ADHD, Medication or Mediation

A diagnosis of ADD or ADHD by a medical professional, usually results in a child or adolescent getting a hefty dose of medication.

According to the United Mission Coalition for Children and Family, or UMUCCF, that could be the worst thing to happen.

What is ADD/ADHD

The terms ADD and ADHD refer to Attention Deficit Disorder, or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder – both defined as brain disorders marked by “an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development”.

This pattern, defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), describes a fairly recognizable set of sometimes escalating behaviors which may alternate between lack of attention, or seeming indifference, and periods of manic activity during which victims are unable to control their impulses.

How Common Is It?

According to the American Psychiatric Association, 5 percent of America’s children have ADHD. This figure can be found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, which defines and calibrates every mental aberration from toxoplasmosis/schizophrenia to Alzheimer’s.

Other studies put the rate even higher, and indicate that it might also be increasing. For example, a 1997-2006 study from the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, put the rate at 3 percent, as opposed to the above 5 percent, measured from 2003 to 2011.

The rate also varies widely from state to state, suggesting an underlying diagnostic/reporting or environmental impetus. For example, the all-time rate for ADHD diagnosis during 2011-2012 was more than 13 percent in a swath from the Gulf States to North and South Virginia, and including Iowa.

The same states recur on a map of recently diagnosed cases of ADHD, reinforcing the idea that the cause may be environmental, but data is lacking for a definitive conclusion.

Is It ADHD or Just Immaturity

Kids will be kids. Since time immemorial, these youngest members of the human species have shared several traits, usually outgrown by the age of 25 or perhaps 30.

These include an inability to sit still when bored –which may persist into old age; a tendency to forget coats, books, appointments and chores (another potential post-65 habit); and an inability to resist the temptation to pet someone else’s dog (or cat, or rabbit, or lizard, or even tarantula). This can also persist past 65, but none of these behaviors is an indication of a brain disorder.

When children consistently forget, can’t focus on the task at hand, or fidget even during interesting moments in life, the problem may be ADHD.

Mediation or Medication

Doctors are busy people, and a fidgety 7-year-old may prompt a hasty (and sometimes inaccurate) diagnosis of attention deficit.

The next step, in the minds of many pharmaceutically-focused doctors, is to prescribe a pill. This runs contrary to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines, which suggest behavior therapy first. But there is a certain intuitive logic in prescribing a pill for a pill, and the medications currently available work well.

More relevant, busy parents may not always have the option of delivering their child for behavioral therapy weekly, or participating in some portion of that therapy to reinforce behavior-response recommendations.

Finally, therapy is expensive – certainly more expensive than even the priciest pharmaceutical. Also, therapists may vary in their ability to change ADHD behaviors for the better.

Medications may also vary in their effectiveness, of course, but it’s easier to change a prescription than it is a therapist, and this is no doubt one of the best reasons why behavioral therapy runs a distant second to chemically mediated behavioral modification.

The Best ADHD Medications

One of the most reputable online medical resources recommends starting youngsters on a regimen of lowdose of stimulants like Concerta, Metadate, or Ritalin.

Here again, a stimulant may seem counter-intuitive, but in fact stimulants act like “brakes” in the ADHD brain. Parents who allow their children to sip coffee have often noticed this unexpected effect.

For youngsters who don’t react well to stimulants, doctors may prescribe such “second generation” behavioral modification drugs as Atomoxetine (a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, or SNRI), Kapvay, or Intuniv, both alpha-2A-adrenoceptor agonists.

Finally, antidepressants may help children who have ADHD and symptoms like anxiety or insomnia, though caution is urged.

Family Pets & Teaching Children About Responsibility

family pet

If you don’t already have a family pet, your child has most likely expressed interest in having one. While an animal companion can be a perfect addition to any family, you must make sure the timing is right. Additionally, many parents allow a child to select a pet, with hopes of teaching responsibility, yet it’s still important to add a pet to your home only if you have the time and resources.

When is it the Right Time to Introduce a Pet?

 

Although the look on your child’s face, when he or she sees a cat or dog, may be priceless, you shouldn’t base a major family decision on “wants” alone. If you are a busy family, like many families, and aren’t home for the majority of the day, you should be careful about the type of animal you choose. While many families have a desire for dogs and cats, they need more attention throughout the day than animals like goldfish or hamsters.

 

While it’s not fair to call any animal a “starter” pet, there are some animals that may be easier to care for and are more suitable for younger children. Although some experts argue that no child, under the age of five, should be responsible for a pet, others agree that small animals like goldfish are perfect animal companions to start teaching responsibility.

 

If you already have dogs or cats in your home, it’s never too early to teach your child how to care for an animal. If you have younger children, never leave your child unattended with your beloved car or dog as a biting incident may occur. Younger children may not always know what’s appropriate or respectful behavior and it’s natural, for even the nicest of pets, to react negatively to pulling of fur or tails.

What Pets Can Teach Your Child

 

Whether your family has an aquarium full of fish, a parakeet, a guinea pig or a dog, your child can learn how to be respectful and responsible. By allowing your child to be part of the daily routine of feeding, watering, exercising, and cleaning up after the pet, he or she will understand that caring for a pet is more work than just having some fun when he or she wants.

 

In addition to teaching about being responsible for “life essentials” like food, family pets may also teach your child:

 

  • Compassion: Children of all ages should learn about and be reminded of compassion. Caring for a family pet allows children to look beyond themselves and focusing on the needs and well-being of the pet.
  • Self-Esteem: When children have responsibilities, their self-esteem can blossom. Knowing that they are excelling at feeding the cat, walking the dog, or cleaning out the gerbil’s cage, can encourage them to continue to take pride in what they do.

 

  • Get Active: Living and caring for an animal is a perfect way to get active. Encourage children to spend more time with the family pet than watching tv or engaging in “screen time”. Whether they’re walking the dog around the block or tossing a cat toy around the living room, your child is getting active.

 

 

  • Learning About Loss: Anyone who has ever had a pet knows how difficult it is to lose a beloved animal. While it’s never easy to see your child in pain, but he or she will also learn how to remember the good memories and how to cope with a significant loss.

 

 

Choose a family pet that everyone can enjoy and engage in responsibility. If your child really wants a snake, but you are terrified, wait until you know they are old enough to take for all responsibilities.

 

New York City and New Jersey: Which is Safer for Your Family?


New York City is one of the most popular cities in the world. It has even been referred to as the capital of the world. It is known for the bright lights, Empire State building (and song), the One World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty and fast paced lifestyle of its residents. New Jersey lies just across the Hudson River and it is known as the Garden State and second wealthiest in the country. Many people argue between New York City and New Jersey, and the debates have been going on for years, long before the 1998 land dispute where New Jersey won about 90% of Ellis Island. You may be considering either of these locations to raise a family; however the common debate has always been which is better: New York City or New Jersey, and in recent times, this has focused more on which is safer.

New York City vs. New Jersey

New Jersey has for many years been regarded as a hotbed for crime in the country. With towns such as Camden – which was hailed by Mail Online in 2012 as the most dangerous in America, you cannot be surprised that many people think so too. New York City crime on the other hand reminds you of places like Brooklyn where the crime rate stays high, but some reports rate the crime in areas of New Jersey such as Jersey City to be a lot lower than that.

Crime Rates

Jersey City crime rate holds at 1,670 violent crimes and 4,836 property related crimes per annum in a population of 257,342. The crime ratio holds at 6.49 violent crimes per 1000 residents and 18.79 property related crimes per 1000 resident making the probability of being a victim in a crime in New Jersey at a solid 1 in 347. The probability of being a victim in a crime in New York City is a 1 in 55 ratio. This is because there is a reported rate of 77,372 violent crimes per annum in New York City in a population of 19,651,127 people.

Driving While Intoxicated Offences

There are over 90,000 Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrests made in the city of New York every year. This factor makes the city of New York a very dangerous place to drive in. In New Jersey a full 27 percent of all road deaths involve a DWI offence. According to Anthony J. Vecchio, “One of the greatest privileges you can have as a New Jersey citizen is the ability to drive. When you are charged with a DWI or traffic violation at a traffic stop or after being pulled over, however, your days behind the wheel may be numbered”.

Being Prepared

When living in cities that are high in crime, it is important to make your personal safety your own responsibility. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid placing yourself in dangerous situations. It is also important to be prepared in your thinking and acting in order to become an active defender and not a passive victim.

Conclusions

Comparing both New York City and New Jersey, one can see a very interesting resemblance. Both coastal cities are fast paced and play host to thousands of characters and people that love their city. Living in either of them is sure to be an interesting experience, with a similar set of challenges. Always being aware of your surroundings and trusting your instincts can be helpful when living in cities such as these.

Do you prefer New York or New Jersey? What measures do you take to keep your family safe?