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Heidi LPC
Heidi LPC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 278
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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My 12 yr old son was diagnosed with inattentive ADD. For a

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My 12 yr old son was diagnosed with inattentive ADD.
For a month now he's on a 504 plan in school and it hasn't been working for him.
I am very skeptical about meds for him. I really don't want to give him meds because I think they might mess him up long term. If he does take meds, will he have to take them for the rest of his life? I'm really worried. Could you give me some advice on this please?

Heidi LPC :

Good morning! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed psychotherapist, Child Development Center Director and former teacher. I hope to be of some assistance to you here today!

Heidi LPC :

Brain structure has been researched in kids with both ADD and ADHD, and have been found to have physical differences. Here is some quick info on that: The brain of a child who has ADHD may be different from child who does not have this disorder. In this Health Scout article, a study was cited where it was found that a part of the brain called the ventral striatum was smaller in children with ADHD than those children who do not have this disorder. The study, which was published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, concludes that this brain anomaly may be associated with symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivenessin children having ADHD.


 


The neurology of ADHD is a fascinating topic and they are finding out new things all the time. In this Psychiatric Times report, you can read the details about high resolution MRI studies where they examine the ADHD brain structure. It seems that increases in the volume of gray matter in large areas of the brain such as the posterior temporal and inferior parietal cortices of children with ADHD may also play a part in symptoms such as inattention and impulse control.

Heidi LPC :

There are basically two ways to treat any symptom of ADD/ADHD: through the use of medications or through behavioral means. A combination of both has been found to be the most effective in many kids, and simply because of the difference in physical brain matter.

Heidi LPC :

In many cases, the medication is useful in small doses to help the brain calm down the firing of circuits, so to speak. Kids don't have the means to know how to self-soothe their minds with things like meditation, and such, so this is the piece of the equation that can assist in slowing these physical functions so that the behavioral education can be more effective.

Heidi LPC :

Not to say that it wouldn't be a great idea to try a yoga class or some progressive muscle relaxation exercises with him to begin to learn how to self-regulate his mind, but this might be something you'd like to consider later on.

Heidi LPC :

I am attaching a link that has some great advice for parents on working with and helping a child with attention issues: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_parenting_strategies.htm I absolutely love helpguide.org and use it with families quite frequently.

Customer:

After he learned that he had this disorder, I could see that he was depressed. How could i help him with that?

Heidi LPC :

Nothing is permanent with ADD treatment; you might try a variety of approaches to help him in the next couple of years until you find something that works. As far as his reaction, your mood and attitude towards it will have a huge effect on how he sees himself. Validate that although it can be challenging to overcome obstacles in life, that many, MANY important figures in history had similar issues and went on to do great things! This isn't a death sentence; it is identification that his learning style is a bit unique and that makes HIM unique!

Customer:

Thank you very much for your advice!!!

Heidi LPC :

Absolutely! Happy to help! I wish you all the best as you travel this road--- trust me, it will all work out just fine!

Heidi LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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