Children are naturally much more active and energetic in comparison to adults. But some children are extreme in their inability to sit still and focus. If your child seems to be out of the normal range in his or her ability to concentrate, sit still, or control disruptive behavior, he or she may have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
How do I know if my child has ADHD?
ADHD should not be diagnosed by parent’s or teachers. Only a professional with proper education and experience can diagnose a child with ADHD. What’s more, not all children with ADHD need to take medication. ADHD exists on a spectrum, and no two children are the same.
If you think your child or adolescent may have ADHD you can read more about the signs and symptoms here. Next, find a professional who can give an accurate assessment of your child.
Treatment for ADHD
Many parents and teachers believe that treatment for ADHD must include or solely rely on medication. However research shows that behavior therapy is an important aspect of ADHD treatment. If your child is on medication, studies demonstrate that best results occur when medication is combined with behavior therapy.
It is possible your child can skip medication all together and improve significantly with behavior therapy alone. While ADHD is a neurological condition, we know that the brain is plastic (changes and develops over the lifespan) and that changes in behavior causes changes in the brain.
Benefits of behavior therapy
Behavior therapy is developed specific to the individual and can be tailored to personalised and specific goals. Helping the child or adolescent develop self-awareness and address specific behavior problems is possible during individualized treatment sessions.
In addition, take home assignments and activities will help your child build capacity for attention and focus in a fun way that doesn’t feel like work. Games and activities such as Jenga, puzzles, or any other activity that requires concentration is helpful for these children.
If you are considering medication or if your child is already on medication, incorporating behavior therapy will increase the benefits considerably. In therapy, the child will learn not only how to manage ADHD but also how to increase self awareness as well as build and maintain relationships with family and peers. These are skills that will have a significant impact on the quality of your child’s life.
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