Here is a brief summary of our thoughts on the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in children.
Most of these treatment interventions are discussed in far more detail elsewhere on this website. Please look especially at our "books" on
- the Different Types of ADHD, and Specific Treatment Strategies for each types;
- Medical management of ADHD, Medications for ADHD;
- Alternative Treatments for ADHD;
- ATTEND for ADHD;
- Our ADHD Diet recommendations.
Each of these "books" will have great information for you!
Here is our list of treatment interventions for children with ADHD:
- Parenting Classes - this is our first choice, as you, the parents, will have the most influence, contact, and responsibility with and for the ADHD child. Raising an child with ADHD will not be easy, and will present a wide assortment of challenges throughout the years. So we recommend whatever specialized training you can get on parenting skills, behavioral interventions, developing patience and endurance, and etc. We will try to help you our as much as we can here on this site, and through our free newsletter. Be sure to sign up for it!
- ATTEND - Attend is an amino acid based homeopathic nutraceutical medicine for the symptoms of ADHD. Whew! That's a lot of words. Back in 1996 we helped the manufacturer, VAXA International, to develop this product by providing the clinical studies on the effectiveness of the product. For a "natural alternative" for ADHD, it actually works pretty well. Using objective testing we discovered that about 70% of the subjects made significant improvements with 30 days of Attend. So we recommend that whenever possible parents try Attend before trying medications. If the Attend doesn't work, then try the meds. The downside to Attend is that the capsules are large and must be swallowed. The company offers a great money back guarantee if it doesn't help.
- Our ADHD Diet Recommendations - The Diet goes along nicely with the Attend. Its a "higher" protein, "lower" carbohydrate approach to try to optimize brain performance. We also try to help families to be more aware of foods that they may be allergic to, such as cow's milk (30% of children are allergic to cow's milk). We don't think that all ADHD kids will have a "day and night" improvement just from our diet recommendations, but our experience was that about 25% of kids did improve significantly.
- Medications - If the diet doesn't help enough, and the Attend doesn't help enough, then it's time to consider medications for ADHD. In general there are two types: stimulants and anti-depressants. The stimulants are the most common (Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, etc). The reason that so many kids take medication is that it works. They have to be carefully prescribed, monitored, and administered, but they do work for 70% to 80% of ADHD kids.
- Counseling - the purpose of counseling is to teach the child with ADHD the skills that he or she needs in order to be successful at school, with friends, and in life. Academic skills, problem solving skills, and social skills should be more important in counseling than "how did that make you feel?" conversation.
Again, these are discussed in much more detail in other sections. Please take the time to visit them to investigate further.