Behavioral Therapy

Shape Kids for Success With Behavior Modification

Want to reduce your child’s need for medication and reward the things she does right? Behavior modification might be for you. Learn how to change your child’s environment and ultimately steer her toward success.

Beahvior Thearpy Works Better for Kids with ADHD
Beahvior Thearpy Works Better for Kids with ADHD

Although cognitive-behavioral therapy often works well for adults with ADHD, it doesn’t seem to work as well for children with the disorder. But many kids do respond to a related approach known as behavior modification (BMOD). In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest that BMOD can significantly reduce the need for medication.

Behavior modification attempts to shape a child’s behavior by rewarding the things she does right — by offering praise or privileges for completing tasks, following rules, and so on — and by discouraging unacceptable behavior with criticism or withdrawal of privileges. While CBT is usually administered by a therapist to an individual child, behavior modification aims to change the child’s environment by training parents and teachers to act firmly and consistently.

Behavior modification training for parents is available at community mental health clinics throughout the nation, as well as from local chapters of CHADD and ADDA.