ADHD and Kids

Understanding attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children

(RxWiki News) Do you feel like your child might have ADHD? It's time to take a close look and get the facts straight.

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain condition that is common among children. In the United States, ADHD affects 3 to 5 percent of children. Typically, children are diagnosed with ADHD around age 7. Usually, parents or teachers start realizing that a child has more serious behavior issues that other children of the same age do not have.

Although it is normal for children to get distracted or act out from time to time, kids with ADHD continue to exhibit these behaviors. In fact, these behaviors can get in the way of learning and succeeding at school.

ADHD causes children to struggle with attention or overactivity. Symptoms of ADHD can include the following:

  • Talking too much
  • Not being able to pay attention
  • Daydreaming
  • Being easily distracted from playing or schoolwork
  • Being forgetful
  • Interrupting people
  • Being unable to stay still
  • Talking and acting without thinking

Although there is no cure, there are many ways to treat and manage this condition through therapy and medication. Before medication is started, behavior therapy is recommended for preschool-age children (4 to 5 years old).

In terms of medications, there are many options, such as amphetamine/dextroamphetamine (Adderall), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) and methylphenidate (Ritalin). These medications belong to the drug class called stimulants and can improve concentration and reduce overactive or impulsive behaviors.

Furthermore, some medications approved to treat ADHD are not stimulants. These include atomoxetine (Strattera), clonidine long-acting (Kapvay) and guanfacine long-acting (Intuniv).

Your health care provider will help you decide which medication is most appropriate for your child.

Other ways to help include creating structure at home and at school.

Keep in mind that children with ADHD do not usually grow out of it. Many find ways to adapt as they mature. It is important to make sure medications and therapies are properly managing your child’s ADHD. Sometimes, a dose change or medication substitution may be necessary.

If you think your child might have ADHD, talk to your health care provider or a mental health specialist.

Written by Digital Pharmacist Staff