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Study: Kids with ADHD Benefit from Team Approach

PHOTO: Collaborative care, or a team approach, like the one used at Children's Mercy Hospital, has been found to improve the long-term behavior of kids with ADHD more than the standard pediatrician-centered approach. Photo courtesy of J. Salazar/Children's Mercy.
PHOTO: Collaborative care, or a team approach, like the one used at Children's Mercy Hospital, has been found to improve the long-term behavior of kids with ADHD more than the standard pediatrician-centered approach. Photo courtesy of J. Salazar/Children's Mercy.
April 13, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It's been said it takes a village to raise a child, and new research suggests that is the case when it comes to helping kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.

A new study released by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that a team approach involving parents, clinicians, and doctors significantly improved impulsiveness, social skills, and overall behavior. Psychologist and assistant professor of pediatrics, PhD Carla Allan with Children's Mercy Hospital, says the findings confirm what many parents often say, they want more than just medication for their ADHD children.

"Treatments designed to teach their children new skills, ways of managing their behavior better," says Allan. "Ways of making and keeping friends, those are kinds of things that parents really want for their kids to have."

Children's Mercy is one of only a handful of sites in the world, and the only one in the Midwest, to offer a summer camp designed to treat kids with ADHD using this collaborative approach. More information on the Summer Treatment Program is at Children'sMercy.org.

Allan says involving parents in ADHD treatment is critical, no matter what sort of intervention is used.

"Even if you're just using medication, it's dependent on the parent remembering to give the child the medicine every day, being able to get the child to take the medicine when the child maybe wants to do something else," says Allan. "It's dependent on parents being able to remember 'oh my gosh, their prescription's almost out.'"

The Summer Treatment Program, which includes parent sessions as well as a focus on learning skills and academics, is an intense 8-week day camp, which Allan says is the equivalent to six years of once-a-week therapy. The study appears in the journal Pediatrics.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO