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Ten Ways To Make Mentoring Effective For Kids with ADD/ADHD

Presented By Linda S. Classen, M. Ed., LPC

Core Symptoms of ADHD:
  • Poor sustained attention/vigilance to boring/routine tasks
  • Impulsive/ age inappropriate focus/difficulty with self-regulation
  • Diminished rule governed behavior
  • Immaturity
  • Disorganization
  • Poor sense of time
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • 50 to 70% chance of co-morbid condition(s) such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia, Anxiety, Depression, Tourette’s Syndrome, Bi-Polar Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
  • ADD and ADHD are highly genetic.
Effective Strategies For Mentors:
  1. Behavior issues are neurochemically based, not willful. Pick your battles carefully!
  2. Remove the words “Stop that” “Don’t do that” etc. from your management vocabulary.
  3. Don’t argue with an aspiring attorney! An argument requires the participation of two people: Shut down your half!
  4. A good way to shut down your half of the argument: The Stroke!
  5. There are only three “Intolerable Behaviors” and these require consequences: Hurting yourself or others, destruction of property and blatant defiance. Boredom is an effective punishment. Time Out is different from Chill Out. If possible, name the offending behavior. “That’s arguing” “That’s Junior Parenting” etc.
  6. Ask for the replacement behavior: “Show me listening” “Show me control” “Show me hands to self” When the child demonstrates the behavior you asked for immediately reward or reinforce it. This can be done verbally or with a tangible reward. Delay weakens the reward! Plan to practice this a lot!
  7. Powerful reinforcement means “The Controlled Delivery of a Passion.” Ask yourself: “Why should s/he do what I want her/him to do?” Remember: The child’s view is, “What’s in it for me?” or rather, “What’s in it for me NOW?
  8. ASK the child what he’d like to have when the task at hand is finished. And be prepared to deliver it.
  9. My favorite target behaviors: “On Task” and “Appropriate Talk Only
  10. Tellin’; ain’t Trainin’!” Make the rules visual. Helpful ways to do this are by using sticky notes, pictures of rewards, home drawn cartoons, etc.
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