Treatment for Children With ADHD & Oppositional Behavior
About 50 percent of children affected with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) have both disorders at the same time. The treatment plans that are developed for these children usually involve a medication and various types of behavior training and therapy. The treatments will vary from child to child depending on the severity of the problem, but all will have these treatments in some variation.
Oppositional behavior does not respond to medications, but they are often used to treat ADHD. The medications for ADHD can improve some of the other treatments the child is receiving for oppositional behavior.
Medications that are commonly used to treat ADHD are Ritalin, Adderall and Concerta. These medications are stimulants. The stimulants work by increasing the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are neurotransmitters in the brain. The stimulant medications also block the reabsorption of these neurotransmitters. This can reduce the amount of distractability, inattention and impulsive behavior in children who have been diagnosed with ADHD.
Medications such as Strattera are not stimulants and increase the amount of norepinephrine available in the brain. This type of medication will also have the same affect on distractability, impulsive behavior and inattention as Ritalin and stimulant ADHD medications.
Parents of children with ADHD and ODD must learn how to deal with their child’s behavior and remain calm. Taking parenting training classes that are specifically designed for parents of children of ADHD and ODD children is often a part of the overall treatment plan for these children.
Parents are taught how to avoid getting into power struggles with their children and provide their children with appropriate choices for acceptable behavior. A home structure that helps the child learn appropriate behavior and consequences for their actions is a vital part of the treatment plan for ADHD and ODD children.
Behavior Modification and Therapy
Behavior modification therapy and individual therapy can help the child with ADHD and ODD learn how to manage anger, control impulses and improve communication skills. Positive reinforcement is used in behavior modification therapy to encourage the behavior that is sought and negative reinforcement is used to reduce the problematic behavior.
Individual therapy helps children with ADHD and ODD overcome the negative thinking and lack of self-esteem that they can develop with these disorders. Children with ADHD and ODD can have a very difficult struggle in school and social situations. Social struggles will eventually lead to self-esteem problems and individual therapy can help to reverse negative thinking and teach ADHD and ODD children how to respond positively.
Any of these treatment options can be used to treat ADHD and ODD separately, but it is better when all of these options are included in the treatment plan. With the proper treatment plan, a child with ADHD and ODD can reverse negative thinking, control impulses and anger, reduce distractability, and lead productive and normal lives. A specialist in ADHD and ODD can help to develop a treatment plan that works well for each individual child.