Ask 10 different parents how they treat their children's ADHD and you're likely to get 10 different answers. That's because treatment for ADHD is personalized. Depending on the child, treatment can include:
A single medicine
Combination of medicines
Medicine plus behavioral therapy
Often, medicine treatment for ADHD starts with a stimulant drug, such as:
An occupational therapist, or "OT," helps kids with ADHD improve certain skills, such as:
Ability to do everyday tasks -- such as take a shower, organize their backpack, or make their bed -- quickly and well
Control their “energy” levels, hyperactivity, etc.
Occupational therapists typically have a master's degree. They are certified in their field and licensed in the state where they practice.
An OT might work in a hospital, clinic, or private...
Here's a closer look at these drugs and others that are used as part of adjunctive therapy:
Strattera was the first non-stimulant drug approved to treat ADHD. It works by increasing amounts of the chemical norepinephrine, which is found in the brain. This helps lessen ADHD symptoms such as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
Strattera is approved for kids ages 6 and older.
Strattera can be prescribed alone. Or, it can be added to the stimulant drugs as an adjunctive treatment.
These side effects tend to be less pronounced with Strattera than with traditional stimulants.
In rare cases, Strattera has been linked to heart or liver problems. Because it’s chemically similar to antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications, the drug also carries a warning from the FDA about the risk of suicidal thoughts in children and teenagers.
Let your doctor know if your child has suicidal thoughts before taking this drug. Also, watch for unusual behavior changes while your child is on this medicine and report them to your doctor.
Two drugs called alpha-2 agonists, in extended release form, are now formally approved to treat kids with ADHD: