What Should Parents Consider in Treating ADD? Kid’s personalities, preferences, and characteristics are vastly different from one child to another. Any parent with more than one child knows this. Not everything that works well with your easy going introverted first child will work as well for your very high energy extroverted second or third child.
For parents trying to help their child in treating ADD, it’s important to recognize that, like personalities, ADD behaviors can vary from one child to the next. ADD is not a childhood illness with simple time proven cures like the stomach bug. While the same or similar treatment you used for your first child for the stomach bug will work pretty well for your second child, the same treatment for one child with ADD might just not be the right solution for a second child with ADD.
For treating ADD, there are many possible roads parents can take. As a parent considering how to decide the best way for treating ADD in your child, this blog breaks down three initial routes to consider and weigh as possible solutions.
Road #1: Treating ADD with Behavioral Modification
The first and most natural way to treat ADD is with behavioral modification. There are some kids that can just cope with behavior modification and work with cognitive skills. For these children, the solution for treating ADD might be a combination of coaching and therapy.
Still there are some kids that just because of their genetics, they just don’t have the attentiveness, the focus and the concentration to be successful in school and in life. For that subset of kids, the recommendation would be to take something.
Now we have the big fork in the road, do you take a stimulant, which has traditionally been used since the 40s or 50s, or do you take something natural? Let’s look first at taking something natural.
Road #2: Treating ADD with a Natural Solution
If you find that behavioral modification and coaching is not the best solution for your child, you might be tempted to turn first to stimulants. Let’s consider this a first fork in the road.
Certainly, the reality is that stimulants work for the majority of people but this doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best solution for you.
The downside of stimulants, is that although they do work for a lot of people, they also have a lot of side effects and it’s not a guarantee that they will work for you. There is a subset of people that simply get worse not better on them. This could be perhaps up to 20% in some studies.
So with this first fork in the road, the best recommendation is that before jumping to stimulants try a natural remedy first, particularly Omega-3s. If the natural solution is only partially successful, that’s not a reason to give up on it. What it means is that now you have lowered the threshold; lowered the requirement for the stimulant. If the natural remedy is not a perfect solution for you, it most likely still provides a significant boost towards making the stimulant route that much more successful.
Road #3: Treating ADD with a Stimulant Solution
If neither behavioral modification nor the natural remedies are complete solutions for you, now you can move to the prescribed option. Now that you have tried both of the previous options first, though, you don’t have to use as much of it and it can be more effective.
Prescribed stimulants probably shouldn’t be the first place to start, but they can truly be an effective solution for treating ADD. Prescribed stimulants have been a tried and true method for a long time simply because they can be so successful.
Recognize the Roads to Treating ADD for Your Family
In the best cases, if your kid is one that can do without taking a pill or liquid or capsule each day, that’s great. If they’re not, start with the natural, start with the Omega-3, and if that’s still not enough, then we can move onto to a stimulant. There may be some kids that do need a stimulant, and that’s ok, too. Just know, that you don’t have to begin here.