Just what are the problems parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) are most likely to face? A new survey reveals interesting findings.
by Wayne Kalyn
A new survey gauging parents’ attitudes and opinions about raising children with attention deficit disorder hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) underscores the challenges that parents like you face every day.
Commissioned by Noven Pharmaceuticals, in collaboration with ADDitude magazine*, the survey polled more than 1,000 parents and caregivers on a range of topics. Some of the highlights include:
Treatment and Medication
**Nearly all children who take medication do so during the school day. Sixty-one percent of parents whose children take medication allow it to lapse beyond the school day.
**Almost 40 percent of parents believe their children can benefit from more flexible medication options, ones that provide extended control during the week and shorter control on the weekends.
**More than half of parents whose children take medication are reluctant to administer it. About 34 percent of parents who are treating their child with medication say that the late-day side effects are worrying.
Challenges of Children With ADD/ADHD
**More than one-third of parents find weekday activities and events -- including after-school activities -- difficult to manage, and 27 percent have difficulty managing family or social events on weekends.
**Homework time was the most difficult time for parents to manage their child’s ADD/ADHD symptoms when the child was not taking medication.
Parent Frustrations and Discipline Strategies
**The majority of parents say that they yell at and criticize their children more than they would like.
**The three most common behaviors exhibited during difficult times when children are not taking medication are an inability to listen, difficulty finishing schoolwork or chores, and a spike in defiant or oppositional behavior.
“This survey underscores the difficulty parents have in coping with the after-school and weekend challenges caused by their child’s behaviors, and it confirms the need for more flexible medication options,” says Patricia Quinn, M.D., a developmental pediatrician in Washington, D.C., and a well-known expert and author of more than 20 books on the topic of ADD/ADHD.
“Parents need to know about all medication options that are currently available,” adds Dr. Quinn. “One option that works during the school day and continues through the after-school homework period is Daytrana, a methylphenidate transdermal patch. With Daytrana, parents have the option of removing the patch when the child arrives home after school. The medication will remain effective for two to three hours after patch removal, covering the homework period but wearing off by early evening.
“This option gives parents greater flexibility for addressing symptoms for shorter school days and variable weekend schedules,” says Quinn.
*Full disclosure: ADDitude acted as a consultant on the creation of this survey.