AbPsych | ADHD | ADHD Diagnostic Criteria | Executive Function Disorder | ADHD Related Disorders | ADHD Sources
Traditional Treatments:

Today most kids dealing with ADHD turn to western medicine. Although there are many options, psychostimulants are the majority of prescribed medications used to treat the disorder. Though the term “stimulant” seems like it would be counteractive for an already hyperactive person, these psychostimulants have a noticeable calming effect on people with the diagnosis. Psychostimulants come in many forms the most popular is Ritalin. It is a methylphenidate, along with Concerta, Metadate, and Daytrana. The dexemethylphenidate Focalin is also prescribed as well as Adderall, an amphetamin-dextroamphetamin, as well as psychostimulants Dexedrine and Dextrostat,which are dextroamphetamines. (Gerdes, 2010)

Alternatives:

Beyond drugs there are alternative treatments. The non-traditional treatments focus more directly on the behavioral aspects rather than the biochemical. Helpful treatments include educational therapy, organization assistance, lists and routines, exercise, a high protein diet, and sleep. Rest is often elusive for kids whose co-morbid disorder is related to sleep difficulties. Outside of the home, ADHD kids can be helped within the classroom by having hands on learning opportunities, checklists confirmed with teachers, timers for work division, and also assistance from the teacher in breaking down large tasks and distributing the work load in an effective manner. (Cooper-Kahn & Dietzel, 2008) Also, as a parent or a teacher, patience is important to remember. Most kids who have difficulty fighting their ADHD tendencies usually are very hard on themselves. Harsh external criticism can add to the anxiety they already face.

Educational therapist Heather Sommerville gives insight into the struggles kids face in dealing with their learning differences: “Individuals with ADHD have diminished self-regulation therefore sustained attention is highly context and contingency dependent. Without rewards or interest in the immediate context, work is cut short. Power is in personal connection and the instillation of hope.” (Sommerville, 2011)

Teachers, parents, and friends can really help kids with ADHD by just trying to understand the difficulties and offering perspective and reassurance.

I'd still like a comment on the value of the combined approach. I have to believe one without the other is less likely to be successful, no? please elaborate - CT