Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) is a neurobehavioral development disorder.
It is a kind of developmental disability that should be dealt with both psychotherapy interventions and medications; Medication alone cannot address the core issues a child or an adult with ADHD has. Likewise, psychotherapy and other specific therapeutic interventions are mandatory.
In psychotherapy (otherwise referred to as cognitive-behavioral therapy), the patients are assisted in their thoughts, feelings and emotions. There would be social skills training that teach patients the necessary behaviors in developing and maintaining social relationships. It is usually done in therapy offices or at homes by the parents themselves.
In medications, methylphenidate (e.g. Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Methylin) and amphetamines (Dexedrine, Dextrostat, Adderall) are the most commonly prescribed. They are both beneficial in curving hyperactivity and impulsivity in the patients.
There are newer drugs to treat ADD/ADHD to date. These non-stimulant medications include the Strattera and Vyvanse. Adult patients, on the other hand, can take antidepressants (Tricyclics, Venlafaxine, Bupropion) that targets the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine as well as nicotine cravings.
And there are software and gadgets, too! MathPad, MathPad Plus and MathTalk present numbers onscreen, which can be read aloud by a speech synthesizer. Products featured in Independent Living Aids, MaxiAids, and AbleData range from pocket-sized to desktop-sized with an alarm to keep students moving along.
Audible.com and bookshare.org allow one to listen to books downloaded on a computer. Kurzweil 3000 improves reading speed and comprehension by converting a printed text to an electronic one.
Optical character recognition (OCR) programs—such as the WYNN Literacy Software Solution, Quicktionary 2 Scanning Translator, and Readingpen Basic Edition—can scan printed material into a computer or handheld unit. The scanned text can be read aloud on a computer screen through the speech synthesis/screen reading system in Aspire Reader 4.0, ClassMate Reader, and Read&Write Gold.
Portable word processors aid writing; some of them are even pre-loaded with word prediction and text-to-speech software. They are lightweight and battery-powered machines that can be brought to school. Examples of which are the AlphaSmart Writer Learning Neo, Fusion, and QuickPad.
For those whose oral language skills appear to be superior to their writing skills, there is the Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Simply Speaking, ViaVoice, and MacSpeech that can help them. Aurora Suite, Co:Writer, EZ Keys, and WordQ can “predict” and assist in producing grammatically correct and topic-specific sentences and paragraphs on a word processor.
Exercise, though, remains to be the most affordable treatment. The medical journal Pediatrics found out that kids who took part in a regular physical activity program showed important enhancement of cognitive performance and brain function. The findings “demonstrate a causal effect of a physical program on executive control, and provide support for physical activity for improving childhood cognition and brain health,” according to University of Illinois professor Charles Hillman and colleagues.
“ADD is like going through life, carrying a one-man band contraption with a broken strap.” -Julia Smith-Ruetz
Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the University of California Television (UCTV)