ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neurological disorder that doesn’t just disappear. Some children find that symptoms can be managed through ADHD parental help therapy while others find treatment to be a powerful tool. Clinical decisions on whether to start, continue, or stop treatment of ADHD medication should be individual. As you chart the best treatment plan for your child, remember that it is difficult to predict which medication will work best.
Before a health professional decides on which medication to prescribe, they have to evaluate the complete medical history of your ADHD child. For example, they will consider underlying medical issues, current medications, and family history. Some medications can react with other formations the child is taking.
The two most popular medications for ADHD children are:
Stimulants are first-line medication treatments for children as young as six years old with ADHD symptoms. Doctors may prescribe extended-release methylphenidate or amphetamines as children may not remember to take medicine. Methylphenidate works for up to 12 hours.
Your child’s doctor may start with a low dosage, then raise it every few weeks until the child stabilizes. This dosage will be deemed appropriate for the child. Some doctors alternate between both stimulants to see which is more effective on the patient.
In cases where the child cannot tolerate stimulants because of other underlying medical issues, doctors may prescribe non-stimulant medication, such as atomoxetine. Antidepressants can also help alleviate ADHD symptoms. A small number falls under this category, though.
Parents of children with ADHD should also engage a professional counselor to learn skills required to help the child cope with the symptoms.
As children with ADHD who are under treatment adjust to the stimulant medication, side effects occur. Parents must watch for the following changes in your child and report to your doctor immediately:
- Decreased appetite
- Stomach upsets
- Difficulties in getting to sleep
Getting ADHD medications to work optimally requires parents to have a lot of patience about side effects.
Parents with ADHD children start with a pediatrician to treat the attention deficit disorder. If the child does not respond, seek specialized care from a child neurologist or psychiatrist. This doctor will evaluate the child by asking questions to determine genetic or medical issues.
Parents should also work with both their child’s teachers and the doctor to see how the medication is working. You can use methods like the SNAP-IV scale to assess your child’s behavior and detect patterns and medication problems throughout the day. Extending medication beyond the school day is beneficial as there is increased focus during homework time.
Some foods can compromise the medication effectiveness by delaying drug absorption. Vitamin C drinks and citric acid are examples. Ensure your child avoids them while taking ADHD medication. Also giving sinus/fever/cold medications that contain decongestants.
If your child has used ADHD medication successfully with their doctor’s supervision, a vacation is useful. The benefit here is to see if treatment is still necessary or there is a need to change therapy. A number of ADHD children use medication up to adulthood.
ADHD stimulants come in capsules, chewable tablets, or liquid formations. If your ADHD child cannot swallow the whole capsule, open it up and sprinkle on soft foods for easy swallowing.
Talk to your child’s doctor to determine when you should administer their ADHD medication.
If you forgot to give medication to your ADHD child, don’t try to catch up by administering the additional dose. Skip that particular dose and give the next one at the designated time. Overdosing may bring adverse effects. Seek medical attention if an overdose occurs.
Stimulants are safe and risks are very low for children with ADHD as long as parental help is provided. Length of treatment is based on an individual’s unique set of symptoms. A combination of medical treatment and behavioral therapy can work wonders to help control ADHD symptoms.
Are you a parent with an ADHD child? Are you looking for remedies to your child’s condition? Contact an appropriate service that provides ADHD parental help for more information. They can equip you with the practical tools you require to help transform your children’s lives.