Interventions for ADHD in Children and Teens: A Focus on ADHD Coaching
Elizabeth Ahmann, Micah Saviet, and Lisa Joy Tuttle
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common neurobehavioral
disorder of childhood and can be associated with emotional, behavioral,
developmental, and physical comorbidities. ADHD can impact academic and
later occupational achievement, relationships and social development, wellbeing
and safety, and individual and family quality of life. Additionally, ADHD continues
into adulthood for a substantial proportion of individuals. Medication alone
is the most common treatment for ADHD. Although the American Academy of
Pediatrics (AAP) urges behavioral intervention as a key component of care, in
addition to FDA-approved ADHD medications, many children and adolescents
are missing out on behavioral approaches, in part because few evidence-based
behavioral interventions have widespread availability. This article introduces
ADHD coaching as a behavioral intervention with a growing evidence base. A literature
search identified 22 studies addressing ADHD coaching, of which 19
examined outcomes; seven of these studies were specific to children and teens.
The studies of coaching for young people with ADHD, like those among older
individuals, suggest that ADHD coaching is a promising behavioral intervention
and a useful component of multimodal treatment. Pediatric nurses can help families
understand ADHD; encourage them to engage behavioral intervention(s),
including ADHD coaching – as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
urges; and assist families in finding appropriate resources and referrals.
Additionally, nurses may consider coach training to more effectively support children
and teens with ADHD.