Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, has the power to dramatically affect the lives of children and adolescents who struggle with it. People with ADHD often struggle to stay focused and follow through on tasks. In addition, they may display excessive motor activity, struggle to manage impulses, and often have a hard time in situations where they are required to sustain attention for long periods of time, such as in school. The resulting problems faced by those with untreated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can cause impairment and a decline in functioning in several areas of their lives. Difficulties at school, substance abuse, injury, and social difficulties are but a few examples of what can result when the symptoms of ADHD remain constant in a youth’s life.
Thankfully, many young people with ADHD are able to live full and productive lives. At Youth Care, we understand the unique challenges that children and adolescents with ADHD face, and we have developed specialized programs designed to help these young people live out their full potential.
Helping Your Child Get Treatment
The stress and heartache that may come with watching one’s son or daughter struggle with ADHD can be immense. Parents often know the potential their child has to succeed, yet watch as he or she struggles in school or has difficulty maintaining peer relationships. While the first step to helping a child with ADHD is to provide love and support, the following are some other things parents can do to help:
- Research ADHD. There is a plethora of books, websites, podcasts, and other materials that discuss the symptoms of this disorder and how to best help a child with ADHD. Find a few quality sources and learn all that you can about ADHD. In addition, talk with mental health professionals about how to best help your child.
- Have an open conversation with your child about his or her experiences, and try to make sure he or she feels like an equal partner in the process of seeking treatment.
- Research treatment centers that may be appropriate for your child. If you find a few that seem like good candidates, present them to your child and ask what he or she thinks of them. Set up phone calls and appointments with treatment professionals for tours or an assessment for admission.
- Make sure to stay involved in your child’s treatment. Actively connect with treatment center staff and frequently reassure your child of your support.
- Remain patient and loving with your child. While his or her behaviors may be difficult to manage at times, he or she is likely not being oppositional on purpose.
Why Consider Treatment at Youth Care
Children and adolescents with ADHD can potentially suffer serious negative effects if they do not receive treatment. They may struggle in school and have poor educational attainment. They may suffer disciplinary action, receive suspensions, or be expelled school because of their behavior. They may also withdraw socially and struggle with peer relationships. Their sense of self-worth may decline and they may begin abusing substances. Tragically, children and adolescents with ADHD may also engage in self-harming behaviors, have suicidal thoughts, or attempt suicide. With proper treatment, however, it is possible for children and adolescents to avoid such detriments, learn to manage the symptoms of their ADHD, and thrive in their everyday lives without the obstacles that ADHD symptoms can cause.
Types of Treatment Offered at Youth Care
At Youth Care, we offer residential care for the treatment of ADHD in a peaceful, structured, home-like setting. In this comfortable, therapeutic environment, adolescents are able to receive the care they need in a realistic, family-like atmosphere that is fully conducive to true and lasting healing. Providing care for youth, aged 11 to 17, we, at Youth Care, are pleased to offer individualized programming that is tailored to meet each adolescent’s unique needs and enhance their already-existing skillset.
The residential program here at Youth Care is based on accountability, responsibility, and respect. A level system is used to provide constructive feedback to the students as they learn to show respect by displaying appropriate behaviors and earning privileges and increased levels of trust. This connection between accountability, responsibility, trust, and privileges is an important life lesson that can be used in our students’ future relationships and implemented as they achieve future successes.
At Youth Care, we believe in honoring the adolescents who are entrusted into our care by helping them understand the choices they have and the natural consequences that can occur as a result of the choices they make. We believe that this not only helps our students learn good decision-making skills, but it also enhances the confidence they have in themselves by showing them that they are capable of making those good decisions.
Throughout an adolescent’s time spent at Youth Care for the treatment of ADHD, he or she will have the opportunity to participate in the following interventions:
Medication management: The use of certain psychotropic medications may be beneficial in helping to alleviate the symptoms that youth experience as a result of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Whether or not medication is used, however, will always be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the particular needs of each adolescent. Students at Youth Care will meet with a psychiatrist once a week, and all medication management needs will be handled by the psychiatrist and Youth Care’s nursing and medical teams.
Individual therapy: Intensive individual therapy is a core component to the therapeutic process here at Youth Care. Students have the opportunity to meet with their primary therapists three times each week. Additionally, students can meet with an addictions counselor once per week if they are struggling with substance abuse concerns.
Group therapy: Group therapy sessions play a major role in the treatment plans of our students at Youth Care. Group sessions are held on a daily basis and are broken down as follows:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) groups are held 1 time each week.
- Music therapy groups are held 1 time each week.
- Recreational therapy groups are held 2 times each week.
- Addictions groups are held 1 time each week.
- Process groups are held 3 times each week.
Family therapy: At Youth Care, we feel strongly that family integration is key in helping our students manage the symptoms of ADHD. Because of this, we work hard to ensure that our students’ families are heavily involved in the treatment process. Family therapy sessions are held once each week and are led by each student’s primary therapist. Additionally, Parent Days are held every 6 to 8 weeks, offering educational seminars, multifamily group therapy, parent support groups, family therapy sessions, and family recreational activities.
Recreational therapy: When students engage in treatment for ADHD at Youth Care, they will be offered a well-rounded approach to treatment that incorporates recreational activities into their schedules. Recreational therapy is designed to help students have a successful treatment experience by achieving physical, cultural, and social accomplishments. Recreational activities also provide students with opportunities to learn such valuable skills as teamwork, problem solving, communication, and trust. Furthermore, through participation in recreational activities, students can build better social skills, communication skills, coping skills, and interpersonal skills. They may also develop newfound interests, discover unknown talents, and experience an improvement in their self-esteem. Under the guidance and supervision of our licensed recreational therapist, students participate in in-house and community recreational activities 3 to 7 times per week.
Experiential therapy: In addition to the previously mentioned therapies, students receiving care for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder at Youth Care will have the opportunity to take part in different experiential therapies throughout the duration of their time spent in treatment. The frequency of these experiential therapies will be determined by each student’s primary therapist and may include the following:
- Expressive therapy
- Situational therapy
- Exposure therapy
Community service activities: Students will be involved in community service activities at least twice each month. We have found that having students participate in such activities affords them the opportunity to develop greater empathy and a broader understanding of others, both of which can aid in their own recovery. Examples of the community service activities that students may participate in include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Caring for animals at the Humane Society
- Visiting the elderly
- Filling shelves at the Food Bank
Academics: At Youth Care, we believe that every student deserves to achieve success in school and therefore view our academic programming as a therapeutic intervention. Our academic program is fully accredited, which allows students to earn school credits, increase their knowledge, and work towards achieving academic goals during their time at Youth Care. Students are enrolled in a full day’s curriculum, which takes place in a traditional academic setting and is led by a team of certified secondary education teachers and special education teachers who have been trained to work with students possessing a range of learning abilities. All students have academic goals and objectives included in their individualized treatment plans, and they will attend school from 9:00am to 5:00pm every weekday, with therapeutic interventions being interwoven throughout their daily schedules.
In addition to the residential treatment offered through Youth Care, we are also pleased to provide partial hospitalization programming (PHP) for students who do not require the intensity of the programming that is offered in a residential setting. This day treatment option allows youth to attend the same daily programming as those receiving residential treatment, yet return home at night.
If your child is suffering from the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and requires a safe, structured, and encouraging environment to work towards overcoming or managing his or her symptoms, look no further than Youth Care. Our specialized programming will be catered to meet your child’s every needs so that he or she can succeed in living the full, happy, healthy, and productive life that he or she deserves to be living.