ADHD Diagnosis on the Rise Amongst Kids in North America
Since 2000, the number of AD/HD diagnoses amongst children has risen a whopping 66 percent, up from 6.2 million kids in 2000 to more than 10 million by 2010. (Findings of the study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University, are published in the March/April Issue of American Pediatrics.) Children and teens with ADHD have an inability to focus, “hyper” behavior, and difficulty controlling their emotions. Popular treatment for ADHD includes medications—but is that always the best way to go?
According to Dr. Robert Myers, behavioral therapy can be just as—if not more—effective for certain kids with ADHD in the long run. “Some studies conducted on children with ADHD in the last several years have said that comprehensive behavioral therapy works as well as medication in the long term. And the best part is that there are no side effects to behavioral therapy.”
The NIMH concurs, stating that, “Adding behavioral therapy, counseling, and practical support can help children with ADHD and their families to better cope with everyday problems.”
It’s important to note that current medications do not cure ADHD; instead they control the symptoms for as long as the child takes them. Unfortunately, not enough families have access to behavioral interventions for kids with ADHD. Busy primary care physicians often don’t have the time to train parents and counsel children. Insurance companies can sometimes make it difficult for parents to obtain the services of a mental health professional who can provide these services to ADHD children. Sadly, parents are not often aware of or able to utilize this highly effective intervention.