How will ADHD therapy help me?
If someone in your family has been diagnosed with ADHD, then it’s possible you want to know whether ADHD therapy will be helpful.
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.”
ADHD is often characterized by hyperactivity, impulsivity, or the inability to stay focused. In other words, a child or an individual diagnosed with ADHD might have difficulty keeping on task, may be likely to fidget and move during inappropriate times, and/or might be prone to acting without thought.
Many children and even adults can exhibit the signs and symptoms of ADHD at different points growing up. However, those who are eventually diagnosed with ADHD will exhibit symptoms that are severe, last for long periods of time, occur regularly, and/or impact the individual’s ability to effectively handle daily tasks and activities.
If you think you or your child are exhibiting the signs of ADHD and would benefit from ADHD treatment, then it might be the right time to request an evaluation through one of our professional therapists. With an accurate diagnosis, there are many options for treatment that often produce great results in alleviating symptoms.
Three common types of ADHD treatment include:
- ADHD therapy
- Accommodations at school
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 ADHD therapy?
The goal of behavior therapy is helping an individual change his or her behavior. This type of therapy is designed to teach positive behaviors and coping techniques in an effort to minimize or reduce behavior that lead to disruptions at school and work or in close relationships. Often, individuals are taught skills they can use to control and manage symptoms. Some therapies focus on organization strategies, while others focus on eliminating disruptive patterns and behaviors that lead to trouble or difficulty making friends.
ADHD therapy is sometimes recommended to both a child and his or her parents, so that the parents also learn techniques and are available to assist the child for at-home treatment. The therapist will help both the parent(s) and/or child replace behaviors that do not work or lead to disruptions. This type of therapy between both the child and parent(s) work to teach parents how to use positive reinforcement effectively, as well as enforce consistent consequences if and when a child does not comply. Effective therapy can often result in better child behavior, fewer tantrums, better communication and family interaction, and reduced stress at home and school.
When is medication incorporated?
Medication is added as part of the treatment plan under the advisement of a doctor. Some children and adults do well without medication, because therapy alone makes enough of a difference to enable greater success in school and at home. Others benefit from both therapy and medication as medication can be another effective way to manage the symptoms of ADHD. The FDA approved medications to treat ADHD include both stimulants and non stimulants.
The most common form of medication for ADHD treatment is a stimulant. Stimulants tend to work more quickly than non stimulants for more immediate alleviation of symptoms. However, both stimulants and non stimulants can be used to reduce disruptive behavior. It is possible that more than one medication may be needed or explored, so it is important that all parties involved work together to find the best form of treatment.
Should I talk to my child’s school?
ADHD can cause difficulty sitting still, trouble paying attention, and/or difficulty controlling impulses. Because of this, a child may have difficulty doing well in a classroom environment. It may be helpful to talk with your school if your child suffers from ADHD, as you can provide your school with the following tips:
- Spend a few extra minutes to ensure the child understands what is being asked of an assignment.
- Make an effort to give positive reinforcement often.
- Reduce the length of assignments, such as readings or writings, when possible.
- Allow for movement during the school day whenever possible.
- Reduce distractions in the classroom or learning environment.
Finally, if parents or individuals want to incorporate ADHD treatment at home, the following tips help create positive behaviors during the day:
- Create a routine and get organized.
- Use checklists to clearly define chores.
- Use a planner to help with remembering assignments and homework.
- Create a rewards chart to enforce positive behavior.
- 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 ADHD, there are many options available for treatment. Work with 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.
- ADHD Behavioral Treatment. In Child Mind Institute. Retrieved from https://childmind.org/article/behavioral-treatments-kids-adhd/.