Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common disorder that has a profound effect on a child’s academic achievement, well-being and social interactions. Early diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan including therapy can ensure the child has the tools and support necessary to achieve their potential.
Therapy can help families overcome frustration, blame and anger that may have developed in the family before the child was diagnosed. The goal is to help the child and the family to learn new skills, and ways of relating. Parent participation is essential in all types of therapy. Individual therapy is not effective.
Behavior therapy is a cornerstone in the treatment of ADHD. ADHD affects the child’s ability to pay attention or sit still and also affects family relationships and relationships with other children. The aim of behavior therapy is to reduce these behaviors and strengthen positive behaviors, including practical assistance such as in getting organized, completing school work and dealing with emotionally difficult situations.
Behavior parent therapy is a program that provides parents with the skills and strategies to help their child. Studies show that parent training in behavior management works as well as medication for young children with ADHD.
It is evidence based psychosocial intervention, and one of the three most evidence-based treatments for ADHD along with medication, and school accommodations and interventions. When used with medication parent therapy can boost the effectiveness of medication. An ADHD diagnosis in a child affects not only the child but also the parents and families. the most effective behavior therapy can produce increased positive parent-child interactions and emotional communication skills and teach strategies to improve consistency.
- For children younger than six, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parent training in behavior management as the first line treatment, before medication is tried.
- For children older than age six, it recommends medication and behavior therapy together and parent training for children up to age 12 and other types of behavior therapy and training for adolescents.
- Schools should also be part of the treatment plan including behavioral classroom interventions and support groups. Close monitoring and evaluate whether and how much the treatment is helping the child’s behavior and making changes to the plan as needed.
Mercie Health and Wellness, our mental health professionals offers behavior therapy teaching parents skills that will be useful through the child’s life. The goal is for parents to help their children overcome their impairments. We can also encourage strong family-school partnerships and treatments that include coordinating efforts at school and at home. This may include supporting and advocating for special education IEP plans and 504 plans.
ADHD lasts into adulthood for at least 30% of children with the condition. This therapeutic approach helps individuals recognize and change negative patterns of thinking, behavior, and emotional responses and encourages coping and adjustment skills. For ADHD, CBT often focuses on:
- Enhancing self-control and impulse management.
- Improving organizational skills.
- Addressing coexisting issues like anxiety or mood disorders.
- Developing coping strategies for managing daily life challenges.
Understanding ADHD is pivotal for affected individuals and their families. Psychoeducation provides information about the disorder, its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. A well-informed individual or parent can make better choices regarding management and can advocate for appropriate accommodations in educational or work settings.
ADHD doesn’t just affect the individual diagnosed; it impacts the whole family. Family therapy aims to:
- Educate family members about ADHD.
- Develop strategies to cope with challenges and stresses linked to ADHD.
- Improve communication among family members.
- Address behavioral issues in a structured manner.
ADHD symptoms occur in childhood, and most children will continue to have symptoms and impairment through adolescence and adulthood. It is imperative to seek help from our mental health professionals who offer evidence-based therapies to help them achieve their potential and live a happy life. Treatment that continues over an extended period of time have shown benefits for children and adolescents.
At Mercie Health and Wellness in Katy, Texas we provide a comprehensive, patient-centric approach involving regular monitoring and find that multiple treatment modalities often yield the best outcomes. You will always be treated with respect and dignity at Mercie Health. Contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, receive the correct diagnosis and all your treatment options.
At a Glance
Dr. Sylvia Udokoro Nwakanma
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
- Double Board Certified in Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C)
- SAMSHA Certified Addictions Nurse Practitioner
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