If you or your child has recently been diagnosed with ADHD, you’ll be grappling with an array of questions and concerns—including the way to navigate the existing treatment options and what to expect in the future. Attentively Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a standard neurodevelopmental disorder causing hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and difficulty focusing.
Available ADHD Treatment Strategies
For parents whose children have ADHD, the diagnosis is often especially stressful.
For youngsters whose brains are still developing, how they answer treatment are going to be different from adults. But the great news is that with the proper supports in situ at an early stage (by school-age), most children’s development progresses at about an equivalent pace as their peers who don’t have an ADHD diagnosis.
What Is the simplest ADHD treatment?
ADHD treatment for people of all ages should be inclusive. For kids, the treatment often requires combining pharmacological treatments and physical therapy. For adults, treatment can include a combination of medication and behavioral therapy and assistance with organization or structure. Both kids and adults can sometimes try alternative treatments, as well, to assist in managing symptoms.
Is It Safe to offer ADHD Medications to Kids?
Parents are often concerned about administration to their young children, although it’s going to sound counterintuitive; the newest best practices reveal that not administration may be a more significant danger than actually giving them for several kids with ADHD. Yet kids with ADHD could also be challenged because their symptoms can interfere with these typical developmental stages.
Drugs That Help with ADHD Symptoms
There are several basic categories of medicines used today for treating ADHD.
Stimulants are the foremost common medications wont to treat ADHD. Stimulants target dopamine, which is a chemical within the brain that helps control movement, emotional responses, and motivation. Since kids with ADHD are often overstimulated or hyperactive, it can be confusing to consider giving a toddler with ADHD a stimulant. But experts explain that by providing a toddler a stimulant, they won’t get to seek outside stimulation and can be ready to focus and learn.
There is also longer-lasting medication treatment for ADHD options (referred to as “intermediate”) that work for about 8 to 12 hours, like amphetamine sulfate (brand name Evekeo), Methylphenidate (this includes Ritalin SR, Metadate ER, Methylin ER), and Adzenys XR-ODT. Then there are even longer-term options that will work for 12 to 16 hours or longer, including Dextroamphetamine (Adderall XR), Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse), Dexmethylphenidate (Focalin XR), and Methylphenidate.
While most stimulants are given within the morning, a replacement option of methylphenidate hydrochloride (called HLD200) for teenagers and adults was also recently approved by the FDA. This new medication is exclusive because it’s given at bedtime for results throughout the subsequent day. However, the premise holds much promise in terms of helping make mornings easier for teenagers with ADHD. Parents should patiently wait until any new medication has been on the marketplace for a minimum of a year before having their children use it.
Concerns about Side Effects
While stimulants are often very effective in children, they also cause some concerns for folks, both doctors Hallowell and DeSilva agree. As an example, stimulants are often a suppressant that may end in weight loss for adults and may affect the expansion of youngsters. So parents should plan to make sure their children are eating enough round the dosing schedule. During the day while they’re on the medication, physicians suggest providing small snacks then serving an outsized dinner.
Other side effects which will occur with stimulants include elevated pulse and vital sign, insomnia, and personality changes. Gradually weaning your child down isn’t necessary since these medications are short-acting, and therefore the side effects are temporary.
Addiction and Abuse Concerns
Some parents worry that stimulants are often addictive but point out that the potency of stimulants is 1/10,000 of the potency of recreational drugs. To stop all kids and teenagers from abusing drugs, physicians recommend parents keep the medication in a lockbox and administer the dose on a daily basis.
While stimulants are preferred treatment for ADHD, non-stimulant medications are an alternate option for youngsters and adults with ADHD for whom stimulants aren’t an accurate fit. Non-stimulant medications help to extend a neurotransmitter within the brain called norepinephrine, which may help control attention. Many of those are available short- and longer-term versions. They will lower vital signs and should cause some sedation in some children. However, the side effects are generally quite mild.
Occasionally, physicians can prescribe hypertension medication (typically used for top blood pressure) to treat ADHD, or antidepressants (commonly used for mood disorders). Both of those approaches are often worth discussing together with your child’s psychiatrist or pediatrician when more common approaches don’t work.
Are ADHD Medications for Adults Different?
Adults typically take an equivalent medication as children and adolescents. Short-term, intermediate, and longer-acting sorts of methylphenidates are commonly used. The proper medication for adults is generally determined, supported how long symptoms got to be controlled, and any side effects the user experiences.
Exploring Other available ADHD Treatment Options
When exploring ADHD treatments for children, a mixture of options will likely have the foremost benefit, including treatment of ADHD without medication.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
OT for teenagers with ADHD includes activities to strengthen fine motor skills (such as learning and releasing blocks, cutting with child-safe scissors, and holding a pencil), activities to develop gross motor skills, including throwing a ball, and activities to manage sensory processing (such as spinning and swinging).
While OT isn’t necessary for adults, other sorts of behavioral health therapy or strategies are often crucial components of the treatment equation.