National Services Directory
ADHD refers to a pattern of ongoing, long-standing ("chronic") behavior disorders that have three core symptoms: hyperactivity, impulsivity, and inattention. These are defined as "disorders" based on the child's stage of development. No one expects much quiet activity, impulse control, or attention span from the average, normal 2-year-old. But by age 5 or 6, it is expected that the child is beginning to regulate his activity level, control his behavior, and attend to tasks. The ADHD child has not achieved these capacities. Problems generally associated with ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. They can affect nearly every aspect of life. Children and adults with ADHD often struggle with low self-esteem, troubled personal relationships and poor performance in school or at work.
The best treatment for ADHD is a matter of debate. Currently, psychostimulant drugs are the most commonly prescribed medications for treating ADHD. But although these drugs can relieve many symptoms, they don't cure ADHD, and they can sometimes cause troubling side effects. Counseling, special accommodations in the classroom, and family and community support are other key parts of treatment.
There can be some confusion when using the term because there is no single type of dual diagnosis. The reason is, that there are multiple types of psychiatric illnesses, also many forms of drug abuse. Because of this, a wide range of dual or multiple disorders exist.
Optimal treatment for ADHD is still a matter of debate. Current treatments typically involve therapy, medication or both. However, recent research indicates that a combination of therapy and medication may be the most helpful depression treatment.
Children and adults with ADHD often greatly benefit from counseling or behavior therapy, which may be provided by a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or other mental health care professional. Some people with ADHD may also have other conditions such as anxiety disorder or depression. In these cases, counseling may help both ADHD and the coexisting problem.
Counseling therapies may include:
The best results usually occur when a team approach is used, with
teachers, parents, and therapists or physicians working together. You
can help by making every effort to work with your child's teachers and
by referring them to reliable sources of information to support their
efforts in the classroom.