Medicine Information

ADHD - Are there Treatment Options?

As an ADD coach I am often asked about the treatment options available for Attention Deficit Disorder. Generally when someone says "ADD" the first thing that will come to the layperson's mind is 'Ritalin' or an image of a hyperactive "Dennis-the-Menace" type. Fortunately, there is a lot more to Attention Deficit Disorder than drugs and hyperactivity. Each individual is unique and therefore different people will respond well to different treatment options.

There are a number of treatment options available for children and adults with ADD. Let's explore some of the most common options.

1) Medication - Medication such as stimulants (i.e. Ritalin, Dexedrine, Concerta, Adderall) is probably the most common treatment for ADD. Often antidepressants (such as Prozac, Paxil, Effexor, Wellbutrin) are used instead of or in combination with the stimulants. Some individuals will respond quite well to treatment with medication while others will see little to no difference. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of treatment with medication with your doctor.

2) Counseling and Therapy - Many children and adults with ADD will benefit from counseling from a Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Social worker or other mental health practitioner. There is no one form of counseling - some professionals will focus on exploring events in the past or emotions while others will work with behavior modification techniques. Some professionals will use a combination of approaches depending on the individual.

3) ADD Coaching - Coaching can be conducted in person or over the telephone and focuses on the whole-person. An ADD coach creates a partnership with each client to explore treatment options for ADD while focusing on creating balance and satisfaction in each area of the client's life. ADD coaching is recommended for a period of 3-6 months for maximum effectiveness. Coaching utilizes regular communication, goal setting, personality and interest inventories and an extensive battery of tools to design an individualized strategy for each client.

4) Biofeedback and Neurofeedback - Biofeedback uses monitoring devices to furnish information regarding autonomic body functions such as heart rate or blood pressure. The individual patient is therefore trained to gain some voluntary control over that function. Neurofeedback uses technology to train individuals to gain self-regulation of individual brain wave states so as to remain alert, relaxed and focused.

5) Nutritional Therapy and Natural Treatments - Naturopathic and Homeopathic Doctors, Dieticians, Nutritionists, Allergists and other practitioners stress the importance of the dietary treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder. These professionals can design a customized diet that will help to reduce the symptoms of ADD. Nutritional supplements and vitamins are often recommended to ensure a balanced diet and proper levels of essential vitamins and minerals.

6) Supplemental Education - Educational centres such as Sylvan Learning Centre and Kumon Math & Reading Centre offer educational programs for children who fall behind in the classroom. Current research indicates that an estimated 50% of children with ADD have a co-existing learning disability. Supplemental Education also exists for adults in the form of career-based training in facilities such as the Academy of Learning.

With all of these possibilities how does any ADDer know where to turn? Remember that no one treatment is a miracle! Often the best treatment comes from a combination of several of the treatments listed above. If you are struggling to find the treatment that is right for you we are here to help. ADDvocacy makes a commitment to presenting unbiased information on all treatment options available. Contact ADDvocacy to schedule a free 30-minute coaching session to explore ADD treatment options for you or a loved one. For more information please visit our website at

Julia Anne Allworth is the business owner of ADDvocacy, an organization designed to educate, serve and coach those with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADDvocacy works with adults, teens, parents, educators, organizations and medical professionals to shed light on the facts and positives about ADD, its co-existing conditions and implications for the future.

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