Tuesday, November 23, 2010

ADHD and Rewards

A recent blog post at the Eidie Neurolearning Blog discusses research from Germany on rewards for boys with ADHD. This small study indicated that impulsivity was significantly reduced when rewards (monetary or social ) were incentive to complete a task. It is discussed that if impulsivity can be reduced so greatly based on motivation, perhaps ADHD is not a fixed condition.

Based on my own experiences, I have found this to be accurate when working with children with ADHD. When engaged in a enjoyable task, the children are able to stay on task. If a motivating reward was available, I have also seen reduced impulsivity. Many times a motivating reward was as simple as free play with the therapy equipment and toys.

Next time a student is having impulsive behaviors, try putting a meaningful reward system in place. Here are some suggestions:

1. Money - fMRI has shown different brain activity in children with ADHD when money is a reward.

2. Physical activity time

3. Prize box (without sugary candies)

4. Important school job - i.e. messenger

What are your experiences with reward systems for students with ADHD?

Reference: Eide Neurolearning Blog. ADHD = Different Reward / Motivation Pathway? Retreived from the web on 11/22/2010 at http://eideneurolearningblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/adhd-different-reward-motivation.html

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