Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder And The Prescription A Psychostimulant Drug

1664 words - 7 pages

‘Boisterous’, ‘energetic’, and ‘spontaneous’ were once adjectives used to describe the behaviour of normal, healthy children. These days, similar behaviours might be labeled ‘problematic’, ‘hyperactive’, and ‘uncontrollable’, often resulting in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the prescription of a psychostimulant drug (Lardizabal, 2012). According to the DMS-V, ADHD is described as a combination of “inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Due to the nature of the symptoms, ADHD can significantly hinder a child’s ability to succeed in a school setting, both academically and socially, which could have dire implications for their future (Faraone & Biederman, 2001). With over ten million children in the United States currently diagnosed with the disorder, ADHD has been labeled an epidemic and this has lead to a significant increase in the amount of research devoted to determining its cause and treatment (Stolzer, 2007). The increased attention has also attracted a great deal of controversy, with medical experts questioning the safety of administering psychostimulant drugs to children. Although the evidence is often contradictory, due to an increase in the documentation of the adverse side effects in children caused by psychostimulant medication, as well as an increase in the evidence of nonpharmacological treatments successfully reducing the symptoms of ADHD, many parents have become reluctant in allowing their children to take the prescribed drugs (Isaacs, Watkins, Hodgens, & Zachor, 2002). This movement has sparked an increase in the amount of parents questioning their own level of responsibility in the management of symptoms of their child’s disorder. In this essay, I will argue that ADHD is not the result of poor parenting, however, parents are obligated to assume a certain level of proactivity with regards to researching and treating their child’s disorder, as minimising their child’s discomfort and suffering should be the paramount goal of all caregivers. I will first address the increasing evidence that suggests many children with ADHD are sensitive to certain foods, which can negatively impact their behaviour (Schnoll, Burshteyn, & Cea-Aravena, 2003). As parents are generally responsible for their child’s nutrition, it is vital that they ensure their child receives a suitable diet. Additionally, parents are also responsible for minimising the impact ADHD could potentially have on their child’s future, for which sessions of behavioural therapy are said to be beneficial (Halperin & Healey, 2011). Current research suggests a holistic approach to treatment has the greatest success rate when dealing with children with ADHD, so it is important that parents actively seek nonpharmacological therapy, not only for their child, but also for the themselves in the form of ‘parent training’ [CITE]. Poor parenting is not the cause of a child’s ADHD, but failure to be...

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