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Your Must Know Guide To ADHD – 10 Questions Parents Always Ask

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum
300px Proposed Symptoms of ADHD1 Your Must Know Guide To ADHD – 10 Questions Parents Always Ask

English: Symptoms of ADHD described by the literature (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Must Know Guide To ADHD – 10 Questions Parents Always Ask

Did you know that there has been a 66% increase in ADHD cases over the last ten years in the UK? That is why many parents are wondering about causes, diagnosis, and treatment and so on. Actually, only about 10% of those with ADHD receive any treatment. Parents worry about the effects of medications which are basically amphetamines and they wonder what the future for their children holds. Here are ten questions parents always ask.

  1. 1.   What exactly is going on in the ADHD child’s brain and why can’t s/he cope?

Basically, the child’s brain is suffering from a fairly minor disorder in what I always call ‘faulty wiring’. The proteins which help to get the brain transmitters working efficiently are in short supply. These include dopamine which governs our sense of reward and motivation.

Kids with ADHD need instant gratification and that accounts for lack of motivation, inattention and also the fact that some will become overweight. They also have a problem with working memory which is linked to what is called the executive function. That explains why they cannot finish a task, why they have problems in processing certain information and also why they are so easily distracted.

  1. 2.   When should I suspect that my child might have ADHD?

All kids are wild and boisterous at times so that is why many parents say that ADHD has been invented by the pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession, just to sell their psychostimulant drugs.

How can you tell that this is just not boisterous behavior? The answer is that that his or her development is being held back.. You see other kids behaving and socialising normally but your child is beset by the classic ADHD symptoms. It is like a race and when the ADHD symptoms are beginning to overtake and win the race, then it is time to consider ADHD.  Your child’s development is losing out big time.

  1. 3.   How and where do I get an ADHD diagnosis which is accurate and reliable?

Ask your GP and tell him how your child’s quality of life and development is being affected. There is no diagnostic test as such for ADHD so your GP may refer you to a paediatrician or a child psychiatrist. You should ask them if they are using theNICE(National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) ADHD guidelines.

  1. 4.   But could my child’s ADHD be some other condition?

Yes, it could! That is why it is absolutely essential to ask your GP first to eliminate certain childhood conditions which have surprisingly similar symptoms to ADHD. These are :-

  • food intolerances and allergies
  • sleep disturbances
  • eyesight problems
  • hearing difficulties
  • thyroid conditions
  • early onset diabetes
  • worms
  • first symptoms of bipolar disorder

Some experts claim that there are fifty of these childhood conditions which mimic ADHD in one way or another!

  1. 5.   What is the most important part of ADHD treatment?

No, it is not the medications such as Ritalin and Concerta!. All the experts agree that behaviour therapy is the most important foundation to help a child with ADHD. It is no accident that the NHS inScotlandhas organised these classes for parents of kids with ADHD.

They call it ‘behavior training’ which is a term I do not like at all. I much prefer ‘parenting skills classes’ or something similar. Basically, parents learn how to cope, how to recognize certain triggers and how to cope with all the child behavior problems that arise. The essential thing is that they are better equipped to help their children to cope with ADHD and give them the essential life skills they are going to need

6. What about the medications?

The psychostimulant dugs like Ritalin can help to calm a child down and also help them to focus at school. There are side effects and up to 30% of children may have problems with appetite and sleep. Generally, they may be a short term aid but in the long term, their efficacy is doubtful and there are studies that show that the effects of these drugs wear off after three years. They are also not very effective in helping with behavioural problems or social skills.

  1. 7.   Is ADHD for life?

This is a hard question to answer because some children change and tend to adapt to their ADHD as they grow up. They may be less hyperactive for example. But generally, they will retain the condition and some estimates say that as many as 60% of children will carry it into adulthood. I do not think that percentages are important but rather what  we do as parents to give them the life skills that they need.

  1. 8.   Can ADHD children be successful in life?

Absolutely! Look at all the famous people with ADHD who have had brilliant careers and have been high achievers.  Many ADHD kids are creative, intelligent and imaginative. We only have to think of Leonardo da Vinci, Jules Verne, Mark Twain, Kurt Cobain, Byron and Picasso!  They all had some form of ADHD, apparently.

According to Professor Michael Fitzgerald ofTrinityCollegeinDublin, there is a link between the ADHD child’s ability to hyperfocus and creative genius.  This obviously applies to a minority of people with ADHD. But this fact should encourage us to focus on our own children’s talents and help them to develop them.

  1. 9.   Is ADHD a disadvantage for most children?

Yes. Statistics show that there are generally higher rates of crime, delinquency, learning problems and relationship breakdowns among teenagers and adults with ADHD.  Again, parenting skills are crucial because a child can be helped to come to terms with it and go on to be a successful, well balanced adult.

  1. 10.  How can I organise an ADHD friendly home?

This will be essential.  Apart from creating routines and structures, helping to break down tasks whether they are household chores or homework, we need to look at everything else! That means organising plenty of green time when we can, spending quality time with our kids, making some dietary changes and above all, being there and giving support.

Have you got other questions about ADHD?  Maybe you live with it and want to share your ideas and tell us how you and your children have coped.

Robert Locke has researched and written extensively about  ADHD issues and parenting for several years. You can visit his blog on problem kids.

Sources:-  (Brookhaven National Laboratory on ADHD motivation deficit) ( The ADHD link to genius and creativity)

(NHS guidelines on getting an ADHD diagnosis) (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence,NICE)

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