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The Role of Non-medical Interventions in Attention Deficit Disorders

So it’s confirmed that your child is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). You now even know the medical interventions that have been prescribed by the doctors. But are you aware of the role that non-medical interventions have to play in attention deficit disorder treatment? Only a proper combination of medical and non-medical interventions can be effective in the treatment of attention deficit disorder.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Kids

Let’s discuss the role of non-medical intervention in attention deficit disorder treatment. Along with medicines, the child needs to undergo individual and family therapy/counseling from a child psychologist. Most importantly there needs to be perfect coordination among the parents, doctors, teachers and caregivers for successful attention deficit disorder treatment.

Some of the tried and tested non-medical interventions that can be applied by the parents are:

  • Modification of behavior to help the child control his impulsiveness.
  • Defining and setting clear expectations and limits for your child.
  • Using token rewards and praises for reinforcing the desired behaviors from the child.
  • Refrain from using negative reinforcements and punishments for undesirable behaviors.
  • Using simple commands for doing daily chores; like not asking him to “clean the room” but breaking the same activity into series of steps:
  • 1. Making the bed
  • 2. Picking up toys
  • 3. Arranging the clothes in the closets
  • Using tools like lists, notes, reminders and calendars to break down large tasks or activities into smaller ones.
  • Allowing the child to see the natural consequences of his actions ( e.g. if he breaks a toy then he will not be able to play with it).
  • Make him understand the logical consequences of his actions (e.g. if the child is adamant to play with the toys during study hours, instruct him to put the toys away and tell him that if he doesn’t, you will put them away and he would not be able to play with them for the rest of the day).
  • Withholding privileges enjoyed by your child ( e.g. if the child loves playing on gaming devices or loves watching movies, then disallow him from doing so in case of misbehavior).
  • Encouraging the child to participate in extracurricular activities.
  • Providing him with some social skills training.
  • Try to prepare the child mentally if there is any break in his routine life (e.g. visiting of guests or going on a trip/vacation etc.).
  • Learning to anticipate what kind of environment can be problematic for your child (e.g. if planning to eat out or go shopping, then be ready with a plan of action).

It is very essential for you to inform the school about the attention deficit disorder of your child. Teachers play very important roles in attention deficit disorder treatment. After consultation with the parent the teachers can help the child by:


Little Extra Attention Can Work Wonders!

  • Making him sit close to the teacher’s desk to avoid the child getting distracted.
  • Using both oral and written instructions for assignments.
  • Giving single and shorter assignments every time.
  • Allowing more time to take tests or taking tests that aren’t time bound.
  • Using oral tests for child with attention deficit disorder.
  • Assigning “study buddy” in school who can help the child to remind about assignments, what books to be taken, deadlines etc.
  • Maintaining a school-to-home diary that will facilitate discussion between you and the teachers and may include:
  • 1. Your concerns about the child
  • 2. Pending assignments and home works
  • 3. Details of upcoming tests
  • 4. Feedbacks on the child’s performance in class, level of attention, ability to take instructions, social interactions with classmates etc.

So now you are informed about the role of non-medical intervention in attention deficit disorder treatment. The understanding and application of these are absolutely crucial for treatment of attention deficit disorder. But most importantly it is your love, care and attention that the child will require to overcome this disorder.

The Role of Medical Interventions in Attention Deficit Disorders

So your child has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)? You are even aware of the severity of the attention deficit disorder that your child is suffering from. Now is the time to be prepared for a long drawn battle as attention deficit disorder treatment may take years to complete. And with the help of your doctor you will have to decide on the appropriate medical and non-medical interventions that are required for treatment of attention deficit disorder of your child.

Today we will discuss the role of medical interventions in attention deficit disorder. Let’s first accept the truth that there is no “magic pill” that can help in attention deficit disorder treatment. Treatment of attention deficit disorder requires prolonged and continuous medications that only help in controlling the symptoms of the disorders. But many children have benefited from the medications that have helped them in controlling impulsiveness, increasing attention time span and curbing hyperactivity and aggressiveness.

For attention deficit disorder treatment, stimulants are the medicines that are commonly used. These medicines actually improve the chemical imbalances in the brain. Several neuro-imaging studies have shown that the children suffering from attention deficit disorder have improved functioning of brain and reduction in symptoms after they have taken their prescribed medicines.

The stimulants that are commonly used in attention deficit disorder treatment act quickly, but have short action on the children in terms of time span. In other words, they begin working within 30-60 minutes of intake but their effects last only for 2-4 hours. Most of the children need to usually take three doses – one in the morning, another at noon to control the symptoms of attention deficit disorder and the third after the school hours. However, now there is a new drug available in the market that needs to be taken just once a day.

The medicines used in attention deficit disorder treatment are generally safe and have very few side effects like poor appetite, mild headaches and stomachaches etc. However, these are usually in the first year of medication and recedes subsequently. Also, an alteration in the diet pattern and constant monitoring by you can actually help the doctors to decide on the right doses that are suitable for your child. That is a major reason because of which sometimes it may take a few days or even weeks to find the right doses for your child.
It has been observed sometimes that one particular form of stimulant may not work for a child. Then the doctors try alternative form of stimulants and see whether the child is responding to that or not. Also, in certain severe cases of attention deficit disorder, anti-depressants or anti-hypertensive medications are administered to the child under strict medical supervision.

However, not all children need to take medicines for attention deficit disorder throughout their life. A lot depends on the effectiveness of the medicines in each child and also the severity of the attention deficit disorder i.e. whether it is mild, moderate or severe.

Now that you are aware of the role of medical interventions in attention deficit disorder, it will be easier for you to consult with your doctor and decide on the correct medication for your child. Remember, you should not stop your child from taking medicines at your own discretion as that can be fatal. So, go ahead and combat the disorder confidently. But don’t forget to show love, care and attention to your child while doing so. After all, no medicines can be as soothing as a parent’s love. Isn’t it?