ABSTRACTAttention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an increasingly common psychiatric disorder that impacts many children and teens and can also manifest in adults. This article has been formulated to educate parents on the disorder and to explore options for treatment. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder, this means that ADHD impacts the brain and the nervous system.
There is not a lot of information on the exact cause of ADHD, though studies show ADHD may be caused such by electronic usage (specifically video games), diet, genes, environmental toxins, and former head injuries. When studying patients with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder researchers have learned that the cause of ADHD is the result of impaired neurotransmitters within the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system, the basal system, and the reticular activating system. Neurotransmitters are often the cause of common brain disorders, in the case of ADHD norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin deficiencies are known to be the cause. The prefrontal cortex has been shown to be connected to impulse control including planning, organizing, and monitoring behaviour. A deficiency of neurotransmitters in the prefrontal cortex can result in problems with organization and staying focused. The limbic system is used to help us control and regulate our emotions a deficiency here can cause restlessness, an inability to focus, or poorly modulated emotional responses. The basal system is a group of subcortical nuclei which relays information to the correct regions within the brain, a neurotransmission deficiency here would result in impulsiveness and problems with staying focused.
The reticular activating system filters the information that our senses send to the brain, a neurotransmission deficiency here would cause inattention, hyperactivity, and bad impulse control. Ethically and legally, when a doctor prescribes medication to your child they must completely inform you of all side effects of given prescriptions and other suitable options for your child’s treatment. Because medications such as Adderall and Ritalin can have many unpredictable side effects each case should be analyzed with careful individual scrutiny.When dealing with a child with a bad case of ADHD making a decision for treatment may require less thought. Most parents would opt for medication, the only decision would be between stimulant and nonstimulant. The best way to choose between the two would be to discuss with your family doctor what will be best for your child and trial and error from then on. Two popular types of medication are Adderall and Ritalin.
These two medications work very similarly by increasing the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in the patient’s system, but there are some slight differences. For example, Ritalin works at peak performance sooner but Adderall stays in your system longer. When dealing with a child who would not require such a high dosage you may want to look at some other options as all medications come with side effects and some kids ADHD can even become worse after taking medication. Even simple things like maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of exercise and lots of sleep will help children manage their ADHD symptoms.
It may also be smart to involve a professional to help come up with a treatment plan specialized for your child or involve your child in behavioural therapy which is known be very effective. Some parents may not be able to give their ADHD child the attention they require, in those cases, there are many support groups that can help kids learn how to control their ADHD with a healthy lifestyle and hard work. When dealing with a child with ADHD something important an adult must remember is to not reward or allow bad behaviour, this way the child will learn what behaviour is and is not acceptable. According to an article on catholicmom.com, many Catholic parents discourage the use of prescription for ADHD for these parents a more natural solution is how they should approach it. Upon further research, it appears there is not too much controversy on the subject of whether Catholic kids should take medication or not. Therefore, Parents of the Catholic church are free to choose what treatments are best for their child based on their own personal beliefs.In conclusion, parents should spend a lot of time on deciding what will be right for their own child and for their family as there are risks for both arguments.
Each year parents should reevaluate their child’s symptoms because as kids get older it may become less severe. I hope this article has been helpful.