New Treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; the first non-stimulant medication available in Canada.
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News Canada, Information for Life. Sherri Dymterko: Austin is a happy healthy boy who is full of energy and like a lot of kids at this time of year, he's bursting with excitement about summer vacation, but like thousands of kids in Canada, Austin has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. Unknown Speaker: Before treatment, Austin's behavior was highly unpredictable and public outings or planning a family vacation where you are interacting with the public, they were highly stressful. I noticed, with treatment, Austin seems to be a little bit more mellow. So we are looking forward to becoming a public family and doing public things, like going on vacation, taking a plane ride. Sherri Dymterko: With the break from school, it can be tempting for families to consider taking a break from ADHD medication, but some leading experts in the field of ADHD say a summer holiday shouldn't also mean an automatic drug holiday. Dr. Kenneth Handelman is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist. Dr. Kenneth Handelman: ADHD is a challenging year round condition, not seasonal problem that occurs only during the school year. Many years ago, we thought that ADHD needed treatment only for the school years for academic learning. Now we have realized the treatment is important other aspects of life as well. Treatment during the summer can help the social learning and emotional development and that's why in most cases, treatment for ADHD is recommended all year long. Sherri Dymterko: According to Canadian ADHD Practice Guidelines released this year, giving medication continuously through weekends and holidays may enable the child to better control behavior and improve socialization and self esteem. Dr. Kenneth Handelman: For many families with children with ADHD, the summer can be a greater challenge than the structured school routines. Discontinuing medication is generally not recommended when going from a structured school routine to the unstructured summer schedule. Sherri Dymterko: ADHD is the most common neural behavioral disorder of childhood and among the most prevalent chronic health conditions affecting school age children. If left unmanaged, they can have considerable consequences for a child, families and society as a whole. It's important for parents to know there are a variety of options available to treat ADHD and to discuss them with a physician. For more information on ADHD, visit CADDAC.ca or CADDRA.ca, Sherri Dymterko reporting.