Why Use the Comprehensive Treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder Summer Treatment Program?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the major mental health disorders of childhood. Occurring in 3% to 5% of the elementary school population, mostly boys, it accounts for more referrals for mental health services than any other childhood disorder. Children with ADHD have significant academic difficulties and serious disturbances in their relationships with parents, teachers, peers, and siblings. In addition to their childhood problems, ADHD children are at great risk for a variety of serious problems as adolescents and adults, including substance abuse, vocational and interpersonal difficulties, and criminal behavior.

Their childhood problems and their heightened risk for psychopathology in adulthood highlight the need for effective treatment for ADHD children. Unfortunately, no sufficiently effective, comprehensive treatment for ADHD has been discovered. Neither individual nor family therapy, nor dietary interventions, are effective. The most common form of treatment for ADHD for several decades has been pharmacotherapy with a CNS stimulant, but there are limitations to pharmacotherapy. Although medication often results in dramatic short-term improvement in the child’s behavior, it is ineffective for many children, often cannot be used in the home setting, and does not result in improved long-term outcome when used as the sole form of intervention. The only other effective short-term treatment for ADHD is behavior modification administered in outpatient settings in the form of parent training and school interventions. Although outpatient behavioral treatments are essential components of treatment for ADHD, they have shortcomings similar to those of medication.

Recent research has suggested that the most effective treatment for ADHD is an approach that combines medication and behavioral treatments. This multimodal approach is more effective than either treatment alone and is rapidly becoming the treatment choice for ADHD. At the same time, there is beginning to be a widespread consensus that, even with combined interventions, regular outpatient treatment is not adequate for many ADHD children, particularly those with difficulties in peer relationships, and more intensive treatments are necessary. The Summer Treatment Program (STP), which has been developed since 1980 by William E. Pelham, Ph.D., is an intensive, state-of-the-art treatment program with documented effectiveness for ADHD. Combined with multimodal outpatient follow-up, the STP offers the intensive, comprehensive treatment necessary to afford maximal improvement in current functioning and long-term outcome in ADHD children. Previously available only to research institutions, the STP is now available to clinicians and treatment facilities through Comprehensive Treatment for Attention Deficit Disorders, Inc. (CTADD).

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