Brighter Pathways © 2017
P.O. Box 372217
Satellite Beach, FL 32937
Licenses: SS00305 ~ MH02676 ~ PCE-9
What is ADD or AD/HD? What’s the difference?
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is a biologically-based disorder characterized by a combination of inattentiveness, distractibility, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. AD/HD appears early in a child’s life. It is estimated that 3-5 percent of school-age children are diagnosed with AD/HD and it is diagnosed more often in boys than in girls. In addition, about one-fourth to one-third the children diagnosed with AD/HD continue to have symptoms during the adolescent years and into adulthood.
Years ago, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) identified Attention Deficit Disorder as being:
The current terminology “AD/HD” encompasses three categories:
So, you see, technically the “H” is now always in the terminology. If the child does not have hyperactivity, the disorder would be termed “AD/HD, Inattentive type.” (In the past, this would have simply been called ADD.) Children with this subtype are most noted to daydream, have poor focus, and have trouble following direction.
Having these terms change around on us makes it confusing for both professionals and lay people alike. Even so, AD/HD is a real disorder. Click here for more information about AD/HD SYMPTOMS.)
Hasn’t media attention affected how frequently and accurately the disorder is diagnosed?
Some families develop preconceived notions that their children may have AD/HD and come to health professionals expecting a confirmation of their home diagnosis. That can cause some problems, particularly if parents are attached to the idea and begin "shopping around" until they find someone who confirms the diagnosis.
What About Treatments?
If left untreated, AD/HD has been shown to have long-term adverse affects on academic performance, vocational success and social-emotional development. As they grow older, children with untreated AD/HD are more prone to drug abuse, antisocial behavior and injuries of all sorts. “Treatment” does not necessarily mean medication; non-medical treatments are also an option. Dr. Messenger generally prefers to start with non-medical interventions, such as behavior management, self-calming and self-monitoring, and exercise. For more information, click on NON-MEDICAL INTERVENTIONS.
Parent training and behavior modification can substantially improve the behavior of children with AD/HD if these methods are applied consistently and correctly. But like medication, it can only be helpful if it is used faithfully and accurately. Not all families are willing or able to go along with such treatments.
Also, there are some children who simply do respond sufficient to these non-medical interventions to allow them to learn and function well on a day-to-day basis. In such cases, referral for medical evaluation then becomes warranted. When this happens, Dr. Messenger works closely with the family doctor or an appropriate physician based upon individual need.
Psycho-stimulant medications have been thoroughly studied and few long-term side effects have been identified. Problems, when they do occur, are generally mild and short-term. The most common side effects are loss of appetite and insomnia. These side effects can be addressed by changing the dosage or by changing to a slow-release formulation.
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ADD & AD/HD
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Brighter Pathways, P.O. Box 372217, Satellite Beach, FL 32937
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