Therapists can help children and adults with many challenges, ranging from mood disorders to anxiety disorders and other concerns like attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We know that therapy is an effective treatment for kids with ADHD and can help kids with executive function, self-esteem, reduction of symptoms, and behavior. With that in mind, parents often wonder, "How do I find an ADHD child therapist near me?"
In this article, we'll talk about the goals of ADHD therapy, therapeutic modalities that work for kids with ADHD, and how to find the best child ADHD therapist near you. Then, we'll go over how many therapy sessions to expect. Finally, we'll discuss Joon as an alternative option.
Where To Find The Best Therapist For ADHD Children Near You
Now that you know what kind of therapy to look for for your child with ADHD, how do you find the best therapist for kids with ADHD near you? You want to ensure that the person administering treatment is an ADHD specialist. This way, you can be sure that the provider understands ADHD and can help your child or family find positive ways to address symptoms and other concerns. Here’s what to do:
Ask your child's pediatrician for a referral
Ask your child's pediatrician or another healthcare professional they see for a referral to a therapist specializing in ADHD in your child's age group. They should be able to recommend a mental health professional in your area. If you're interested in a particular modality (e.g., neurofeedback or CBT), make sure to tell them.
Find a therapist through an online directory
Online directories typically allow you to search for professionals based on the insurance plans they take, their specialty or specialties, their location, and other relevant factors. If you hope to find a therapist with specific traits (e.g., specialization in a particular modality, experiences with specific mental health disorders, and so on), consider using an online directory as an option.
Contact your health insurance plan
If you have trouble finding a therapist who takes your insurance and works with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, call your health insurance plan. When you call, ask for a list of therapists they cover near you who work with kids diagnosed with ADHD. Many health insurance plans cover mental and behavioral health services. Nowadays, it's also common for health insurance companies to let you search for providers on their website.
What about the cost of children's therapy for ADHD? Therapy can be pricey, whether it's for ADHD or something else. The good news is that there are ways to combat the cost of therapy for ADHD. If your insurance doesn't cover therapy, or if you don't have health insurance, it doesn't mean that you're out of luck. You may also be able to find sliding-scale therapy or counseling services for ADHD in your area, low-cost therapy clinics and providers, or alternative options.
Not everyone can access therapy for their child with ADHD. Even those who are able to attend therapy benefit from the use of a combination of different tools - for example, behavioral treatment via therapy combined with ADHD medication. Nowadays, these tools can include games designed for children with ADHD like Joon.
How Joon Works
Joon is a new type of video game designed specifically for children with ADHD. In the game, children pick a virtual pet, called a Doter, to take care of. In order to unlock what they need to take care of the pet, the child must complete the routine daily tasks their parent assigns. Many of the benefits of the Joon app are similar to the benefits of therapy for ADHD.
The Benefits Of Using Joon
Kids with ADHD often struggle with the focus, motivation, and executive functioning needed to complete routine tasks. Clinical strategies used for ADHD often include positive reinforcement and reward systems that help not just with behavior but with success in daily life. Joon is an example of how reward systems and positive reinforcement work for a child with ADHD. Since they can't care for the pet without completing the tasks that a parent assigns in the game, the Joon app motivates kids to get things done. The game boosts confidence by showing kids that they’re capable, supports well-being, and makes routines fun.
Reviews for the Joon app have been overwhelmingly positive. Currently, Joon has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars. In total, there are over 3.5k ratings and reviews for Joon. In these reviews, parents express that Joon is safe and affordable and that the app has helped them improve their parent-child relationship. Child psychologists, teachers, and occupational therapists all recommend Joon. Try Joon for 7 days free.
Get Started With Joon
If you want to encourage positive behavior and see an improvement in your child's ability to complete tasks, download Joon today. Joon offers a 7-day free trial so that parents and kids can try it before spending money on the game. Click here to download Joon.
What Are The Goals Of ADHD Therapy?
Some clients come into therapy with a specific goal (or multiple specific goals) in mind. Others aren't sure what their goals are at first. Both of these things are okay, but what kind of goals might you see in ADHD therapy specifically? Here are some common goals in ADHD therapy for kids:
- Improvement in behavior problems. If a child struggles with disruptive behavior, working with a therapist can help.
- Executive functioning. Executive dysfunction is a major challenge for many people with ADHD. With the right tools, which can be learned in therapy, it's possible to navigate it effectively.
- Social skills. Many kids with ADHD struggle with social skills or interaction. Therapy can facilitate interactions with others and improve social skills.
- Emotional regulation. Therapy teaches kids healthy coping mechanisms for emotional dysregulation and mood swings, which can be a problem for those with ADHD.
- Better school performance. Therapy can help kids with challenges at school and, in some cases, may improve school performance.
- Self-esteem. Many negative consequences can come with low self-esteem, which is common in people with ADHD. Therapy can help address the problem.
Note: Joon is a game specifically designed for children with ADHD and their parents. ADHD kids get rewards in the game by completing tasks like chores, homework and exercise. Many parents have seen their child become more independent and build better habits with Joon. Try a 7-day free trial here.
What Therapy Is Best For A Child With ADHD?
Therapy comes in many different forms, and they’re not necessarily created equally. An ADHD specialist who provides therapy may use a number of different modalities, and parents might wonder which is best for their unique child. Here are some of the best treatment approaches for kids with ADHD.
Parent training in behavior management
For kids under the age of twelve with ADHD, the CDC recommends parent training in behavioral management. In parent training in behavior management, a therapist teaches parents skills to use at home with their child. Examples of techniques and skills a professional may teach parents include but aren't limited to positive reinforcement, consistent discipline, and how to respond to their child's behavior. Parent training in behavior management might be conducted in an individual or group setting.
Play therapy is exactly what it sounds like. In play therapy, a therapist has a range of different ADHD toys in their office. Kids use these toys to act out scenarios, express how they feel, and process their emotions. Therapists get to know the child so that they can direct sessions and teach appropriate coping skills, such as mindfulness techniques and deep breathing.
Neurofeedback is an excellent treatment for kids with ADHD. In Neurofeedback therapy, what typically happens is that a child uses a computer or plays a game while their brain waves are monitored. When they do what they're supposed to, there's a reward signal or sound. This actually trains the brain, and when it's used for ADHD, it reduces ADHD symptoms long-term. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends neurofeedback as a level-one treatment for kids with ADHD.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a very common form of therapy to come across. It can be used for many different disorders, including ADHD, and can be conducted either individually or in a group setting. CBT for ADHD helps clients identify and address unhelpful thought patterns and behaviors that might affect their productivity, behavior, and mindset. Then, coping tools are implemented. For a young child, look for a therapist who combines play therapy with CBT. Dialectical behavior therapy is derived from CBT and can also be beneficial.
In art therapy, a therapist employs the use of creative activities such as drawing or painting to help clients meet their goals. Art therapy for ADHD can be used to improve focus, facilitate social interaction, promote a sense of calm, aid executive function, reduce stress, and more.
How many therapy sessions are needed for a child with ADHD?
Therapy is a highly individual process. The length of time that one person is in therapy may differ from the length of time that another person is in therapy. Furthermore, even if you see symptom reduction or positive behavior quickly, it doesn't mean that it isn't valuable to continue therapy. That said, research can point to how many sessions it takes for therapy to be effective. If you believe your child needs therapy or you feel their ADHD symptoms are causing you to ruin your life, get help.
First, let's talk about parent training, which actually does have a relatively standard timeframe. Parent training in behavior management often lasts for eight sessions or more. It's very well regarded in the field of mental health, and it doesn't take a great deal of time.
Next, play therapy. A study on short-term play therapy for kids aged seven to ten found that it was effective in treating ADHD symptoms. In fact, participants saw a reduction in ADHD symptoms in just ten sessions. Another study on child-centered play therapy for first-grade students with ADHD found that eighteen sessions held over the course of six weeks were effective for behavior.
Neurofeedback should take about forty sessions. While neurofeedback takes more time than some forms of therapy, each session is relatively short. Research indicates that the results are maintained long-term.
CBT is frequently regarded as a form of treatment that's effective when conducted short-term. With CBT, you should see improvement in three to four months, though many notice effects sooner. Some kids and adolescents continue CBT for longer, even if progress has been made already. CBT or DBT groups may last for a set duration of time.
Finally, art therapy groups generally come with a set timeframe. For example, kids might attend an art therapy group that meets for eight weeks. If a therapist works with a child individually, the number of sessions will vary more, but results can start to show relatively quickly.
It's clear that therapy is highly beneficial for those with ADHD. There are other interventions and tools that can help, too. Let's talk specifically about game-based interventions now, which many parents of kids with ADHD find success in.