Discovering adhd treatment for children can be rather confusing and perplexing especially for the parent or guardian who is not that familiar with this very common disorder. Nevertheless there are treatment options available today that go above and beyond the usual stimulant and non-stimulant medications that are so surrounded by controversy thanks to the negative publicity they have attained in the media. The controversy is not misplaced even though there are a significant number of children around the world who do respond favorably and encouragingly to drugs like Ritalin, Adderall, and Strattera. However, for a large number of children the side-effects of these drugs (and the side-effects of others that are also used in the treatment of this disorder) prove to be too much. Parents may choose to have their child cease taking the medication and to investigate alternative treatment options.
Unfortunately, as with the conventional ADHD medications, alternative treatments have also had their share of controversy. Usually scepticism arises from the healthcare provider who feels that to treat this disorder without ADHD medications is futile and useless. Many parents are left feeling as though they are grasping at straws and doing their child a disservice by considering alternative treatments. This is very unfortunate, because alternative treatments such as homeopathic remedies, therapy, behavioral modification, diet, and parental training have proven to be very effective according to a number of reliable studies that have been conducted. In fact, these studies have produced very interesting results and nowadays more and more people are choosing to consider other treatment options, including some healthcare professionals and mental health experts who regularly encounter patients with ADHD.
In order for a treatment for adhd to be effective it has to benefit the child, leading to a better quality of life and better academic and social performance. It has to be able to combat the symptoms of the disorder, depending upon which type of ADHD the child may have been diagnosed with. For the child who is suspected of having this disorder the process of diagnosis is a very long and drawn-out one that oftentimes spans six months or more. A doctor who diagnoses ADHD after a single consultation should not be considered, because this is a behavioral disorder that requires extensive observation and analysis. This process and procedure will involve numerous experts and adults who come into regular contact with the child. The process plays out as follows:
The parents, family, and educators of the child will be interviewed by the mental health expert or healthcare provider regarding child's behavior. Parents can expect to have to provide a detailed medical history of the child as well as of the immediate family members because ADHD is believed to be a genetic disorder.
2. Medical Examination
The child will have to undergo a physical examination that might include lab tests to determine underlying medical issues that could account for the apparent ADHD behavior and symptoms. Some medical issues can produce symptoms that mimic the symptoms of ADHD and these have to be ruled out if a trustworthy and reliable diagnosis is to be made.
3. The Symptoms and Behaviors
Parents and teachers will be questioned regarding the child's behavior and symptoms. It must be determined that the child has exhibited the behaviors and symptoms for an extended period of time and in a number of settings. Sometimes upsets or upheavals in the child's life can produce temporary behavior that could be misconstrued as being indicative of the disorder. The symptoms also need to have been present and noticeable for at least six months or more. Because there is no single test to determine whether a child has ADHD or not it can be a difficult process for all concerned.
4. Diagnosis and Treatment
Once the child has been observed and evaluated the mental health professional will then render his or her diagnosis. If the child is found to be ADHD treatment for adhd will then be discussed with the parents or guardians of the child. Most doctors do not hesitate in prescribing stimulant medication in the form of Ritalin or Adderall, among others. If these do not suit the child in various dosages, non-stimulant drugs, like Strattera, will be prescribed. All ADHD medications, whether stimulant or non-stimulant, do come with the possibility of side-effects that can be rather dangerous and alarming.
Along with medication the mental health expert will also implement a therapy program to teach the child ways of coping with the symptoms. This therapy should also involve the parents so that they know how to respond to the behaviors their child exhibits. Parental training has proven to be a very effective means of coping with this disorder and in some parts of the world it is the first step in treating the child, with medications coming last and considered only when all else has failed.
by V K Rajagopalan