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Behavior Therapy

Behavior Therapy for ADHD Children


Updated May 11, 2009

Behavior Therapy is effective in helping manage symptoms of ADHD in children. A reward system is implemented with input from the child and new behaviors are taught to replace the old, maladaptive ones. When setting up a behavioral program, it is important to remember the “Three C’s.”

  1. Clarity of Expectations
    Keep rules and expectations simple, concise and clear. Make sure they are easily understood by the child.
  2. Consistency
    Follow through with consequences in a consistent manner.
  3. Calmness
    Approach situations calmly. Take a deep breath and make sure you are in control. Take a brief “time-out” if you need to get a better hold over your emotions. Children are especially sensitive if we lose our temper. A calm approach is most effective and won’t overstimulate the child or escalate the situation.

Two ADHD experts, Peter Jensen, Ph.D., a professor of child psychiatry at Columbia University, and Patricia Quinn, M.D., a developmental pediatrician in private practice in Washington, D.C., explain the importance of the Three C’s in this video interview:
Click on ADHD: Tips for Parents and Teachers to view video.

Additional Reading:
Parenting a Child with ADHD
School Tips for ADHD Kids
Teens and ADHD
For Parents Who Have ADHD

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