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Behavior Therapy For ADHD

behavior therapy for ADHDIntroduction

Medication may work for some children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. However, it may not work for other children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The question remains what do you do if medication does not work for your children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Have you ever tried behavior therapy? This article will describe how behavior therapy works and several steps to take when implementing behavior therapy into your routine with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

How Does Behavior Therapy Work?

According to Additude Magazine, “Behavior therapy is a structured discipline strategy based on rewards and consequences-such as increased or decreased TV privileges-that aims to incrementally teach children new, preferred ways of behaving.” With that said, behavior therapy focuses on achieving a measurable goal through the implementation of rewards and consequences. According to Additude Magazine, to achieve a specific, measurable goal the following is recommended:

  • Focus narrowly on a clear, realistic expectation for your child
  • Establish benchmarks and document daily achievements
  • Note and reward improvement when it occurs
  • Expand your program by working with the school

Therefore, these tips will enable your children to achieve specific, measurable goals.

What Are The Steps Children Need To Take To Achieve Their Goals?

According to Additude Magazine, the following steps should be taken to enable your children to achieve their goals:

Step One

Make sure to name a specific, measurable goals. Make sure the goals are            achievable and realistic. Parents it is also important to note that your goals for our children should not be overwhelming but rather exciting and achievable. You do not want your children to become discouraged and not achieve their goals.

Step Two

It may also help to make charts to enable your children to achieve their goals. Make sure the charts outline exactly what is expected of your children, when they are expected, and how the behaviors will be assessed. Parents make sure to post the charts where your children can see them as visual reminders to achieve their goals.

Step Three

Reward your children once they have achieved their desired behaviors.             According to Additude Magazine, daily rewards may include dessert after dinner, computer games for 15 minutes, and staying up 30 minutes later. In addition, weekly rewards may include watching a movie, special activity with their mother or father, and a day off from chores. On an even further note, school-based rewards may include care for class animals, bringing a message to the school office, and taking a positive note home.

Step 4

It is also important to include your children’s teachers in the conversation as well.  Be specific so your children’s teachers can reward your children at school and keep the goal attainable.

With these four steps, your children should be able to achieve their goals.


Behavior therapy is a very practical substitute for medication or the addition to medication. On a further note, if you follow these four steps and make your goals attainable, your children should succeed.


Behavior Therapy For ADHD

Lauren Walters

My name is Lauren Walters. I am currently heading into my final semester of graduate school for Mental Health Counseling in the Spring of 2016. Through my own experiences with mental illness, I love to inspire others through my writings and reassure them that they can live healthy, productive lives, despite mental illness. I hope you enjoy my articles. Feel free to comment. I will be sure to respond to you questions and/or comments in a prompt manner. Enjoy!

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APA Reference
Walters, L. (2019). Behavior Therapy For ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 28 Mar 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.