Research Shows Therapy Should Be the First Option When Treating ADHD

When parents learn that their child has ADHD medication is often the first treatment they consider. According to new findings that could be a mistake. That is according to researchers, presenting at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, based on the largest-ever study on the best treatments for ADHD.

Research shows that when children are initially treated with behavioral interventions — and their parents get training on how to manage their behavior — medication is used less often and in smaller doses. While medications address ADHD symptoms like restlessness and fidgeting, they don’t address other problems like difficult relations with peers, parents and family members.

In counseling, a therapist can help the child with ADHD learn to feel better about themselves. Over time the therapist can help identify and build on their strengths, cope with daily problems, and learn to control their attention and aggression. The parents may need special help to develop techniques for managing the patterns of behavior.

In many cases the entire family may need help. Mental health professionals can counsel the child and the family, helping them to develop healthy new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to each other. Read more of my advice on parenting a child with ADHD –

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