The treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with the highest efficacy includes a combination of various treatments as follows
- Medical treatment
- Behavioral changes and mental supports for child and family
- Learning supports
The most effective medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are a class of drugs known as psychostimulants such as methylphenidate (Ritalin®
), long acting methylphenidate (Concerta®
) or non-psychostimulant such as atomoxetine (strattera®
). These drugs are safe with minor side effects and high treatment efficacy. Drugs will help the child to become more attentive, less hyperactive, feeling calmer, less impulsive and may enable better learning performance. As a consequence of the child receiving proper treatments, he/she will get better self-esteem and better relationship with friends or surrounding people.
Common side effects of these drugs include poor appetite, weight loss, insomnia, headache, stomach pain, bipolar disorder, irritability. These side effects are often not severe and go away when adjusting the dose or switching to other classes of medication.
Behavioral changes and mental supports for child and family
Parents and teachers of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) need to learn the proper techniques in order to help manage child’s inappropriate behaviors.
Spanking or corporal punishment is not effective for behavioral changes and will cause children to have more anger or defiant and aggressive behaviors. The more effective ways are praising or rewarding (positive reinforcement) when children display proper and appropriate behaviors as well as inappropriate behavioral controls by discontinuing their preferable activities or withdrawing other rights (negative reinforcement).
The child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should have a chance to talk with a physician in order for physician to provide knowledge regarding child’s limitations and help recommend self-practice guidelines in order to enable the child with utilization of his/her abilities in other aspects to compensate for the impaired ones.
In some cases, family therapy is also needed for a family with a problem of interpersonal relationship in order to decrease the child’s anxiety and stress.
Most children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) will also have associated learning problems or inability to reach full potential in learning. Therefore, teachers will have a very important role in supporting children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to achieve better learning performance.