One 2012 study pointed to the stigma attached to ADHD — for those who have been diagnosed as well as those who are related to them. And so they think that medication is their next option. They think what’s happening with their child must be entirely chemical, because how else to explain their inability to fix it themselves?
But a new report from the world of child psychology has turned up something that is good news to those who preach the “treat the cause, not the symptom” brand of care: that children diagnosed with ADHD improve more quickly when their treatment involves behavior modification first, and then medication, rather than the other way around — which, of course, is the more common route.
The new research, published as two reports in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, found that children who began treatment with approaches — such as instruction in basic social skills, based on a simple, but specific, system of rewards and consequences — fared significantly better than those whose treatment began with a pharmaceutical, even if both treatments were ultimately combined into one therapy.