Reply To: Overwhelmed and Exhausted Single Mom of 5 yr old with ADHD

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Penny Williams

Studies show that stimulant medication coupled with behavioral therapy/interventions is the most effective treatment for ADHD. Because of that, it’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends as well. Here’s a great overview of treating ADHD with medication:

A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

Tenex is a non-stimulant often prescribed for kids with ADHD. It’s enough medication for some kids, but not enough for others.

My son could not have any chance of success without his stimulant medication. By ensuring he has the opportunity for success, we are supporting his mental and emotional health. OT was hugely helpful as well (especially when he went back at age 11).

Of course, there’s more to treatment than just medication. Positive parenting approaches go a LONG way to improving symptoms and behavior as well. I highly recommend Ross Greene’s book, The Explosive Child. What he teaches works.

Become the Parent Your Child Needs

If behavior is a problem in school, request a formal evaluation (in writing, to the principal), and be sure to request a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) and resulting Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). There’s more to success at school than just academic achievement and grades — behavior plays a huge role. No child should be suspended for behavior that is the result of a disability. That needs to be part of his BIP.

Lastly, exhale. This is a marathon not a sprint. Pick a couple priorities to focus on first. Accept that you can’t “fix” it, but you can and will learn how to cope and craft a life of future joy and success for your son.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism