6 Action Steps for Parents of Children with ADHD

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Provided by the New England Comparative Effectiveness Public Advisory Council

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, the following steps are designed to help you make choices about the various treatment options for your child, based on the best available evidence.

ADHD tips for parents, mother and son using laptop
Become an Expert
Learn as much as you can about the various treatment options for ADHD. Consider the major approaches to ADHD treatment:
  • Parent-behavior training
  • Medication
  • Combined therapies (for example, medication plus behavioral therapies, such as parent-behavior training, school-based interventions, or other behavioral interventions)
Learn more about these ADHD treatment options.
ADHD tips for parents, child with doctor
Talk with Your Child's Doctor
Discuss the treatment options with your doctor, identifying the pros and cons of each treatment option, and the most important risks and benefits for your child.
ADHD tips for parents, parent and teacher meet at school
Connect with Your Child's Teacher
Talk to your child's teacher about your child's diagnosis and treatment plan, and discuss any school-based interventions that are available in your community. School-based interventions can be effective in helping some children with ADHD decrease disruptive behavior and improve work productivity, especially in communities where other behavioral interventions are not available.
ADHD tips for parents, medication bottles and money
Compare Medications and Their Costs
If you're considering ADHD medication, ask your doctor about any generic options that are available, and call your health insurance plan about the different out-of-pocket costs associated with each. Many medicines for ADHD work equally well, but differ in value. Talk to your doctor about which medication options have the highest value for your child, given your child's individual needs.
ADHD tips for parents, parent and therapist meeting
Find Certified Therapists
If you're considering parent-behavior training, seek out therapists who use a certified approach. A major obstacle in accessing appropriate ADHD treatment is the limited availability of qualified therapists that provide behavioral/psychological services, such as parent-behavior training, in many geographical areas.

CHADD.org (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) provides a state-by-state directory of ADHD service providers.

ADHD tips for parents, woman writing in journal
Keep a Journal
Maintain a journal that tracks your child's progress with treatment. Bring this journal with you to your child's appointments, and discuss with your doctor any changes over time.