So most people know that stimulant and non-stimulant medications are available as treatment for ADHD.
But what else is available?
Other Treatments for ADHD
Wait, why would you need to consider other treatments?
Well, believe it or not, some kids can’t tolerate stimulants.
And others either can’t tolerate non-stimulants either, or neither work for them.
So what’s left?
There’s behavior management therapy.
In fact, although it is often overlooked, it is important to remember that behavior management therapy should be the first treatment for younger, preschool children with ADHD.
“There are many forms of behavior therapy, but all have a common goal—to change the child’s physical and social environments to help the child improve his behavior.”Behavior Therapy for Children with ADHD
And even though older kids are often treated with medication, they too might benefit from behavior management therapy.
“Under this approach, parents, teachers, and other caregivers learn better ways to work with and relate to the child with ADHD. You will learn how to set and enforce rules, help your child understand what he needs to do, use discipline effectively, and encourage good behavior. Your child will learn better ways to control his behavior as a result. You will learn how to be more consistent.”Behavior Therapy for Children with ADHD
Typical behavior management therapy techniques might include positive reinforcement and allowing your child to earn rewards for desired behaviors and withdrawing privileges to try and decrease other behaviors.
You also want to help your child:
- learn to get better structured and stay on schedule
- avoid distractions
- stay organized and on task
Some children with ADHD may also need social skills training and behavioral therapy for help controlling impulsive behavior.
And of course, accommodations at school (504 Plan vs IEP) can also be helpful so that your child has extra time to take tests if needed, modified instructions and assignments, and extra break time, etc.
What About Alternative ADHD Treatments?
What about all of those “other” treatments for ADHD that you might have heard about?
Restrictive diets, vitamins, minerals, brain training, and homeopathic remedies that are basically diluted to nothing…
Nutritional lithium, probiotics, and digestive enzymes…
You are actually trying to help your child with ADHD, right?
Then try something that at least has a chance of working…
And if nothing works, keep in mind that your child might not actually have ADHD. Maybe something else is causing their symptoms or problems, like obstructive sleep apnea, depression, anxiety, or a learning disability, etc.
More on ADHD Treatments
- Helping Kids Cope With Stress
- ADHD Medication List
- Choosing the Best ADHD Medication for Your Child
- Treating Hard to Control ADHD
- Does Your Child Have Dyspraxia?
- Is There Evidence for That Therapy, or No?
- A Parent’s Guide to Complementary and Integrative Medicine
- What Is the Evidence for CBD Oil?
- Mindfulness for Kids and Parents
- Screening Questionnaires in Pediatrics
- Getting Diagnosed With Autism As an Older Teen Or Young Adult
- Algorithms to Manage Common and Rare Pediatric Conditions
- AAP – Clinical Practice Guideline for the Diagnosis, Evaluation, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents
- NIMH – ADHD
- CDC – Behavior therapy for young children with ADHD
- AAP – Behavior Therapy for Children with ADHD
- AAP – Treatment & Target Outcomes for Children with ADHD
- Contingency Management Systems for Children with ADHD
- List of appropriate school-based accommodations and interventions for a 504 plan or for adaptations and modifications section of an IEP
- Advocating for a Child with ADHD – 504 or IEP?
- Are Children with ADD/ADHD Eligible for Special Education Services Under IDEA?
- Top 12 concentration killers
- Could Omega 3’s be used as a treatment for ADHD?
- Magnesium: The cure to all disease?
- The Drugless Doctor’s ADHD Nonsense
- Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake
- Edzard Ernst on why he changed his mind about homeopathy
- Quackery for Kids
- The Feingold Diet
Last Updated on February 21, 2021 by Vincent Iannelli, MD
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