Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Overall, medicines are the most effective treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). But for mild symptoms, behavioral training, social skills training, training and education for parents, and counseling may be the main treatment. In people with severe symptoms, these methods are used along with medicine.
Behavioral therapy helps train parents, teachers, and other adults responsible for a child who has ADHD. These programs focus on establishing routines and rules for behavior and closely watching how a child responds.
The adult consistently delivers rewards or consequences depending upon how the child complies with the rules. This type of treatment has been shown to be more effective than Reference cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-based therapies depend more upon the child to self-direct changes in behavior. A child with ADHD isn't likely to have the skills to change his or her behavior without help and guidance from adults.
Behavioral programs most often used to help treat ADHD in a child include:
- Reference Behavior management. Time-out and reward systems can help a child who has ADHD learn appropriate behaviors for the classroom and home. Parents learn behavior management skills during a series of 6 to 12 counseling sessions of 1 to 2 hours a week.
- Reference Social skills training. These techniques help the child learn to be less aggressive and impulsive. Children learn to manage anger and behave in a more socially acceptable way.
- Counseling, including Reference family therapy. All household members can benefit from learning how to deal effectively with ADHD behavior.
Reference Behavioral intervention for adults focuses on help with organizational skills and healthy relationships.
Complementary and alternative medicine
Reference Complementary and alternative medicine is used by some therapists and other health professionals. These therapies have not been proven effective in treating ADHD. But a person with ADHD may benefit. For example, Reference acupuncture or Reference biofeedback may help relieve stress and muscle tension and improve a person's overall well-being and quality of life.
If you are thinking about using these treatments for ADHD, be open with your doctor about the subject. He or she can help direct you to treatments that are safe to use in combination with proven techniques. Only those treatments that best help control ADHD symptoms without causing physical or emotional harm should be used.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 2, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics