How Medication Can Help Your Child's ADHD

Tools to Diagnose ADHD

Attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder (ADHD) is a common neuro-developmental disorder diagnosed in children. ADHD affects people throughout their life. Throughout the world, 5.3% of people have ADHD.  See here for Tools for the Diagnosis of ADHD in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review

The American Academy of Pediatrics clinical guidelines recommend medication for managing symptoms of ADHD in children seven years of age and up. For children younger than seven years of age, it is recommended parents and teachers receive training on behavior modification, if available. This means when medication is used, it is recommended to be used in conjunction with parent and teacher training. Clinical Recommendations

When to Consider Medication for ADHD

If your child with ADHD is older than seven years of age, you may consider the following prior to asking about medication to treat symptoms of ADHD:

1. Are my child’s symptoms of ADHD affecting their ability to be safe? For example, does your child run across a parking lot without stopping to look for traffic? Do your child’s inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive behaviors result in significant consequences for themselves or others around them?

2. Do their symptoms of forgetting or failing to pay attention result in consequences that significantly affect multiple areas of their life? For example, does your child typically forget many items needed for school or other activities? Does their difficulty in paying attention make it difficult for them to follow through in most settings, when asked to complete a task?

3. Do your child’s symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity contribute to getting in trouble with authority figures? For example, does your child typically not think about possible consequences of an activity that are associated with their safety?

Here is a link to an ADHD Medications Guide created by Dr. Andrew Adesman of Northwell Health, Inc. Northwell Health.

If you or a family member are interested in medication to treat ADHD, please discuss this with your primary care physician, family doctor, or psychiatrist who has expertise in ADHD and prescribing medication to treat ADHD.

DISCLAIMER: Our clinicians cannot prescribe medications, but if you meet with them for evaluations or counseling, they can connect you with the appropriate resources.