ADHD Treatment Planning

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Successful Treatment Planning for Attention Deficit Disorder

What You Should Do If You or Your Child Is Diagnosed With Attention Deficit Disorder

Recommended Steps In ADHD Treatment

We have worked with over 1,000 children and teens with Attention Deficit Disorder, and the following suggestions are based on our "real life" experiences.

The suggestions below take into consideration a number of variables:

  • Your child or teen's diagnosis, such as:
  1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Inattentive Type
  2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Impulsive-Hyperactive Type
  3. With or without temper problems
  4. With or without some depression or anxiety, and so on
  • and also on the time of the year in which you are beginning treatment.
  • Best Season to Try Alternatives

    During the summer vacation and early in the school year is best to try the "alternative" interventions, such as "Attend," "Extress," essential fatty acids, the ADHD Diet, or EEG Biofeedback training.

    During the summer and early school year there is less pressure and more time to try these treatments and give them a chance to work. We believe that the "alternative treatments" like Attend, Extress, our ADHD Diet, and EEG Biofeedback, all work equally as well as medications. But the biggest problem with "alternative treatments for ADHD" is that they take longer to work (often 30 to 45 days) as opposed to medications that can work well in just 15 minutes.

    By taking the time to try these "alternative treatments for ADHD" when there is less pressure to perform in school often mild to moderate cases of Attention Deficit Disorder can be kept off of medication.

    When We Recommend Medication for ADHD

    Later in the school year, if the child is having lots of problems in school, we tend to recommend trials of medication right away for Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Here is our thinking.

    First we want to do what we can to “salvage” the school year if we only have a few weeks left. Since medications can begin to give benefits very quickly often the child will pass classes that he might have failed otherwise.

    Additionally, by having a “real world” trial of medication prior to the summer break, we can use the benefits received from the medication as a “bench mark” or "baseline" with which to measure the effectiveness of the “alternative” treatments that might be tried over the summer months.

    We know that we have the summer coming up to try alternatives that might be able to cut the dose of medication in half, or eliminate the need for medication altogether.

    Deep into the school year time is a big factor, and the interventions that work the soonest should be considered seriously as a temporary aid in getting through the school year.

    Physicians and Psychologists

    When discussing these suggestions with your physician or your psychologist remember that old saying, "If the only tool that you own is a hammer, then all the world looks like a nail."

    Professionals who are personally unfamiliar with treatment options such as "Attend" and "Extress" amino acids, our ADHD Diet, essential fatty acids, or the EEG Biofeedback training, will tend to discount them immediately out of their ignorance.

    I know, because I discounted alternatives myself for years. I only began researching alternative treatments for ADHD after some parents told me that "my ignorance on a subject" did not "make my opinion the truth."

    And with taking the time to research Attend, Extress, our ADHD diet recommendations, and EEG Biofeedback training, I found that they can work powerfully for most people with ADHD, and without the side-effects of medications.

    This is where you must decide for yourself how best to help your child or teen with Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Use your best judgment. Talk with your doctor about these suggestions.

    Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., M.S. is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Tehachapi, CA who has been a skillful counselor to children, teens, and adults helping them to overcome ADHD, find relief for depression or anxiety, and solve other problems in life since 1989. He served on the medical advisory board to the company that makes Attend and Extress from 1997 through 2011, and he is the Editor of the ADHD Information Library online resource. His weekly ADHD Newsletter goes out to 9,500 families. Visit his website at for more information on achieving greater health, personal growth, Christ-centered spirituality, stress management, parenting skills, ADHD, working out the stresses of being a care-giver to elderly parents and also being a parent to teenagers, or finding greater meaning in retirement years, Dr. Cowan can be a valuable resource to you.

    Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., MFT
    27400 Oakflat Dr.
    Tehachapi, CA 93561
    (661) 972-5953

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