Treatment depends on the age of your child. Children ages 4 to 5 years are treated first with behavior therapy. Your child's doctor will talk to you about medicine if your child's symptoms do not improve. Children ages 6 to 11 years are treated with medicine or behavior therapy or both. Children ages 12 to 18 years are treated with medicine and usually also with behavior therapy.
therapy helps train parents, teachers, and other adults responsible for a
child who has ADHD. These programs focus on establishing routines and rules
for behavior and closely watching how a child responds.
ADHD may last into adulthood about a third to half the time, and some studies have shown that children with ADHD may be more likely than the general population to develop alcohol and substance abuse problems when they get older.
consistently delivers rewards or consequences depending upon how the child
complies with the rules. This type of treatment has been shown to be more
Cognitive-based therapies depend more upon the child to self-direct changes in behavior. A child with ADHD isn't likely to have the
skills to change his or her behavior without help and guidance from adults.
Behavioral programs most often used to help treat ADHD in a
Behavior management. Time-out and
reward systems can help a child who has ADHD learn appropriate behaviors for the
classroom and home. Parents learn behavior management skills during a series of 6 to 12 counseling sessions of 1 to 2 hours a
Social skills training. These techniques help the
child learn to be less aggressive and impulsive. Children learn to manage anger and behave in a
more socially acceptable way.
family therapy. All household members can benefit from
learning how to deal effectively with ADHD behavior.
Complementary and alternative medicine is used by some
therapists and other health professionals. These therapies have not been proven effective in treating ADHD. But a person with ADHD may
benefit. For example, acupuncture or biofeedback may help relieve
stress and muscle tension and improve a person's overall well-being and quality
If you are thinking about using complementary therapy for ADHD, be open with your doctor about the
subject. He or she can help direct you to a method that is safe to use in
combination with proven techniques. Only those therapies that best help
control ADHD symptoms without causing physical or emotional harm should be
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this