Magical Discipline Strategies for ADHD

Magician's hands holding a magic wand and waving it over a magical top hat

Okay, I exaggerated it’s not magical, but these strategies are so simple, quick, and effective, they feel like magic. I have used the 1-2-3 Magic system for 17-years, both as a psychologist and as an early childhood coordinator. If implemented correctly it works just like magician casting a spell.

For now we are only going to discuss stop behaviors. Stop behaviors include: aggression, yelling, pouting, whining, and arguing. Basically any behavior you want your child to stop doing.

Using a counting system to stop unwanted behaviors in children with special needs requires modifications. Children with ADHD and autism typically have problems processing information given through auditory directions. Therefore, add visual supports or your child will look at you as if you’ve lost your mind!

Visual Supports Needed

  • Social Story. Children need the discipline procedure read to them with pictures of the time-out space, the timer, etc. The story needs to be very simple with only one to two sentences to a page.
  • Time Timer. The Time Timer is a timer that has a red disk that disappears as time elapses. The best part is no irritating ticking, distractions, or setup. Click here to watch a video on the Time Timer. http://www.timetimer.com

HOW TO WORK MAGIC

First, read the social story. Second, read the story often. Repetition is the key. Now comes the tricky part, implementation. When you see “Johnny” doing something he is not suppose to be doing say, “That’s 1.” If he doesn’t stop say, “That’s 2.” If he still doesn’t stop, say, “That’s 3.” Then walk him to his time-out place. This can consist of a square on the floor made of duct tape (thinking square), his room, or whatever place you deem the time-out spot. Once he calms down start the timer.   When the red is gone, time is up and Johnny is free. Sounds simple right? That’s because it is, but there are a few key components.

KEY COMPONENTS

  • Reduce talking too much. Only count.
  • Stay level headed. Show no emotion.

Still need help? Call the Mindful Child Aerial Yoga team at 913-660-8219 or sign up for one of our behavior management workshops.

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