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BellaOnline's Attention Deficit Disorder Editor


Treating Mothers for ADD

When thinking about kids with Attention Deficit Disorder the saying that, ďThe apple doesnít fall far from the tree,Ē comes easily to mind. The search for genetic causes of Attention Deficit Disorder continues in such far flung locales as the United States, England, India, the Netherlands, Israel, China, and Canada. Studies show different genes involved in developing the disorder. What is never in question is that Attention Deficit Disorder tends to run in families.

What does this mean to families? When a child is diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, often the parents take a long, hard look at their own school and work lives. Many come to the conclusion that they also have Attention Deficit Disorder. For some, years of trial and error have developed coping skills, and the Attention Deficit Disorder may not be something that is readily apparent to an outsider. For others, there is a sense of relief; they have finally discovered why they donít seem to be able to live up to the promise that others have seen in them over the years. In either case, they want their childís life to be qualitatively different from their own lives as they were growing up. How can this be achieved?

Research has shown that a combination of stimulant medications, behavioral training, and consistent rules with structure is effective in helping a child with Attention Deficit Disorder learn to attend and control impulsivity. Assisting the child through these therapeutic approaches often falls into the motherís domain. What happens if the mother also has ADD?

This is the question asked by the Treating Mothers First Study at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They believe that when a parent also has ADD, and many of them do have the disorder, the therapeutic piece is hampered by the parentís Attention Deficit Disorder. It is their belief that when mothers are treated for their own ADD, rather than having it swept under the rug and medicated as a problem with depression, the children will benefit.

In this study, both mothers, and their children (ages 4 to 8) who are believed to have behaviors that show that they are at risk for Attention Deficit Disorder, will be evaluated. The mothers who are determined to have ADD/ADHD will be treated for eight weeks with either behavioral training or stimulant medication. The situation will be re-assessed after the eight week period, and treatment will continue for the mother for another eight weeks. This treatment impacts not just the mother and child with Attention Deficit Disorder, but the whole family, as well.

While researchers all over the globe are working hard to find out the causes of Attention Deficit Disorder, parents in the trenches struggle with important questions, too. How can I make my childís life better when he has ADD? What can I do to keep his creative spark bright, while at the same time helping him to focus more? The answers to these questions can be found in a therapeutic regimen that works for your child. One way to get this regimen established is to make sure that a mom who has Attention Deficit Disorder is supported with the treatment that she needs. Then, she can live her most effective life and also provide valuable interventions for her child.


University of Illinois at Chicago (2012, October 17). Study evaluates treating mothers with ADHD to improve outcomes in kids.ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 13, 2012, from
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Content copyright © 2018 by Connie Mistler Davidson. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Connie Mistler Davidson. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Mistler Davidson for details.


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