Coping With Attention Deficit Disorder BY GabrtelleA05 Gabrielle Alicea The life of a child with ADD is not an easy one. In the United States, each year, 8. 4% of children are diagnosed with attention deficit disorder. That is 5. 2 million children every year. Attention deficit disorder is not extremely easy to diagnose, as its symptoms can sometimes mirror the symptoms of some learning disabilities. Symptoms of ADD include; inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. In addition to the typical symptoms one can also have secondary symptoms such as low self- esteem, aggressiveness, emotional insecurity and depression.
As a result of their ADD some children may have difficulties with making friends, and social situations overall. This may be because they feel as though their ADD separates them from their peers. Therefore, this could cause them difficulty in socializing for fear of being Judged or oven picked on. There is much controversy and differing opinions on the matter of the treatment of ADD. While some children may benefit from using medication in the treatment of their ADD, some may benefit better with using therapy and other certain techniques designed specifically to cope with ADD. Some may benefit from a combination of oth.
Medications for ADD help with hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. Which are the key symptoms of attention deficit disorder. There are also secondary symptoms that the common medications for ADD may not treat. The most common type of medication is stimulants. Examples of types of stimulants commonly prescribed for ADD are Ritalin, Adderall, and Dexedrine. What these stimulants do is increase the levels of Dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that deals with motivation, pleasure, attention, and movement. Some people cannot take stimulants, such as those with heart defects.
For these people there is an alternative, non-stimulant drug called Strattera. Instead of increasing dopamine levels, Strattera increases the levels of norepinephrine in the brain. Another thing about Strattera is that it may also treat the secondary symptoms of ADD such as depression Some may choose to go a different route and not use any medications to deal with ADD. There are many techniques for coping with ADD without the use of medication. These are called behavioral interventions and there are several different types. One technique is to teach parents to notice their child’s good behavior.
Some children ith ADD may feel that they are only scolded for bad behavior and not rewarded for their good behavior. Noticing and rewarding good behavior is a way to keep them focused on doing well consistently. Another type of behavioral intervention has to do with performance in school. Informing the teacher of the child’s disorder and offering them some strategies to help during the school day is a tool to make sure a child with ADD receives the same treatment in school as they do at home. The teacher will be told to give step-by-step directions and consequences and rewards for paying and not paying attention.
Another strategy is called contingency management. The child The child will then be rewarded for each goal theyVe met that day. These are all ways to deal with ADD without medication, they are different in the way they are executed but are meant to have the same result in the end. Although medication may improve the symptoms of ADD, it has many risks and side effects. The most common medication, stimulants, have many side effects. Some of which, can be very serious. Some common side effects of stimulants include; difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, mood swings, depression, and headaches.
There an also be some more serious side effects such as developing obsessive compulsive disorder, high blood pressure, and sometimes en sudden death in those in those with existing heart conditions. Stimulants also run the risk of being abused. Those with prior history of abusing drugs, usually are not proscribes stimulants. Non- stimulant medications have some serious side effects as well. The most serious being suicidal thoughts. While the non-stimulant medication Strattera can relieve ADD’s secondary side effects, such as depression, it may also exacerbate them, causing suicidal thoughts in children and adolescents.
Therefore, children prescribed this medication need to be monitored closely. So, while medication could be a perfect fit for some, these side effects may come into play causing them to go the non- medicated route, which of course has no side effects. The great thing about coping with ADD with no medication is that there are no risks associated. One can try out different techniques without the fear of a serious side effect. Deciding to not medicate a child for ADD could produce the same results as using medication. The techniques and strategies used on children with ADD not nly can improve their disorder but also improve their overall health.
Exercise is a staple in coping with ADD. Exercise increases dopamine levels Just as the medications do. Yet exercise is not only good for the brain and treating ADD. Exercise is good for the whole body and is a healthy habit for any child. The technique of teaching a child that they will be rewarded for doing well is not only an ADD treatment, but a life lesson. If one does well in life, they will see the benefits. The treatment of ADD is not black and white. One may choose to combine both methods and not only choose the right medication for their child but also use ehavioral strategies as well.
This would not only assure that their mind is in the right place, with the help of medication, but also that they learn healthy life techniques and ways to cope. It is important to also have those life skills, which may not come naturally to those suffering from attention deficit disorder. Medication may help the brain, but it can’t teach someone the necessary coping techniques. Therefore, although using medication and not using medication have huge differences and similarities, the end goal is the same; to help the child cope with their ADD the best possible way they can.