ADHD/Learning Disabilities

ADHDBCOTB uses the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to create positive change in people’s lives. Because these principles are behaviorally based, they can be applied not only to a child with Autism, but also to a child with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or another related learning disability.

ADHD symptoms include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. These symptoms have potential to cause problems at home, at school, and when it comes to forming meaningful relationships. Some interventions that can be put in place to decrease some of these inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors (such as attending, sitting down for an appropriate amount of time, and age appropriate social skills) include: behavioral skills training, social skills training, token economy systems, and SOCCSS.

Behavioral Skills Training is a useful tool to teach children social skills, such as conversation skills, when to use eye contact, and waiting patiently for their turn, by using 3 basic steps of modeling, rehearsal, and feedback.

Modeling entails showing the child how to use social skills. For example, a therapist may demonstrate how to start a conversation or respond to a greeting. Rehearsal of social skills is critical to any child’s success. Children may role play with their therapist until they can demonstrate that they have acquired a particular social skills and they attempt to use it with their peers. Feedback refers to the therapist’s suggestions for the child after they have demonstrated the use of social skills. Therapists provide corrective feedback and suggestions on how to improve performance as well as praise for their success all within the context of a safe environment.

For students specifically struggling with academics, social skills training can be used to help the child avoid procrastinating and complete assignments on time by teaching them to ask for help appropriately and breaking down larger assignments into smaller steps. Other skills that can be taught include, compromising with peers, identifying facial/social cues, and learning how to engage in a conversation.

Token economy systems can also be very useful by reinforcing any number of targeted behaviors, such as cleaning a bedroom, staying on task, completing homework assignments, and playing with peers appropriately.  This system allows children to receive tokens or tickets for their appropriate behavior in any setting. Children can later exchange these tokens for preferred toys, outing, games, or other things the family is willing to provide.

SOCCSS, which stands for Situation, Options, Consequences, Choices, Strategies, Simulations, can be used to help children understand social situations more clearly. This method asks the child to prepare for or remediate social situations where they are not comfortable or have behaved inappropriately.  It provides children with decision-making skills, including recognizing consequences and choice-making to help them thrive.