Why Should I Seek Therapy for Treatment of My Child’s/Teen’s ADHD Symptoms?
ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed issues in children and teens. Most people think about ADHD symptoms as mainly trouble focusing and sitting still. Images of children “bouncing off the walls” often come to mind. While these are prominent symptoms of the disorder, the impact of ADHD symptoms on a child/teen goes well beyond that. It can impact your child’s/teen’s social development, academic functioning, development of time management, organizational, and study skills. In addition, under treated ADHD can contribute to development of anxiety, depression, drug use, and other significant issues.
Medication is often the first form of treatment used to treat ADHD. Medication, for many children/teens, does result in significant improvement in certain symptoms, especially an ability to focus and be less hyper. However, while medication may help improve social development and social functioning if deficits are directly related to issues with attention and hyperactivity, usually these related issues go beyond what medication by itself can effectively treat. Similarly, while medication helps reduce the impact that ADHD symptoms have on academic performance and learning, medication alone often does not fully support deficits in these areas that may have developed. Furthermore, if a child/teen does not possess good time management, organizational, and study skills, medication won’t simply improve these usually. However, medication may help individuals better learn and follow through on developing and implementing such skills.
Therefore, behavioral interventions, most commonly individual psychotherapy, can make a world of difference for many children/teens who struggle with ADHD. There is not one type of behavioral treatment that works best for all children/teens with ADHD because everyone’s exact symptoms, personality traits, environment, and other factors are different. Thus, receiving treatment tailored to your child’s/teen’s individual needs will be most helpful. For some individuals, a structured approach with a heavy focus on practical time management and organizational skills may be useful. For others, a less structured approach that focuses more on addressing underlying anxiety, depression, or other issues may be most beneficial.
Thus, if your child/teen is experiencing difficulties of any kind, it is almost always worthwhile to seek an initial consultation to determine if treatment would be beneficial. Early intervention for most issues often results in quicker reduction of symptoms and decreases the likelihood that other issues will develop as a result of the initial ones.
Copyright 2015 Carey A Heller, Psy.D.
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*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship, and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*