The Impact ADHD Can Have On A Child's Life
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD it is important to know how this can impact his/her life and how to help your child learn to effectively cope with the symptoms. This will help the child become well-adjusted and less prone to undesirable coping behaviors.
ADHD in a nutshell
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-biological condition that causes children to be hyperactive, impulsive, and inattentive. It appears to have a genetic component, and people that have the disorder have some brain structure differences in the prefrontal cortex and the posterior parietal cortex.
Problems that Children with ADHD Face
It is estimated that 20 to 30% of children who have ADHD also have a learning disability such as dyslexia. ADHD medications can reduce the symptoms so that children have a better chance of being attentive but they will still need specific interventions for the learning disability, to do well.
Children with this disorder may receive continuous negative attention from adults such as teachers and others. They also have a harder time developing normal social skills. This can cause them to have a negative self-image which can lead to behavior problems.
Eventually ADHD children can develop oppositional defiant disorder which means they can become:
They may also refuse to take any responsibility for their behavior.
As the child grows into a teen this may escalate into a diagnosis of conduct disorder which has these symptoms:
Verbal and physical aggression
Cruelty to animals and/or other people
Vandalism and property destruction
Untreated ADHD during childhood can also cause anxiety and mood disorders as the children grow into adulthood. They may self-medicate to alleviate their symptoms with drugs or alcohol and other addictive behaviors.
There is no cure for it, but a person can learn to manage ADHD symptoms. Treatment for a child involves a multi-disciplinary approach that will involve the child's pediatrician, the school counselor, the child's teachers, and you.
Medication will be recommended to help the child to focus his or her attention and do better at school and at home. Some medications prescribed are stimulants such as dextroamphetamine sulf-saccharate and methylphenidate HCL or non-stimulants such as atomoxetine HCL. Surprisingly, some anti-depressants such as bupropion also help some children.
Counseling would also be appropriate to help the child learn appropriate social skills and to manage difficult emotions that come with this condition. It will also help you to learn effective ways to manage with the challenges you face as a parent of a child with ADHD. Talk to your doctor, such as someone from Rainbow Pediatrics, for more information.