ADHD Medication
The prescribing of pharmaceuticals for AD/HD children is rising at what many consider to be an alarming rate. With no other program or alternative available to doctors, they tend to medicate the child as the only treatment option. But, now there is a complementary alternative, the one that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. A comprehensive program to manage and modify behavior in the child as a complement to medications.

For decades, physicians have depended on medications to treat the symptoms of ADD and AD/HD. The most effective of these are medications that fall into a class of drugs called stimulants.

The most common stimulants used to treat AD/HD:

  • Dextroamphetamine
  • Methylphenidate

Ritalin, one of the most commonly prescribed, has been available since 1956. Other popular brand names are Adderall and Concerta.

For many people, these medicines dramatically reduce hyperactivity and improve the ability to focus, work and learn. Up to 90 percent of people who try stimulants for AD/HD find relief from their symptoms. Recent research by the National Institute of Mental Health suggests these medicines may also help children with an accompanying conduct disorder to control their impulsive, destructive behaviors.

But these medicines don’t cure the disorder; they only temporarily manage the symptoms. Although the drugs help children focus their attention and complete their work, they can’t increase knowledge or improve academic or social behavior skills.

The drugs alone won’t help enhance your child’s self-esteem or his ability to cope with problems. These require, in addition to the medications, other kinds of treatment and support. Many experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, believe that the most significant, long-lasting gains appear when medication is combined with behavioral therapy, emotional counseling, and practical support.

What Medications Can Do:
What Medications Cannot Do:
Decrease Activity Level
• sit still longer
• run less
Teach Good Behavior
• remove old behaviors
• teach reflective thinking
Allow Child to Focus Longer
• do more accurate work
• improve attention
• listen to people longer
Teach Skills They Missed
• teach preceding school work
• teach social skills
• teach what to focus on
Decrease Impulsivity
• follow rules better
• may think before acting
Teach Dealing with Feelings
• control anger
• deal with frustration
• make a child happy
Decrease Reactivity
• lessen aggression
Motivate the Child
• make them try new skills

Behavior Modification
Several intervention approaches are available for the treatment of AD/HD, and used as a sole approach to modify behavior or, as previously presented, in conjunction with drug treatment. Individual therapists tend to prefer one approach or another. Knowing something about the various types of interventions makes it easier for families to choose a therapist who is right for their needs.

Behavior modifications to consider:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Social skills training
  • Behavioral management
  • Parenting skills
  • Reward systems

Leave a Reply

preload preload preload