As ADHD is a multi-faceted neurobehavioral disorder, involving up to seventeen different symptoms, the treatment of it needs to be too. As ADHD experts ourselves, we at Catch Up Kids understand that the vast scope of professionals working with the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of ADHD can be daunting and overwhelming. I hope that this article will help parents narrow down their search and find the best possible intervention for their child.
Typically, licensed medical physicians, such as psychiatrists, neurologists and paediatricians can diagnose ADHD. Psychologists, social workers and other licensed counsellors can also offer a diagnosis; however, only biomedical doctors are permitted to prescribe medication for this. When seeking out a professional to consider a diagnosis, it is important to consider the individual’s credentials as well as their knowledge and experience in the specific field of ADHD.
Whilst professionals in the biomedical field are essential to the diagnosis, they are not the sole actors available for the treatment of ADHD. There are many other professionals who can play a role in the treatment and management of ADHD, such as occupational therapists, behaviour therapists, nutritionists and speech and hearing therapists, I will elaborate on these below.
An Integrative Approach to Treatment
The treatment of ADHD is multi-layered as is the syndrome itself, which involves various types of deficits that may need intervention. This includes impulsivity, easy distractibility, hyperactivity, difficulty with sustaining attention, difficulty with planning and organization, amongst others.
Whilst this is a very brief overview of what ADHD can involve, it is important to remember that no two children are the same, thus their treatment cannot be identical either. This is why we, at Catch Up kids, pride ourselves in developing individual, personalized learning programs for every child that comes to us, in order to ensure the most effective intervention possible, catering to each individual’s needs.
When looking for an ADHD expert, a medical doctor may not suffice. We advocate for a holistic and integrative therapy intervention that includes various types of ADHD experts, in order to create the most effective treatment intervention plan possible for the individual to overcome the barriers placed upon them by ADHD.
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) includes a range of different therapy modalities, such as Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy as well as a focus on social skills and executive functioning.
Taking Care of The Gut
Dating all the way back to the Ancient Greece, Hippocrates said: “All Disease Begins in the Gut.” We often recommend that the children that come to us consult with a nutritionist, one who preferably has specialized knowledge pertaining to the connection between gut health and ADHD. A healthy and balanced diet will definitely aid your child in overcoming the challenged placed before them by ADHD.
The most common treatment offered for ADHD is that of prescription medication, drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta are widely distributed as the sole treatment for ADHD. Whilst we accept that everything has its place, we opt for other therapy modalities before recommending the use of prescription medication. As mentioned above, no two children are the same, and thus treatment will differ from one individual to the next.
Educational and Behavioural Interventions
At Catch Up Kids, we make use of an educational approach to therapy called Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). ABA makes use of Occupational Therapy techniques to develop gross and fine motor skills in children with ADHD, as these are essential to academic success.
Speech Therapy is another therapy modality that we use at Catch Up Kids. Often, Speech Therapy is only associated with speech articulation, but as ADHD experts, we use speech therapy to improve both the receptive and expressive components of language in children with ADHD.
Other therapies used for the treatment of children with ADHD include: working on improving executive functioning skills such as organization and planning skills which are common deficits in children with ADHD. Applied Behaviour Analysis also includes a focus on emotional coping skills and social skills.
Our holistic and integrative approach to the treatment of ADHD is inclusive of a wide range of ADHD expert areas, all combined into one – through the use of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
In sum, both a biomedical, educational and behavioural intervention seems to be most effective in the management and treatment of ADHD, although each treatment program should be catered to the individual’s needs.