What are my options for ADHD treatment?
If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, then you may be wondering what ADHD treatment is right for you. There are many options for treatment, so it may help to consult with one of our professional therapists to determine what forms of treatment may be most helpful for you or your child.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a brain disorder marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.”
It may be characterized as an inability to pay attention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity. This means that one with ADHD might have increased difficulty staying focused or on task, might be inclined to fidget and move regularly or during inappropriate times, and/or may act quickly and without much thought.
Many people exhibit the signs of ADHD at different points in their lives, however for those with ADHD the signs are often more severe, last for longer periods of time, occur more often, and affect one’s ability to appropriately handle everyday situations such as work or school.
If you think you or your child may have ADHD, then talk with one of our counselors, as there are options for treatment that often produce great results. Three particularly common types of ADHD treatment include:
- Behavior therapy
- School accommodations
According to an article from the CDC, “for children 6 years of age and older, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends both behavior therapy and medication as good options, preferably both together. For young children (under 6 years of age) with ADHD, behavior therapy is recommended as the first line of treatment, before medication is tried.”
What is behavior therapy?
For many, ADHD affects not only one’s behavior at school or at work, but also one’s behavior with close family and friends. The goal of behavior therapy is to help a person change his or her behavior. This type of therapy is centered around learning positive behaviors and coping techniques that will minimize or reduce the behavior that leads to disruptions at school and work or in close relationships.
Behavior therapy might be recommended to both a child and his or her parents, so that the parents can also learn proper techniques and assist the child in treatment at home. The therapist will help both parent and/or child learn to replace behaviors that do not work or ultimately lead to disruptions during the day.
When is medication incorporated into ADHD treatment?
Medication is incorporated into treatment under the advisement of a doctor. It can be an effective way to manage the symptoms of ADHD, particularly when the symptoms cause disruptions in one’s everyday life. The FDA approved medications to treat ADHD include both stimulants and non stimulants.
Stimulants are the most common form of medication for ADHD treatment and tend to work more quickly than non stimulants. However, both stimulants and non stimulants can be used to reduce disruptive behavior caused by ADHD. More than one medication may need to be tried, so it is important that all parties involved work together to find the best form of treatment for a person with ADHD.
Would I need to talk to my child’s school as well?
The symptoms of ADHD can include difficulty sitting still, trouble paying attention, and/or difficulty controlling impulses. This can lead to difficulty doing well in a classroom environment as the child may appear to not pay attention, not follow through on instructions or assignments, or have problems keeping materials and belongings in order. It may be helpful to talk with your school if your child suffers from ADHD, as you can provide your child’s teacher with the following tips:
- Make sure the child understands clearly what is being asked of an assignment.
- Give positive reinforcement often.
- Limit lengthy assignments, such as readings or writings, and encourage shorter assignments.
- Incorporate movement and exercise into the school day whenever possible.
- Create a communicative relationship with the child and his or her parents.
- Reduce any distractions in the classroom or learning environment.
- Seek advisement from a school psychologist when possible and if necessary.
Finally, for parents or individuals wanting to incorporate additional ADHD treatment at home, then the following tips are included to help create positive behaviors throughout the day:
- Create a routine and get organized.
- Limit choices and manage distractions around the house.
- Be clear and very specific when directing your child.
- Create positive opportunities and use positive reinforcements.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, there are many options available for treatment. Contact your doctor as soon as possible to get started.
Treatment ADHD. In Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/treatment.html.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. In National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml.