Behavior Therapy for ADHD

Behavior Therapy for ADHD

Young family standing in front of houseLearn what parents can do to make a difference for their child.

As a parent of a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you know that raising a child with ADHD can be tough. By understanding the treatment options that work, you can keep your child on a path to a healthy future.

Medicine is a common treatment for ADHD. It can help decrease the main symptoms, such as having trouble paying attention or being overly active, particularly in children 6 years and older. However, some children continue to have trouble controlling their behavior with medicine.

You may not be aware of another effective treatment option: behavior therapy. Behavior therapy[466 KB] helps children learn or strengthen positive behaviors and reduce unwanted or problem behaviors. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends behavior therapy first for children under 6 years of age, and a combination of medication and behavior therapy for children age 6 and older.

Parent Training in Behavior Therapy

The type of behavior therapy recommended for preschool and elementary school-aged children focuses on training parents. Typically, parents are trained by a therapist over the course of 8 to 16 sessions to learn approaches that encourage positive behavior, address negative behavior, improve communication, and strengthen their relationship with their child. Parents who are trained in behavior therapy can help their child with ADHD to succeed at school, home, and in relationships.

It takes time and effort to learn and practice behavior therapy, but it can have lasting benefits for children with ADHD. Ask your child’s doctor if behavior therapy is right for your child.