Unfortunately, as a result of their behavior, children with ADHD are often criticized and do not do well at school. This can lead to low self-esteem and eventually to depression in older children. Children with ADHD are often very creative or athletic. They are sensitive to their surroundings and may appreciate art, music and nature. If a child is not diagnosed and treated, other problems may develop as the child reaches puberty. Compulsive, obsessive and emotional disorders may be added to the problems already suffered by the child or adult with ADHD.

How is ADHD treated?
The special learning requirements of children with ADHD need to be at addressed at school and most districts have programs in place and often teachers with additional certification to teach children with learning disabilities. Children may also need counseling to help them understand their condition and to boost their self-esteem. Parents and teachers of affected children may be able to help in a number of ways, such as creating a daily routine for the child, always speaking to them on a one-on-one basis, or using rewards to persuade them to listen or concentrate. Medication may be prescribed if psychotherapy and extra support are not successful in adapting a child’s behavior. This will be given in tablet form and may be taken on a long-term basis until about the age of 10. Drugs currently used in the treatment of ADHD include dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) and mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall), dexmethylphenidate (Focalin), methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), atomoxetine (Strattera), and lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse). Close supervision is required when these drugs are used. If possible, pediatricians will usually refer children with ADHD to a specialist with an interest in the condition.

Further information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/
National Institute of Mental Health: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/complete-index.shtml

Last Reviewed: May 2013