· Behavioral Parenting Training- This type of treatment primarily focuses on parenting practices that are implemented at home by developing helpful coping strategies and environmental contingencies for the child. Some of the skills that are taught consist of ways that parents can use positive attending and incentive systems to keep their child on task. Parents also learn how to communicate instructions effectively in order to increase child compliance.
· School Treatment & Accommodations-This type of treatment approaches school systems and staff in a two-fold manner. First, because educators are not always aware of evidenced based interventions, parents should gain basic knowledge about the nature, cause, course and treatment of ADHD. Then the parent can advocate on their child’s behalf by helping academic caregivers understand the needs of their child. Second, modifying academic tasks to match the abilities and deficits of the child is fundamental. Some examples of this can include altering layout and structure of the classroom, using computer assisted instructions for certain tasks, and altering teacher deliverance of consequences for appropriate and inappropriate conduct of a child. Speaking to educators about an Individualized Education Program (IEP) concerning specific objectives for your child can help ensure that these accommodations are being put into practice.
· Medication- Having a child who has ADHD on a medication regiment is not only safe, but has also shown to improve symptom management. Depending on the need, a child can be given stimulant or non-stimulant medication, and long acting or short acting time releases of medication. As with anyone exploring medication options, it is important to understand that obtaining the most effective outcome is a process. Talking to your psychiatrist about the successes and the side-effects of medication will help them tailor the recommended prescription and dosage necessary to best fit your child.
While all of these treatments are effective on their own, a combination of these has been proven to yield the greatest benefits. As children spend much of their time in home or school, implementing symptom management skills across these environments will help expose them to these benefits on a more consistent basis. If medication is also used, this only furthers the benefits, as the child increases their focus on directives given and tasks to be completed. Overall, while children with ADHD have very specific challenges to overcome, with the proper help, they can be successful in managing their symptoms in all settings. If you are interested in learning about these treatments in depth, talk to your local mental health provider to gain more details.