Experts agree that ADHD medication is the most effective treatment for the majority of kids.
There are a number of therapies that may also help kids manage the symptoms of ADHD.
Some kids do best with a combination of treatments.
symptoms of ADHD (also known as ADD) don’t just impact learning. They can also create difficulties in everyday life with friends and family.
So how is ADHD treated? There are a number of treatments available for
ADHD, in addition to medication. Some kids respond best to one kind of treatment. Other kids may do best with a different treatment or combination of treatments. Together with your child’s doctor, you can come up with an ADHD treatment plan that’s tailored to meet your child’s needs.
For many kids, medication is key to ADHD management. Experts largely agree that it’s the most effective form of treatment for most kids with ADHD. Medication works well for around 80 percent of the kids who take it, if the
type and dosage is carefully tailored to them. But medication may not be right for all kids and families.
For some kids, ADHD medications can have
side effects. These usually go away after a few days. If not, the prescriber will probably suggest trying a different medication to see if that will work better. Or she might recommend
changing from a stimulant to a non-stimulant, or vice versa.
It’s fairly common for kids with ADHD to
also have anxiety or
depression. For these kids, doctors may suggest some additional medication or behavioral treatment.
Watch as an expert talks about the importance of treating ADHD in children, and various ADHD treatment options.
Therapies for ADHD
Kids and families affected by ADHD often find it helpful to work with a
mental health professional. It’s important to base the type of therapy you choose on what your child and family need. Here are some options.
Behavior therapy: One of the goals of
behavior therapy is to change negative behaviors into positive ones. It often involves using a rewards system at home. This type of therapy is helpful for some kids with ADHD, and is often used along with medication.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This is a type of talk therapy. The goal of
cognitive behavioral therapy is to get kids to think about their thoughts, feelings and behavior. It’s not specifically for ADHD, but it may be helpful for some kids.
In part, CBT helps kids replace negative thoughts with ones that are more realistic and positive. It also helps kids build self-esteem, which tends to be negatively affected by ADHD.
CBT is effective for treating anxiety and depression. Anxiety and/or depression occur in about 50 percent of people with ADHD.
There are other non-medication treatment options that have some research backing. Research has shown these
alternative treatments to be somewhat helpful in relieving ADHD symptoms. These treatments and therapies include exercise, outdoor activities, omega supplements,
changes in diet.
There are also alternatives some parents try that aren’t backed by research. These include over-the-counter (OTC) supplements and
“train the brain” games. It’s important to know that OTC supplements are not regulated by law.
behavior intervention plan (BIP) might be helpful for some kids with ADHD. This plan outlines steps teachers take to stop problem behaviors at school. A BIP also explains how teachers and the school will encourage appropriate behavior.