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.