Treatment of the Child with
The treatment of the ADHD child can often be relatively straightforward. Because medication is of the greatest importance, treatment almost always requires the services of a physician. Nonmedical specialists, such as psychologists, educators, and social workers, may provide useful and sometimes absolutely necessary assistance, but they cannot assume primary responsibility for treatment. Since they are not trained to use and cannot prescribe medications, they are unable to supply the treatment that is both the best and sometimes the only one required. This must be emphasized because too often the ADHD child or his family is referred to a psychologist, social worker, or school guidance counselor. Such referrals are made because of psychological maladjustment in the child, problems in the family, or failure in school. These problems, as I have said, may be a result of ADHD in the child, and they may also worsen ADHD in the child. Family problems, which may prompt the family to seek help, may actually be the result of the ADHD child and may resolve themselves once treatment begins.
What sometimes happens is that the ADHD child is misdiagnosed and referred for help, and it is then noticed that his parents have marital problems. Someone then assumes that the child's problems are the result of family problems, and the parents receive treatment. This occurs frequently be-