ADHD Behavior Modification

Top Tips For Parents To Control ADHD Behaviors

The use of ADHD behavior modification techniques is, along with medication, the most popular treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Research studies have shown that a combination of medication and behavioral therapy is the most effective way to manage ADHD, but some proponents swear by behavioral interventions alone.

Behavioral therapy can be practiced both at home and in the classroom. It can also be practiced across different age groups with children, adolescents, and adults, but is most commonly used with children and adolescents.

The techniques used are modified slightly to be more effective for each age group and population.

The general principles regarding behavioral interventions for children and adolescents is for caregivers to model and praise/reward desired behavior.

At the same time, they also discourage unwanted behavior through previously and mutually agreed upon consequences. The key is consistency.


ADHD Behavior Modification: Ages 5 And Below

* Maintain a routine in terms of structure and environment. Inform your child when that routine may change, and coach them through appropriate responses to that change. * Communicate your expectations of your child and make sure they voice an understanding.

adhd behaviorl modification

* Try a behavior contract. Set agreed upon goals and develop a reward or "star" system for wanted behaviors. Maintain clear expectations of what will happen when they meet, or fail to achieve, the goals. After they earn the agreed upon number of stars for the reward, make sure the reward is given immediately.

* Be a role model. Model a calm demeanor even though you may be frustrated. Model healthy and constructive habits including eating healthy foods, exercise, reading, etc.

* Set clear boundaries. For example, you may wish to use a timer for activities. Set specific times for play, homework, bath times, bedtimes, etc. Consistency is key.

* Emphasize their unique skills and strengths.


ADHD Behavior Modification: Ages 6-12

* Break down complex or lengthy tasks into separate, more manageable steps. This helps reduce frustration, decreases the likelihood of giving up, and boosts a sense of competency when the task is completed.

* Set agreed upon goals and develop a reward or "star" system for desired behaviors. Maintain clear expectations of what will happen when they meet, or fail to achieve, these goals.

*Set consequences, but try not to reprimand your child in front of peers if they fall short of expectations. Children with ADHD already feel stigmatized, so try not to further their shame or contribute to making them feel different.

* Emphasize their unique skills and strengths.


ADHD Behavior Modification: Teenagers

Parenting teens is always a challenge, but here are some tips:

* Give them increasing responsibility and "voice" in setting expectations, rewards, and consequences. This leads to "buy in." It is empowering and builds self-esteem. It also results in increasing proficiency in managing their ADHD.

* Remind yourself that being a teenager is difficult enough, and suffering from ADHD makes it more challenging. Raging hormones, mood swings, and seeking a unique identity are par for the course during this developmental stage.

* Even though your teen may tend to shut you out in favor of peers and friends, encourage open communication and let them know you are always available for an honest and non-judgemental conversation.

* Emphasize their unique skills and strengths.


Parents, It Starts With You

While the challenges of caring for a child with special needs can be overwhelming at first, don't forget to engage in self care because you are the key component in your child's treatment.

If you are not taking care of yourself then you cannot be fully engaged and available for your child. If you need to vent or feel overwhelmed, seek counseling or a support group.


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