ADD/ADHD Basics of Treatment
ADD/ADHD Basics of Treatment
McKenzie Pediatrics 2019
If your child is diagnosed with an attentional disorder, (s)he may be started on a psychostimulant medication (e.g. Concerta, Adderall, Focalin, Vyvanse, Metadate, et al) or a non-psychostimulant medication (e.g Strattera, Intuniv et al). Here are a few things for parents to know:
- Psychostimulant medications are DEA-regulated, which means several important things:
- We can only write a maximum of 30 days’ worth of medication at one time
- Prescriptions must be hand-written, and given directly to a parent or caregiver authorized in the child’s medical record
- The parent/caregiver must initial the chart upon receipt of the prescription, unless the prescription is given directly to you by the physician
- Most pharmacies enforce the general rule that you cannot fill a new prescription until 30 days after the last prescription was filled
- We cannot mail or fax or call-in a prescription.
- Please do not call in after-hours for refills
- And please give us at least 24 hours’ notice of the need for a new handwritten prescription
- Medications cannot be the SOLE source of treatment for a child with an attentional disorder. Additional therapy options include but are not limited to:
- Optimizing the child’s nutrition. Increase proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Minimize breads and pastas and snack crackers. A nutritious breakfast is a MUST...this does not mean breakfast cereals!
- The child’s appetite will likely be diminished during the school day, therefore (s)he should be provided with a low-volume, protein-dense food to force down during lunch time. Examples include: protein bars, hard-boiled eggs, trail mix, hummus, a bean & cheese burrito, yogurt, cheese, or cheese wrapped with lunchmeat
- Consider a long-term, daily Omega-3 fatty acid supplement. Studies have shown that daily supplementation for >3 months to be beneficial. Consider shopping at Costco for the best price on large quantities.
- Consider having the child learn a musical instrument. There is proven benefit in reducing attentional difficulties when a child begins and sticks with musical training
- Consider martial arts. There is also proven benefit in reducing attentional difficulties when a child begins and sticks with martial arts training, especially with an instructor who emphasizes skills and patience and humility and respect, rather than emphasizing winning trophies
- Reduce screen time (video games, Netflix, YouTube) to 1 hour or less daily on school nights, and 2 hours or less on weekend days
- Reading is the best form of skills training for learning patience and reducing distractibility and forgetfulness. Encourage that your child participate in OBOB (Oregon Battle of the Books)
- Guarantee at least 9 hours of sleep per night! Regular bedtimes are a must. Turn off all screens at least 30 minutes prior to bedtime.
- Finally, regular exercise is a MUST. Children might even be made to “earn” their screen time by reading and exercising first. Best is aerobic exercise, a minimum of 30 minutes per day for at least 5 days a week.