Students with ADD and ADHD often feel like the world is against them. Their parents express disappointment and frustration about their poor grades, lack of self-control and unfinished chores. Their teachers consistently nag them about their missing homework, interruptions and impulsive reactions during recess. Kids at school shun them because they are rough, unpredictable and don’t follow social norms. All this negativity weighs heavily on children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy or CBT is an ADD and ADHD treatment “based on the idea that our thoughts cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events,” according to the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists website. Luckily, people can change the way they think and feel and thus improve their outlook or reactions to a situation.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps individuals with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder in two main ways:

    1. Dealing with the self-esteem issues that often accompany Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
    A 2008 study published in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, reported that over 20% of the children and adolescents with ADHD in the study sample also struggled with Minor Depression. Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help children with ADD and ADHD manage feelings of inadequacy and open their perspective as to why other people may react to them in negative ways.

    2. Learning skills to manage symptoms of ADD and ADHD that limit success
    Cognitive Behavior Therapists listen to the goals brought by the patient and teach them strategies to reach their goals. Some of the symptoms that are often addressed are: anger management, organization, promptness and follow through on commitments. Because it is goal oriented, it is considered by the Mayo Clinic to be a short term therapy. Therapy is usually completed within 10 to 20 sessions.

Possible Drawbacks:

    • A willingness to complete homework assignments outside of the weekly therapy sessions is key to reaching goals in a timely manner.
    • This ADD and ADHD treatment does not deal with the neurobiological symptoms associated with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder. Consequently, CBT will not be able to help students with certain symptoms like the ability to focus more intently on school work. For this reason, Cognitive Behavior Therapy usually needs to be used in conjunction with another type of ADD and ADHD treatment.

Brain Training

Hardy Brain Training is a game played on the home computer. This ADD and ADHD treatment involves matching simple movements like toe tapping with a consistent beat. The goal is to grow more accurate each time. As accuracy with the game increases, so does the efficiency of certain areas of the brain. Once these areas reach a level of efficiency, students begin to find learning much easier. They are able to focus more, follow directions, cooperate and maintain self control. Once these skills essential to school success are strengthened, academic grades go up too. This new found success begins to change the students’ view of themselves and allows them to reach their potential.

Author's Bio: 

For more help with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, visit and fill out the checklist specially designed to help you do an initial assessment of your child’s learning problems. Your child CAN have a positive classroom experience this year. Be sure to check out our educational videos about ADD Attention Deficit Disorder and ADHD Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder.