By Staff Blogger
Every classroom in America has them. Doctor’s offices are filled with them. They are children with ADHD. The most common way to treat ADHD is with medication, but new treatments are coming out that are not medications and may be able to help as well as be used in conjunction with the medications. Some of them are better over the long term due to lack of side effects.
An article published in Monitor on Psychology depicts a bias for ADHD treatment these days that may stem from a study done in 1999. It followed children ages 7-9 who had ADHD and were on medication, did behavioral therapies, did a combination of both, or used standard care. The original study done over fourteen months showed that medication worked the best, however when some of those in the study were contacted years later, the advantages of taking the medication had steadily declined.
The guidelines set forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics state that children ranging in ages from 4-5 should be treated with behavioral therapy first. Children ages 6-11 should be treated with medication, behavioral therapy, or both. Children from 12-18 should be treated with medication if they are willing but should be combined with the therapy as well.
Behavior therapy is when the child learns what good behavior is by being praised or rewarded for good acts. When they act out and are bad, they learn that by being put in time out. This goes hand in hand with help from their teacher who should be doing the same thing. Some preschools will have programs for ADHD students.
Not only do teachers need to be educated about how to help ADHD children, but parents do as well. They need to stick to a strict schedule, stay calm, and organized. Reflecting these behavioral modifications between school and home with help the child with consistency. At least 20 minutes of exercise a day will help as well. They will become more focused when they are done.