New School Year: Treating and Dealing with ADHD

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, is a condition that often begins between ages 3 and 6, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. And it’s not just a childhood disease. ADHD may continue through the teenage years and into adulthood.

There are three types of ADHD:

  • Predominantly inattentive (trouble focusing, following instructions, and finishing tasks).
  • Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive (constantly on the go, talking excessively, and interrupting others).
  • Combined (symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity).

Millions of Children Are Diagnosed With ADHD

Studies show that the number of children diagnosed with ADHD continues to increase. About 10% of children ages 3 to 17 (6 million kids) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Boys (13%) are more likely than girls (6%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. “Boys are also more likely to have the hyperactive-impulsive type. This type of ADHD is easier to spot than the quieter child who is inattentive,” says child psychiatrist Tiffany R. Farchione, M.D., who reviews drugs to treat ADHD at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If you suspect your child might have ADHD, see your pediatrician or health care professional. Also have your child’s vision, hearing and anything else that might contribute to inattention checked. A doctor might diagnose ADHD or refer your child to a mental health specialist for evaluation.

Treatments for Children with ADHD

The FDA has approved two types of medications – stimulants and non-stimulants – to help reduce the symptoms of ADHD and improve functioning in children as young as age 6.

Despite their name, stimulants – which contain various forms of methylphenidate and amphetamine – have a calming effect on hyperactive children with ADHD, Farchione says. Stimulants are thought to increase brain levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with motivation, attention and movement.

The FDA has also approved four non-stimulants to treat the symptoms of ADHD: Strattera (atomoxetine), Intuniv (guanfacine), Kapvay (clonidine) and Qelbree (viloxazine). Talk with your health care professional about what medications may be best for your child.

In addition to medication, some children with ADHD receive behavioral therapy to help manage symptoms and provide added coping skills. Moreover, concerned parents can reach out to their children’s schools and community support groups for information and guidance on how to cope with ADHD.

Consequences of Untreated ADHD

Left untreated, ADHD can have serious consequences. A child may fall behind in school, encounter difficulties in friendships, and have conflicts with parents, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Studies show that children with untreated ADHD have more emergency room visits and are more likely to have self-inflicted injuries than those treated for the disorder. Untreated adolescents (children ages 10 to 18) with ADHD are more likely to take risks – such as drinking and driving – and have twice as many motor vehicle accidents as those who are treated.

Testing the Effects of Medication in Younger Kids

FDA-approved ADHD medications currently on the market have been tested for safety and effectiveness in clinical trials of children 6 years and older. The FDA is now asking for clinical trials participation of children as young as 4 and 5.

“We know ADHD medications are being prescribed for younger children, and we think it’s essential that the data from clinical studies reflect the safety and effectiveness for this age group,” Farchione says.

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  1. Great article!

    But, the yeshiva administrators and menahalim are the ones who should be reading this, not the general public.

    How many kids are out of school bc despite being amazing neshamos, their school opted not to have to deal with them.

    Chanoch lenaar al pi darKO!! His/her way.

  2. The rush to overmedicate our children is simply outrageous! Stop giving candies or food with the red #40 color which produces the effects of adhd and compulsive behavior Bluecolor can produce a whole array of symptoms and behavioral reactions because affect the brain. Badly. In most of Europe this food coloring in particular have been banned. Because of its effects on children. Give amphetimes to a firming brain and this kids are easily manipulated and made to conform. And it creates a dependency factor which may influence the child to try other drugs later on life. Please stop giving rewards that are candies at yeshiva you May have better behaved kids. Kids should not be experimented medically because they are overstimulated by all the candies and toxic rewards. Start giving them time to play and the children who can sit May benefit from playing the drums or a musical instrument. We have forgotten how to educate so we Medicate. Shame. Shame on us

    • Thank you Dr. Carmen-Levin for the great explanation!
      (I miss going to you when I was a young child.)
      You are a thousand percent correct!
      It’s so sad that everyone just guzzle poison all day long- then they just complain about all these symptoms that never happened 100 years ago.
      So what do they do- they inject & medicate everyone and they they get side affects so then they medicate for that…
      It’s a never ending vicious cycle.

  3. Today Just because a child is not as perfect and intellectual as the parents or the school would like them to be they are diagnosed with all kinds of codes ADHD, ABCD, ADD, ABB which is all NOT TRUE; every child is unique and they should be accepted and respected for what they are, “Chas V’Shalom” (or g-d for-bit) to give a kid psychiatric medication.

  4. To the ones who thinks who think medicating is wrong or medicating is based on candy etc… You obviosly dont have a real ADHD kid. There is a lot more factors that go ino ADHD then just being hyper from red dye 40.. I have 2 special needs kids so I know. Both went for a neuropsych evaluation. Both are impulsive but only 1 was diagnosed with ADHD and the other LD which manifested as impulsivity/inattentiveness. My kid was ADHD before being introduced to junk food. He is also ASD. He has been on stimualnts since 5 and its been a miracle for him! Thank you Hashem for these drugs! He can focus! He can behave and not be violent! For My daughter the stimulants didnt work because her behavior wasnt due to true ADHD. So please dont judge others and learn about real ADHD.

  5. So…your kids are a handful, so give them methamphetamines? Can anyone hear what is being pushed on children? Is anyone even remotely aware of the suicide rates for young adults who attempt to taper off these dangerous drugs?

  6. “We have forgotten how to educate so we medicate”

    Should be on the entrance to every Yeshiva until we start treating kids like individuals, and not just passive compliant numbers in a classroom.

    “In his bestselling book ‘Der Totale Rausch’ recently published in in English as ‘Blitzed’, Ohler found that… methamphetamine was distributed to millions of Wermacht troops before the successful invasion of France in 1940.”

    We wouldn’t drive a Mercedes, but we would give our kids the drugs that fueled the Germans Y”MS in WWII???

  7. Yes i will give my son vyvanse for as long as necessary under a supervision of a pediatric neurologist. There are so many people (children included) truly suffering due to the national stimulant shortage. If you think the parents suffer because a child is a “handful” thats backwards thinking. Think of the child who suffers more. As i said before there is a difference between general hyperactivity and a real neurodiverse child/adult. My son gets ABA and counseling and is thriving with his meds. He is in a special ed school and has become an aleph student with great middos reports. I cried so much over the well being of my son not knowing how to help him. You can bash me all you want. What works for one kid may not work another. I am beyond thankful to Hashem for medication so my son can learn torah and function in society. ImyH he will go only vaiter.

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