adolescents with ADHD may have many questions. On the Pulse interviewed Dr. Erin Gonzalez, the co-director of Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine’s Behavior and Attention Management Program.

  1. What is the best support for my child with ADHD? 

To help your child, you should first learn how ADHD affects their thinking and behavior. Understanding why certain behaviors occur is the first step in finding solutions.

For verified general information and an overview of ADHD, visit the Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder’s (CHADD) website or view Seattle Children’s ADHD 101 videos in English and Spanish. Seattle Children’s offers classes to parents interested in learning more about ADHD. These classes, ADHD first steps, can be recommended by your child’s doctor.

Even if you are only keeping an eye on ADHD symptoms, it is still important to develop a treatment plan together with your child’s physician or mental health professional.

Guidelines support parent behavior management training (BMT) in which caregivers are taught strategies to help their children succeed and how to respond to challenging behaviors. This is the first step in treating young children in many cases. Speak to your child’s doctor to determine if medication is part of the treatment plan.

  1. What are some of the side effects that ADHD medications can have? Can you reduce ADHD symptoms without medication or other treatments?
  2. Gonzalez and Dr. Douglas Russell:

The medications for ADHD have well studied and are generally well tolerate. Side effects can include a decrease appetite, difficulty sleeping (depending on the time of day the medication is taken), and feeling more sensitive when the medication wears off. We encourage anyone considering medical treatment to schedule an appointment with their primary healthcare provider to discuss the expected benefits and side effects.

No therapy or behavioral treatment can reduce the core ADHD symptoms, such as hyperactivity, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, to the same degree as medication. Therapies focus more on improving the child’s behavior and functioning in different settings.

  1. Does my child qualify for special accommodations or support at school?
  2. Gonzalez:

The diagnosis of ADHD is not automatically a qualification for school accommodations, formal plans such as an Individualized Educational Program (IEP), or 504 Plan. However, it may qualify your child if attention problems affect their learning, participation, and behavior in school.

Speak to your child’s teacher, school resource coordinator, or principal if you believe they are experiencing ADHD-related challenges in the classroom. They can help determine if your child qualifies for school-based accommodations or supports. Education Rights.

  1. Does my child have ADHD for the rest of their lives?
  2. Gonzalez:

ADHD is a brain disorder that is usually inherited. Around half of children with ADHD as adults will still meet all the criteria for diagnosis.

About 90% of ADHD children will still show symptoms in adulthood, even if the diagnosis is incomplete. ADHD can be present throughout life, at least in some form.

There are ways to control symptoms and learn new skills to help ADHD have less of an effect on daily life.

  1. Will ADHD improve or change over time?
  2. Gonzalez:

ADHD symptoms can improve over time for many people. Hyperactivity usually decreases as we age. The most persistent symptoms of ADHD are inattentive symptoms, such as disorganization and distractibility.

With time, impulsivity can take on different forms. An impulsive child may grab toys or speak out without raising their hands in class, but an impulsive adult could have trouble managing money, driving, or making decisions.

It would help if you created a treatment plan when your child’s symptoms are still mild. This will allow you to start helping them overcome their difficulties instead of waiting for symptoms to worsen over time.

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