by Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D.
Over my 17 years of clinical experience, I have found it very useful to distill eight general principles that serve as touchstones in the daily behavior management of ADHD children. From these, parents and teachers have deduced what particular methods might work for their ADHD children, often proving to be quite inventive in the procedures they create. These general principles stem from the recent conceptualization of ADHD as a biological deficit in persistence of effort, inhibition, and motivation. If ADHD involves a reduced sensitivity to behavioral consequences, such as rewards and punishments, as current theorists believe, then certain rules of managing behavior would be predictable from these theories. To date, such principles have proven very useful in designing both home and classroom management programs for ADHD children. Practitioners and educators should always bear these in mind as they advise parents in the management of ADHD children or engage such direct management themselves. Follow these eight principles and it will be hard to go wrong in designing management programs:
Use More Immediate Consequences
Use a Greater Frequency of Consequences.
Employ More Salient Consequences.
Start Incentives Before Punishments.
Strive for Consistency.
Plan for Problem Situations and Transitions.
Keep a Disability Perspective.
This article is copied with permission and is extracted from The ADHD Report Volume 1, Number 2, April 1993, published bimonthly by Guilford Publications, Inc.rnrnFor the complete article, click here