ADHD Medication for Children
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), you probably have many questions about the medication options available. Finding the right medication isn’t easy and what best works for your child will require some time to figure out.
What is ADHD?
ADHD in children manifests in signs of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a doctor can make a diagnosis of ADHD based on specific criteria found in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth edition (DSM-5).
This generally includes six or more specific symptoms of inattention or hyperactively on a regular basis for six or more months. The doctor may also look at your child’s behavior and compare it to other children of the same age.
How is ADHD Treated?
Treating ADHD in children requires medical, behavioral, psychological, and educational intervention. This type of treatment approach is called multimodal, and according to the National Institute of Mental Health, involves parent and child education about treatment and support, behavioral therapy, medication, counseling, and school support.
One study of the medical journal, Archives of General Psychiatry, finds that combination treatment of medication, behavioral treatment, and community care were effective in reducing ADHD symptoms. The study also reported these benefits lasting for up to 14 months.
The Role of Medication
For most children with ADHD, medication is part of a multimodal treatment plan. The goal of medicinal treatment is not to control behavior, but rather to improve symptoms of ADHD to help your child focus and function effectively.
If you decide medication therapy is an option for your child, you should learn as much as you can about medication options and talk them over with your child’s doctor to figure out the best plan for treating your child’s symptoms.