Motivation Coaching, An Inattentive ADHD Treatment Option

Dr Russell Barkley a well known ADHD psychologist believes that ADHD is a disease of motivation. I think that Dr Barkley's beliefs are especially true in the case on Inattentive ADHD.

When my now Inattentive ADHD, 11 year old son was in second grade we got a call from his teacher that we needed to have a conference regarding my son's terrible progress in math. Every parent dreads the parent-teacher conference but this particular request really concerned us. Our son, just two days before this phone call, had been at the grocery store with me and had figured out, while standing at the cash register, that with his 3 dollar allowance he could buy four 69 cent candy bars and have a quarter left over if I let him borrow a penny. This was NOT a seven year old with a math problem.

At the conference his teacher told us that it took him three times as long to complete his math assignments of which he had several to do a day. This teacher loved our son and knew that he was smart but was convinced that he was too sluggish to ever succeed in school without Ritalin We decided to try motivation coaching as a treatment option for the Inattentive ADHD  instead. I asked the teacher how long he had to complete these tasks and she said 10 minutes.

We explained the problem to our son. This child is extremely easy to parent as he is a huge adult pleaser. For good or bad he is also a HUGE dreamer. He will play in his imagination for hours and hours at a time with one stuffed animal and a string and we knew from the grocery store incident that math was not the problem,

After some research and some input from him, we bought something called a visual timer. This is a device that is a large clock which you set for say 10 minutes. A big red pie wedge shape appears to represent 10 minutes. As time passes the red wedge gets smaller and smaller. Having the big visual timer sitting right in front of him gave him a large clue that time was ticking. He completed his assignments in about 2 minutes.

We continue to search and use motivational tools to help him in school but I agree with Dr. Barkley that we need to find better motivational and coaching tools for the treatment of our children with Inattentive ADHD!

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