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Dealing with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a developmental disorder of self-control. It includes problems with attention span, impulse control, and activity levels. ADHD affects a child’s will or capacity to control his or her behavior in relation to keeping potential goals, time and consequences in mind.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity is Not

ADHD is not a matter of being inattentive or overactive. It is not a normal phase of childhood that the child will grow out of. It is not caused by parental failure to discipline, or the inability to control your child, and it is not because your child is inherently bad.

Who Gets Attention Deficit/Hyperativity?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. Boys continue to be more than twice as likely as girls to have ADHD. ADHD often runs in families. Keep in mind that people with ADHD are just as smart as other people and many people with ADHD are often very creative and adventurous. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) periodically publishes The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America. The 2001 version of this publication states: "ADHD, one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents, affects an estimated 4.1 % of youths ages 9 to 17..., the median age of onset of AD/HD is 7 years..."

What Causes Attention Deficit/Hyperativity?

ADHD is a neurological condition that has many different causes. One reason is the way the brain cells communicate via neurotransmitters of a child with ADHD. These neurotransmitters are not being sent quickly enough from neuron to neuron which causes a filtering problem.  Other causes of ADHD that are still being explored today are genetic and environmental factors.

Your Therapy at Dr. Angela Fountain & Associates?

At Dr. Fountain & Associates we provide a safe and fun atmosphere for children of all ages to explore their feelings and behaviors. We provide an interactive country setting that enables children to explore their concerns in a way that is non-threatening and enjoyable.  Cognitive-behavioral play therapy (CBPT) is an approach to treating children in a developmentally sensitive way. Cognitive-behavioral play therapy involves your child in the treatment through play, using art materials, baking, stuffed animals, puppets, live animals and other toys. CBPT includes the establishment of specific goals, the therapist playing an active role in selecting materials and activities, using play to educate the child, and using praise and rewards to encourage positive behaviors.

How can Cognitive Behavioural Therapy/ Cognitive Behavioural Play Therapy (CBPT) Help?

Cognitive behavioral play therapy is a technique that teaches skills for handling life challenges and overcoming negative thoughts. CBPT for children with ADHD is aimed largely at improving their behavior through praise and rewards. Children are taught a vast array of copying strategies to help themselves to stop, identify the problem, list possible solutions to the problem and see which one works best. Children with ADHD are taught how to chunk their time for better time management and proper organizational skills to accomplish goals. CBPT helps children to better manage their feelings about having ADHD and the skills needed to maintain healthy relationships.

The following outlines the different phases of the Cognitive Behavioural Play Therapy treatment that your child would receive for Attention Deficit/Hyperativity at Dr. Angela Fountain & Associates:

Phase One: The Foundation

  • Establishing a therapeutic relationship

  • Explaining what ADHD is and isn’t.

  • How to set and make personal goals

  • Understanding how our thoughts, feelings and behaviors are all interconnected

  • What are Thinking and Behavioral Traps

  • Identifying Feelings and Emotions

  • The importance of time management and organization


Phase Two: The Nuts and Bolts

  • Identifying triggers that are problematic in social and educational environments

  • Learning how to Stop once a trigger is identified

  • Learning how to relax

  • Identifying calming thoughts and coping statement

  • Identifying situations that may cause problems

  • Learning how to create and identify a good plan to a problem

  • Learning healthy social skills and maintaining friendships

  • Learning to reward yourself for your Efforts NOT just your Success


Phase Three:  Practice Practice Practice

  • Practice Role playing the different coping and problem solving skills

  • Applying what is learned to real life situations

  • What coping plan works best for you

  • Continue practicing and developing positive assumptions, schemas, thoughts and self-talk


Phase Four: On the Right Path

  • Re-visiting goals and making changes if necessary

  • Concrete plan on how to do things on our own

  • Phasing out Therapy (monthly visits)


What Can Be Expected as a Client Recieving CBPT?

CBPT is a treatment that requires your active participation. You will be asked to attend therapy weekly for the initial phase of your treatment (first 3-4 sessions). You will be given out weekly take home assignments to be completed at home to help you practice the tools learned in therapy that encourage modifying your behavior, your thoughts, and your relationships.

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