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Respond by providing at least two contributions for improving or including  in their Parent Guide and at least two things that you like about their  guide.  NOTE: Positive comment                                                        Main Discussion   ADHD Parent Guide Attention-deficit/hyperactivity  disorder (ADHD) is defined as a chronic neurological disorder  characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or  hyperactivity/impulsivity. In 2016, it is estimated that 6.1 million or  9.4% of children had a diagnosis of ADHD (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d.). A diagnosis  of ADHD can be both confusing and welcomed. Confusing because the  details of the diagnosis are unknown but welcomed because the parents  and child finally have a “why” for the child’s difficulties.  This  parent guide will discuss the pathophysiolology, diagnosing,  signs/symptoms, treatment options, and other aspects involved in an ADHD  diagnosis.  Pathophysiology    Many research  studies suggest ADHD may be caused by interactions between genes and  environmental or non-genetic factors. Many cases of ADHD have a genetic  origin. A child is 50% more likely to have ADHD if their parent was  diagnosed with the condition and 25% of the children with ADHD have  parents who have met the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD. Other factors  that can contribute to ADHD is substance use, low birth weight, brain  injuries and exposure to some environmental toxins. ADHD  is a result of neurotransmitter disease dysfunction, that effect  dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine has a role in a person’s ability  to learn and reinforcing trained response to various situations.  Dopamine also plays and important role in “working memory”(Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 2004). Norepinephrine effects  a person’s alertness and attention. Norepinephrine is activated by  novel and important stimuli and are quiescent during sleep. Environmental  factors of ADHD is a result of a toxin such as lead or  other nuero-toxic substances that may result in delayed development of  the child’s brain before, during or birth. Substance abuse is a very  common cause of pre- and perinatal factors that may result in  ADHD. Exposure of the fetus to alcohol is associated with a reduction in  the volume of the prefrontal and temporal cortices, the brain areas  involved in regulation of attention and control of impulsivity. (Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, 2004) Diagnosing ADHD While there is no single test to diagnosis ADHD, there are ways to obtain an accurate diagnosis. Who diagnosis ADHD? There  are many health care professionals who are qualified to diagnose ADHD.  These professionals include but are not limited to psychiatrist,  psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP), licensed master  social worker (LMSW), licensed professional counselor (LPC),  neurologist, pediatricians, and primary care physicians. If there is a  concern that a child/adolescent may have ADHD, one of these  professionals should be consulted. Who Can Provide Information? Information should be obtained from multiple sources who are able to observe the child/adolescent in different environments (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, n.d.).  This creates an ability for many aspects of the child/adolescent’s life  to be assessed as symptoms may or may not be present or the severity  may differ depending on the situation. Examples of potential sources of  information can include the child/adolescent, parents, family members,  teachers, and/or child-care providers. Assessment A  comprehensive assessment is an evaluation of the child/adolescent’s  presenting behaviors related to physical, social, environmental,  cognitive, emotional, genetic, and educational aspects of life that may  be affected by the behaviors (Johns Hopkins Medicine,  n.d.). There are multiple parts of a comprehensive assessment. First,  the psychiatric interview will entail gathering information concerning  specific behaviors and symptoms. It will also include the effects of the  behavior/symptom on the child/adolescent’s performance in the home,  school, and community environment. Second, personal and family history  will be obtained related to behavioral, emotional, and developmental  disorders to determine the possibility of genetic patterns/conditions.  Third, a complete medical history including past and present  illnesses/conditions as well as treatments will be obtained to assess  the potential effects on behavior. Fourth, lab test will be obtained to  determine/rule-out medical conditions. Fifth, tools such as  questionnaires, checklist, and rating scales will be used to assist in  identifying symptoms of ADHD. Differential Diagnosing Differential  diagnosing is used to differentiate between multiple conditions that  present with similar signs and/or symptoms. ADHD differential diagnosing  includes differentiating between age appropriate behaviors in active  children, intellectual disability, oppositional behavior, and symptoms  better accounted for by another mental disorder such as anxiety,  dissociative disorder, and personality disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Diagnostic Criteria Diagnostic  criteria are defined as a set of signs and symptoms used to identify  and determine a diagnosis. The three subtypes of ADHD are as follows:  ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type; ADHD, Predominantly  Hyperactive-Impulse Type; and ADHD, Combined Type. The following are the  diagnostic criteria for each subtype. Persistent symptoms for 6 months  or greater in 2 or more environments. The symptoms must be  developmentally inappropriate and disrupt social, academic, and/or  occupational functioning. A minimum of 6 symptoms must be present in  children 16 years of age and younger for a diagnosis of ADHD,  Inattentive Type or ADHD, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type. However, enough  symptoms of both type must be present for a diagnosis of ADHD, Combined  Type. Signs and Symptoms ADHD, Inattentive Type Inattentiveness: (Symptoms and Diagnosis of Adhd | Cdc, 2020)  Doesn’t listen when spoken to directly   Forgetful in daily activities  Difficulty organizing task and activities  Easily distracted  Reluctant to perform activities that require metal efforts for long periods of time  Does not pay attention to details  Makes careless mistakes  Often loses things  ADHD, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type Hyperactive and impulsivity:(Symptoms and Diagnosis of Adhd | Cdc, 2020)  Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat  Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly  Often talks excessively  Often has trouble waiting their turn  Often has trouble waiting their turn  Often leaves seat when expected to remain seated   Often exhibits “on the go” behavior  ADHD, Combined Type             A combination of ADHD, Inattentive Type & ADHD, Hyperactive/Impulsive Type Treatment While  there is no cure for ADHD, symptom management can be obtained.  Treatment of ADHD typically involves medication, psychotherapy, or a  combination of the two. Medication There  are many types of medications that can assist in effectively managing  the symptoms of ADHD. To begin, stimulant medication treats moderate to  severe ADHD and assist in controlling thoughts while ignoring  distractions. Examples are Adderall, Vyvanse, and Ritalin. Next,  non-stimulant medication are used when stimulant medications prove  ineffective or yield unpleasant side effects and assist with  concentration and impulse control. Examples are Strattera, Intuniv, and  Clonidine. Psychotherapy Psychotherapy  is a treatment technique used to identify and change emotions,  thoughts, and behaviors that may be inappropriate. Psychotherapy to  treat ADHD can improve time management/organization skills, reduce  impulsive behavior, improve problem solving skills, and identify/support  the use of effective coping skills. An example of psychotherapy is  cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a psychotherapy intervention  that focuses on challenging and improving behavior and negative thought  processes. My Child Has ADHD: Now What?            Do not blame yourself! While there is a genetic component to  ADHD (CHADD.org, n.d.), it is important to remember that ADHD does not  develop from poor parenting or not loving your child enough. To be sure,  the home environment can play a role in how your child will cope with  ADHD, it is not a cause. Also, educate yourself on ADHD. It is not  uncommon for parents to find that they have likely had ADHD all their  lives, as well, but never had a name for their struggles (Miller,  2018).  Concrete Steps to Help Your Child            According to the CDC (2020), parental training in behavior  management, behavioral therapy for the child, and behavioral  interventions in the classroom are good places to start outside of  medication. Some tips that the CDC (2020) recommends for parents of  children with ADHD recommend include: Limit choices  Be clear and specific when communicating with your child   Help your child plan  Use goals and praise/reward your child  Create a routine       Additionally, some parents find it helpful to join support groups or  seek professional help for themselves as a new ADHD diagnosis can cause  feelings of frustration and even depression (CHADD.org,  n.d.). These feelings, while normal, can make it more difficult to help  your child and seeking support can benefit the entire family. Conclusion Receiving  a diagnosis of ADHD for your child can be overwhelming. Taking the time  to educate yourself on the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms,  diagnostic criteria, and treatment of ADHD can help to alleviate some of  the natural anxiety/concern that occurs. Additionally, recognizing the  ways a parent can directly support their child with ADHD can help the  new diagnosis feel less scary and give the parent (and patient!) some  needed tools that can help the patient function better and with less  difficulty. While a new diagnosis of any kind can seem intimidating,  using the resources available, including your PMH-NP, can help the  family adapt to the new information more smoothly. References American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (2004). Medscape. Retrieved December 31, 2019, from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/495640_3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. (n.d.). Comprehensive Assessment. Retrieved from https://chadd.org/for-parents/comprehensive-assessment/ Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). (n.d.). Parenting A Child with ADHD. Retrieved from https://chadd.org/for-parents/overview/ Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation. Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/comprehensive-psychiatric-evaluatio Miller,  G. (2018 February 16). Parents Are Realizing They Have ADHD Once Their  Kids Are Diagnosed. Retrieved from  https://www.healthline.com/health-news/parents-realizing-they-have-adhd-once-kids-are-diagnosed#1  Symptoms and diagnosis of adhd | cdc. (2020, September 3). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/diagnosis.html

 

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