Parents, ADHD Kids & Homework

New research can help this volatile mix

A new study by Dr. William Pelham, a leader in ADHD research, and his team, sheds significant light on homework skills, parenting, and medication. The researchers compared homework-focused behavioral parent training against medication.

The study found that ADHD children who did homework under the guidance of trained parents improved 10% to 13% in homework completion and about 8% improved in homework accuracy. That's equivalent to the parent treatment group achieving an average C grade, versus an average F grade for those who didn't get the parent training. Significantly, they found medication had nonsignificant effects on homework completion and accuracy.

The major tool the parents received during training was the Daily Report Card.

According to the study's lead author, Brittany M. Merrill, The daily report card . . . is a communication tool between parents and teachers and is a core component of most school-based behavioral interventions for children with ADHD. In our study, teachers set realistic goals for the childrens homework assigning an age-appropriate amount and requiring 80% completion and 100% accuracy on the assignments. Parents evaluated how the child did on homework each evening and returned the note to the teacher the next morning in the childs homework folder. Children then received small rewards in the classroom based on homework completion at home, in addition to the rewards they received at home for finishing homework.

So what if the researchers combined medication with parent training? They tested that method and found it did not work any better than the parent training intervention alone.

Getting the right training seems to make a significant difference.

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