There have been a variety of studies associated with the treatment of ADHD. Some studies are related to home remedies that help in bettering the condition, while some therapeutic treatments allow complete eradication of the condition. The safety of treatment has been under question, after which there are three major methods that help in effectively treating the condition. However, even these treatment methods have only said to have short-term effects on ADHD. The three methods include behavior modification, medication, and a combination of both.
Let us look at the methods below.
Behavioral treatments have been used for more than three decades now, since their introduction by O’Leary & Becker back in 1967. The behavioral modification has been used successfully to aid disruptive behavior, inattention, academic performance, social skills, etc. The behavioral treatment has four categories; read along to know them in detail.
- Cognitive behavioral intervention
The primary goal of this category of behavioral medication is to teach self-control, it can be done through various techniques like verbal self-instructions, problem-solving strategies, self-monitoring, self-evaluation, and cognitive modeling. In this type, the therapist meets the patient two times in a week and tries to use the above-mentioned strategies to inflict self-control in the patient. The patient is taught to control their own inattention and impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD seem to lack cues that help them in stopping themselves from doing things that might not be appropriate for the environment. For example, children can be taught to say “stop” to themselves when they are about to call out in school or at home.
- Clinical behavior therapy (CBT)
Unlike the first method, this one is aimed at parents, teachers, and other caretaker of the students. The goal is to educate them about the ways of contingency management of the children suffering from ADHD. In this case, parents are asked to attend parent training programs in which they are assigned readings and given instructions that help them with standard behavioral techniques. The therapists that work on CBT use a consultation model on behavior in classrooms when it comes to dealing with teachers. A popular technique of CBT application in the classrooms includes a report card system that entitles the child to token or points on the basis of their achievement of goals and completion of behavioral tasks assigned by the teacher.
- Contingency management
This type of behavioral modification includes a more intensive program as compared to the first two types mentioned above. Due to the intensity, this type is only practiced in specialized treatment facility or a specialized classroom. The techniques include token economies that have been set up to encourage a certain type of behavior from the child through the use of rewards and points. The techniques include timeout, response cost, and precise teacher responses toward behavior attention, reprimands, and gain or loss of privileges.
- Intensive behavioral treatments
The focus of this type of behavioral treatment is to combine the clinical behavior therapy and contingency management. The primary goal is to improve self-control and social skills of the child. In one type of this treatment, children attend a summer camp in groups of 12. Each of the group spends about two hours in the classroom where they are provided with behavioral interventions and other types of instructions. It is a day-long activity and the rest of the day includes light recreational activities. The parents, on the other hand, attend classes to learn how to apply the behavior management at home and then track the progress made by their child.
Combined pharmacological and behavioral interventions
As the name suggests, this type of treatment uses the combination of medication and behavioral modifications with an aim to attain treatment for ADHD. This type of treatment has many advantages over medication or behavioral treatment alone. It has shown great promise with the results that it has provided. The addition of medication to the behavioral treatment helps in scaling the progress better. The dose of medication in the method slowly reduces as the child starts to show positive signs toward the treatment.
There have been many advances in the treatment for ADHD in the past few years. This has gone on to show us that stimulants are the best medicines for ADHD. The two basic classes of stimulants include methylphenidate and amphetamine products. There are have been over 150 controlled studies with these medications, and they have shown improved attention spans, self-control, behavior, social functioning, and good motor control. The stimulant preparations are mostly quick to act (approximately 30 minutes) and short lasting (four to six hours) or long lasting (eight to twelve hours). The primary medications include Vyvanse, Daytrana, Concerta, Adderall XR, Focalin, Methylin, Metade, and Ritalin LA. These medications offer once-a-week dosages that usually last for eight to twelve hours.