attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) relies on a combination of medicines and behavior therapy. The first step is an accurate diagnosis of ADHD and an understanding of your child's strengths and weaknesses. Learning about ADHD will help you and your child's siblings better
understand how to help your child.
child's doctor may recommend that your child take a
stimulant medicine. These medicines include amphetamine (for example, Adderall or Dexedrine) and methylphenidate (for example, Concerta,
Metadate CD, or Ritalin). Stimulants improve symptoms in about 70 out of 100 children who
If stimulant medicines have bothersome side effects or aren't effective, your child's doctor might recommend
a nonstimulant medicine such as atomoxetine (Strattera), clonidine (Kapvay), or guanfacine (Intuniv). These medicines may be used alone or in combination with stimulant medicines.
- ADHD: Should My Child Take Medicine for ADHD?
Through behavior therapy, parents
learn strategies, such as positive reinforcement, to improve a child's
behaviors. Children learn skills for problem solving, communication, and
self-advocacy. Behavior therapy is more helpful when used with medicine
than when used by itself.
Some children with ADHD also have other
conditions, such as
oppositional defiant disorder. Behavior therapy can
help treat some of these conditions.
Counseling may help children and
adults who have ADHD recognize problem behaviors and learn ways to deal with them.
For both parents and children, counseling can be a place to air frustrations
and deal with stress. To learn more, see Other Treatment.
There are many things you can do to help your child at home and at school. To learn more, see Home Treatment.