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How is a behavior modification program for a child with ADHD created?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine
You can start a behavior modification program for a child with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on your own or with help from a specialist. Often, children with ADHD experience problem behaviors in school and at home. To remedy these problem behaviors, parents, educators, and caregivers often use behavior modification techniques to identify and change problem behaviors.

When you are ready to begin, visit with an expert on behavior modification, if possible. This may be a psychologist or licensed therapist in your community. The therapist can guide you in getting started with behavior modification. If you cannot find a therapist who teaches these techniques, the National Resource Center on ADHD recommends that you follow these important steps to start your own behavior modification program:

- Identify goals that you want your child to accomplish.
- Identify factors that may cause negative behaviors in your child.
- Implement a system of rewards and consequences to reduce unwanted behaviors and encourage desirable behaviors.
- Be consistent in applying the behavioral techniques. This may mean that other caregivers need to be taught the same techniques that you are using.
- Be dedicated. Techniques should be used for the child's lifespan, not just for a few weeks or months.
- Expect setbacks and failures. Your child may respond slowly to the new strategies

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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.