What does an ADHD therapist do?
An ADHD therapist might be able to help if you or your child have been diagnosed with ADHD. Therapy aims to help you or your child change behavior and disruptive patterns. The right ADHD therapist will help teach you or your child effective coping techniques in order to reduce the behavior that often leads to disruptions at school or work. Some ADHD therapies focus on learning organizational strategies, while other therapies spend more time working to eliminate disruptive patterns that lead to trouble during the day or difficulty making friends.
If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, your doctor may recommend therapy to both you and your child. This is so that you can also learn positive behavior techniques that will help your child continue treatment and learning at home. If your doctor does recommend therapy to both you and your child, your therapist will help you replace behaviors that do not work with effective coping methods. You will also learn how to use positive reinforcement, as well as how to enforce consequences when your child does not comply with directives. Therapy often results in better child behavior, a decrease in tantrums, better communication, and overall reduced stress around the house.
If you think you or your child would benefit from working with an ADHD therapist but you are not sure if it is the right fit for you, then it might be time to speak with your doctor. He or she can help you to identify any symptoms you or your child are experiencing and point you in the direction of the correct form of treatment.
In addition to therapy, medication and school accommodations are also ways to treat ADHD.
These forms of treatment help a child who is having difficulty staying on task, having trouble keeping still, prone to moving during inappropriate times, and/or is prone to acting without much thought.
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.”
Medication is added as part of the treatment plan under the advisement of a doctor. Some children and adults will do well without medication, because therapy alone makes enough of a difference at school, home, or both. Others benefit from both therapy and medication to manage and alleviate symptoms. Both stimulants and non stimulants are FDA approved medications to treat ADHD. Stimulants are more common and tend to work more quickly than non stimulants. However, both can be used to alleviate symptoms.
Because ADHD can cause difficulty sitting still, trouble paying attention, and/or difficulty controlling impulses, a child with ADHD may struggle to do well in a classroom environment. If your child struggles in his or her classroom environment, you may want to talk with your child’s school and/or teacher. You can ask the school to spend extra time ensuring your child understands each assignment, to make extra effort to continuously give positive reinforcement, to limit the length of assignments, to make room for movement or exercise when possible during the day and in between tasks, and/or to reduce distractions in your child’s learning environment. Always contact your doctor about school accommodations that might be right for you or your family.
In addition, it is possible to include some ADHD treatment at home. For example, it can be helpful to create a daily routine that helps you or your child stay organized, to clearly define tasks, chores, and expectations, to use a planner or calendar for assignments and homework, to enforce positive behavior regularly, to limit distractions, and to be clear when directing your child.
Finally, it is important to note that many children and adults exhibit the signs and symptoms of ADHD at different points in their lives. However, those diagnosed with ADHD exhibit severe symptoms that last for long periods of time and occur regularly.
If you think you or your child are showing symptoms of ADHD and would benefit from work with an ADHD therapist, then you may want to contact one of our professional therapists her at Cherry Hill Counseling. There are many options for treatment that often produce great results in alleviating symptoms.
- 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.
- ADHD Behavioral Treatment. In Child Mind Institute. Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/behavioral-treatments-kids-adhd/.