and Other Childhood Diagnoses

The Nurtured Heart Approach™ has proven, time and time again, to effectively deal with and dramatically change the behavior, from the inside out, of challenging children. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered one of the most common childhood disorders. These children exhibit behavior patterns that include difficulty staying focused and difficulty controlling behavior. Children diagnosed with Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) have a pattern of temper outbursts and defying authority. These disorders sometimes resolve themselves, but can progress to more severe behavior problems as children mature into their teens and early twenties.

“In Illinois, 8-9% of children 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD affects 8.5-13% of children nationally. 1 – 16% of all children and adolescents are diagnosed with ODD.” – Centers for Disease Control

The first resort of many physicians is often medication. Many parents are concerned about the risk of giving their child a powerful psychoactive drug. In fact, the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics (2003) reports that 93% of parents ask physicians about alternatives to medication when their children are referred for ADHD. Medication offers many children relief from their symptoms and has proven a blessing for many families. However, it is not a quick fix. All of a child’s ADHD symptoms may not be controlled with medication. A multi-year study funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health also found that, “Continuing medication treatment was no longer associated with better outcomes by the third year (of treatment).” Rather than automatically prescribe medication a child may have to take for years, even as an adult, address the core causes of the problem with the NHA.

The NHA can also work within a managed medication strategy. Current research reports that parents of ADHD children expressed the most satisfaction with treatment outcomes when their children were treated with a behavioral modification approach augmented by medication, rather than medication alone (Swanson 2007).

Current research also suggests that behavioral therapy, like the NHA, can have a significant impact on children’s success later in life. Children diagnosed with ADHD are 20% more likely to have problems with substance abuse and 10% more likely to get in trouble with the law in their teen years (Molina, 2007). However, ADHD children treated with behavioral approaches, like the NHA, are no more likely to have trouble with substance abuse or delinquency than normal children.

As a parent of a child with ADHD or ODD, you face the difficult task of trying to control your child’s behavior both at home and at school. Traditional methods of correcting behavior that you yourself were raised by or have been taught to use, simply do not work with your child. You may even have tried child counseling or family therapy and still struggle. In fact, the harder you try the worse your child’s behavior becomes. The Nurtured Heart Approach™ (NHA) teaches you how to break this pattern.

The NHA was originally created to teach parents how to manage children with ADHD and other behavior disorders. Key to the approach is “de- energizing” unwanted behavior and “energizing” the desired behavior. Parents learn how to set strict limits and consequences, thus providing their child with the confidence they need to learn from their mistakes and to be accountable for their behavior.

“Nurtured Heart techniques are designed to empower parents and teachers with powerful tools that work in a short period of time, even with very difficult children.”

NHA helps you encourage your child to make positive behavior choices. This approach is fully described in Howard Glasser’s book Transforming the Difficult Child, The Nurtured Heart Approach™ and is the core of Dan Peterson and his Compass 4 Life Program. Dan is dedicated to bringing The Nurtured Heart Approach™ to homes and schools in the community to ensure optimum success for your child and family.

If you would like to try a different approach to helping your child who has ADHD or ODD, contact our office today to get started.

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: February 2003 – Volume 24 – Issue 1 – pp 4-8
Centers for Disease Control
Press Release: The Multimodal Treatment Study of Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (MTA).
Swanson, J., et al (2007). Secondary Evaluations of MTA 36-Month Outcomes: Propensity Score and Growth Mixture Model Analyses. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. 46(8)
Molina, B., et al (2007). Delinquent Behavior and Emerging Substance Use in the MTA at 36-Months: Prevalence, Course, and Treatment Effects. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescend Psychiatry. 46(8).