Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder What is attention by benbenzhou


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									Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
What is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (also known as ADHD) isn't like other illnesses. Instead of making
your child feel sick, it affects how your child behaves. It causes a short attention span, acting without
thinking, and sometimes hyperactivity.
Unfortunately, no one yet knows what causes it. It sometimes seems to happen to many children in one
What are the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder?
With this disorder, problem behaviors are the symptoms. They usually develop before your child is about
7 years of age.
You, as a parent, may see many problem behaviors. Your child's teachers and doctors may see many
other problem behaviors.
You may notice that your child:

       Doesn't appear to listen
       Doesn't follow instructions
       Becomes easily distracted
       Doesn't pay attention in school or play
       Loses things
       Shifts from one task to another
       Blurts out answers before a question is finished
       Has a hard time waiting turn in games and lines
       Interrupts or intrudes on others
       Does dangerous things without thinking of what may happen
       Squirms while seated
       Is unable to stay seated when required to do so
       Fidgets with hands and feet
       Is unable to play quietly
       Talks all of the time

What tests are needed?
There is no specific test for this disorder. Your doctor will, however, check on many things. This is
because other problems, for instance depression and anxiety, must be ruled out before the diagnosis can
be made.
Your doctor will ask about your family history. This is to see if other children also have had the disorder.
Your child will have a physical exam. This includes testing hearing and vision.
Your doctor will also determine your child's level of development to see that it is as expected for his or her
age. Your child will also be checked for learning disabilities. Finally, reports from teachers and counselors
at school will be looked at.
What treatment is needed?
There are many treatments that can help. Sometimes, medicine is prescribed. It may help to control your
child's behaviors.
Educational, behavioral, and cognitive techniques may all be recommended to help your child. With
educational techniques, your child's teacher will use different methods of helping your child behave and
learn while at school. Behavioral therapy focuses on teaching parents and teachers how to bring about a
change in the child's behavior. The emphasis is on decreasing problem behaviors and increasing good
behaviors. Cognitive techniques help your child learn methods such as how to self-monitor, control anger,
and self-reinforcement. These techniques help children to be more in control of their own behavior.
Counseling may also be recommended for your child. It's often combined with the other methods of
treatment. Parents also benefit from counseling. Counseling helps both parents and children focus on
ways to reduce the problem behaviors. Treatment usually works best when both counseling and medicine
are used.

        Do set clear behavior limits
        Do reward good behavior with parental time
        Do use 'time out' after bad behavior. Threats that are not carried out, physical punishment, and
         distant rewards (such as birthday present next month if you behave well now) do not work well
        Do allow for more activity in safe environments
        Do make eye contact with your child with each request
        Do focus on one task at a time
        Do stop problem behavior before it escalates
        Do find things that your child is good at and emphasize these
        Do try techniques such as 'anger training', 'social training', and family therapy
        Do have realistic expectations
        Do be consistent with your parenting methods
        Do talk to your doctor about a special diet. Special diets include food additives, a special
         elimination diet, and megavitamin therapy. Some children seem to improve with a special diet
        Do talk regularly with your child's teacher. Your child may need extra lessons or tutoring
        Do avoid unproven therapies
        Do call your doctor if symptoms worsen after treatment is started, especially if your child has new
         or unexplained symptoms. Medicine used for treatment sometimes causes side-effects

Don't forget follow-up appointments.
Recovery time
Some children simply outgrow attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Other children find it easier to
control problem behaviors as they grow older. In other children, it may last into adulthood.
The combination of more than one type of treatment is often needed to improve symptoms. Medication
and behavioral techniques are better when used together than when either is used alone.
Unfortunately, some children grow into troubled teenagers and adults. They may have problems later,
such as failure in school, antisocial behavior, and sometimes even criminal behavior.
What can be done to stop it from happening again?
There are no known ways to prevent this disorder.
Further information on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be found at:
Attention Deficit Disorder Association
8091 S Ireland Way
Aurora, CO 90016
Tel: (847) 432 ADDA
Reproduced with permission from PDxMD - Clinical Information for Quality Care -

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