Is There a Single Solution For ADHD?
Physicians and family members diagnosed with ADHD are continually searching for optimal treatments for their patients and loved ones with hopes of finding a “magic bullet” concerning treatment for ADD/ADHD. The recommended treatments for ADHD vary from medications (stimulant and non stimulant) to behavioral therapies, and lifestyle changes, but with all the options, already doctors can’t be certain of a definitive measure of treatment – because there doesn’t seem to be one.
The ever argued, controversial topic of ADHD treatment just got more interesting now that a new study published in the February issue of “Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine” has been released. The study included 785 children ages 7-11 from urban, suburban and rural social economic backgrounds who were being treated for ADHD by community physicians that agreed to participate in the study. Their objective was to determine if these community physicians had the same symptom and impairment improvements using medication only as their University based clinical trial counterparts.
The study concluded that: “Large improvements in ADHD symptoms can be achieved in dominant care settings when physicians provide evidence-based ADHD care using medication. Because many children with ADHD continued to have meaningful functional impairment despite symptom improvement, collaboration with other mental health or educational sets in additional to medication appears warranted.”
This is certainly good news for a lot of families who worry if they are doing enough for their child. The study provides that while medication may help children complete their assignments it does nothing for improving over all functionality.
Dr Mark Mintz, triple-Board Certified in Child Neurology, Pediatrics and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, recently featured on Electrifly, states: “The implications are that there is a need for multidisciplinary specialty care (neurobehavioral/neuropsychological/psychiatric/educational specialists) for those with ADHD.
So, medication is insufficient, or in some situations might only be masking inner functional impairments by superficially improving symptoms. Children with ADHD in some situations can assistance from medications, but whether or not receiving medication from a dominant care or specialty physician, these children will usually require a multimodal/multidisciplinary strategy targeting organizational and learning skills if they are to unprotected to success. “
Multidisciplinary care awareness is slowly becoming more publicly recommended. In 2003, the Ministry of Children and Family Development of British Columbia, Canada or MCFD published in their health plan the same recommendation as Dr. Mintz, stating: “ADHD is best managed in community settings by multidisciplinary child and youth mental health teams where possible, working together with families, schools, family physicians, and others in the community as needed.” (Ministry of Children and Family Development 2003).
Multidisciplinary care awareness needs to be on the spotlight of every parent’s mind who has a child with ADHD, but what can a parent do next if they want to find out more about this? Contact your child’s ADHD specialist and tell them your interested in a multidisciplinary approach to treating your child.
Some hospitals fund programs or clinics that target this very approach. Mind Matters Clinic in Murpheys, CA takes a holistic approach offering diet and exercise in addition as supplements to their various methods of treatment.
Parents also should take advantage of webinars like the ones offered by ADD Health & Wellness Centers, Inc. They present a complimentary webinar on integrative care for children who struggle with ADD/ADHD. They also have two locations in Texas and another in Boston serving families in their areas using multi-modal approaches and rare therapies.
Also look into ADD/ADHD conferences that are being offered. LDA Minnesota is offering a 2010 ADHD Regional Spring Conference entitled Living, Loving, and Learning with ADHD. Find out more about it here.
Lastly, its important for parents to connect with other parents who are experiencing the same struggles they are. There are local sustain groups, and online sustain groups (Yahoo! ADD/ADHD supports group, ADDers.com and others). Meetup.com currently has 7,529 meetup groups across America dedicated to Parents of Children with ADD/ADHD – if there isn’t a Meetup group near you then you can start your own using meetup.com. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook also have pages dedicated to providing information and sustain with YOU in mind.
Lucille Ball once said, “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” Living with ADHD isn’t easy but hopefully with the medical resources obtainable and the sustain of others that are going by the same thing it can be manageable and already successful.
Is there a real “Magic Bullet” for ADHD treatment? That is up to you to decide; however, the encouraging evidence supporting the benefits of implementing a multi-discipline approach certainly gives frustrated parents a promising hope they before lacked.