When parents realize that their child has ADD/ADHD, they are often overwhelmed. They feel helpless, lack the necessary knowledge, and have difficulty handling the child’s ADD vis-à-vis the child’s educational institute: the teacher, the principal, etc. They have to quickly decide upon a treatment course for their child without having prior knowledge.
What kind of treatment will we choose for our child? What are the consequences of this treatment? How will it affect the child’s health? And what about our child’s quality of life?
Important Information about ADD/ADHD that Every Parent Should Know
Attention Deficit Disorder (also known as ADD/ADHD) affects about 10% of children and usually appears during childhood, mostly at the ages of 3-7. In most cases, it continues well into the teenage- years and into adulthood. ADD is a developmental disorder that leads to symptoms such as academic failure, inability to concentrate, inability to be persistent, different social behavior (sometimes abnormal to highly abnormal behavior), impulsiveness, problems with long-term memory, information overflow and distraction, etc.
The attention disorder serves as a kind of “negative engine” that leads the child to extreme behavior and development. In actuality society, the child’s family, school staff and children and their friends fail to understand and accept the different behaviors of children with attention disorders and by that they make the situation worse. The child experiences a childhood that is different from that of any other child and has to deal with unbearably difficult challenges at a young age: their wish to please their parents, their lack of self esteem, social alienation, repeated coping with failure, etc.
If you discovered that your child has continuing difficulties at school that affect the child’s normal functioning, you may need to find an alternative treatment or get a diagnosis of an attention disorder to help your child. Following is some information about the existing diagnoses for the various needs.
There are two kinds of computerized tests that are accepted by The Ministry of Education:
It is a computerized test that checks prolonged attention functions. The test evaluates the examinee’s attention functions compared to the accepted norm for his or her age.
The test is intended to assist the diagnosing doctor in choosing the right medicine. Once the various diagnosing processes were concluded, the material was collected by the doctor and a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder has been given, the doctor has to examine treatment methods. The doctor may choose the slow monitoring method or the T.O.V.A. test in order to observe the patient’s response to the medicine (usually Ritalin).
Examines the learning skills and capabilities of the child in language, memory, reading, writing, and calculus. It is conducted by a didactic examiner who specializes in learning disabilities. Following the diagnosis, the examinee receives recommendations for learning and for remedial teaching. The didactic evaluation results are valid for six years only. It is forwarded to the various education institiutes and provides recommendations for the SAT tests.
Complements the didactic diagnosis and is therefore conducted after the first. The psychological diagnosis weighs the psychological/emotional aspect in addition to the didactic abilities and is conducted by an educational psychologist or a clinical psychologist. The examiner integrates both the didactic and the psychological diagnoses, and the results are forwarded to the educational institutes to grant the examinee adjustments and complementary treatment in the various schools.
This is a special diagnosis that is conducted via a series of computerized structured questionnaires. It is conducted by a neuropsychologist who suggests psychological and behavioral interventions. This diagnostic tool identifies a non-verbal learning disability.
This is not a common diagnosis, but it is conducted if there is a suspicion of a personality disorder or a mental illness. This evaluation includes a series of psychological tests and reported questionnaires that are meant to rule out or confirm the existence of a severe mental disorder. It is performed by a psychiatrist.
ADD/ADHD can be treated using natural means, without the use of medications. However, since many choose to use various medications to treat ADD/ADHD, we specify the names of the most common medications, which are: Ritalin, Adderal, and Strattera. We stress that this information does not form a recommendation to take or to avoid taking medications to treat the disorder. We, at The Ora Golan Center, believe that there are alternative treatment methods that can assist with solving the problem.
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