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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young children (ages 2 to 5) with ADHD receive behavior therapy for treatment first before trying medication. Behavior therapy for young children is most effective when their parents learn strategies from therapists and use those strategies to manage their children’s behavior. Parents learn to create structure, reinforce good behavior, discourage negative behaviors, provide consistent discipline, and strengthen the relationship with their child through positive communication. These techniques not only help children with ADHD but also children without a diagnosis to function successfully at home and at school. Hear at ACTS for Kids, our doctors and therapist utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the "Gold Standard" treatment that is research-proven to be effective in treating numerous disorders including but not limited to: Anxiety, Depression, ADHD, Bipolar Mood Disorders, Asperger's Syndrome, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is directive and collaborative and aims to immediately improve functioning and over the course of treatment eliminate suffering. Ultimately, the goal is for the client/patient to effectively learn the principles and strategies of CBT while working with our clinicians, so that they may employ newly learned strategies throughout their lives. The focus of CBT is changing underlying thinking that drives our emotional state and ultimately our behavior. Combined with behavior modification techniques, CBT culminates into positive changes and improvements for clients/patients.
A recent study by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that despite these guidelines, only one in two young children diagnosed with ADHD are receiving psychological services, which may include behavior therapy.
Here at ACTS for Kids, our therapists and doctors are trained specifically to treat children with a variety of different symptoms and concerns from anxiety and depression to ADHD and other behavioral issues. We engage the parents and family members throughout the treatment process as we feel this is essential.
Here at ACTS for Kids, our doctors and therapist utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the "Gold Standard" treatment that is research-proven to be effective in treating numerous disorders
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a scientifically proven method of treatment that works for younger patients as effectively as it does for adults in the treatment of the anxiety disorders as well as such disorders as conduct disorder, depression, and physical complaints that are not caused by an actual physical condition. The idea is that a person feels an emotion which leads to a thought that is uncomfortable which in turn leads to a behavior that makes the feeling better, but the feeling is then affected by the behavior so that it leads to another uncomfortable thought which leads to another and possibly even more inappropriate behavior which leads to another feeling and so on. Cognitive behavioral therapy is an attempt to change the thought into a more realistic and helpful one thus breaking the circle.
Children sometimes experience anxiety for various reasons. Most children feel anxious from time to time and this is normal; when the anxiety becomes chronic, its time to seek help for the child.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is when a child or adult worries most of the time about many things—things that have happened in the past, in the present or in the future. When children have this disorder they worry about events that are coming in the future, conversations or actions they went through, their health and their family’s health, school concerns and world events. They worry so much and feel that they can’t control their worrying and so the worrying begins to interfere in all that they try to do.
Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder are anxiety, worrying, restlessness, feeling constantly tired, on edge, finding it difficult to concentrate and having problems with sleep.
Even though this disorder is frightening to the child and disturbing to the parents, there are treatments that can help. Studies conducted in the past have shown that the most effective way to help a child with this disorder is to educate, identify and train the child with relaxation techniques. In addition, when parents reinforce the techniques that can help a child with this kind of anxiety, the child does even better. If a child doesn’t get help with this disorder he or she will do what they can to avoid feeling bad and nervous. Some will do what they can to avoid situations where they might feel bad. In addition, some will learn how to avoid the challenges of life we all face and put themselves in isolated situations such as seeking thrills, rejecting responsible behavior, using drugs or skipping school.