Raising and Loving a Child with ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood, and parenting a child with ADHD can be frustrating. How can we help our kids at home and at school? Our guest to talk about ADHD is Dr. Vincent Monastra, a clinical psychologist specializing in ADHD and author of Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lesson that Medicine Cannot Teach, published by the American Psychological Association.

Hit the Highlights
  • What is ADHD and how is it diagnosed?
  • Do the brains of people with ADHD look different than the brains of people who have not been diagnosed?
  • What causes ADHD?
  • What are the different types of ADHD?
  • What is the best way to diagnose ADHD?
  • What type of testing should be done before ADHD medications are prescribed?
  • What other conditions or illnesses or diseases mimic the symptoms of ADHD such as inattention, restlessness, and inability to concentrate?
  • Some adopted children, especially those who were adopted at an older age and from abusive or neglectful background, have been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) or attachment issues, anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (OPD), or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). How can parents tell the difference between RAD, PTSD, OPD and SPD and the symptoms of ADHD in adopted children? Do these conditions often occur at the same time? How do you tell the difference between ADHD and RAD, PTSD, OPD and SPD?
  • Does ADHD mimic anxiety, RAD, PTSD , SPD, or oppositional defiant disorder?
  • Are there ways to control the symptoms of ADHD without using ADHD medications?
  • When should ADHD medications be used?
  • Do the stimulant medicines such as Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate CD, Focalin, Dexedrine, Adderall, and Daytrana work for all types of ADHD? What are their side effects?
  • When should antihypertensives, such as Catapres and Tenex, be used in the treatment of ADHD?
  • Are antidepressants, such as bupropion (for example, Wellbutrin) effective in treating some forms of ADHD?
  • How are the non-stimulant medications such as Atomoxetine (Strattera) best used in treating ADHD? On what type of ADHD should Strattera be used?
  • What are the side effects of the ADHD medications/drugs? Are there ways to lessen or ameliorate these side effects?
  • Are ADHD medications addicting?
  • Are ADHD medication safe for long term use on children?
  • How do you know if your child is on the right dosage of ADHD medications?
  • What type of doctor should be prescribing ADHD medications? Many people simply see their pediatrician.
  • How do you know which of the many ADHD medications is right for your child?
  • Can food allergies cause ADHD?
  • Can food additives cause ADHD?
  • What type of nutrition is best for children, teens, and adults with ADHD?
  • Why is protein so important for people with ADHD?
  • Is sugar, wheat, or gluten bad for people with ADHD? Do these foods worsen the symptoms of ADHD?
  • Are their specific minerals that parents need to make sure that their children get in their diet?
  • Why is breakfast so important? Suggested foods?

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Image Credit: joebeone