Proper Treatment Necessary to Manage ADHD
Children are energetic and curious by nature. For many, attention spans are short. However, when an inappropriate lack of attention is accompanied by hyperactivity and impulsive behavior, physicians may diagnose the neurobiologic disorder of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD.
About 3-8 percent of children in the United States have this condition, says pediatrician Martin Sherman, M.D. Boys are two-and-a-half times more likely to have it than girls. As many as 75 percent of patients can continue to manifest signs and symptoms into adulthood. While some studies suggest that the condition may be inherited, there does not seem to be a consistent association with regard to race, ethnicity or socio-economic status.
However, there are some links with environmental factors, including early lead exposure, prenatal smoke and alcohol, prematurity and intrauterine growth retardation (low birth weight).
Dr. Sherman often treats patients with medication, but for those with coexisting anxiety or oppositional defiant disorder, behavioral treatment accompanies the medication. Some families try modifications to diet, exercise, herbs and biofeedback.
It s important for families to find a practitioner who is knowledgeable in all aspects of the disorder so they can develop an approach that is both successful and comfortable with their values and views, Dr. Sherman says. The risk of not treating often manifests itself later as substance abuse and other high-risk behavior.
The key is to work with the child s strengths and bypass their weaknesses as much as possible.
Focus on ADHD
Martin J. Sherman, M.D.
Lee Physician Group
4751 S. Cleveland Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33907