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Living with the ADHD Child – Diagnosis, Treatments and Adjustments

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ADHD related image Photo: Getty Images

The classic attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, symptoms of hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive behaviors overlap with symptoms of many other psychological and neuro-behavioral conditions. So to arrive at a confirming diagnosis, the psychiatrist will perform a set of tests such as neuro-imaging, laboratory tests, interviews and physical examinations. The popular and effective tests to diagnose ADHD are:

1. The DSM IV criteria (commonly used in the U.S.), measures the signs of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness. It provides a list of signs of inattentive behavior and a similar list of hyperactive behavior. To make a confirmed diagnosis of ADHD, the child must be exhibiting at six of the listed signs of the category for a period of at least six months. The age of the child when symptoms started to appear and the setting where they almost always occur are also taken into consideration.

2. ICD-10 criteria (common in Europe) also gauge signs of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsiveness along with pervasiveness and differential symptoms of the suspected child to give a confirmed diagnosis. The condition here is classified as hyperkinetic conduct disorder.

So, once the child has been clinically diagnosed as having ADHD, what can the parents expect in terms of treatment?

There are a few ways to manage the condition. These include mainstream treatments with medication and psychological therapy. New research also suggests that alternative therapies may benefit the ADHD child. Here is a brief overview on what your doctor could prescribe:

• Medicines: Remember that the route of medicines is not generally prescribed to preschoolers. The medicines come with side-effects such as loss of appetite and weight, issues with sleeping, etc., and they require long-term usage. You need to speak to your doctor about the specific medicines he or she prescribes for your child.

Currently, stimulant drugs containing compounds such as Methylphenidate*, Dextroamphetamine-amphetamine, or Dextroamphetamine are favored over other stimulants.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Hi Nancy,
Thank you for sharing!

May 7, 2011 - 7:22am

Nice overview. One important thing to note is that children with ADHD cna develop ODD - oppositional defiant disorder). It is more difficult to treat than the ADHD. There are also a number of other co-morbid conditions. To find out more, and to read some good treatment techniques, go to http://www.milestonemom.com/.

May 6, 2011 - 10:57am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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