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A small recognition for a task performed can have great significance for a child with ADHD. Researchers have now demonstrated that children with ADHD have a greater effect than children without ADHD on gaining positive reinforcement when performing mental tasks.

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Positive reinforcement has a greater effect for children with ADHD

Researchers have shown that children with ADHD respond more strongly than children without ADHD to receiving small rewards or reinforcements.

Positive reinforcement means that the behavior you want to strengthen in a child has a positive consequence for the child, for example in the form of recognition, praise or accumulating a greater reward.

According to the researchers, the beneficial effect of having positive reinforcement in children with ADHD when they have to do a task seems to be related to the fact that this gives the child higher motivation.  

The increased motivation thus strengthens the child's ability to concentrate and to perform cognitively around the task.


- Use external rewards to increase motivation in children with ADHD

Children with ADHD often perform worse at school than their abilities would suggest, and increasing the child's motivation by facilitating good behavioral conditions can help to give the child the opportunity to use his or her abilities better.

Therefore, behavioral therapy is also an important measure in meeting children with ADHD, the researchers add. 

The biggest difference is that typically developed children usually do their best when they are simply asked to do their best, says one of the researchers.

But children with ADHD need more external reinforcement to do their best.



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