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Take the Next Step after an ADHD Diagnosis

Behavior Therapy

Photo: Young students Research shows that behavioral therapy is an important part of treatment for children with ADHD. Behavioral therapy can help reduce problems related to the child's ability to pay attention or sit still at school, how he interacts with family and how well he does in his classes.Therapy should be started as soon as a diagnosis is made. The CDC has examples of how you can help with your child's behavioral therapy.

Parent Training

Children with ADHD may not respond to the usual parenting practices, so experts recommend parent education. Parent training can be conducted in groups or with individual families and are offered by therapists or in special classes. The organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) offers "Parent to ParentExternal Web Site Icon" an educational program to help parents and individuals navigate the challenges of ADHD across the lifespan.


Photo: Parents with their son.Medication is one option that may help better control some of the behavior problems that have led to trouble in the past with family, friends and at school.

Different types of medications may be used to treat ADHD:

  • Stimulants are the best-known and most widely used treatments. Between 70-80 percent of children with ADHD respond positively to these medications.
  • Nonstimulants were approved for treating ADHD in 2003. This medication seems to have fewer side effects than stimulants and can last up to 24 hours.

Children can react differently to medications, one child may respond well to one medication, but not to another. Stay in contact with your child's doctor to find the medication that works best for your child.

National Resource Center on AD/HDExternal Web Site Icon: A Program of CHADD and the National Institute of Mental HealthExternal Web Site Icon have more information on ADHD treatment.

ADHD in the Classroom

Photo: A teacher helping a student.Since the majority of children with ADHD are not enrolled in special education classes, their teachers will most likely be regular education teachers who might not be familiar with ADHD and could benefit from assistance and guidance.

You are your child's best advocate….
Become familiar with your child's medical, legal, and educational rights. Children with ADHD might be eligible forspecial servicesExternal Web Site Icon or accommodations at school under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and an anti-discrimination law known as Section 504