What Are the Available Options for ADHD Treatment for Children?

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , /

Living with ADHD which is not effectively treated is like trying to run the Boston Marathon with a
knapsack of bricks on your back. You can do it, but you got to work a lot harder than everybody else, and you don’t get the rewards you would for somebody else with
the same ability and the same effort. So, it’s important to provide, you know, there are frustrating things where people with ADHD, kids with ADHD are often struggling to try to get things done that
most other people do easily. Or they have to go back and do it again and again, and they’re often getting feedback from their peers or from teachers saying you’re just not trying hard enough. And providing some support for things like that is really very, very basically important. That’s what helps kids to keep going in the midst of the frustration so they don’t give up hope for their own ability to learn and to be successful. One thing that’s often helpful is behavioral strategies for some types of difficulties. For example, with a child who’s very restless and is having trouble staying in his chair in school at his desk, or where a child is having difficulty with responding too impulsively when he’s frustrated in dealing with other kids, or when her feelings are hurt, or where a person tends to shoot off their mouth the minute they get frustrated
or annoyed with somebody, behavioral strategies can often be helpful. What that involves usually is carefully looking at the specific problems that come up and finding ways of teaching the child different ways of dealing with it and then reinforcing, encouraging those behaviors. Not just yelling at him, because you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. And you’re going to be able to get a better response in terms of getting somebody to stop doing something you don’t want them to do if you encourage them to do the things you do want them to do. And there’s a Parenting Coach section on the Understood website which provides a lot of behavioral methods to help with some of the difficulties with ADHD, particularly with younger children. The other treatment approach which is often used for ADHD is medication. It’s the most effective method we have for dealing with many of the problems of ADHD. But it’s important to understand medication for ADHD cures nothing. It’s not like you have a strep throat,
you take an antibiotic, and it knocks out the infection.
It’s more like my eyeglasses. I have a problem with my eyes. I can’t read typewriter-size print without my glasses. If I have them on, I can read it
about as well as anybody can, but if I take them off, it just looks
blurry to me and I can’t see. Just as my eyeglasses do not help me when I don’t have them on, the medicine doesn’t help when the medicine’s worn off. The fine-tuning of medicine is critical in order to have it be effective. Sometimes very little children need bigger doses and very big adults need very small doses. And the prescriber needs to take that into account and talk with the child, talk with the parents to see how’s it working, are there difficulties with it, and to make adjustments to try and find something that will work, knowing these do not work for everybody and they don’t cure anything. So there are behavioral interventions
that could be useful; there are medication interventions that may be useful. It’s a matter of looking at this particular child at this particular age in this situation and thinking about OK, what has the best chance of helping with the things they need help with.

18 thoughts on “What Are the Available Options for ADHD Treatment for Children?

  1. What exactly are the effects on the dopamin system of a developing brain , when given "large doses" over years and years every day compared to a brain thats not been drugged?

  2. Hope one can help me – I'm 23 and over the last 10 years I have struggled to focus when there's noise around me. I just can't concentrate if someone is talking or I hear sound (e.g. a TV or radio from another room). I know everyone suffers from stuff like this up to an extent but I suffer so much worse and it actually gets me incredibly worked up and frustrated. Even the smallest of noises is enough to disrupt my thinking and I "freeze" and completely forget what I was doing or saying. It seems to be getting worse with age as well. I researched ADD but not sure if that's what I have as I do not have hyperactivity or anything like that. Noise is the main problem for me but also visual distractions are also a problem (although to a lesser extent). For example when I try and read a website which has moving graphics (e.g. A flashing advert) I struggle to watch it. Or if I'm watching a movie with the family and I see someone in the family on their phone, biting their nails, picking their nose or whatever it puts me off watching the program even if it's just in the corner of my eye. At university this was a major problem and I went to see someone about learning difficulties and she couldn't diagnose it although found something probably unrelated (that I'm dyslexic). I was given Free equipment to help me study but I don't this is dyslexia (in fact I don't think I have dyslexia as I'm good with spelling, grammar and general English). At university I had to sit in the silent part of the library otherwise I simply could not work. And even up there the slightest bit of noise distracts me. I found myself listening to things like classical music or "concentration" videos to help me focus. When I sleep each night I YouTube things like "music to improve ADD" or "improve focus during sleep" etc. Could anyone help me with what this could be. I had learning support class (special ed) for a bit but I found this incessant for me as whatever I'm experiencing seems to be unique and not what the teachers know about. This severely affects me every day and causes a lot of stress. To give you an understanding, just in the LAST HOUR some tings that distract me including hearing the rain outside and the noise from the shower water hitting the floor. I also cannot multi task. If someone gets me doing 2 things (even something like talking while driving or crossing the road and talking to a friend at the same time) I struggle. I think the easiest way to describe what I experience is over stimulation to various stimuli (particularly auditory but also visually). My sense of hearing is incredibly strong and I seem to hear every external distraction when I'm trying to focus (even if the noise is very quiet and far away). When I'm often trying to focus on 2 things I become very clumsy and dopey. For example if I'm cooking and really focusing on something else in my head, I may drop the plate/bowl on the floor or spill my food or drink that I'm eating. My brother has Aspergers but I don't seem to have the symptoms he experiences. In fact he's almost the opposite to me in terms of personality, behaviour etc. I tend to also be 'slow' in certain things – sometimes it takes me a little longer to think things through but once I've understood it I've really fully understood it a lot more than your average joe. Sometimes I'm slow because I have more than one thing in my brain and I need to think about the first thing before I can think about the next (but this isn't always the case). Even though I tend to be slow I tend to have good analytical skills.

  3. Psychiatric drugs have both short and long-term side effects which include loss of any emotions, and often death. Not a solution if you want your child to live.

  4. Spent my entire childhood being tested and it wasn't until I reached college that I found out that I had severe ADHD inattentive type. Ritalin has helped me greatly but it is so hard to get, so much disinformation. Doctors make me feel like a drug pusher for asking for my medication and I see others complaining about the exact same issues on many ADHD message boards.

  5. Nice overview video – need to add neurofeedback therapy as a third option – I have seen great success with this therapy for kids. There were some great analogies in this video as well – the Boston marathon and the eye glasses.

  6. I have a heart problem and I have severe ADHD that was just now diagnosed as an adult, I struggle so much. Are there any medications that can be taken knowing someone has a heart problem?

  7. I self diagnosed and unfortunately have not been offered him medical solutions not I have found great help in practicing yoga .shivananda yoga helps channel energy .

  8. Sadly children are blamed for a faulty school system that demands abnormal attention span .How dare dictirs give chikdren drugs like candy when there is research linking certain medication to depression later in life

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