ADHD Medication: Can Your Child Go Without?

Behavioral therapy for ADHD—and parent retraining, too—can be good alternatives to medication.

Video: ADHD

Video: ADHD

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"What the MTA really showed is that it's not the medication per se but the intensive monitoring," says Benedetto Vitiello, chief of the child and adolescent treatment and preventive interventions branch for the National Institute of Mental Health. "Having a visit each month, putting together all the information for the school and the parent, tailoring the treatment." Indeed, when the study ended and the extra monitoring stopped, the benefits faded for all groups, medicated or not.

The take-home message for parents: There are other good treatments besides the pills, but no treatment's going to work without sustained effort from the whole family.