What are some treatments for your ADD/ADHD teen?

The best-known treatments for ADD/ADHD in kids are Ritalin or other forms of medication. These increase the neurotransmitters in the brain and help with the ability to concentrate and stay focused. They are often very effective in dealing with the symptoms of ADHD and can greatly reduce the difficulties that ADHD children have in school. Nonetheless, medication is not appropriate for all ADHD sufferers, and many people feel it is prescribed too often or too easily. Teens who were diagnosed with ADHD earlier in their childhood may have reached a stage that they no longer need medication, or may wish to stop their dependence on the drug as part of growing up.

There are a variety of therapies that can help those with ADHD, including teens, either together with medication or in place of it. Behavioral therapy helps the teen identify and change behaviors that are interfering with his ability to progress at school, home and in social settings. Cognitive therapy addresses the thoughts and feelings that can cause inappropriate behavior. Family therapy can help the entire family deal with an ADHD child, and learn what can help and hinder the situation. Some teens do well with individual sessions with a psychologist or other therapist, while others are better supported by joint therapy with their parents. Some parents may also choose to attend therapy or training to help them understand their child's diagnosis and how best to help their ADHD teen.

Some health professionals believe that changes in diet can minimize the symptoms of ADHD. In particular, increases in omega-3, zinc and magnesium are considered positive. Some also advise decreasing processed foods, food additives and refined sugars in the diet. Some other possible treatments or therapies include wilderness therapy, acupuncture and homeopathic treatments. The most important "therapy" is a supportive home environment, where your teen can talk about his or her difficulties and get help finding the appropriate assistance.

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