Treatment for ADHD

Based on the results of the assessment you may be recommended to attend various types of therapy. Here is a short description about each of them:

Behavior therapy: The symptoms of ADHD can impact your child’s social life and peer engagement. Behavior therapy is essential for children with ADHD, as it aims at increasing positive/ good behaviour and reducing negative/ problem behaviour. Therapy will help your child learn to take control of their symptoms and responses to external stimuli, help them manage tasks, cope with the condition, and improve skills essential for everyday life.
A psychologist carries out behavior therapy to help your child regulate their behavior. They also focus on social skills training.
ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) are some well known treatment approaches.

Speech and Language therapy: Some children with ADHD may also have a language delay, they may not know how to talk in different situations, or may have a fast rate of speech. Speech and Language therapy can help your child overcome such difficulties. Speech therapists utilize play based activities to help your child understand language and its uses in various social situations. For a child with ADHD focus will be given on skills like requesting, waiting, turn taking, topic maintenance, narration, etc. They also work on fluency and the rate of speech (speed with which your child talks). Speech therapy aims at meeting the communication needs of the child

Occupational therapy: Occupational therapists help your child develop activities of daily living (like eating, brushing, toilet training, wearing clothes, etc), Gross motor skills (walking, running, riding a bicycle, etc) , Fine motor skills (holding a pencil, cutting with scissors,etc) etc. They carry out physical activities that work on increasing attention, sitting tolerance, reducing distractibility, reducing restlessness, body awareness, etc. Occupational therapy aims at helping the child steer their excessive energy into physical activities like jumping, cycling, obstacle course,etc and calm themselves to reach an optimum level of learning.

Sensory integration therapy: Children with ADHD may also have difficulty processing and integrating sensory input. These sensory issues may interfere with activities of daily living, focus, and concentration. Sensory integration focuses on exposing the child to different kinds of sensory input like swinging, rolling on a mat, playing in the ball pit, listening to different sounds, etc.
Special education: If your child attends school, It is important to make sure that the teacher has the training and experience to work with children who have ADHD. If not, it is important for the parent to inform the teachers about the requirements of the child.

A special educator would be able to form an Individualised Educational Plan (IEP) for the child, which will focus on functional academics. The curriculum is modified based on the child’s abilities and pace of learning. Special education aims at enabling the child to organise their daily academic activities in a structured manner with a schedule.

All the above mentioned therapy services may not be recommended to every child with ADHD because each child is different and the presenting symptoms and needs vary from child to child. Please enroll your child in such therapies only if suggested by a practising professional.

Curability

ADHD is a condition and not a disease and therefore it is not possible for the child to completely be free from the condition. Therapy will help your child learn to control their symptoms, help them manage tasks, cope with the condition and improve skills essential for everyday life. With regular and timely interventions, your child should be able to lead an independent life.

How can I, as a parent, help my child deal with ADHD?
You can certainly help your child in handling their condition. It is advised to create an accepting environment for the child and try not to guilt or shame their condition. As a parent, it is necessary to attend family education services in order to gain insight into the condition and create an empathetic outlook into the child’s life. Encouraging the child to be independent with small tasks can help the child and giving them positive feedback can help the child.

Parents can also join ADHD support groups and Parent groups. Some groups may provide false and misleading information, please verify them with your child’s therapist/ doctor. Always remember that what works for one child may not work for another.

Should medication be mentioned?
Based on the requirement of the child, the child psychiatrist/ neurologist may prescribe medication. The medications help with regulation of the neurotransmitters in case of imbalance. Medication for ADHD must not be taken without a doctor's prescription.