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Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists | Orange County Psychiatry
We are all stressed with the uncertainty of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19). It may be incumbent upon a parent to change how they work with their children who may have ADHD. Pacific Neuropsychiatric Specialists, the leading ADHD Psychiatrist in Orange County, California is examining how ADHD is treated during Coronavirus.
First, let’s take a clinical look at what ADHD is.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is typically exhibited by someone with ADD who also exhibits hyperactivity and or impulsive behavior. As Child Psychiatrists we often see children with a tremendous amount of energy, they are constantly moving, fidgeting, or interruptive. “Classic” ADHD may exhibit both ADD and ADHD behavior. Common signs are:
• Answers before someone is done talking (constantly interrupts)
• Does not wait patiently
• Talks non stop
• Taps, fidgets, and squirms
• Moves to another activity at an inappropriate time
• Runs or climbs outside of a play situation
• Does not play well alone or quietly
• Always “moving”
How is ADHD treated?
First, as child psychiatrists and an ADHD psychiatrist it is important to make sure we perform an accurate diagnosis. It is common for people to be diagnosed with ADHD, when there may be similar symptoms to a completely different problem. Some also feel guilt, shame, or embarrassment about being either diagnosed with ADHD (counseling will provide help). Frustration may be even more apparent after a diagnosis. It is imperative we as psychiatrists understand the medical history and do a comprehensive assessment, there will be a screening for learning disabilities.
If you go to a psychologist, counselor, or therapist you may receive numerous counseling sessions. These professionals can not prescribe medication, a psychiatrist can. If you are 100% committed to not utilizing medication, that may be the route you want to go, however, medication is a very effective tool and counseling alone may not give you the desired results.
ADHD is most commonly treated with counseling and medication. In 1999, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) published results of a study that found that medication alone or a combination of medication and behavioral counseling were both more effective ADHD treatments than counseling alone. The study also found that combined treatment was usually more effective in reducing anxiety, improving school performance and supporting the parent-child relationship, and also required lower medication doses than the medication-only approach.
Some treatments will work well with one child and not with another. Physicians usually try different medications and dosages until the child’s symptoms improve. Parents should be attentive to their child’s response to treatment and work with the prescribing physician to find the right medication and dosage.
As much as 80% of children who have ADHD will need medication as teenagers and 50% may need to continue medication into adulthood.
Dealing with ADHD during Coronavirus
Observing parent behavior we see many offering “brain breaks”, meaning letting their kids utilize social media, tv, or other “mindless” activities, this may actually create social anxiety. The reality is children need behavior management to sustain motivation and attention. This may be done through engaging them on a personal level and asking them to journal or discuss what is most challenging to them. One of the most important factors here is picking the right time and place to remove distractions and engage them.
It is important to allow kids to use electronics for fun, but only if they have completed academic tasks. You may need to develop techniques or tools to monitor your student’s performance on a consistent basis. Like all goals (remember SMART – Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time frame) it is important to use time management strategies, which may include dividing work into small pieces, clearly explaining what is expected of them, how they will achieve their goals, and what you will be monitoring their progress. We see kindness and rewards work best, as compared to, negative reinforcement or punishment.
During the Coronavirus pandemic it is crucial you understand how you interact with a child with ADHD. We recommend you recognize their efforts for being on-task and getting work done – noting their accomplishments. And, if they fail, remember to come from a place of love, because they may not truly understand the “new normal” (it’s hard enough for adults to understand, as well). It is essential not to micromanage a child with ADHD, but give them opportunities to verbalize, work through, and achieve shared goals.
If you are looking for an ADHD Psychiatrist near me, look no further than PNSOC.com. Our team of medical providers is happy to assist you and can do so in English, Spanish, Gujarati, and in February 2020 we will be adding Russian and Arabic.
What Is ADHD? Symptoms? Treatment? Psychiatrist Dr Alva talks about inattentive ADHD and hyperactive