Dads and ADHD
Where are the dads of teens with ADHD Attention Deficit Disorder? One mental health specialist noted the lack of male participation in the various programs he administered for parents and their ADHD teens. Finding that a curiosity, he decided to research what, if any, results would be produced with more interaction from the fathers.
“His new research program, designed for children 6-12 years of age, includes two formats: a control group of fathers and children who receive traditional, evidence-based treatments for ADHD families and another group that receives the same, plus a sports element, in this case, soccer games. This second group is dubbed COACHES, or Coaching Our Acting-Out Children: Heightening Essential Skills.
Traditional treatments include teaching parents strategies to deal with the disruptive behaviors that are hallmarks of the disorder. Adding the COACHES element, Fabiano hoped, would result in increased participation for the fathers and improved relationships with their children.
“We thought for a chronic disorder like ADHD where these fathers aren’t going to be dealing with these problems for a couple weeks or a couple months, but for the child’s entire life, the treatment has to be well-liked, palatable and engaging,” Fabiano explained.”
The results were better than expected, with enthusiasm from both fathers and their kids. Beyond the implications for ameliorating the complications of ADHD, that teen is going to remember that their father cared enough to take time to work and play with them. That in itself helps immunize the teen to the temptations of teen drug abuse. Parents do have power!
By Ann Walker