Is your child demonstrating some out of control symptoms and behavior that you believe could be related to the presence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, better known as ADHD? Have you considered getting a professional opinion to explore the various treatment strategies for this unfortunately common disorder? ADHD treatment for children can involve a number of different strategies, with the most popular of these being stimulant medication. However, most doctors are hesitant to prescribe medication without also including behavioral therapy for ADHD children as part of the overall treatment strategy.
What Is Behavioral Therapy for ADHD Children?
Behavioral therapy for ADHD children usually involves private sessions between the affected child and a licensed therapist, usually a therapist who specializes in behavioral disorders in children. Also included are family sessions designed to help parents and siblings better understand ADHD and to implement certain behavioral strategies at home.
Children in behavioral therapy are given the opportunity to discuss various issues that may be bothering them, and to explain why they tend to react to these issues inappropriately. Therapists will offer alternative, and more positive behavioral responses to these issues, often role playing with the children for the purpose of better understanding and reinforcement.
Therapists will work with families to ensure the techniques that ADHD children learn in therapy are also instituted at home. Additionally, they may spend some time talking with parents and other family members about any specific needs or issues that may need to be dealt with in subsequent therapy sessions.
3 Reasons to Consider Behavior Therapy for Your ADHD Child
According to most experts on ADHD, behavior therapy, either as a sole treatment strategy or in conjunction with stimulant or non-stimulant medication, can produce an immense and positive impact on a child’s behavior, as well as on the way that behavior affects the rest of the family. If you are currently considering behavior therapy for your ADHD child, below are 3 reasons to support that decision.
1. Manage Behavior without Medication Side Effects
If you are considering behavior therapy for your ADHD child in place of medication, you might be able to effectively manage some of the problematic behavioral symptoms and avoid the uncomfortable side effects that are often caused by many of the stimulant ADHD medications. Some of these side effects include:
- Restlessness and agitation
- Sleep difficulties, often including insomnia
- Wild mood swing, including depression, anxiety and aggression
- Loss of appetite
- And many more…
2. Brush Up on Parenting Skills
Whether your child is taking ADHD medication or not, there will still be issues that you as parents will have to cope with when raising an ADHD child. Medication can help to keep some ADHD symptoms from becoming too severe, but medication does not change a child’s behavior. Behavioral therapy for ADHD children not only gives your child the opportunity to vent his/her issues and work on alternative behavioral responses, it also allows parents the opportunity to work on their parenting skills with regard to raising an ADHD child, and provides them with valuable techniques to manage ADHD behavior at home, and to improve the odds that their child will be more successful at school.
3. Behavioral Therapy Is a More Permanent Solution
The reality of ADHD medication is this: Regardless of how long a child has been taking ADHD medication—2, 5 or even 10 years—once that medication is discontinued the symptoms will soon return. Behavioral therapy offers a more permanent solution to symptom control by teaching parents and children how to respond to the various situations ADHD children will encounter.
Behavioral therapy for ADHD children is a fantastic treatment option, not just for the help it offers the affected child, but also for the parents of that child as a way to learn simple and effective behavior management solutions.