Do you have a child who is suffering the effects of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, also called ADHD? Do you need some information on ADHD child treatment to help both your child and you family cope with these effects? ADHD is a very common condition that affects millions of children each year, and while the cause of ADHD continues to remain somewhat of a mystery to doctors and researchers, ADHD child treatment has become a lot more sophisticated in recent years. To illustrate this, in this article we will discuss ADHD child treatment in a bit more detail, including both medication therapy and child counseling.
ADHD Child Treatment
While classroom accommodations, along with community and family support can help to lessen the effects of ADHD on classroom performance and other activities, doctors believe that it is only through medication and therapy that ADHD in children can be effectively managed in most cases. Below we will take a closer look at each of these treatments separately.
Medication as an ADHD Child Treatment
Medication for ADHD child treatment can be broken down into two main categories: stimulant medication and non-stimulant medication, with the latter type typically used only after certain stimulant medications have proven ineffective or have produced undesirable and troublesome side effects.
Stimulant medications for ADHD child treatment work by balancing certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters. Doctors believe these stimulant medications can help to dramatically improve many of the most prominent symptoms of ADHD, including inattentive and impulsive behavior, as well as hyperactivity in children. Some of the medications in the stimulant category include:
- Dextroamphetamine-amphetamine. Drugs in this class include the popular drug Adderall.
- Methylphenidate. There are several brand names for this stimulant medication, including Concerta and the well-known drug Ritalin.
Because many stimulant medications can cause uncomfortable symptoms, including weight loss, sleep difficulties, including insomnia, and irritability, many doctors have turned to non-stimulant medications, including Atomoxetine, marketed under the brand name Straterra, in the treatment of childhood ADHD. The attraction of Straterra is that it does not produce the undesirable side effects of the stimulant medications, but it is still immensely effective in the treatment of ADHD symptoms. It can also help to control anxiety, which is often an unwelcome side effect of ADHD.
ADHD Child Treatment: Counseling and Therapy
Medication can be very effective in the treatment of childhood ADHD, but most doctors will usually recommend therapy along with medication for best results. This therapy can take many different forms including:
- Behavior Therapy. Behavior therapy offers behavior changing strategies and helps to control impulsivity. Therapists work with children to figure out alternate ways to act to situations—ways that are more appropriate and less intrusive.
- Psychotherapy. Also called “talk therapy,” psychotherapy helps children explain what they are feeling as a result of ADHD. This is a great tool for exploring the reasons behind these patterns of behavior and to look for solutions.
- Family Therapy. ADHD affects more than just the child with symptoms. Family therapy can help parents and siblings cope with the stress of living with and adapting to a child suffering from ADHD.
ADHD child treatment can be an enormous challenge. Families will have to learn to become more structured, perhaps even making lifestyle and dietary changes to accommodate the child with ADHD. However, this is not an unwinnable challenge. With early recognition of the signs and symptoms and proper diagnosis by a qualified physician, medication, counseling and therapy are normally quite effective in controlling the negative behavior and other symptoms that accompany childhood ADHD, helping parents and teachers to better support the child and make the proper accommodations to ensure his or her success.