Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

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					Helpful Resources                                            The National Institute of Mental Health
Parenting a child with ADHD can be challenging.              (http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/adhd.cfm#readNow)
It is important for you as a parent to understand            This Web site provides a detailed booklet that
the diagnosis in order to assist your child in coping        describes ADHD and information on coping with
with his or her ADHD. It is also important that              the diagnosis. The information is also available to
you make time to care for yourself. Here are some            download.
resources that are available if you feel that you need
some help.                                                   One ADD Place                                            Attention-Deficit/
                                                             (http://www.oneaddplace.com/)
                                                             This Web site offers information on ADHD and




                                                                                                                                               What You Should Know
The American Academy of Child & Adolescent
                                                                                                                      Hyperactivity Disorder
Psychiatry                                                   various treatment options, and contains a resource       ADHD
(http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/                 library with related articles, papers, and references.
noattent.htm)
This Web site offers information for parents. It             Open Directory Project
gives helpful information on ADHD and other child-           (http://dmoz.org/Health/Mental_Health/Disorders/
hood issues, and it also provides links to sites that        Child_and_Adolescent)
will offer information regarding medication, learning        This Web site offers links to online support groups
disorders, and other helpful information.                    and chat groups. It also offers links to sites that
                                                             provide additional information.
The American Academy of Pediatrics
(http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/adhd.cfm)
                                                             Sources:
                                                             National Institute of Mental Health
This Web site offers information on the diagnosis            United States Department of Education

and treatment of ADHD along with tool kits and
resources.

Child Development & Parenting Information
(http://www.childdevelopmentinfo.com)
This Web site provides information regarding sup-
port organizations and other resources for ADHD.

Children and Adults with Attention-
Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
(http://www.chadd.org)
This Web site offers an ADHD support group as
well as information regarding ADHD.


                                                                                  705 Mt. Auburn Street
Children Today
(http://childrentoday.com/resources/articles/addresour
ces.htm)                                                                          Watertown, MA 02472
This Web site offers information on ADHD, its symp-
toms, and treatment of the diagnosis. It also lists both            Mental Health Department—800-208-9565
online resources and resources available in print.
                                                                                www.tuftshealthplan.com
                                   continued on back panel   2/06
What is ADHD?                                             In May 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics            Behavioral Approach:
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)           developed guidelines for diagnosing ADHD. Keep in          Behavioral therapy helps by changing your child’s
is a common behavioral problem in children. It is         mind that there is no single test for ADHD. A clinical     ways of thinking, as well as his or her coping skills,
estimated that between three and five percent of          evaluation is needed in order to make a diagnosis. If      potentially leading to overall changes in behavior.
children have ADHD, with symptoms usually                 you believe that your child may have ADHD, you can         An example of a simple intervention that works
becoming noticeable in preschool or early elemen-         start by talking to your child’s pediatrician about your   to modify behavior is developing a set schedule to
tary school. Symptoms of ADHD must be present             concerns. If a clinical evaluation is needed, it may be    form a routine for your child. The support for such
before age 7 and for at least six months to an unusu-     performed by a pediatrician, neurologist, psychiatrist,    behavioral changes needs to come from each of
al degree before a clear diagnosis can be made.           or mental health clinician with experience in the          your child’s caregivers, and most importantly you,
                                                          treatment of ADHD. The professional will require           as the primary caregiver. To assist your child in
Examples of symptoms include:                             input from you and other caregivers regarding your         changing a routine, it is important to organize his
> Appearing fidgety                                       child’s behavior and symptoms in multiple settings.        or her environment and keep track of schoolwork.
                                                          This is where the ADHD Symptom Checklist can be            Keep in mind that praising good behavior will
> Difficulty staying seated or playing quietly
                                                          useful. The professional may also want to look at          reinforce positive results.
> Difficulty participating in tasks that require taking   report cards and schoolwork as well as information
  turns                                                   on developmental history.                                  For some helpful information on behavioral
> Talking excessively and blurting out answers to                                                                    approaches, you may contact the Department of
  questions                                               If your child’s symptoms are getting in the way of         Education at (800) 872-5327. You may also refer-
                                                          his or her academic performance, the Massachusetts         ence the following Web site: http://www.ed.gov/
> Moving from one task to another without finishing       766 Law allows you to make a request for an evalu-         parents/landing.jhtml (search for: Identifying and
> Misplacing needed items                                 ation by your child’s school system. For further           Treating Attention Deficit Disorder).
                                                          information, contact your local school system.
> Difficulty in attending to details                      You may also go to the following Web site for              Psychotherapy
                                                          some helpful information: http://www.clcm.org/             While psychotherapy does not directly address the
If your child shows any of these symptoms, this           special_ed.htm.                                            symptoms and underlying causes of ADHD, it may
does not necessarily mean that he or she has                                                                         help children with ADHD to accept themselves and
ADHD. Although children may show what appear                                                                         cope with their symptoms. This type of therapy
to be symptoms of ADHD, some of these behaviors
                                                          Treatment Options
                                                          If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD,                involves the child and family working with a thera-
may be normal for their age, or other factors may         there are a number of treatment options for you            pist to help understand how they can change or
be affecting behavior.                                    to consider. You may want to consult with your             better deal with ADHD.
                                                          child’s pediatrician to help determine the most
What to do if you think your child has                    effective treatment for your child. The following          How to locate a Tufts Health Plan Mental
ADHD                                                      are summaries of three main approaches.
You may be the first person who recognizes symp-
                                                                                                                     Health provider
                                                                                                                     If you need assistance in locating a participating
toms of ADHD in your child, or a schoolteacher or                                                                    Tufts Health Plan provider, please contact the Mental
other care provider may bring symptoms to your
                                                          Psychopharmacology
                                                          Treatment with medication is the most common               Health Department at (800) 208-9565. Mental
attention. To give you a better understanding of          method of treating ADHD. Medication can help to            Health staff are available Monday through Thursday
behaviors typical of your child, it is often helpful to   reduce hyperactivity and improve attention span and        from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday from 10:00
track his or her symptoms and behaviors for a brief       focus. It can also help your child ignore distractions.    a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
period of time. You may refer to the enclosed             According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,
ADHD Symptom Checklist for assistance in keeping          studies show that about 80% of children treated
track of your child’s behaviors.                          with medication show significant improvement.