Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in childhood and can persist into adolescence and adulthood. This mental health disorder is consistent of persistent patterns of inattention, distractibility, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. This disorder affects adults and children alike. All treatment and services for ADD/ADHD require a formal diagnosis by a licensed professional. If you are curious about an ADHD evaluation for yourself or your child please contact me for more information.
Behavioral therapy, also known as behavior modification, has been shown to be a very successful treatment for children with ADHD. It is especially beneficial as a co-treatment for children who take medications. Behavior therapy involves reinforcing desired behaviors through rewards and praise and decreasing problem behaviors by setting limits and consequences. For example, one intervention might be that a teacher rewards a child who has ADHD for taking small steps toward raising a hand before talking in class, even if the child still blurts out a comment. The theory is that rewarding the struggle toward change encourages the full new behavior.
The three basic principals to any behavioral approach are:
1. Set specific goals
2. Provide rewards and consequences
3. Keep using the rewards and consequences
Social Skills Training
The emotional maturity level of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be well below that of their counterparts without ADHD. This means that a 10-year-old with ADHD may behave more like a 7- or 8-year-old around their peers, struggle to play well with others, and have a hard time sharing and losing at games.
While it’s important that children are involved in activities with others, many children with ADHD have a difficult time making and keeping friends. If a child isn't accepted by a peer group, this can make them feel isolated, which can be one of the most painful parts of having ADHD. While some parents isolate their children from participating in activities with others, it’s extremely important that kids with ADHD take part in social activities to help develop social skills.
Children with ADHD often have a harder time monitoring their social behavior than other children. They don’t always know how to read social situations and others’ reactions. Parents play an important role in helping increase self-awareness in children with ADHD.
Social skills don’t always develop naturally. But even the most impulsive children with ADHD can learn to get along with the group and make friends on the playground. Learn how acknowledging bad feelings and celebrating success can help your child develop social skills.
This allows older children with ADHD to talk about issues that bother them, explore negative behavior patterns and learn ways to deal with their symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for ADHD aims to help you address and revise cognitive distortions and habits affecting your productivity and emotional mindset. This approach doesn’t just help improve your motivation and focus, either. It can also lead to improved emotional and mental well-being overall.
CBT techniques often used to address ADHD symptoms include the following:
* Planning and scheduling activities
* Cognitive restructuring
* Guided Discovery
* Successive Approximation
* Distractibility Delay
Coaching and Life Skills
I believe that true healing should be integrative and address a person as a whole. When I work with individuals, I want each of them to feel as though that can fully function as the adult they desire to be. Given that, I believe it is necessary to work with clients on basic life skills that may have been overlooked, or have not fully developed, as a result of an addiction, trauma, or other mental illness. I like to see clients be able to tackle challenges that once seemed too difficult by leveraging practical strategies and a support network.
Skills Needed to Increase Quality of Life
Effective Communication Skills
Setting Achievable Goals
Developing Healthy Routines
Following Through with Responsibilities
Taking Steps Towards Self-Reliance