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Supports and Services for Children with ADHD

It can be overwhelming when your child receives a diagnosis of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). What services and supports are available? Where can you access various supports? What is right for your child?

It is important to note that all individuals diagnosed with ADHD are just that – individuals. This means that each child’s needs will be different. They will have different strengths and weaknesses, meaning that one size fits all service recommendations will not apply. In the article below, I will go over typical recommendations for children with ADHD, including why each service may be needed and how to access the service. That being said, refer to your evaluating provider for which services are best for your child.

If you have general questions or concerns about ADHD, see ADHD in Children: What you need to know.

Services & Supports

Remember, all children with ADHD are unique and have individual strengths and weaknesses. Below are general examples of services recommended for children with ADHD, but be sure to refer to your evaluating provider for specific recommendations for your child.

Common Goals for Individual Behavior Therapy
  • Adding structure and environmental supports
  • Increasing positive behaviors such as paying attention in class
  • Improving self-management skills
  • Decreasing disruptive behaviors
Where are services provided?

Individual behavior therapy is provided in-person in a private clinic, or via telehealth.

Frequency of Services

Frequency of services depends on your child’s unique needs, though behavior therapy is typically provided weekly in 50-minute sessions.

How to Find a Therapist

Individual therapy can be provided by a psychologist with a behavioral focus. To find a provider in your area, call your insurance company for in-network referrals or visit the Seedling Behavioral Psychology homepage.

Individual (Behavior) Therapy

Individual therapy focusing on behavior management is the first treatment option for children under 6 years of age. Behavior therapy in combination with medication management (see below) is recommended to address ADHD for children over 6 years of age.

Common Goals for Parent Training
  • Adding structure and environmental supports
  • Decreasing disruptive behaviors
  • Decreasing noncompliance 
  • Addressing safety concerns
  • Strengthening the parent child relationship
Where are services provided?

Parent training is provided in-person in a private clinic, or via telehealth.

Frequency of Services

Parent training sessions typically occur once weekly for 50-minutes. Realistic goals will be set and sessions will be faded and scheduled lesser over time as behaviors improve.

How to Find Parent Training Services

Parent training is provided by a psychologist with a behavioral focus. To find a provider in your area, call your insurance company for in-network referrals or visit the Seedling Behavioral Psychology homepage.

Parent Training

Parent training is recommended as a way to empower parents with the knowledge of how to respond to difficult behaviors and help their child thrive. Through behavioral techniques, parents will be taught how to appropriately manage challenging behavior and promote positive behavior.

How to find services

Start by talking to your child’s pediatrician. A referral to a psychiatrist for further evaluation and/or treatment may be necessary.

Medical Support

Medication management, paired with behavioral supports, can be helpful in improving ADHD in some children. As all children are unique, a medication that works for one child may not work for another, thus various medications/dosages may need to be tried before determining the right fit for the child.  

Common Topics Addressed with Social Skills Training
  • Starting a conversation
  • Ending a conversation
  • How to make friends
  • Turn taking
Where are services provided?

Social skills training can be provided in many different settings – at school, at home, in clinic, in the community – and it is best to practice in various locations/environments to help generalize new skills to the natural environment.

Frequency of Services

Social skills training groups typically have a set structure and start/end date, though this can vary across providers and curriculum used.

How to Find Social Skills Groups

Social skills training can be provided by a variety or professionals including: occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, and school psychologists. To find a provider in your area, call your insurance company for in-network referrals or visit the CHADD Resource Directory.

Social Skills Training

ADHD can affect a child’s ability to create meaningful relationships. Social skills training groups are recommended for children that desire to engage socially but may not have the skills to do so in a successful and appropriate way. Social skills are often taught in a group session which creates an opportunity to practice the skills that they are learning.

Common Supports in the School Setting
  • Extra testing time
  • Additional breaks
  • Social skills
  • Behavioral supports
How to initiate an IEP evaluation

Contact your school principal or special education director to request an evaluation to determine special education eligibility.

School Supports

School supports begin with an evaluation for an Individualized Education Program (IEP). An IEP is a plan that determines the supports that the child needs to be successful in the school setting. An IEP includes measurable goals that can be either functional or academic based.

A free therapy consultation in Draper

Hopefully this helps answer some of your questions about services and supports for children with ADHD. If you have other questions, feel free to call me at (801)-613-9184 for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to answer additional questions or direct you to the right person. If you are looking for parent training or challenging behavior support for your children, you can read more about how I can help HERE.

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