ADHD medication

Catch Up Kids – an alternative to ADHD medication.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is not a diagnosis to take lightly as it can affect your child’s academic performance and may lead to academic regression – a sudden decrease in academic performance. According to the DSM – 5, ADHD is divided into 3 criteria (inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity) which affects functioning, and in this case your child’s performance at school. It is at first understandable as a concerned parent to seek out a medical and quick fix solution in a panic, but under closer observation ADHD medication such as the most commonly prescribed ones, Ritalin and Concerta, have serious and often permanent side effects.

According to Medical Doctor (MD) Roy Boorady, some of these side-affects are sleep problems, decreased appetite, delayed growth, headaches and stomach aches, rebound (irritability when the medication wears off), moodiness and irritability, and Tics – a habitual spasmodic contraction of the muscles, most often in the face presenting as twitches.

A healthy alternative to ADHD medication is Applied Behavior Therapy (ABA). ABA is based on the premise that a child will be more inclined to learn and stretch their current academic capabilities if they are motivated by a desirable outcome. In this case the desirable outcome will be a reinforcer – something the child absolutely loves and does not have access to often such as jumping on a trampoline.  Catch Up Kids offer Individualised Education Programmes (IEP) that assist your child in eliminating their learning difficulties in a fun and natural way to achieve academic excellence and become confident learners in the classroom. At Catch Up Kids we address issues such as emotional coping, attention, planning, inhibition, memory, flexibility, self-monitoring, time management, meta-cognition, problem solving, social skills and more.

A practical example of how ABA works: if we want to increase your child’s sustained attention, one of our Case Supervisors will take a baseline of how long your child can currently sustain his or her attention, and slowly increase their sustained attention to where it should be. For example, if your child’s current sustained attention is at 3 minutes, the Case Supervisor might put in a 30 second increment target (depending on your child). If your child reaches 3 minutes and 30 seconds they then get access to their reinforcer. Your child will be more motivated to achieve that 30 second increment if they know there is a desired consequence at steak.

If you would like one of Catch Up Kids Case Supervisors to draw up an Individualised Education Programme (IEP) for your child or you would like to find out more information please get in contact or 011 440 1666.