ABOUT ADHD (ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER) AND USING CBT (COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY) TO HELP
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is an effective, non-pharmaceutical method proven to make a world of difference for children with ADHD. It utilizes a customized, systematic teaching strategy rewarded with positive reinforcement to create lasting, meaningful changes in behavior.
According to Autism Partnership, a leading authority on CBT, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy employs teaching where the objectives of intervention are to provide a child with skills that will facilitate his/her development and help him/her achieve the greatest degree of independence and the highest quality of life possible.
Although many different techniques comprise CBT, the primary instructional method is called Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT). DTT involves breaking a skill into smaller parts, teaching one sub-skill at a time until mastery, allowing repeated practice in a concentrated period of time, providing prompting and fading as necessary, and using reinforcement procedures.
ADHD doesn’t increase a person’s risk for other conditions or diseases, however, some people with ADHD — especially children — are more likely to experience a range of co-existing conditions. They can sometimes make social situations more difficult and school more challenging. Some co-existing conditions include: learning disabilities; conduct disorders and difficulties, including antisocial behavior, fighting, and oppositional defiant disorder; anxiety disorder; depression; bipolar disorder; Tourette’s syndrome; substance abuse; and bed-wetting problems.
Cost is a major factor when it comes to how a condition affects someone. Treatment plans and medications can be expensive, and planning around payment can be stressful. A study from 2007 claimed that the “cost of illness” for a person with ADHD is $14,576 each year. That means ADHD costs Americans $42.5 billion dollars each year — and that’s on the conservative side of ADHD prevalence estimates.
The following is ADHD statistical research from Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., an internationally recognized authority on ADHD in children and adults. Dedicating his career to widely disseminating science-based information about ADHD, Dr. Barkley is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston:
- On average, there are 1 to 3 children who have ADHD in every classroom of 30 students
- Three to six more boys are diagnosed than girls
- The rate of emotional development for children with ADHD is 30% slower than their non-Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) peers (for example, a 10-year-old with ADHD operates at the maturity level of about a 7-year-old; a 16-year-old beginning driver is using the decision making skills of an 11-year-old)
- 65% of children with ADHD have problems with defiance, non-compliance and other problems with authority figures, including verbal hostility and temper tantrums
- 25% of students with ADHD have other serious learning problems in one or more of these areas: oral expression, listening skills, reading comprehension, and math
- Half of all ADHD students have listening comprehension problems
- About one-third of these students have one or more of the following:
Language deficits (poor listening comprehension, poor verbal expression, poor reading comprehension)
Poor organizational skills
Poor fine motor skills
Students with ADHD are two to three times more likely to have problems with expressive language than their non-ADD peers
75% of boys with ADD are hyperactive; 60% of girls with ADD are hyperactive
40% of children who have ADHD have at least one parent who has ADHD
50% of children who have ADHD also have sleep problems
Parents of a child who has ADHD are three times as likely to separate or divorce as parents of non-ADD children
Teenagers with ADHD have almost four times as many traffic citations as their non-ADD peers
Teens with ADHD have four times as many car wrecks and are seven times more likely to have a second accident
21% of teens with ADHD skip school repeatedly
35% eventually drop out of school
45% have been suspended
30% have failed or had to repeat a year of school
PROMOTING Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A NON-DRUG THERAPY FOR ADHD
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is an effective, non-pharmaceutical method proven to make a world of difference for children with ADHD. It utilizes a customized, systematic teaching strategy rewarded with positive reinforcement to create lasting, meaningful changes in behavior.
According to Autism Partnership, a leading authority on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, “Cognitive Behavioral Therapy employs teaching where the objectives of intervention are to provide a child with skills that will facilitate his/her development and help him/her achieve the greatest degree of independence and the highest quality of life possible. Although many different techniques comprise Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, the primary instructional method is called Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT). DTT involves breaking a skill into smaller parts, teaching one sub-skill at a time until mastery, allowing repeated practice in a concentrated period of time, providing prompting and fading as necessary, and using reinforcement procedures.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a methodology that incorporates basic behavioral principles such as, positive reinforcement; prompting; shaping and generalization, that directly impacts the child’s development of language, socialization, and reduction of maladaptive behaviors. This methodology uses techniques such as discrete trial training and systematic data collection to guide treatment planning.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a safe and well-researched evidence based approach to working with children. It has been particularly effective in supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, which are neurological learning disorders. Funding for schools with special education programs may be available to support Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training for those with autism, however, ADHD, is a behavioral disorder and is NOT usually funded in the majority of special educational programs in local and national public schools.
Many young children who receive early intensive behavior intervention are able to develop skills that allow them to independently participate in a mainstream school setting. Providing one therapy intensively rather than multiple therapies less intensively, ensures consistency across home and community or social settings. Families benefit from learning strategies for facilitating their child’s use of newly acquired skills as well as for reducing challenging behaviors.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be effective in working with children of all ages. However, research indicates that children who start therapy at a young age (pre-school through age 5) attain better outcomes.
Feeling that 30 minutes a day, three times per week, with group therapy sometimes added, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training (which is only offered in some public schools), is not enough. Sanders believes that parents and caregivers would greatly benefit from learning Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training in order to facilitate behavior modification with their children in the home. Because children have a three-month summer break every year, it is imperative to continue Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training at home for consistency.
She also believes that teachers would appreciate obtaining this training to be able to address the different types of learners they have in their classrooms whether these children have special education needs or not. Sanders would like to see summer training sessions be available for instructors and special education teachers with the incentive of garnering continued education units toward a degree.
Sanders advocates for early intervention with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training in school and at home. Although anyone diagnosed with ADHD, at any age, would benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training, it is imperative that one obtain the appropriate social skills to interact positively with people in order to be successful in every stage of life.
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