Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with daily functioning and development, and these characterizations are ongoing. 

What are some of the symptoms of ADHD?

  • Inattention --- difficulty staying on task, maintaining focus for longer periods of time, and staying organized (not due to defiance or lack of understanding)
  • Hyperactivity --- constant movement (especially in situations that are more inappropriate); excessive restlessness/talking
  • Impulsivity --- individual may act without thinking of the consequences; desire for instant gratification and having trouble delaying gratification for the future; may interrupt others or make important decisions without fully thinking through the potential long-term consequences 

How can ADHD be treated?

Behavioral therapy is a common therapy technique that helps individuals learn skills to control symptoms and help them manage tasks more efficiently. The ultimate goal is to replace negative behaviors with more positive ones that can be used to achieve the client's goals. This can include teaching the client strategies to improve potential problem areas, such as organization, focus, and controlling impulses. 

What does behavioral therapy for ADHD look like in children?

Often, it takes a familial effort and approach to help behavioral manifestations in children. One way of addressing this is to examine how negative actions are responded to in the child's home. A therapist can meet with a family to develop a plan for the child to learn new skills and ways to manage tasks that can cause challenges for them, including homework, paying attention in class, etc.

A system of rewards and consequences can be set up in the home. An example of this is creating a chart that details the actions the child needs to undergo to achieve their goals and gain rewards; the purpose of this is to encourage positive behaviors. 

What does behavioral therapy for ADHD look like in adults?

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help adults...
    • Manage negative emotions
    • Reset negative expectations
    • Figure out and locate behavioral patterns over time 
    • Navigating transitions throughout the day
    • Make time for self-care
    • Manage other conditions or issues that may arise along with ADHD 

Here at Madrigal, we are committed to addressing issues related to ADHD in a holistic manner.

*This information was adapted from the National Institute of Mental Health and Healthline. Click here and here to learn more information.*