ADHD is the acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It can occur in children and adults and can often be misdiagnosed because the symptoms can be seen in other health conditions as well. How can you tell you if your child has ADHD?
There is not one definitive test, there are a variety of tests that can be done including a complete physical.
Every child at times is hyperactive, excitable, irritable, or does not seem to be listening to you. That being said, when these behaviors occur over an extended period of time or with such intensity that family life, school and social relationships are affected that adhd child might suspected.
You can ask for the testing or the school can ask for your consent to have it done. It is advisable, if only to have it ruled out, to have your child evaluated. A series of tests that will rate behaviors such as attention, following directions, completion of tasks and level of activity. Parents and teachers are given behavior rating scales. After all of the data is collected and it is ADHD, an education plan will be put in place as well as a treatment plan.
This treatment plan might include prescriptive medications that will help your child to focus better, follow directions, and complete tasks. These medications may also help decrease your child’s level of activity.
The bad news is that there are some very serious side effects with these medications. With short term use your child might experience sleep problems and a smaller appetite. They may become irritable and depressed. Your child’s liver could be adversely affected. When stimulants are used for an extended time period your child may be more likely to have a problem with substance abuse or depression as adults.
The good news is that there are alternatives to stimulant drugs. A healthy life style is essential. A healthy diet free of things like MSG, preservatives, and dyes may help. Getting enough sleep is important too. Natural supplements made from herbal formulas that have been beneficial in lessening ADHD symptoms. They should be made by a certified homeopathic practitioner and approved by the FDA for maximum safety and effectiveness.