169 Behavioral Options for ADHD

Based on research by Richardson, M., Moore, D.A., Gwernan-Jones, R., et al. (2015), written by Mara Rowcliffe, BS.

Do you know a child that struggles to stay focused or pay attention, acts impulsively, or is so active they are often disruptive? Some children with these behaviors are assessed to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, also known as ADHD, one of the most frequently diagnosed childhood disorders. These symptoms are likely to cause difficulty in school so it’s important to know methods to help our children.

Psychologist Michelle Richardson and UK colleagues reviewed 54 effective outcome studies that evaluated many different ways to support these children. Research demonstrates that making changes to the classroom can improve academic performance for children with ADHD. The most frequent positive finding is teachers and/or parents providing daily report cards. These give short, clear, specific expectations, a consistent routine with appropriate praise, attention, incentives, and consequences. These encourage the child’s motivation by giving consistent and regular feedback. Another strategy shown to improve academic performance is teaching the child study and organizational skills. This helped them reduce hyperactive behavior and increase attention.

Often children with ADHD are treated expediently with medication, but consult and consider effective, longer lasting options such as classroom and home techniques and behavioral counseling to assist in improving classroom success.


Richardson, M., Moore, D. A., Gwernan-Jones, R., Thompson-Coon, J., Ukoumunne, O., Rogers, M., … & Ford, T. J. (2015). Non-pharmacological interventions for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) delivered in school settings: systematic reviews of quantitative and qualitative research. Health technology assessment (Winchester, England), 19(45), 1-470.

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