1. What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurobiological condition that affects an estimated five to seven percent of the population. ADHD is an ongoing condition that affects children, adolescents and adults of all ages. It occurs in both males and females, and in people of all races, socioeconomic status and cultural backgrounds. ADHD may cause significant impairments in many areas of life such as school, the workplace, and in family and social relationships. ADHD is genetically influenced and runs in families.
2. Who is qualified to diagnose ADHD?
A comprehensive ADHD evaluation can be provided by a licensed healthcare professional with training and knowledge about ADHD.
3. How is ADHD diagnosed?
A diagnostic evaluation should be provided by a qualified healthcare professional, based on scores from standardized ADHD tests, a thorough life history and clinical assessment.
4. Can ADHD be treated effectively?
Yes. With accurate diagnosis and treatment, ADHD can be managed effectively during childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Research and clinical experience have shown that the treatment encompasses a range of interventions, chosen depending on the severity of the disorder and presence or absence of associated disorder/s. The most effective treatment for ADHD includes a combination of therapy/counseling and medication.
5. Why is my doctor changing the dosage of my child’s medicine?
Your doctor may adjust the dosage of your child’s medication. It may require time to determine which dose of medication is right for your child. Your child should take his/her medication exactly as prescribed.
6. There are so many contradictory claims about ADHD. How can I tell what’s real?
Talk to a qualified healthcare professional for questions and information about treating ADHD and about ADHD medications.
7. What causes ADHD?
No one knows exactly what causes ADHD. There appears to be a combination of causes, including genetics and environmental influences. Several different factors could increase a child’s likelihood of having the disorder, such as gender, family history, parental risks, environmental toxins and physical differences in their brain.
8. What are the types of treatment for ADHD?
Medication: most children with ADHD benefit from taking medication. Medication does not cure ADHD. Medication can help a child control his or her symptoms on the day that the pills are taken. There are two main types; stimulants and non-stimulants. Stimulants include methylphenidate and amphetamine salts. Non-stimulants include atomoxetine. Before medication treatment begins, your child’s doctor should discuss the benefits and the possible side effects of these medications. Your child’s doctors should continue to monitor your child for improvement and side effects. A psychiatrist or another qualified mental health professional can help a child with ADHD. The psychotherapy should focus on helping parents provide structure and positive reinforcement for good behavior. Therapy can also help a child with ADHD cope with daily problems, pay better attention and learn to control aggression.
9. When is it okay to stop taking ADHD medication?
Sometimes children and parents wonder when children can stop taking ADHD medication. If you have questions about stopping ADHD medication, consult your doctor. Many children diagnosed with ADHD will continue to have problems with one or more symptoms of this condition later in life. In these cases, ADHD medication can be taken into adulthood to help control their symptoms. For others, the symptoms of ADHD lessen over time as they begin to “outgrow” ADHD or learn to compensate for their behavioral symptoms. The symptom most apt to lessen over time is hyperactivity.
10. His/her sibling has similar problems and there are complaints from school regarding this; shall I give him/her the same medication?
Although ADHD runs in families, the answer here is “No”. He/she is still need a full assessment as there are many other disorders that can mimics ADHD, and they need to be ruled out by a specialized team before coming to the diagnosis of ADHD.
11. Is medication is enough? Will it solve all my child problems?
Medication is expected to help around 80 percent of children in controlling their ADHD symptoms. However, in many of those who respond, there is still room for improvement; that is to say that there will be some degree of symptoms remaining. Here an educational support program, as well as modifications in the classroom setting, is needed. Working together, namely, the educational support team, the family and the specialized health team, is of utmost importance.