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Psycostimulant compounds are the most widely used medications used for ADHD treatment. These medications do not work by increasing stimulation of the teenager. They help the networks of nerve cells in the brain, which enables them to better communicate with each other. When administered psycostimulant medications, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Metadate, Focalin), approximately 70-80 percent of children and teens responded positively.
Normally, children and teenagers are monitored both on and off the medication. These observations are collected from parents, teachers, and coaches in order to tailor the appropriate medical dosage for the individual’s needs (CHADD).
Research shows conclusively that untreated teenagers with ADHD are at far greater risk for other problems and disorders than are those who are treated with a combination of behavioral therapy and medication (Davis, 38). There is no single test to diagnose ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation of the teenager is necessary to rule out other causes, and determine the presence of any co-existing conditions. A careful history of the child and the child’s behaviors is needed, as well as a clinical assessment of the youth’s social, academic, and emotional functioning and development level (Davis, 38).
There is no cure for ADHD. Treatment manages and controls symptoms and helps the teen build new life skills. For treatment to be effective, it must be multimodal, which means that a variety of interventions in the school and at home, as well as medication and individual counseling will most likely be required. The multimodal approach has shown great promise in research studies. Teenagers who receive medication in combination with behavioral treatment have shown significant improvement in their academic work, better overall behavior, and better relationships with their family and peers (Davis, 40).
“CHADD” The Disorder Named AD/HD. Jan. 2005. 23, Feb. 2005 http://www.chadd.org/fs/fsl.htm
Davis, Daniel L., PhD. Your Angry Child – A Guide for Parents. New York: The Haworth Press, 2004.
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