Although medications are commonly used to treat ADHD, there are a range of non-drug treatments that can manage the symptoms. Some of these treatments are used in conjunction with medications. Where it’s not necessary to take medications, non-drug treatments are recommended.
The following ADHD treatments must be tailored to the individual, depending on the type and severity of ADHD symptoms.
1. Environmental changes: Reduce allergens, toxins and chemicals from the home and workplace. These are believed to cause ADHD.
2. Dietary changes: Reduce the intake of unwholesome or processed foods that contain preservatives, addictives, artificial flavorings and colorings. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Consume more protein from fish and lean meat. Avoid refined sugar. Take a good quality multi vitamin that will provide additional nutrients to the body.
3. Lifestyle changes: Reduce alcohol intake, refrain from smoking and exercise regularly.
4. Special educational needs: Depending on the severity of ADHD, some children may just require additional help and support from teachers while others may require special educational services. Discussing your child’s condition with a teaching staff can determine if your child require special educational assistance.
5. Behavior therapy or behavior modification program: Define a reward and punishment program for the ADHD child. The idea is to reward, reinforce and increase the frequency of positive behaviors in the child. It is important to include the child in the setting up of the behavior modification program. The expectations must be realistic. Be clear of what is expected from the child and be consistent in applying the program. Let your child be involved in choosing the types of rewards.
6. Therapy or counseling: ADHD sufferers are more likely to have problems with self-esteem, depression and anxiety. Counseling is aimed to helping ADHD sufferers cope with their feelings and change their negative behaviors. Family members need to be educated about ADHD so they can better understand and help the ADHD sufferer in the household. Counseling can be in the form of psychotherapy, social skills or parental training. Psychotherapy helps the sufferer deal with emotions. Social skills training develops behavior skills to maintaining social relationships. Parental training provides parents with methods and tools to control their child’s behavior.
7. Support groups: Parents of ADHD children meet up to share problems, concerns and listen to professional talks on ADHD. Members of support groups learn how each other cope and know that they are not alone.
Although there is no cure for ADHD, medications and non-drug treatments enable ADHD sufferers to control the symptoms and lead more fulfilling lives. ADHD does not only affect the sufferers, but their families too. For the successful treatment of ADHD, parental support is crucial to helping the family and ADHD child cope with the condition.