Posted on June 13, 2012 at 2:38 PM
Thursday, Jun 14 at 9:09 AM
SAN ANTONIO -- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a difficult behavioral problem. Often, children show aggressive tendencies. Now San Antonio doctors are trying a new approach to treating the issue.
Thirteen-year-old Tayler Marek of San Antonio is diagnosed with ADHD. His aggressive behavior has been difficult for his parents to handle. For 10 to 20 percent of children with the disorder, outbursts can be disruptive.
“They’re so over-reactive that they’re hitting people, hitting themselves, destroying objects,” explained UT Medicine child psychiatrist, Dr. Steven Pliszka. “And this is often in response to very minor frustrations.”
The problem is particularly acute in a school setting, where aggressive fits can get a child kicked out of the classroom.
Now at Clarity Child Guidance Center in San Antonio, UT Medicine doctors are trying a new approach to treating the problem.
Patients start on front line stimulant medications like Adderall, Concerta or Metadate. They take part in weekly family behavioral therapy.
If that doesn’t ease the aggression, doctors prescribe Risperdal or Valproate, a mood stabilizer and a seizure drug often prescribed for bipolar disorder.
Marek’s family has noticed a difference in his behavior after the study. They say it’s changed him for the better.
“It helped me because I don’t talk back as much or get mad at my parents as I used to do,” the middle school student said.
Doctors say South Texas families can benefit from this federally funded study to combat a common problem.
“They get a small stipend for coming to the clinic,” Pliszka stated. “We see people every week. They get really skilled therapists working with them.”
So far, 40 local children have been part of the study so.
UT Medicine is still recruiting girls and boys ages six to 12 with ADHD and aggression for the study. For more information on the ADHD aggression study, call UT Medicine at (210) 567-0136.