ADHD Behavioral Therapy and Coaching. Does it Help!!

In my house coaching is essential treatment for my inattentive son. I have many strategies that help me through the day but mental coaching helps my inattentive symptoms tremendously. There are several great books that have sections on coping strategies for parents, partners, and individuals with ADHD. The books are highlighted at the end of this post.

Does coaching alone work to treat ADHD?? The American Academy of Pediatrics does not think so. There is evidence that Behavioral Therapy (coaching) helps kids on medication achieve better behavioral outcomes but that Behavioral Therapy alone cannot treat the main symptoms of ADHD.

No study that I have found (and believe me, I have looked!!) has looked into behavioral therapy for the Primarily Inattentive ADHD subtype. One study indicated that kids with ADHD that had a co-morbidity of anxiety did better with behavioral therapy than kids with a comorbidity of aggression or conduct disorders. I could probably find the study if you needed me to :)

Primarily Inattentive ADHD kids are more likely to have anxiety and are less likely to have conduct disorders. When studies of ADHD kids are done and the study does not divide out the subtypes, I sometimes infer that many of the anxious kids were probably primarily inattentive. Scientifically, this is VERY poor form (or more to the point, just a wild guess) but when less is known about the treatment of a disease, it is natural for an interested reader to, 'grab at straws'.

Behavioral therapy is likely to work much better with kids and adults with inattention as their primary symptom and should probably be first line therapy for the Inattentive type of ADHD and the Motivation Breakthrough is a must read for parents of Inattentive kids.

The Motivation Breakthrough: Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child (Book and DVD Bundle)

These two programs are an excellent place to start.

ADHD Motivational Breakthrough By: Dr. Richard Lavoie

Below is what educators and ADHD experts have reported about the Motivational Breakthrough Book.

"Rick's experiences as an educator, father, and consultant shine through as he describes obstacles to motivation and eloquently articulates interventions that will be most effective in sparking the interest and joy of kids, especially given their different needs." -- Robert Brooks, Ph.D., author of The Self-Esteem Teacher and coauthor of Raising Resilient Children

"Sheer genius! Lavoie's gift for creatively motivating even the most difficult students is unrivaled. A must-read for educators who want to learn from a master teacher!" -- Chris A. Zeigler Dendy, M.S., author of Teaching Teens with ADD and ADHD and coauthor of A Bird's-Eye View of Life with ADD and ADHD

"Rick succeeds in emphasizing how important it is for adults to know what motivates children. The Motivation Breakthrough is a valuable resource for all of us who are searching for ways to inspire and discover that elusive motivational spark in our children." -- Richard L. Goldman, M.Ed., director, Schools Attuned, Los Angeles; assistant director, Center for Teaching and Learning, California State University, Northridge

"Rick Lavoie reminds us on every page that we all possess the power to shape a child's future. The Motivation Breakthrough offers concrete strategies and reveals the most powerful and effective secrets for boosting a child's confidence, self-esteem, and motivation." -- Donna Goldberg, author of The Organized Student

"Richard Lavoie's work has become a centerpiece in teacher preparation curriculum across the United States. The principles espoused by Lavoie in this book are testimony to what many effective educators have known for a long time: in learning, often the journey is just as important as the destination. This is a must-read for anyone connected with the field of education."-- Michael E. Spagna, Ph.D., professor and executive director, the Center for Teaching and Learning, Michael D. Eisner College of Education, California State University

Other worthwhile books include:

More Attention, Less Deficit:Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD,Ari Tuckman PhD

Is It You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.? Stopping the Roller Coaster When Someone You Love Has Attention Deficit Disorder Gina Pera

Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder Edward M. Hallowell M.D., John J. Ratey M.D.

I do not agree with everything written in these books.My favorite books are probably the Dr. Hallowell books and he puts out a newsletter that is also worth subscribing to but I think that all the books do a good job of outlining great coping strategies that actually help. I found the article for the findings of the sub-committe of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It is listed below:

Pediatrics. 2005 Jun;115(6):e749-57.
Treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: overview of the evidence.

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