There is much controversy with the ADHD diagnosis. There are many who feel it is being over diagnosed with children, that every child who can’t sit still gets the diagnosis. There are some who feel it is all a conspiracy brought on by the drug companies, that the more children diagnosed with ADHD the more money in the drug companies’ pockets. What is not controversial, is that children with ADHD symptoms/ behaviors often have trouble in school, at home, and/or socially. If not diagnosed correctly, it could lead to the wrong treatment. If not treated correctly, it can lead to more serious problems for the child and family.
We are all very familiar by now with the main symptom groups of ADHD; Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity. Within these groups there are many attached behaviors; disorganization, fidgety, excessive talking, having a hard time waiting to talk, forgetfulness, inability to focus, and so on. These behaviors can lead to a child in school having a hard time with the daily routine, turning in assignments, learning the material, etc. At home, a child with these ADHD behaviors could lead to strained relationships with family members, having a hard time falling asleep, etc. Socially, a child with ADHD behaviors often struggles, as children tend to tire of these behaviors and shy away from a child like this. If a child struggles in one of these three realms, let alone, more than one, a child’s life can quickly turn to being unhappy and feeling frustrated, ostracized by friends and family, and many other negative outcomes.
There is also the problem with many ADHD symptoms being similar to Anxiety, Depression, or other disorders. If an ADHD diagnosis is given to a child that has another disorder, the medication and or therapy directed at helping the ADHD symptoms may only exacerbate them.
Once a child is correctly diagnosed with ADHD, a combination of medication and therapy has been found to be the best treatment and lead to the best outcomes for the child. Through therapy, when working with a child and his/ her family, the goal is to identify in what areas ADHD behaviors are affecting the child, to see if his/ her needs are being met, and work with the child and family to best deal with the reality of these behaviors.
If a child can feel more in control of himself/ herself, and begin to learn more about their behaviors and how it impacts him/ her, and the people around him/her, it can lead to more success and reaching one’s potential. This can be done with regular sessions with the child and family. Consulting with the school is also vital, as that is where the child spends the majority of his/her time. Part of the therapy should consist of good communication with the therapist and school, and any other important people/organizations connected to the child. Through therapy, the aim is to help the child and family in any way that is needed to reach these goals and help the child reach his/her potential.