Behavioral intervention for ADHD is sufficient; medication is unnecessary
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a common psychological disorder affecting children as young as four and young adults all over the world. CDC has revealed that 3-75% of school-aged children in the United States have some form of ADHD. When a child is initially diagnosed with ADHD, it is normal for the parent to want to begin treatment immediately. Treatment options for ADHD include medications and behavioral interventions. Often, parents choose medication because medicines are quite effective in relieving ADHD symptoms almost instantly.
However, behavioral interventions have also been proven to be just as effective in the long run. Behavioral options for treating ADHD include cognitive therapy (CP), increased physical exercises, and training for parents. Behavioral interventions focus on introducing and teaching a child a new way of behaving and reacting towards different situations. Behavioral therapy seeks to either introduce or eliminate undesirable actions like not completing homework.
Why use behavioral interventions instead of pharmacological options?
First, behavioral interventions produce long-lasting impacts with no side effects. Many parents who choose behavioral interventions are always concerned about the long term side effects of the drugs. Pharmacological interventions for ADHD may be very effective in the short run, but research evidence has revealed that the long-term benefits gradually reduce with years of use. Medications are also associated with various serious side effects such as hallucinations, weight loss, and addiction.
Behavioral treatment for ADHD is indeed an effective form of treatment for ADHD. According to studies, behavioral therapy is the most common intervention effective for children under six years. Scientists emphasize that a child should begin behavioral therapy immediately after they are diagnosed. Behavioral therapy is more effective when directly delivered by parents. Parents first go through adequate training, where they learn the necessary skills and strategies. They then use the skills to try and change the behavior of the child to help them have a better experience at home and school and have better relationships with other children.
However, all behavioral interventions need time before any substantial results can be seen. The process, therefore, may be hectic and demands the utmost patience and dedication from both parties. Parents should also understand that each child is different and what might work for one child might not work with theirs. It is, therefore, important for the parents, teachers, therapists, health providers, and other close family members to work in collaboration to determine the best option for the child. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel.