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More Than Meds: A Guide to ADHD Behavior Modification

Behavior therapy helps children with ADHD learn to manage their everyday symptoms. That is an established fact. But how do you implement it? And what does it really entail? Skills training — demystified.

8 Comments: More Than Meds: A Guide to ADHD Behavior Modification

  1. Continuing the above, remember you already have power, and don’t need to lecture on things you have said before (unless he has amnesia) or get loud (unless he’s deaf) or threatening, to get him to do something. You can choose whether he has a telephone, a job, an allowance, a weekly trip to McDonalds, going to his friend’s house or vise versa, and so on.
    If you take these things from him, let him know in advance what a behavior will cost him, so he won’t take it as your “getting even.” If possible, what he loses should be logically connected to the behavior (such as his bicycle being stored because he rode it in the street.) Sometimes there would be a natural connection, such as if his bicycle is stolen because he left it out when you had told him not to, you will not buy another one.

      1. I am interested in learning more from genedoug. Having hard behavioral issues with my teen( and have these peaks in conflict every few months) despite treatment. Are u a professional in OKC I could contact for help?

  2. Behavioral therapy does not include some important considerations. If you read The Parents’ Guide, by Dinkmeyer & McKay, Greentree press, you will see that children have goals for misbehavior. If, even after medication treatment, the child’s behavior is annoying or even outrageous, his goal may be attention getting.

    The cure is not to give him the response he expects, and thinks he can predict (such as shouting, threatening, or a lecture.) You need to respond to the behavior if it is destructive, but calmly and with as little verbage as possible.

    The book says you have a “gut-level radar” (my choice of words) that tells you the child’s goal. If you feel like getting back at him, his goal is revenge. Don’t do what you would normally do, that he can predict based on the past.

    If you feel like taking power, his goal is power. If you feel like doing something for him, his motive is a display of inadequacy, and he expects you to step in. Express confidence in his ability to handle it.

    If you feel inferior (to a teenager) don’t be embarassed because you don’t know a rock song, or a current hair or clothing style, a slang term, or what “all the kids are doing.”
    And so on. — E. E. Douglas, M.Ed. LPC LMFT Oklahoma City

  3. This article seems contradictory. It says to avoid Occupational Therapy but then goes on to talk about the need to assess impairments and adaptive skills. Both of those are commonly addressed by OTs in outpatient and school settings. OT is not just sensory and motor. We look at daily living skills and do task analysis to address skills deficits and the need for environmental adaptations. There are certain interventions (ex. Cog-Fun approach to address executive functioning) within OT that have at least one randomized control trial as well as other studies supporting them. There are many different approaches within the scope of “Occupational Therapy” so it seems odd to make a blanket statement around an entire discipline.

  4. It’s confusing (and frustrating) when this article includes under Treatments to Avoid, any Neuro or Biofeedback; while in several other articles from Additude it says that Neurofeeedback can be as useful as medicine in some cases without the side effects. Now which is it? I’ve started neurofeedback largely because I saw it recommended at Additude.

    1. This article if focused on children. I too began neurofeedback therapy after my therapist suggested it. Keep in mind this article is speaking specifically to the point of treating children.

      1. Sadly, the neurotherapy IS for my child. Other articles on Additude suggested this might be even better for children since their brains are still growing and developing. I wish the “experts” could find some agreement in how to really help with ADHD. I’m beginning to believe there are no real experts in this area.

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