Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder
The goal is to improve the child's ability to function. Doctors should work together with parents and school staff. Together, they can set realistic goals and evaluate the child's response.
Children who do not sleep enough may suffer from worse behavior problems. A key part of treatment is to ensure that children with ADHD get plenty of sleep.
Medications can help control behavior and increase attention span. Stimulants are the most common choice for ADHD. They increase activity in parts of the brain that appear to be less active in children with ADHD. Stimulant medications include:
- Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Daytrana)
- Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine)
- Amphetamine (Adderall)
- Atomoxetine (Strattera)
- Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse)-This medication was recently approved to treat adults with ADHD. It can also be used to treat children aged 6-12 years.
Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about ADHD medication. There are possible risks with these medications, including cardiovascular events (eg, Stroke , Heart Attack ) and psychiatric problems (eg, hearing voices, becoming manic).
Because of the rare risk of serious heart problems, the American Heart Association suggests that children have an electrocardiogram (ECG) before starting stimulant medication for ADHD.
Other drugs include:
- Antidepressants-such as imipramine (Janimine, Tofranil), venlafaxine (Effexor), and bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Clonidine (used for Tourette Syndrome )-to treat impulsivity
Children who take medication and go to therapy do better than those who just use medication. Therapy sessions focus on practicing social and problem-solving skills. Counselors will also teach parents and teachers to help the child through positive reinforcement. This could involve changes in the classroom, as well as in parenting style. Often, daily report cards are exchanged between parents and teachers.
Other tools, like the Disc'O'Sit cushion, may be helpful in improving children's attention in class. The Disc'O'Sit is a dome-shaped cushion filled with air that the child balances on.
ADHD coaching can also be helpful. These coaches work with individuals to help them organize and strategize so that they can be more efficient and successful.