6 Behavioral Parent Training Programs Popular with ADHD Families
Mounting evidence shows that behavioral parent training programs can help to manage a child’s challenging behaviors, build critical skills, and improve the quality of a family’s home life. This is part of the reason so many clinicians recommend it after an ADHD diagnosis. But how do you choose the right BPT program for your family? Here are 6 popular and well-researched options.
Research shows that behavioral parent training (BPT) “can be effective in as few as 8 sessions,” and almost always produces results after 12 weeks, according to David Anderson, Ph.D., senior director of the ADHD & Behavior Disorders Center. Symptom reports by parents and teachers indicate that critical behavioral problems decrease significantly with BPT, and may even bring a child’s functioning to the level of his or her neurotypical peers, Anderson says.
Behavioral parent training therapists typically lead groups of parents in 8 to 12 weekly sessions, each one of which addresses a specific skill — coaching parents through common scenarios and offering a plan for the application of new parenting techniques. Therapy may take place at home, in an office, online, or even over the phone. Prices vary based on format, frequency, and the availability of one-on-one attention, among other variables.
The most effective BPT programs increase positive parent-child interactions by elevating the quality of attachment, the ability to communicate effectively, and the ability to set and enforce boundaries. The following are several BPT programs popular among families living with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD):
Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
- Price: Dependent on therapist or practice
- Format: A therapist in an observation room watches parents interact with their child in real time.
- Therapy: Parents wear an ear piece to receive in-the-moment parenting strategies from the therapist.
- Make your child feel calm, confident, and secure in your relationship
- Learn how to be confident and calm in the face of your child’s most difficult behaviors
- Duration: Can be completed within 12 to 20 sessions, though treatment is not time limited.
- Price: $750 to 1,970
- Format: Trained facilitators use video vignettes to structure content and stimulate discussion.
- Therapy: Incredible Years offers separate programs for parents of toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children.
- Strengthen parent-child interactions
- Foster parents’ ability to promote children’s social and emotional development
- Reduce school dropout rates and delinquent behaviors
- Promote academic success
- Duration: 12 to 20 weekly group sessions, each one lasting 2 to 3 hours
- Price: $79.95 for 12 months unlimited access
- Format: This online program is divided into two groups: parents of children aged 12 and under, and parents of children aged 10 to 16 years old.
- Therapy: The programs provide modules — a mix of videos, worksheets, tips and activities — that take 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
- Goals: Build parent confidence, raise happy children, and set discipline guidelines.
Helping the Non-Compliant Child (HNC)
- Price: around $500 in 2016
- Format: Training sessions for parents and children aged 3 to 8
- Therapy: Skills are taught using active teaching methods, such as extensive demonstration, role play, and real-time practice.
- Goals: Foster positive interaction by
- Reducing parental coercive behaviors
- Providing positive attention to the child for appropriate behavior
- Setting limits and consequences
- Duration: 60- to 90-minute sessions once or twice a week for 8 to 10 weeks
Parent Management Training (PMT)
- Price: Sliding scale, call 203-848-7169 for more information about fees
- Format: Parents of children with moderate to severe behavioral difficulties work with a certified trainer online, in person, or over the phone.
- Therapy: Training covers how to effectively deal with anxiety and negative behavior, and how to increase positive behavior from your child.
- Goals: Teach parents how to help their children cultivate positive behavior
- Duration: Weekly 45- to 50-minute sessions. PMT also offers intensive training sessions lasting 2 to 4 hours — in person or over WebEx.
Parent Management Training-Oregon Model (PMT-O)
- Price: Varies depending on location of practice.
- Format: This intervention program is provided to individual families, parent groups, and through telehealth delivery.
- Therapy: The structure of individual training programs differ by location, both nationally and internationally.
- Goals: Promote social skills that reduce delinquency, deviant peer associations, and mood disorders in parents and youths.
- Duration: Training duration varies based on implementation site
How to Treat ADHD in Children: Next Questions
- What ADHD medications are used to treat children?
- Is ADHD medication right for my child?
- What are common side effects associated with ADHD medication?
- What natural treatments help kids with ADHD?
- What if the medication stops working?
- How can I find an ADHD specialist near me?