Q. Is there a cure?

Like diabetes and high blood pressure, ADHD does not seem to go away. However, with appropriate treatment, functioning can be improved dramatically. Medication, psychotherapy (including family treatment), neuro-feedback and psycho-education have been found to be effective when treating individuals with ADHD and helping their families. Stimulants are a group of medications that are typically used to treat ADHD, they tend to even out the ADHD child or adult. Neuro-feedback can be effective in retraining the brain to lessen the impact of ADHD in everyday functioning. This is done by creating a healthier Brainwave profile. Psychotherapy and psycho-education can help the client and his/her family to learn how to better deal with symptoms of ADHD and create a supportive atmosphere for the client. While all these treatments have been empirically shown to be effective, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating ADHD. What works for one child may not work for another. It takes a team.

Q. My child’s teacher says he/she has ADHD. Am I to take it seriously?

Teachers have the rare opportunity to observe your child in the uniquely difficult school setting, where children are required to sit still and concentrate for a prolonged period of time. Naturally, it is important to seriously consider the teacher’s concern. However, teachers are not mental health professionals and cannot definitively diagnose ADHD. Sometimes what they are seeing in the classroom is not ADHD but some other issues, i.e. mild learning problems or nervousness. If you suspect that your child has symptoms that resemble ADHD, please contact a mental health provider.

Q. Are medications for ADHD good or bad?

Medications have been shown to be effective with individuals with ADHD, and, when used appropriately, are great. They can enable an easily distractible child to succeed in school and an impulsive adult to have successful relationships. However, there are side effects that one should be aware of. Stimulants may lead to a decreased appetite and sleep problems. Due to significant issues with children taking these medications, they should be closely monitored by an appropriate medical doctor, usually a psychiatrist for children or adolescents.

Q. Do adults get ADHD?

Many children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults. These symptoms, however, may present differently in adulthood than they did in childhood. For instance, an adult with ADHD may find it difficult to remember appointments or keep a job. They may be very disorganized and have trouble remembering birthdays or special occasions. They may also have difficulties with romantic relationships due to the inability to listen to their partner or pay attention to their needs.

Find answers to more ADHD Frequently Asked Questions here.