Finding the right treatment for you or your child’s ADHD is crucial for the quality of life. ADHD treatment has come a long way from years ago with medications and behavioural therapies. Today a great deal is known about treating child ADHD, and the research literature on adult ADHD is steadily growing. There has been a numerous amount of research to the efficiency and safety of treatments for ADHD. So far only a handful of treatments has been proven to be effective ADHD treatment: Behaviour therapy, medication, or a combination of the two are the most common forms of treatment that are utilised.
Medication for ADHD
In the past ADHD treatment has typically focused on the use of medication, the typical medication prescribed for ADHD is stimulants such as Adderall (an amphetamine) or Ritalin (methylphenidate). They are fast acting, well tolerated, and have few side effects. These medications have an abundant amount of research supporting their effectiveness in the treatment of attention deficit disorder. A more complete list of medications prescribed for ADHD are:
- Adderall (amphetamine)
- Ritalin (methylphenidate)
- Concerta (methylphenidate)
- Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate)
- Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine)
- DextroStat (dextroamphetamine)
- Metadate (methylphenidate)
ADHD medication side-effects
Most of the side effects associated with medications are relatively minor and do not result in stopping the medication. Side-effects may also be alleviated by lowering the dose of the medication, but you should always consult with your physician before making any alterations to you or your child’s medication. The most common side-effects of medications prescribed for attention deficit disorder are:
- A decrease in appetite, normally in the early day and returning to normal around supper time.It is important to maintain good nutrition
- Insomnia, which may be alleviated by taking the medication early in the day or in combination with antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication.
- Minor headaches and stomach aches.
- Increased irritability and or anxiety, anti-anxiety medications can help.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Adults with ADHD
CBT focuses on the premise that how one interprets an event is more important than the actual event itself. Cognitive behavioural therapy focuses on managing symptoms in adults with ADHD. CBT combines behavioural and cognitive therapies as a management approach. Originally CBT was used to help people cope with anxiety and depression. CBT helps change irrational thought patterns that get in the way of tasks in everyday life. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder specific CBT tries to change thoughts by instilling instruction and strategies to help solve the most common problems associated with ADHD:
- Time Management
Behavioural Therapy for children with ADHD
Most ADHD experts recommend using both behavioural therapy and medication to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in children. There are many different forms of behaviour therapy, but they all share a common goal- to change the social and physical environment for the better, thus improving the child’s behaviour with a few key techniques:
- The encouragement of good behaviour immediate praise and or rewards.
- Consequences for bad behaviour that is clearcut, understood, and administered consistently.
As the child’s parents, you play a major role behaviour therapy, there are parent training classes available to help you learn more about ADHD and how to respond to such behaviours in a positive and practical manner, allowing you the ability to the get a sense of normalcy in your lives.