More and more children have been diagnosed with ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. This is a condition that
normally shows in childhood and is characterized by a consistent set of inattentiveness and hyperactivity,
with forgetfulness, poor impulse control and distractibility. According to a recent survey by the University of Buffalo, about five percent of children in classrooms have ADHD students and another five percent have but are not diagnosed with ADHD.
In dealing with this type of disorder, these children with ADHD are put on psychoactive drugs by their general practitioner
, generally on the initial recommendation of officials from the child’s school. However, some experts in the treatment of ADHD
believe that there are other effective alternatives to medication. Some doctors and professionals involved in the treatment of ADHD emphasize the role psychoactive drugs play in treating these children.
Many parents are not fully aware of the established, evidence-based alternative when taking psychoactive drugs,
which is behavioral therapy. Most doctors routinely prescribe such psychoactive drugs to children
without first discussing the benefits and risks of these drugs and their alternatives with parents. In addition, research has shown that children with ADHD who started behavioral therapy, half of them did not need any medication at all.
Instead of prescribing such drugs early on, in old age, doctors should recommend a sequential course to parents:
Behavioral therapy first, and then prescribing medication if necessary later. This information was supported by a
parent survey, in which 80 percent of them would choose behavioral therapy as drug therapy as a first-line treatment for ADHD if they only knew the benefits of behavioral therapy in the first place. According to Pelham,
such drugs are not bad for children with ADHD, although they need to be used in moderation. By taking low doses and combining behavior therapy when needed, these psychoactive drugs are considered a useful intervention for ADHD children.
When using behavioral therapy, children, teachers and parents can learn different skills and techniques to
improve the child’s behavior in their daily life. The main focus of this type of therapy is on academic performance,
relationships with peers and siblings, the relationship with parents, non-compliance with adult wishes and the development of skills
areas . This can also reflect good parenting due to their interaction (behavior change) with their child, better than just putting a psychoactive drug in the child’s brain. When children are given less medication, they are less prone to side effects associated with the medication, such as stunted growth and loss of appetite.
This could also have long-term benefits for ADHD children, such as teaching behavior and coping skills that they would ultimately
practice into adulthood. When children grow up with treatment medication, they refuse to take medication. As a result, the benefits of these drugs are disappearing and it would be much more difficult to teach behavioral skills to adolescents than to younger children
Photos provided by Pexels