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What Works for ADHD? 10 Way Parents Can Help.

A literature review of 8 studies on the effects of various interventions for kids with ADHD shows that parent behavior training (PBT) shows a stronger effect on kids than taking medications, according to online Pediatrics:

“The evidence for PBT was rated high for the consistency of results with eight good-efficacy trials, supported by evidence of dose effect and continued benefit 6 months after baseline,” the authors said in their summary of the strength of evidence.

“Methylphenidate [an ADHD drug] use was given a low rating for strength of evidence,” they stated. “There is only one good trial with findings supported by three small, within-subject trials of lesser quality. The evidence for combined home and school behavioral interventions was insufficient, as interventions were diverse and results contradictory.”

What this means in plain English is that teaching parents to aid kids with ADHD is the most effective way of getting kids to cope better with their ADHD.

I find this whole idea very interesting because I have ADHD myself. I didn’t get diagnosed officially until adulthood, though my mother was suspicious of it all along. I have used medication at times since my diagnosis and, at times, done without, with about equal levels of success.  I chalk that up to maturity and knowing my own ADHD well enough to be aware of my weak spots and mitigate their effects.

I’ve long known about behavior therapies for ADHD and use many of them to good effect for myself.  I had not heard of parent behavioral training before reading about this study but upon further reading, I realize I have unknowingly been using some of them on myself. In particular, advice to parents to keep strong routines and focus on a child’s strengths resonate with how I manage myself. I would add that its incredibly important for parents to understand what obstacles and ADD child faces within his or her own mind and work with the child on overcoming them.

Click through for tips on how I successfully manage my ADHD!


  • Tips for Dealing With ADHD 1 of 11
    Tips for Dealing With ADHD
    Click through for tips on ADHD from a mom with ADHD!
  • Break It Down 2 of 11
    Break It Down
    Telling me to do a big task is overwhelming and can lead me to shut down. Help your child figure out all the steps needed to to make tasks seem manageable.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Special Space 3 of 11
    Special Space
    I need the right kind of environment to work - someplace with a steady hum of background noise because silence bothers me. Set up a workspace that suits your child's needs. This space may not be a typical study space. Talk to you child about what helps them focus and what's a distraction.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Get Some Rest 4 of 11
    Get Some Rest
    I'm always at my best in the morning when I'm well rested. A tired mind has trouble focusing. A tired ADHD mind has even more trouble.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Pack In Protein 5 of 11
    Pack In Protein
    Any teacher will tell you that hungry children cannot learn. This goes double for a kid with ADHD. I find eating protein helps keep me from crashing between meals.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Switch It Up 6 of 11
    Switch It Up
    I love organizational systems to help keep me on track. However, they only work for me for a few months, at most. I need to switch systems up to make them useful. The new system stimulates my wandering mind. Your child might need novelty to keep organized too.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Rewards. Lots of Rewards. 7 of 11
    Rewards. Lots of Rewards.
    The biggest obstacle I ever have to overcome is the voice in my head saying "Don't wanna". Having an enticement to silence that voice and get down to business is extremely helpful.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Take a Break 8 of 11
    Take a Break
    When I get into a groove I can work well for a long time but then I hit a wall. The best thing when that happens is to get up and do something else for a little while. Forcing a child to work beyond their capacity just builds frustration.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Move It 9 of 11
    Move It
    Those breaks I mentioned? They work best when I move my body. Rolling from desk to couch seems nice but doesn't really help. Stepping outside to stretch and breathe is better.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Work To Your Strengths 10 of 11
    Work To Your Strengths
    I learn best from reading. I retain much more from written words than spoken. I play to that strength by being a great note taker and asking for transcripts or Power Points for later. Find a child's strong points and use them to shore up areas where he needs help.
    Photo Credit: photo stock
  • Enjoy It 11 of 11
    Enjoy It
    The ADHD mind goes to some amazing places. Enjoy the journey through some creative places!
    Photo Credit: photo stock

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million The Broad Side. Follow Rebekah on Facebook and Twitter too!

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