Behavior Modification Techniques for ADHD

Behavior Modification Techniques for ADHD

ADHD is a childhood behavior disorder that may continue after adolescence and into adulthood, if not treated properly. With behavior modification techniques, parents can help their child recover. The article provides a brief discussion on these techniques and how they help kids with ADHD.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), also known as ADD, is a behavioral disorder observed in kids. As the name suggests, the child suffering from ADHD finds it difficult to concentrate on his/her studies, cannot stay focused, his/her behavior is not controlled and the child is hyperactive. Medication and counseling are two significant parts of the treatment for this disorder.

Medications are helpful to some extent, but they have various side effects. And the effect of medications is not long term. Thus, counseling is given more importance while treating a child with this disorder. Behavior modification is a very common term used in the treatment of ADHD. Usually, this is a drug-free treatment but many experts believe that a combination of medicines and behavior management is an effective way to treat a child with this disorder.

Behavior Modification

A child suffering from ADHD needs to be handled in a special way. They cannot be treated in a normal manner like other children. Behavior modification techniques are nothing but a series of techniques, that are designed to inhibit the child with positive behavior, removal of negative behavior and make him learn the methods to overcome his/her illness. To implement these behavior techniques, it requires the combined efforts of parents, teachers and care takers. They should work as a team with complete dedication and focus. There are various stages while implementing these techniques in a child with ADHD. Let us take a look at these stages.

Getting Started: Before starting the behavior techniques for treating ADHD, parents should review their own behavior and how they usually react to their child. Dealing with a kid who is suffering from ADHD is quite frustrating and hence, parents should increase their tolerance level or patience and learn how to cope up. They need to bring a change in their attitude and behavior towards their child. Parents may require one to two weeks to analyze their behavior. Moreover they should also observe their child carefully, so that, the further stages can be planned properly. Never shout or yell at the kid, as this may increase your problem. Thus, parents should remain calm and handle the interaction with the child very carefully. Say, if you have allotted the kid to clean his/her room and you find that he has not done the job yet. Then do not scold him for not completing the chore, instead encourage him to do the chore. Provide him instructions in a soft spoken language and reward him/her when the job is done.

Targeting the Behavior: One cannot change all the behavior disorders at a time. Parents should choose or target a behavior that is causing too much problem and then move on to other behavioral problems. Note that, when you are focusing on one behavior it does not mean that you are running away from other behavioral disorders. It is just that you will be trying to fix the other problems a bit later. Once the behavioral disorder that is troubling the most is selected, it is time to implement steps to change this behavior. Let us consider a scenario, say a child finds it difficult to complete his homework and hand it over to the teacher the next day. Now, you have to help the child with his homework and also guide him to do what is right. Try to plan out what result or what behavior do you expect from your child when he/she finds it difficult to complete the homework. Chalk out the steps that will be required to change this behavior. Knowing what you actually want from your child will help you design the scheme, to implement the behavioral modification techniques. Help him complete the homework in an easy manner. Sit with him/her after the school and help him out. Allot a time for homework and ensure that he completes it in the given time. Prepare a schedule for the kid, making it easy to organize his/her work. Ask the teacher to check whether the child completes the given homework in time. Thus, target the chosen behavior as much as possible, but take care that you do it in a realistic manner and do not burden him.

Reward the Child: Rewarding the child for his improved behavior is an important part of behavioral modification techniques. It is not necessary that the reward must be in monetary form. It can be any reward, even an oral appreciation, like "Good work son!" will encourage him. You can prepare a chart that will show the gradual progress of the child. Whatever may be the amount of success, appreciate and reward the child for it. Never overdo with the rewards, else it may give rise to new problems. Keep them simple. Do not reward him with the same prize every time. Every reward should be different from the previous one. However, don't just reward him. You can also punish him/her for the work not done. But make sure the punishment is not severe, else you may get in trouble. More preference should be given to rewarding rather than punishing him for minor reasons.

Maintain Consistency: Being consistent is the most important factor that parents need to follow, while implementing the behavioral modification techniques. Prepare a set of rules and make sure your child follows them accordingly. Talk to the teachers and caretakers about his schedule and discuss with them the program you are implementing.

This was a summary on behavioral modification techniques for ADHD. These techniques have been effective in treating these children. The results of this program may not be seen soon, it is a gradual process and you will notice the change in your child eventually. You should consult a good counselor and psychotherapist who can guide you properly.

Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.