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Mina
Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience:  Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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Hi, From your advice I have replaced my reward system to include

Customer Question

Hi, From your advice I have replaced my reward system to include loss of some pocket money for not listening after 1 warning and loss of special treat if chart has not been completed for that day. If the reward chart is complete each day then special time is allocated with mum or dad for play. Although it's in the early stages this is having an effect but she is still losing out at school. Last year she seemed to be coming home with the occasional sticker or certificate but this year nothing. Do you think this could be having an effect? The mistakes she is making at school are silly ones, chatting, not listening when given instructions etc. She has said to me a few times that she finds it hard to get out of the habit of chatting in class. My husband also thinks the fact that her best friend/class mate whom she has known for the last 4 years is moving away and she is quite upset about this. What do you think?

Thanks
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

It is quite possible that your little girl has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which is characterised by her inattentiveness in class and difficulty on following instructions. There are several steps you can take:

  • speak to her school counsellor or psychologist, if there is one, about this situation, or speak with the headmaster. Get their professional opinion and advice on your next course of action, which may mean seeing a counselor or child psychologist. Many youngsters may develop this disorder, which often is treated, and eventually fades away as they mature.
  • If they are unable to advise you then seek help with a child psychologist, and try drug-free therapy before you try ADHD medication, which is often what a physician (including psychiatrist) would do.
  • Reduce the amount of television watched in your household, but not as a punishment. The rapid changes of fast moving scenes in children's television, especially the adverts, seems to foster difficulty in maintaining focus of slower moving things, such as school work.
  • Reduce the amount of sugary foods, snacks with MSG in them (such as some crisps,etc. - read the label), and certainly nothing with caffeine (colas) or artificially sweetened drinks (with aspartame).
  • Since she may be upset about her mate moving away, and is perhaps a bit jealous of her younger brother; give her plenty of support and unconditional love.
  • Don't criticise her for not bringing home as many stickers. Just support her. That is part of unconditional love, and she needs plenty of it.
ADHD is common, and treatable. Be understanding and patient, but take positive action as suggested above. You should see favourable results.

Best wishes for you and your family,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Expert:  Mina replied 3 years ago.

Hello again,

from your description it sounds like the behavioral problems at home have somewhat already eased down. This is very good news and it seems that she is able to respond to your new techniques. Well done! You also need to remember that any behavioral plans that are newly applied would need roughly a couple of months in order to see solid results. The fact that she responds positively to your new behavioral plan shows that she can adhere to instructions if there is the right incentive or circumstances or implications. This is something that ideally should be followed at school using a similar behavioral plan. However, school is altogether a different environment and there are various influences. Her friend moving away could have affected her and encouraged more chatting especially if she is her best friend. I would advise you to inquire a bit more about this behavior with the school e.g. are there any particular classes that she is more chatty or what time of the day. Is she chatting with a particular child e.g. her best friend or others as well? Is there a chance that she may find the work boring or too hard and chatting is a way to avoid it?Could she be moved to the front of the class and away from any distractions such as windows?I would not advise you to focus on the certificates or stickers from school. She has shown improvement at home and this is a big achievement on her behalf. If these difficulties at school persist and the school is not doing anything to address them, then you could possibly expand your plan at home to include positive behavior at school. e.g. include a reward for being concentrated at school, finish her tasks on time as the other children or follow the instructions given. You would need to target specific behaviors. The rewards again could be something that she enjoys and values. Give her plenty of positive attention and positive encouragement for the good work she is already doing. It will take some time to address all these little misbehaviors so be patient and engage school if you can in your efforts. let them know about your plans at home and ask them to support you with those if they can.

I hope this helps

All the best

Mina



Edited by Mina on 1/19/2011 at 1:08 PM EST
Mina, Clinical Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 188
Experience: Working as a Highly Specialist Clinical Psychologist in NHS. Experience in both children and adults
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