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How is behavioral therapy used in ADHD treatment?

Behavioral therapy helps the person with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) focus on current behaviors and learn more effective habits, skills, and responses. It can also be helpful if coexisting conditions cause specific behavior problems. Behavioral therapy often involves working with a child to set behavior goals, then tracking progress toward goals. Consequences and rewards—used in a nonpunishing way—help motivate changes.

For example, a child might have a goal of sitting for 15 minutes at a time to do schoolwork. Each day, parents or teachers record whether he reached this goal. And from time to time, they can review the child's progress and offer feedback.

It's common to have different goals for different settings (for example, home and school) and in different areas (such as relationships or tasks). But each part of the plan supports the others. Each part gives more structure to daily life and sets clear expectations for behavior.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.