At age 4, Jeremiah Ryans routinely refused to wait in line at the water fountain at his summer day camp. Sometimes he'd get so cranky he would hit his classmates. But an alarm bell went off when he grabbed a pair of children's scissors and cut his teacher's hair.
Just a kid being a kid -- or extreme behavior that may need medical help? The answer isn't clear-cut, and it's different for every family.
"He was on the verge of being expelled from day care," remembers his mother, Mimi, of Columbia,...
If a stimulant drug doesn't work well, the doctor might recommend another type of medicine added onto it. This is called adjunctive therapy.
Treatment With ADHD Medication
The doctor will probably start your child on a small dose of ADHD medicine. The dose will be raised slowly until your child sees an effect from it. This is called titration. The goal is to improve ADHD symptoms while causing the fewest side effects.
Because every child with ADHD is different, there isn't a one-size-fits-all treatment. Therapies are specifically designed for each child. A child might take a single medication or get a combination of medicines. Some treatments combine medicines with behavioral therapies.
Non-stimulant drugs work in a different way than stimulant drugs, which is why the two types of medicines are sometimes more effective when combined. Research shows that a combination of medicines is often better than one drug alone for improving children's scores on ADHD measures such as impulsivity and hyperactivity.