While it’s completely normal for some children to have challenges with doing their chores, paying attention in class, and acting impulsively, children who have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) find these tasks to be nearly impossible. You may be frustrated with your child’s ability to sit still or follow instructions you give, no matter how patient you are. You may struggle to stay patient and understanding when your child receives poor marks at school for his or her performance. These are normal symptoms of ADHD and with proper treatment you may find that you have an entirely different child who does not experience these struggles. At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we provide early intervention treatments for children and their families who are struggling with ADHD. While you may feel very alone in your struggles, ADHD is one of the most common developmental disorders of childhood. You don’t have to suffer in silence any longer, Ascent is here to help.
Why Seek Treatment for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
Children and parents who are struggling with the symptoms of unmanaged or under-treated ADHD often feel extremely frustrated and alone during this time. It can be nearly impossible for your child to complete assignments without you looking over their shoulder, making sure that certain assignments are completed. You may be frustrated by your child’s inability to follow up on even the most well laid out chores and duties around the house. It may be hard for your child to start and maintain friendships due to their behaviors, which can cause great devastation for you and your child. All is not lost. While the effects of ADHD cause significant impairment for many, it is possible to get this disorder under control and begin to lead a normal life without the stresses of ADHD looming over you.
An outpatient therapy program that specializes in treatment of children who have mental and behavioral disorders has shown to be one of the most effective interventions for children and their families. Your doctor may suggest enrolling in a program like Ascent to help your child learn the skills necessary to live with ADHD. Through a schedule of therapies provided by a treatment staff that has helped many children who similarly struggle with ADHD, your child will be able to begin the process of learning to live with ADHD. Conducting therapy on an outpatient basis will allow your child the ability to remain in school so that he or she is able to practice some of the techniques for social skills and other ways of managing ADHD in the scholastic setting. This can boost feelings of self-worth, fitting in, and success in their struggle with the disorder.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, we know that your child is a unique person who has been coping with ADHD and we’re ready to involve our multidisciplinary team to help your child begin their voyage into self-discovery. We do not use a cookie-cutter approach to treatment as we know each child has his or her own needs and ways of learning that require an eclectic approach to ADHD treatment. Our staff has helped many children just like yours successfully learn to manage their ADHD and we’re ready to help you on your journey of recovery. We’re not afraid to try different techniques aimed at managing symptoms and we take an individualized approach to treatment of ADHD that involves you and your child working with our treatment team to determine what works best for your child.
Treatment Options for ADHD at Ascent Children’s Health Services
Upon referral and entry into our unique program, our multidisciplinary team will perform a variety of developmental assessments upon your child. These assessments will allow us to gain a better picture of the specific challenges that your child faces and how we can best approach these challenges together. Our multidisciplinary team of licensed, experienced, and qualified staff include developmental pediatricians, pediatric psychologists, psychological examiners, licensed counselors, social workers, audiologists, dieticians, early childhood developmental specialists, developmental technicians, and licensed therapists – including occupational therapists, speech therapists, and physical therapists. If your child is between the ages of 2 and 6, annual assessments will be performed to determine how your child is doing and the continued need for intervention. We provide individualized interventions based upon your child’s needs and will continually assess their efficacy.
Good nutrition: Studies have shown that a proper diet can make a world of difference in managing ADHD. Our dietician will work with you to suggest meals high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to improve impulsivity and concentration. We’ll ensure that even snacks have complex carbohydrates and protein to help increase alertness and decrease hyperactivity. We’ll also work to help you create a meal schedule that ensures your child has snacks or meals no more than 3 hours apart, to minimize irritability and support concentration and focus.
Our cognitive-behavioral therapists will work with your child to set concrete goals for behaviors and achievements based upon a rewards system. We’ll work with you to set up a behavioral modification plan that encourages positive behaviors through rewards and praise and decreases problems by setting concrete limits and consequences for behaviors. For children who are ready, we work to set up a behavioral contract with them to help increase positive interactions and behaviors.
Educational specialists will work with your child to teach techniques that will allow for scholastic successes and with your child’s school to ensure your child is receiving the care he or she needs to be successful at school. This will allow for consistency across the board – working with us, at home, and during school.
Medications may or may not be used as a part of your child’s treatment with Ascent. Some children do benefit from the usage of medication to manage ADHD, but the best results are a combination of therapies and consistent rewards and consequences for behaviors.
For children who are able to engage in group therapy, Ascent offers a variety of group therapy approaches for children struggling with ADHD. Our groups are process-based or psycho-educational; your child will be referred to group as needed and only to the groups he or she would find beneficial. Some of the topics covered in group may include coping skills, peer interactions, managing emotions, positive choices, actions and consequences, deep breathing and relaxation, impulse reduction, and following directions.
Family therapy is done under the supervision of a doctor and meetings will be held no less than once per month. These psychotherapy-based sessions will work on consistency, communication, behavior contracts, coping skills, and reward charts. Family sessions focus upon your child and help to meet the needs of the family unit. Our doctors will watch family interactions and work to point out more appropriate means of dealing with situation-specific challenges.
As we are a holistic outpatient treatment center, we do not offer a one-size-fits-all approach to any disorder and include many types of experiential therapies to complement our other interventions. These may include:
- Therapy gyms
- Sensory rooms
- Nutritional meal plans
- Handwriting Without Tears
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Ascent Children’s Health Services, our evaluations will help us determine the type of program that will be of the most benefit to your child and his or her needs. We do reevaluate your child once per year to determine if he or she still requires our services. We offer a day treatment program, a school-based program, and a summer program for our patients. We also provide 24-hour crisis intervention at any time to treat emergency needs. Our CHMS and RSPMI program allows our children and their families a multidisciplinary approach for rehabilitation, early intervention, and prevention of long-term disability. We do also offer our CHMS services, such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, on an outpatient basis. A thorough evaluation will determine the program needs of your child.
When it has been determined that your child no longer requires our services, we’ll work with you to transition your child back into his or her community and home, providing you with the education and resources you need for continued success. We offer a formal transition process and detailed and clear aftercare plan that will make certain your child is still receiving any care he or she needs.