ADHD is far from being only a disease diagnosis. ADHD children are often times very creative and very energetic. The major concern as a parent is not to change your child's personality, but to help control his impulsive or hyperactive behavior so that he does not offend others or make dangerous decisions. The truth is, ADHD can cause many problems if it is left untreated, just as any other disorder could. One of the main problems of ADHD is that it can lead to other serious conditions such as Bipolar Disorder or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Children who suffer from ADHD are not merely energetic and exuberant-that is the positive side of ADHD. The negative side involves inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. This can manifest itself in many different antisocial ways, such as clashing with parents or friends. The youngster may fall behind in school or have difficulty maintaining friendships. Since adults gradually do create coping mechanisms for ADHD, they do require that learning process during youth.
Treating ADHD requires minimizing the symptoms of ADHD, which will require a number of treatments. There may be medication or herbal supplements involved, especially if the child has excessive energy and seems to lack control over his impulses. However, treatment will not be focusing on the drugs. The primary focus is teaching the child coping skills so that he can live with the symptoms of ADHD and still live a productive and socially acceptable life. There is no cure for treating ADHD, and prescription drugs are certainly not going to make an improvement on their own. Rather, they will stimulate the mind of a child so that he will be more open to trying behavioral therapy, social skills training, professional coaching and perhaps even support groups.
ADHD Treatment After Diagnosis
When you first receive a diagnosis of ADHD, you will be working closely with your child's doctor and therapist (and perhaps even his school) so that you can find a workable solution. When you start treating ADHD, the first step will be to develop a treatment plan. It must be determined by a credible authority the best way to go about behavioral modification, how to host parental interventions, school, interventions, and what medication or herbal supplements are needed, if any.
Your first step may be in contacting a physician or a therapist; not merely a pediatrician but also a doctor who specializes in ADHD and ADHD treatment. There are many types of office professionals that can choose to work with. Remember that only a child psychiatrist has the authority to prescribe medications or to officially diagnose ADHD. A psychologist can diagnose the condition, but treatment will only involve talk therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapists may be able to set up behavior modification programs at school or at home. Educational specialists focus on school education and ADHD while behavioral coaches take a more one-on-one approach with children and parents.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has listed two basic principles that every behavioral modification program follows. The first is that therapy should set specific goals so that a child always has a direction in which to channel all of that energy. Next, the authority figure must provide rewards and consequences based on positive and negative behavior.
Medication may help and so may herbal supplements, which are natural and less powerful than certain prescription drugs. However, many families prefer herbal substitutes for treating ADHD because they are not as radically affecting. Remember above all else that drugs are not the coping mechanism-training and education is the only way to ensure a child can live happily with ADHD.
by Einar Eskeland