If you are a parent you likely are familiar with children who seem unable to sit still, don’t appear to listen when spoken to, yell out information at inappropriate times or which has nothing to do with what is being discussed and fail to follow even the most clearly detailed directions. Many times due to the disruptions they cause at home or school such children are simply called trouble makers. While it’s normal for kids to sometimes forget to bring home their assignments, daydream at school, act impulsively or get fidgety when bored, when such characteristics become severe enough to affect the child’s ability to function normally they may have Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that usually begins in early childhood but can present in later years. ADHD makes it hard for individuals to restrain their impulsive reactions —reactions that can involve a diverse constellation of behaviors and functions from movement, conversation, interactions and concentration.
The symptoms of ADHD in childhood can lead to significant problems in their life. Considered a disruptive behavior disorder due to the characteristics of aggression/anger outbursts, defiance, intrusiveness, and disorganization. Family relationships are frequently disrupted and the interfering and thoughtless behavioral styles of children with ADHD place them at significant risk for social rejection and subsequent isolation from others. The difficulty with these children have maintaining attention to tasks, ignoring distractions, and following through on instructions results in low academic performance and achievement scores even in the preschool years. Around 25% of children with ADHD have an associated learning disability which worsens their academic situation.
These symptoms left untreated can continue to negatively affect not just the child’s life, but the lives of all those around them. The child with ADHD frequently doesn’t comprehend that their behaviors are different from others and becomes confused by others rejection or cruelty.
However, there are effective treatments for this disorder even when it co-occurs with other conditions. At Lakeland’s treatment center in Missouri, we can help get your child back on the right track and restore normal social relationships between them and the important others in their life.
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment for ADHD at Lakeland
Sometimes parents wait to see if their child will outgrow the various symptoms of ADHD before considering treatment. Though not impossible particularly for mild cases, failure to pursue treatment or those who receive late treatment are at a higher risk for developing conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder as adults.
There are other long term effects of untreated ADHD in adulthood including physical and mental health problems. The features of ADHD can lead to a number of health problems, including binge eating disorder, substance use and abuse disorders, anxiety disorders, chronic overwhelming stress, muscle tension, and low self-esteem. These symptoms are often exacerbated due to failure to follow through with important physical and mental health checkups, skipping appointments, refusal to follow medical recommendations and non-compliance with following a vital medication or treatment regimen.
At Lakeland’s treatment center, we understand how difficult it is for the entire family in which one of the members has ADHD. We also know that left untreated the disorder can result in significant long term problems well into adulthood. Yet we have effective treatment techniques to help get your child or adolescent back on track so they can catch up to their peers and form meaningful relationships.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Lakeland’s mental health clinic, we understand how the all-encompassing effects of ADHD can lead to negative views of the self, others and the world in general. We also understand how the illness effects many others besides the individual in question. Family members may feel as if life will never go back to normal without the chaotic atmosphere created by the symptoms of the disorder. We realize that while diagnosis are serious constructs which should not be assigned lightly that a diagnosis of ADHD can sometimes be an substantial source of relief and hope. It helps your entire family to understand what the individual is fighting against and demonstrated to the child or adolescent as well as to the entire family that the individual is not to blame. The difficulties your child has are merely symptoms of an underlying treatable disorder and not the result of personal weakness or character flaws. We also believe in helping children uncover the strengths and unique characteristics we know reside within each individual who comes to us for help. We focus on treating children with ADHD through positive and respectful strategies which is also applied to involved family members.
Treatment for ADHD at Lakeland
Medication is the best documented treatment for ADHD. Stimulants are most frequently used and have been proven effective for not only the symptoms of ADHD, but also for co-morbid symptoms such as aggression and depression. Stimulants go a long way towards helping the child re-establish relationships including those within the family, increase their ability to play quietly and independently, improve short term memory, and result in significantly better classroom performance.
When there are negative thought patterns, skills deficits and poor self-esteem medication is not an effective strategy for addressing such problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy help children learn to stop and think things through to avoid acting impulsively, to challenge and replace negative thoughts, and use self-monitoring to maintain these new patterns of thinking and behaving.
Social skills training can be particularly useful for children who developed the condition very young and lost their peer network before being able to learn appropriate social skills from their peer’s reactions.
Parent training methods focus on helping parents respond to positive behavior not negative behavior. It also teaches parents how to substitute adaptive ways of interacting with their child for maladaptive pattern that have become automatic.
Academic skills training helps children learn such skills as using time efficiently, following directions, organization skills and better study skills.
At Lakeland’s mental health treatment center we utilize both individual therapy to help children feel they are receiving one on one attention for issues they prefer to discuss privately as well as psycho-educational and process oriented group therapy. Group work helps children feel understood by peers who are experiencing the same difficulties they are.
Continuity of Care – What Comes Next?
We understand that as discharge grows closer worry over relapse or the re-emergence of problematic symptoms grows larger and this anxiety alone often brings out symptoms that had previously remitted. There is no need for concern as this is normal when one prepares to leave a setting that became a haven for them to cope with their most difficult problems. Our treatment team will work with you to teach you additional coping strategies to use outside our treatment center. We also are strong advocates of continuity of care and work collaboratively with you and your loved ones to help determine the best next step for you to take in order to maintain the progress made with us as well as to continue to grow and continue on your path to complete recovery. We have access to various levels of care and will help you decide which level and treatment option best fits your current needs. It is our overreaching goal to ensure that even if you are no longer at our treatment clinic that you have entered an alternate arrangement which continues to show you the hope inherent within your future. The program or therapeutic option chosen will be one that helps you learn how to successfully meet the goals that have you arriving at a future filled with happiness, satisfaction and the ability to enjoy the company of friends and family.