ADHD diagnosis

Tokens for Good Behavior

Token economies have been successful in reinforcing positive behavior in children with ADHD. As the name implies, a token economy involves giving a child a token for each good behavior. These tokens can be in the form of a sticker chart, coins, or anything that physically indicates the child’s good behavior. Be sure to establish a reward for earning a certain number of tokens. Here are some tips for successfully managing a token economy:

  • Begin an economy where, in the beginning the child earns rewards frequently. Over time, the rewards can become less frequent.
  • Make sure the reward is reinforcing to the child. Let the child choose which reward he/she wants to receive upon earning a certain number of tokens.
  • You can take away token for bad behavior. However, the reason for removal of tokens must be clear to the child and consistent.
  • Never remove all tokens or leave the child with a token “debt.” This has been shown to be ineffective.

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Reynolds, C., Vannest, K., & Harrison, J. (2012). The Energetic Brain. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

 

ADHD diagnosis

Stimulant Drug Misuse

Recent research has found that 17% of college students misuse ADHD stimulant drugs. These drugs are popular at college campuses as they are assumed to help students focus on studying, therefore leading to an academic boost. In reality, the misuse of stimulant medications is associated with lower academic performance. It should be noted that “misuse” is defined as either using medication without a prescription or using higher doses of medication with a prescription.

According to research on various college campuses, the most common source for obtaining stimulant medication is from fellow students who are properly prescribed the drugs. As many as 82% of students consider it “somewhat or very easy” to illegally obtain stimulant medications. This is an astonishing number as it suggests that most students know of someone through the grapevine who distributes these drugs.

Misusing drugs allows people to think that ADHD is not serious. It may cause people to think that ADHD drugs are simply non-serious drugs to be toyed with. Due to the prevalence of the misuse of stimulant medication, prescriptions have become harder to receive for people who truly need the medication.

Although, it may be seen as a way to make money, ADHD stimulants are Schedule II controlled substances, which are illegal to possess without a prescription. People should be reminded that giving their ADHD drugs to other people is a serious felony with medical and criminal consequences.

As for solving this drug problem on campus, awareness of the harm and criminal consequences should be made more apparent. Since those involved in Greek life on campus have been shown to have higher rates of stimulant medication abuse, perhaps, programs should be designed to educate this population. Additionally, stricter punishments should be implemented for those Greek life members or any students caught abusing stimulant medications.

Please remember that this problem, although largely researched in the college population, is not limited to college students. Always keep your medications safe from others!

 

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Benson, K., Flory, K., Humphreys, K. L., & Lee, S. S. (2015). Misuse of stimulant medication among college students: A comprehensive review and meta-analysis. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 18(1), 50-76. doi:10.1007/s10567-014-0177-z

ADHD diagnosis

Cavities in Children with ADHD

Children with ADHD have a higher prevalence of dental cavities than children without ADHD. Specifically, children with ADHD are nearly 10 times more likely to have decayed, missing, or filled teeth.

Different theories exist as to why these children experience more cavities and worse oral health in general. Behavior may be to blame for these problems. Factors such as not brushing enough, lack of motivation to maintain oral health, and/or parents using sugary rewards for good behavior may contribute to more cavities. One possibility is that ADHD medication often causes xerostomia, or dry mouth, as a side effect. Since saliva serves as the mouth’s natural protection against cavities, lack of saliva may lead to an increased number of cavities.

A 2012 study examined 3 groups of children; one group had ADHD treated with medication, one group had ADHD not treated with medication, the other group consisted of children without ADHD. If medication causes dry mouth, which leads to cavities, then the ADHD group of children treated with medication would have the highest rate of cavities. However, both groups of children with ADHD had more plaque than the children without ADHD. This suggests that medication is not to blame for poor oral health in children with ADHD.

What can you do to prevent cavities for your child with ADHD?

  • Shorter intervals between dental check-ups
  • Reduce sugary foods in diet
  • Monitor children when they brush their teeth
  • Use fluoride rinse after brushing at night
  • Do not eat anything after brushing at night
  • Use 2-minute hourglass timer to encourage longer brush time

 

Contact Dr. Gordon for help with your ADHD. We have treatment and solutions available online, by phone, and in our offices.

written by:
 Brianna Malinowski, 
Jay Gordon, Ph.D

Rosenberg, S., Kumar, S., & Williams, N. (2014). Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication and dental caries in children. The Journal of Dental Hygiene, 88(6), 342-347.