Treating all attention issues with Ritalin is like treating all stomach aches with Pepto-Bismol
Attention issues in children are the most common mental health diagnosis for children today. And according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 10 children have a diagnosis of ADHD.
And though doctors most commonly prescribe Ritalin as the treatment of choice, many parents often find that Ritalin alone doesn’t achieve the results they expected. Despite being on various psychotropic drugs ranging from Ritalin to Haldol (a hard hitting drug with serious side effects), they’re still struggling with children who act out in class, or are failing because they’re busy doing everything but paying attention in class.
What your doctor won't tell you about ADHD
Most doctors respond by increasing the dose of Ritalin, or by prescribing another drug instead of or in addition to the original one. But there’s a simple explanation for why this happens, and this is it: no one drug can treat ADD since attention issues are due to numerous causes – some of which are very different from each other.
Treating attention issues with a one-size fits all approach is like treating every stomach ache with Pepto-Bismol. You could try it, but you might not always be too happy with the results. In order to help your child overcome their attention issues, you need to know exactly what the cause of their inability to pay attention stems from, so that an effective plan can be implemented to treat it.
Questions you should ask when considering your child’s attention issues:
Children with attention issues can’t be lumped together in one pile. Answer the questions below in order to get an understanding of what factors influence your child’s attention issues:
1) Does your child often appear tired in class, especially when they have to sit still?
2) Do they seem to fidget and squirm a lot, as if they’re moving around to stay awake?
3) Do they tend to miss the beginning of directions or discussions in school?
4) Does your child have problems with short-term memory?
5) Do they mess up when trying to remember details?
6) Do they get bogged down in the details, sometimes unable to see the big picture?
7) Do they seem to be uninterested in what they learn in school, no matter what they subject?
8) Do they seem too reliant on memorization, to the point of not understanding what they’re learning?
9) Do they complain of being bored in school?
10) Do they tend to start doing difficult tasks without planning out how to do them beforehand?
11) Do they have trouble being satisfied?
These are just some of the questions that can help you as a parent understand what specific attention issues are causing your child to have trouble in school and at home.
I’ll be releasing a podcast for my list that will explain the causes of attention in more detail. I’ll also be giving worksheets that wil help you identify the specific issue preventing your child from paying attention, along with a specific plan in order to help your child pay attention in school and at home.
It’s all free for those on my list, so if you want it, sign up here.