ADHD: Multimodal Approach
University of North Florida
This paper reviews Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), the many effects the disorder has on an individual, and the many therapy options available. A brief description of the disorder is given, as well as the core symptoms, and the functional problems that result from it. Each therapy option is then explained in detail and the benefits of each given. Finally, a brief look at the advantages of using multiple therapy techniques in a multimodal approach and the needs for future research.
ADHD: Multimodal Approach
ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is a common disorder that ...view middle of the document...
This often presents even more social and academic problems.
There are many treatment options available for ADHD; the most common being stimulant medication. Although stimulants are the most common form of treatment and most often the only form of treatment used, it seems to be limited to treating the core ADHD symptoms only. The significance of problems beyond the core symptoms of ADHD is consistently overlooked by healthcare providers, as well as many comorbid disorders. Behavior management training for parents and teachers, as well as interventions at schools for academic and peer social problems are particularly helpful is treating the entire effects of ADHD, especially in conjunction with stimulant medication.
As much as 85% of children diagnosed with ADHD are prescribed a stimulant medication (Chronis, A., Jones, H., Raggi, V., 2006). There are four main types of stimulant medication prescribed for ADHD: methylphenidate, dextromethylphenidate, dextroamphetamine, and mixed amphetamine salts. They are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and effects are noticed between 20 minutes and 1 hour after consumption. The majority of patients are responsive to the medication and stimulants are successful in treating the core ADHD symptoms. Hyperactivity and impulsivity are significantly decreased (resulting in less occurrences of disruptive behavior, both physical and verbal, and in restless behavior). Stimulants also enable longer attention spans, which assists with academic productivity.
No other therapy has been shown to have as much success in treating the core ADHD symptoms than stimulant medication, but it falls short on treating the many comorbid disorders and the many functional deficiencies associated with ADHD. Stimulants have a positive effect on overt negative social behaviors, but have no effect, or possibly even a negative effect, on improving or increasing prosocial behavior (King, S., 2009). Also, stimulants are only effective while being taken. Once treatment is discontinued, so are all the benefits.
There are also many side effects to stimulant medication. The most common side effects are decreased appetite, weight loss, headaches, abdominal pain, irritability, trouble falling asleep, insomnia, motor tics, and social withdrawal (Daly, B. P., 2007). Many of these side effects are mild, can be averted by consuming with a meal, or can be treated by other medications to lessen the effects.
The symptoms of ADHD effect more than just the child’s daily life and functioning. The parents, family members, and teachers involved with the child are greatly affected as well. Many times the stress involved in caring for the child makes the coping and parenting/teaching strategies counterproductive (Daly, B. P., 2007). Behavioral management training is based on principles that teach socially acceptable behavior using cues and consequences. Consequences consist of praise, positive attention and tangible gifts for positive behavior....