Treatment of ADHD in Children under 6 yrs
ADHD should be treated using a “multimodal‘ approach”. Simply put, this means using more than one type of treatment to manage ADHD symptoms. Examples of ADHD treatments are listed below
Educating parents, individuals, and any other adults who routinely interact with the child about ADHD is the first and most important component of an ADHD treatment plan. Studies have shown that providing education on ADHD greatly increases the chance that treatment will continue long term. The more a family understands about ADHD and how it affects their child, the better they will be at making informed choices and implementing strategies and accommodations in the home. insert link to events page – parenting programs
It is important to seek classroom accommodations for your ADHD child, please refer to our section on education (insert link)
Guidelines on ADHD for preschools developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) state that behaviour therapy should be the first line of treatment for children four and five years of age. However, the guidelines go on to state that if behavioural therapy is not accessible, has not worked, or if symptoms are severe enough that the child or family are at risk of harm, medication can and should be considered. Insert link to“Understanding early childhood ADHD”
Exercise produces several hormones that can benefit brain functioning and help improve focus.
Mindfulness can assist with better awareness of attention, manage stress, be less reactive to impulsive thoughts and be less judgmental of ADHD symptoms.
Sleep plays a major role in our health and development. For example, sleep is important for learning, attention, and memory, academic achievement, and even physical growth1, 2. As such, it is important for children to get age-appropriate quality and quantity of sleep! According to the National Sleep Foundation, school aged children (6-13 years old) should receive between 9 and 11 hours of sleep each night3. Children who sleep less or who have poor quality sleep (e.g., up and down throughout the night) will not be able to perform their best during the day, especially in school.
PDF on ADHD and Sleep
Access the Canadian Paediatric Society’s article on Alternative ADHD Therapies by clicking here.
Access a comprehensive article reviewing the evidence on Cognitive Training (brain training games) and brain training strategies by clicking here.
Medication Management – if required
It not usually recommended that children under the age of 6yr take ADHD medication, however in certain instances it may be required. Please speak with a knowledgeable ADHD physician to see if ADHD medication is right for your child.
In uncomplicated cases of ADHD, medication management is fairly straight forward and effective with minimal side effects. ADHD medication has been around for more than fifty years and there are thousands of published research papers on their safety and efficacy. There are two types of medications used to manage ADHD medication. For more information on medication please speak with a medical professional
- Stimulant medication.
- Non-stimulant medication
Please refer to the charts below for information on specific medications