What Parents Need To Know About Children With ADHD : Many parents are concerned about what they can do to support their children with ADHD. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disorder, but many treatments can improve symptoms and quality of life. The best treatment options depend on individual needs; however, medication should always be part of a treatment plan. This article discusses some standard treatments and how they may benefit your child.
Medication is often the top priority of treatment for many children with ADHD. The two common medications used to treat ADHD are stimulants and non-stimulant medications such as atomoxetine (Strattera). Stimulant medications work by boosting the availability of dopamine in the brain, which improves focus, attention span, motivation to complete tasks, concentration skills, and ability to follow directions. It’s worth noting that even if your child responds well academically with medication, it may still take years for them to master needed social coping strategies, so additional therapy beyond medication may be necessary. Many parents wonder about the side effects associated with medication use. Still, research shows that side effects are usually short-term and diminish over time as a child’s body adjusts to the medication levels needed to manage symptoms effectively.
As the name suggests, behavioral therapy focuses on modifying behaviors. This type of therapy can be employed at home or in a clinical setting to help children with ADHD learn coping skills and gain impulse control by a licensed child psychologist near you. Some standard techniques used in behavioral therapy are positive reinforcement, time-out strategies, and social skills training. When parents work with their child’s therapist on implementing these techniques at home, they can make significant strides toward bettering communication between parent/child and improving trust and understanding of family rules. Behavioral therapy is essential for children who also suffer from anxiety or depression since this type of treatment often helps alleviate many symptoms associated with those disorders.
Counseling is an excellent way to maneuver difficult emotions your child may be experiencing. Many ADHD children may feel frustrated, isolated, misunderstood, and angry, leading to low self-esteem or depression. You must address these feelings as they arise because if left unaddressed, the negative impact could last for months or longer, leading to more significant struggles at home and school. Counseling can help your child work through these difficult emotions and better understand ADHD, so they know what to expect from the disorder.
Parental training is a great way to teach parents better-coping methods and understanding their child’s behavior. It also helps parents identify triggers that cause or exacerbate problematic behavior, so you can work together as a family to avoid them whenever possible. For example, suppose your child has difficulty transitioning from one activity to another. In that case, the whole family moves around more slowly during transitions, such as having everyone sit down at dinner instead of rushing through it.
Social skills training is an essential therapy for children with ADHD because many struggles in social situations to various degrees. For example, the child may struggle with low self-esteem, isolation, and poor peer relationships. With social skill training, the child learns how to navigate social situations, which helps avoid problematic interactions and the negative impact on future relationships. One of the most common skills taught is perspective-taking, where children learn to consider others’ feelings before acting. It can also help your child understand why he might get into trouble for specific behaviors like talking too much in class, so he learns from them instead of repeating them over and over again.
In conclusion, many treatment options are available for children with ADHD to help you manage your child’s symptoms. In most cases, medication is a significant first step. Still, it does not cure the disorder, so additional therapy may be necessary with medications to achieve maximum results over time.
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