Editor’s Note: We combined two interviews into an intertwining post for you.
Anthony Rostain, MD, MA: So ADHD medication is really only one part of what we call a multimodal approach to treating ADHD. The other components include patient education. It’s really important to sit down with the patient and educate them about what ADHD is and how it affects their life and to review the treatment options.
The next thing we recommend is self-education. It’s having the patient learn about online resources that can help them cope better with their ADHD.
The next component of treatment is ADHD coaching. Many people find it helpful to find somebody to coach them through the day, keep them on track, and give them ideas about how to organize their lives. Coaching is a growing resource for people with ADHD.
Robert Tudisco,Esq, ADHD Adult: A very interesting story about my boss who was an adult with ADHD. He was and still is a successful entrepreneur. Both of his children were diagnosed with ADHD and they were struggling in school. Both he and his son and his daughter were very successful after working with ADHD coaches. What he ultimately did was to decide to be able to create a network of coaches to provide support for all adults and students with ADHD.
He created this foundation and I actually ran it for him. The name of the organization is the Edge Foundation and they have a network of coaches that work with students all over the country, and in public schools in Washington State. My boss and I both really benefitted and were able to do the work we’re doing because we were diagnosed and we know that there’s a name for it and we understand it. I really think that puts us in a better position to help students and other adults. Now, there are also problem focused support groups.
Anthony Rostain, MD, MA: Some of these are sponsored by advocacy groups like CHADD. Others are sponsored by mental health facilities. But meeting with other people who share your problem and talking about it with others is a very helpful step to take.Then if indicated, there are a host of psychotherapists, in particular, cognitive behavioral therapy, which has been shown to really improve patient’s functioning and help patients to cope better with their ADHD.
Occasionally, individuals will need social skills groups to help them become better at managing friendships and other important relationships and were indicated in getting vocational assessment and vocational counseling, particularly in situations where the individual is having a hard time at their chosen occupation. We recommend all of these things in addition to medication in order to enhance functioning and help patients lead a better life. We cover these alternative approaches in our educational seminars with Free ADHD CME.