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Can schools help children with behavior disorders and ADHD?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Medicine

Many schools offer support for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and behavior disorders. Approximately 25% to 50% of children with ADHD have a co-existing behavior disorder. Most commonly, these are oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Behavior disorders can be disruptive in the school setting, leading to fights, anger management issues, and other antisocial actions and attitudes. Schools may use behavior modification techniques to address issues with problem behaviors in children with ADHD. The National Resource Center on ADHD reports that a carefully planned classroom structure might positively influence children with ADHD and behavior disorders. Behavior modification strategies, including a system of rewards and consequences, can be used, as well as the following:

  • Fostering a supportive classroom environment
  • Encouraging healthy communication and peer relationships
  • Being clear and specific regarding behavior expectations in the classroom
  • Addressing problem behaviors promptly

For children with severe conduct problems, a treatment team may be necessary to address problem behaviors.

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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.