In practice, the use of medication and behavioral treatments varies dramatically by state. East and West Coast states tend to have some of the highest rates of treating ADHD with behavior treatments, while the Midwest and Southern states have higher rates of medication. Joan Lipuscek is a bilingual (English & Spanish) child, teen and family therapist treating ADD/ADHD in Houston, TX. She provides behavioral therapy for children and teens with ADD/ADHD utilizing a combination of Family Therapy and behavioral techniques.
ADD/ADHD is disorder that generally presents itself in childhood. Children who suffer from symptoms of ADD/ADHD have trouble sitting still, difficulty following direction, show signs of impulsivity and sometimes present with hyperactive behavior. This can be a struggle for a child at school when the expectation involves sitting quietly, paying attention and getting along with others. This can be very frustrating for parents who struggle to find solutions for their children who cannot meet the expectations of teachers and schools. Information about national prevalence rates of ADD/ADHD is included in our overview of mental disorders in U.S. teens.
There are several ways to treat ADD/ADHD and ease the symptoms. Effective treatment for ADD/ADHD involves seeing a therapist that uses behavioral techniques and provides parent education. Parents can benefit from social support and extra assistance at school from teachers. For young children, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends behavioral therapy before considering medication. For older children and teens, the CDC recommends that parents consider using both medication and behavioral therapy.
In practice, the use of medication and behavioral treatments varies dramatically by state. East and West Coast states tend to have some of the highest rates of treating ADHD with behavior treatments, while the Midwest and Southern states have higher rates of medication. Texas and Tennessee are tied for the lowest rates of treating child ADHD sufferers with behavioral treatments. Further, no state is treating more than 45% of child sufferers of ADHD with the CDC recommended combination of medication and behavioral treatment. To help parents better understand these variations in treatment trends between states, we have prepared the following visualization of data from the CDC's Parent-Reported Medication and Behavioral Treatment Use for ADHD Among Children.
When treating children with ADD/ADHD, I use a combination of Family Therapy and behavioral techniques to address the issues that are most pressing for the child and family. Each child and their family is unique and responds to the symptoms of ADD/ADHD differently. I will work with families to help parents create changes at home that will benefit children and help reduce distractions. I will also help your family deal with the impact of ADD/ADHD on parents and siblings. While I do not believe that all children diagnosed with ADD/ADHD need to be on medication, some children will benefit from the right medication. In this case, I will refer clients to trusted child psychiatrists for a medication evaluation in addition to therapy.
Parents coming to me for therapy and treatment for their child’s ADD/ADHD should expect a reduction in their child’s symptoms and better coping skills. I will provide resources to help you to communicate with your child’s teacher and school. I will also help you develop a plan to implement at home that will reduce distractions, impulsivity and interrupting others while improving your child's ability to follow directions. I will work with you and your family to help you achieve your goals and help your child overcome the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. I am excited to help you and your family develop behavioral tools that will have long-term benefits.