Using a Daily Report Card to Improve ADHD School Behavior

Using a daily report card can help steer ADHD students toward continued academic success. Find out how to set goals, determine rewards, and make a report card system work for your child or student with attention deficit disorder.

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The Home/School Checklist: Helping Teachers Help Your ADHD Child

A daily report card (DRC) can provide much needed consistency for children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities. A DRC allows teachers and parents to take aim at the problem behaviors that interfere with a child's academic success and measure important improvements.

DRCs work this way: each day, the teacher monitors and records the student's ability to meet select positive behavioral goals and marks them on the report card. The child then brings the report card home for his parents to sign. Often, when a child reaches a predetermined level of success, he is rewarded for his improved behavior.

This technique has been shown to be very effective in shaping behavior. In a landmark study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, the children who combined medication and behavioral treatments were shown to have better controlled ADHD symptoms than those who just used medication alone.

For some children, behavioral techniques alone are sufficient to produce significant change. Others may need additional strategies to help control the ADHD symptoms that get in the way of learning. These include: designing a student/teacher contract that specifies goals and rewards, or using a token system, in which a child earns points that can be traded in for rewards.

Read on to find out how to set up your own DRC system.

Next: Step 1: Set Goals...

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