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ADHD in Children Health Center

ADHD in Children

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ADHD Treatment Overview

Treatment plans may include special education programs, psychological intervention, and drug treatment. Learn as much as you can about the options and talk them over with your child's health care provider so you can make the best plan for your child. 

Studies show that long-term treatment with a combination of medications and behavioral therapy is much better than just medication treatment, or no specific treatments in managing hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Those kids treated with both ADHD drugs and therapy also had better social skills.

Drugs for Childhood ADHD

A class of drugs called psychostimulants (or sometimes just stimulants) is a highly effective treatment for childhood ADHD. These medicines, including Adderall , Vyvanse, Concerta , Focalin, Daytrana , Ritalin , and Quillivant XR, help children focus their thoughts and ignore distractions.

Another treatment used to treat ADHD in kids is nonstimulant medication. These medications include Intuniv, Kapvay, and Strattera.

ADHD medicines are available in short-acting (immediate-release), intermediate-acting, and long-acting forms. It may take some time for a doctor to find the best medication, dosage, and schedule for someone with ADHD. ADHD drugs sometimes have side effects, but these tend to happen early in treatment. Usually, side effects are mild and don't last long.

Behavioral Treatments for Children With ADHD

Behavioral treatment for children with ADHD includes creating more structure, encouraging routines, and clearly stating expectations of the child.

Other forms of ADHD treatment that may benefit your child include:

  • Social skills training. This can help a child with ADHD learn behaviors that will help them develop and maintain social relationships.
  • Support groups and parenting skills training. This includes support for the parents and helping them learn more about ADHD and how to parent a child who has ADHD.

What Treatment Is Best for My Child?

No single treatment is the answer for every child with ADHD. Each child's needs and personal history must be carefully considered. 

For example, a child may have undesirable side effects to a medication, making a particular treatment unacceptable. If a child with ADHD also has anxiety or depression, a treatment combining medication and behavioral therapy might be best. 

It's important to work with a doctor to find the best solution for your child.

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