Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (cont.)
ADHD in Children Treatment
The two major components of treatment for children with
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are behavioral therapy and medication.
- Home and school interventions: Parents can help their child's behavior with specific goals such as: (1) maintaining a daily schedule, (2) keeping distractions to a minimum, (3) setting small and reasonable goals, (4) rewarding positive behavior, (5) using charts and checklists to keep a child "on task," and (6) finding activities in which the child will succeed (sports, hobbies). Children with ADHD may require adjustments in the structure of their educational experience, including tutorial assistance and the use of a resource room. Many children function well throughout the entire school day with their peers. However, some patients with ADHD will benefit from a "pull-out session" to complete tasks, review specific homework assignments, and develop "management" skills necessary for higher education. Extended time for class work/tests may be necessary as well as assignments written on the board and preferential seating near the teacher.
If necessary, an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) should be developed and reviewed periodically with the parents. ADHD is considered a disability falling under U.S. Public Law 101-476 (Individuals
With Disabilities Education Act or IDEA). As such, individuals with ADHD may qualify for "appropriate accommodations within the regular classroom" within the public-school system. In addition, the Americans
With Disabilities Act (ADA) indicates that secular private schools may be required to provide similar "appropriate accommodations" in their institution.
- Psychotherapy: ADHD coaching, a support group, or both can help teens feel more normal and provide well-focused peer feedback and coping skills. Counselors such as psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists, behavioral/developmental pediatricians, clinical social workers, and advanced practice nurses can be invaluable to both the children and families. Behavior modification and family therapy are usually necessary for the best possible outcome.
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