- Is your child frequently forgetting assignments or struggling to pay attention in class?
- Do you need to provide several reminders before your child can complete a task, such as getting ready for school or cleaning his or her room?
- Is your child often in trouble for touching others or talking too much?
- Does your child have trouble controlling behavior, even when it seems like he or she is trying?
- Do you wish you could understand your child better and effectively intervene to improve his or her behavior?
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. Children presenting with symptoms of ADHD represent the most common reason for referral to mental health professionals in this country. ADHD includes a combination of problems, such as difficulty sustaining attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. Difficulty following directions and failing to listen to parents and teachers often leads to disruptive and problematic behavior at home and school. The fundamental challenges of ADHD are not conducive to the learning environment in our schools and, consequently, children with ADHD typically suffer academically. This tends to be extremely stressful and confusing for parents, and can cause frustration and conflict in the home. Thankfully, there are many behavioral strategies that can improve your child’s organization skills, focus and behavioral control.
Appropriate Behavior or ADHD?
It is common for children to occasionally forget their homework, tune-out during class or forget to complete simple tasks. If these problems occur in one setting, your child is likely struggling with something other than ADHD. For example, children who have difficulty in school, but display few problems at home or with friends may be struggling with something else, such as learning problems or anxiety. The same is true of children who are hyperactive or inattentive at home, but whose schoolwork and friendships remain unaffected.
Alternatively, children with ADHD frequently show a range of symptoms that occur across multiple settings, such as in the home, at school and in social environments. The common signs of ADHD include:
- Difficulty paying attention
- Frequent daydreaming
- Difficulty following through on instructions and apparently not listening
- Frequent problems with organizing tasks or activities
- Frequent forgetfulness and loss of needed items, such as books, pencils or toys
- Frequent failure to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
- Easily distracted
- Frequent fidgets or squirms
- Difficulty remaining seated and seemingly in constant motion
- Excessively talkative
- Frequent interruptions or intrusions into others’ conversations or games
It is often difficult to determine if your child has ADHD or to know if something else may account for his or her behavior. At Innovative Psychological Solutions, we will help you identify if your child has ADHD, and develop a treatment plan with you to match the needs of your child and family. Appropriate care can teach your child how to adapt in school, form social relationships and meet daily demands. We strive to provide a comprehensive evaluation and utilize effective, evidence-based treatments.
Treatment For ADHD In Children Provides Strategies And Support
Behavior problems associated with ADHD are often diverse and chronic and therefore require a multifaceted treatment approach. ADHD typically does not result from a lack of skill, knowledge or information. Rather, it is viewed as being a disorder of performance. Your child may know how to act, but may not act that way when put in an educational or social setting. This is typically what causes parents so much frustration; they know their child knows what do, but often struggles to engage in the correct behavior at the appropriate time.
There are simple strategies that we will teach you and your child to address poor attention span, impulsivity, noncompliance and inconsistent performance on academic tasks. ADHD occurs across multiple settings. We believe in collaborating with parents, teachers and/or coaches and other adults who work with your child. When the adults in your child’s life are using the same behavioral interventions, your child will be more able and equipped to thrive across settings.
A treatment plan tailored to the unique needs of your child can help improve your child’s ability to cope with difficult behaviors. Research shows that a multifaceted treatment plan can improve your child’s self-regulation, impulse control and attention across the home, school and social environments.
But, you still may have questions or concerns about treatment for ADHD in children…
Will medication be required if my child is diagnosed with ADHD?
Medication is an effective treatment for ADHD, but it is not the only option. In fact, research demonstrates that children who receive behavior therapy, academic interventions and/or behavior modification prior to starting medication demonstrate the greatest improvement overtime. If you want to avoid medication, there are many effective strategies our psychologists can to teach you and your child. We will help you develop a treatment plan that includes specific and measurable goals to assess your child’s progress overtime. This will provide you with concrete data to determine if the behavioral interventions are working. We recognize this is a personal decision for you and your family, and we will help you navigate all treatment options. We want to ensure that whatever treatment approach you use is effective and feasible for your child.
I think that my child has ADHD, but I’ve heard that treatment for ADHD in children can be long and expensive.
ADHD is a chronic condition that can be treated. Research demonstrates that the earlier you start treatment the better the academic and social outcomes for your child. Remember, ADHD is a performance disorder. We have to teach your child how to engage in the right behaviors at the right time. If your child has the tools to sit in class, listen to the teacher and organize his or her class materials, he or she will perform better and also feel better about themselves. Yes, treatment is an investment, but it has the potential to help your child control impulses, focus for longer periods of time and regulate emotions. This is not only going to help your child, treatment for ADHD in children will also reduce stress and frustration for you, your child’s teachers and your family. We will help you develop strategies that improve family structure and consistency and set your child up for long term achievement in the home, school and social settings.
I can’t tell if my child is going through a phase or if there is something more serious such as ADHD
Determining if a child has ADHD or if something else is occurring to cause behavioral problems can be challenging. That said, you know your child best. If you feel that your child is truly struggling with something, perhaps ADHD, we encourage you to be proactive and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced child psychologists. If it’s determined that your child does have ADHD, intervening early yields the best long-term results.
Please call us at 703-273-2198 to request more information about treatment for ADHD in children or schedule a free consultation appointment.