ADHD ( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a condition characterized by a lack of attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. It is a condition that lasts throughout life, and cannot be fully cured. There are a variety of pharmacological interventions which can reduce the symptoms of ADHD in most children. However, the management of ADHD is not complete without non- pharmacological treatments. These non medical treatments for childhood ADHD described below help a child with ADHD cope with school, play, home and friends. Also described are interventions to help parents cope with caring for a child with ADHD.
Social Skills Training
Children with ADHD often have poor social skills and may need training in social skills. Some areas of intervention are non verbal behavior such s eye contact, facial expressions, and body language. They may also need help with verbal conversation skills and relationships. Young children with ADHD may need support to play with other children and follow rules in games.
The environment of a child can be modified to promote better productivity at school, and at home. A child with ADHD tends to get distracted very easily. Study areas need to be clear of clutter and free of other visual and auditory distractions like TV, people coming into the room, people talking loudly in the next room etc. They may need a structures schedule that alternates physical activity with rest.
Teachers may need to adapt their teaching to include a child with ADHD into their classroom. Some ideas are to have a structured schedule for the child, provide structured activities, allow child periods of physical activity during the day etc. Here are some more ideas. An IEP (Induvidualised Education Plan) needs to be made for the child to help them achieve their goals.
Parents require training in both behavioral and educational strategies. This is so that the training of the child continues at home. Parent training programs have been researched and proven to be a very effective in the treatment of children with ADHD.
Children with ADHD are very energetic and require a constant change of activity. Picking up after them, and keeping them occupied can be very tiring for parents. Support groups for parents offer parents hope and encouragement. Parents can share ideas and information, and support each other. These groups can also help in advocacy issues.
Thus, these are some of the non medical treatments for childhood ADHD. Psychologists, Special Educators and Occupational Therapists are usually involved in these treatments. Careful assessment, planning and goal setting are very important to achieve results. The whole team needs to work with doctors and parents to measure progress and plan for the child. Children with ADHD can study, complete college, and work successfully. They need help, support and encouragement to do it.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Subcommittee on Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. (2001). Clinical Practice Guideline: Treatment of the School-Aged Child With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS , 1033- 1044.
University of Michigan Health System. (2005). UMHS Attention Deficit Disorder Guideline. Available here