According to a report, that in the U.S., the diagnosis rate of ADHD in children has risen 66% since 2000, we at The Behavior Exchange share many peoples’ concerns. As many of these children are placed on medication to help, we propose an alternative solution that is proven to be effective: applied behavior analysis. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is said to impact social relationships, school and work performance, and much more. Although ADHD can be diagnosed in adulthood, it is frequently diagnosed during childhood. Regardless of diagnosis, here are some behaviors that contribute to children being diagnosed and ways that behavior therapy can help. We don’t condone or discourage medication, but one thing is clear. Medication can’t fix a problem environment or teach new skills, but behavior analysis can. At a minimum, behavioral interventions should be included in any intervention package where medication is used, to allow for proactive skill building. After all, behavior is behavior, and we focus on how to improve it, as opposed to what the diagnosis is.
Paying attention is almost universally said to be a problem with kids with ADHD . You may notice that kids make careless mistakes and only see the big picture instead of the details. They may struggle to remember directions and will often have trouble staying organized. Completing tasks can also be a challenge, since they may lose interest in the middle of it. They may also frequently lose things. Behavior Analysis teaches kids to be highly attuned to their own behavior and quality of work. Utilizing reinforcement, we can increase time on task and work completion. Setting up an organizational system can keep belongings in their place so they can be retrieved at a moment’s notice.
Another characteristic cited is consistent restlessness. He or she may get up at inappropriate times at school and may fidget incessantly. Excessive talking and an inability to engage in quiet play are prevalent. Many children diagnosed as having ADHD have quick tempers and may throw tantrums or argue excessively. You may notice the symptoms of hyperactivity at home, but they usually become especially pronounced in the school setting, when long periods of sitting quietly are required. Behavior analysis can teach appropriate behavior based on the context and give parents and school personnel the techniques needed to prevent and manage these behaviors if they arise.
Children diagnosed with ADHD tend to do things before thinking them through. In school, this leads to yelling out answers instead of waiting to be called on and frequently interrupting the teacher. Many kids may also guess on answers instead of thinking the question through. This kind of impulsiveness may also lead your child to interrupt your conversations. Children diagnosed with ADHD tend to react to situations with extreme emotions. Behavior analysis can teach children to wait to be called on, to answer questions correctly through assessing the appropriateness of the academic material and through utilization of reinforcement. We also teach parents how to carry out these techniques to maintain appropriate behavior at home.
Regardless of the diagnosis, at The Behavior Exchange , we’re here to help. With our applied behavior analysis approach and neutral perspective on diagnosis, we work to help your child overcome the symptoms that led to that diagnosis. To develop strategies for healthy interactions, help is a phone call away. Dial (888) 716-8084.
Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA