When we were in the NICU one of the first things we heard were the things our son would be at risk for. One of them was ADHD.
I was told that there are three types of ADHD. However, I recently read that there are six types of ADHD. You can learn about them and some common treatments here.
Our son has been diagnosed with ADHD - inattentive type.
There are many articles that on research about prematurity and risks of ADHD.
This article on Preemies at Increased Risk of ADHD explains it best.
Another good read is ADHD in Children Born Premature this gives you excerpts from chapters and studies on preemie behavior.
So what do you do if your preemie has ADHD? Do you put your child on medication or not? Well...this of course is a personal decision...you have to do what is best for your child.
I can tell you my own personal opinion. As a mom of a former preemie with an ADHD child, I am not a fan of medication at this time. I just can't find enough information or get solid answers on the long term side effects of stimulant or non-stimulant medications used on children, especially while the brain is still growing.
For right now we have chosen not to use ADHD medication because of the reasons listed above and because our son hasn't been eating orally for that long and I don't want to mess with his appetite, thankfully the specialists we consult with all agree.
This information on Alternative ADHD Treatments is enough for us to try alternative methods for my sons ADHD. From sensory diets, vitamins to nutrition, even herbal supplements, before we consider going on prescription medication . Neurofeedback is also another althernative method to ADHD that I hear helps alot of kids.
In the future when my son is older I may consider medication for him but for now its not for us. That being said, I do know many children on medication that do very well, so some kids just DO need medication and they work great for them. Its truly all trial and error.
Do whats it best for your child, talk to your neurologist, psychiatrist or developmental pediatrician and as always use your mummy tummy (gut instinct).
update: 10/15: I'm now exploring medication for my son's attention now that he is 14 altho I am told its more the autism then ADHD.... he seems to need something to take the edge off.
update: 1/17: We never tried the ADHD meds because we felt if we could get his anxiety in control he's just a different kid. So we went on Celexa, for a while. with not much improvement. Then tried Zoloft both just caused more agitation for him and aggression. I was recently told that many kids with Autism don't respond well to SSRI's some do opposite effects for Autism B. Prozac seems to be the med our NEW doctor has had some luck with. We have decided to wean off all meds give him a month or two rest and start with something new. Maybe another SSRI like Prozac or Respiradol. Still same issue. Taking the edge off seems to be key.