View Full Version : Disney Dollars For ADHD Behavior Modification??!!
03-16-2008, 03:36 PM
I am planning my DD's 3rd WDW trip this year and am always looking for ways for her to earn her Disney Dollars...usually through chores. Well, the past few weeks have been rough ones. She has been having a hard time at school, calls from the teachers, flipping cards and coming home with yellow and red ones, culminating with a call from her teacher with some "concerns" she wanted to discuss with me. Well my 8 yo DD has always been very high energy, :banana: very talkative, 3rd year competitive allstar cheerleader, :cheer2: (a sport that made sense with all her energy)...and comments from teachers on report cards each year have always been the same...excessive talking, disrupts the class with talking, etc. Academically she has always been on schedule and average/above average. Well, her lack of focus, and easily distracted-ness have become a concern and her grades have drasticlly dropped the past 2 months. I took her to see her pediatrician, who both her and I trust 100%. After, the questionaires were filled out by both the teacher and I, same results and DD is displaying core symptoms of ADHD.
I have decided to go full force with behavior modification before considering meds. So, I have implemented Disney Dollars as her daily reward for staying on task with whatever her task may be. Last week it was "not shouting out in class and raising her hand". She had a great week and earned $1 (Disney) each day. ::MickeyMo Of course, if she gets really motivated by this, I could go broke before our trip, but I guess its worth it...right?! She seems to respond very well to immediate feedback. :teacher: Is is wrong to reward her for behavior that is expected? Or is this an exception to that rule?
This thread may even be in the wrong forum, so I understand if it needs to be moved.
Thanks in advance.
03-16-2008, 04:34 PM
I understand where you're coming from.
My DS7 has been diagnosed on the spectrum and for some reason he's been having a rough time lately too. The teacher "suggested" meds but I feel it would be a last resort and even then not sure.
Here's what they came up with instead. Each day they have a chart listing his activities, eg. reading, writing, transitions, recess, specials etc. They gave him 3 types of faces he could earn in each; smiley, straight across mouth, and frown. He needs to earn 10 smileys to get a prize and one of them has to be in a specials group where he tends to have the most difficulty (PE, art, music, library, etc). THis has worked out well and gives me the feedback to track and see where he needs the most help. Hopefully this helps. It may cut back on the number of rewards but gives a very clear feedback to the child what's expected and what behavior the teachers are looking for. :grouphug:
03-16-2008, 04:50 PM
In my opinion, this is a great idea (concrete and pretty instant) to motivate kids with learning or behavioral issues/disabilities.
Our kids are not wired the same way typical kids are and the tools we use to work with them must be creative. (And get ready to change after a bit...even the best systems don't work forever with kids like ours - you may need to modify the reward program - after giving her advance notice of the upcoming change.) You also might mention to her teacher that you're using this system and ask the teacher for daily feedback, emails, or a quick word about how each day goes (from his/her perspective).
You might get more info or advice in the disAbilities forum. You didn't ask, but now that you've got info from the pediatrician, I would hope that you are pursuing getting your daughter school-based special education services to help her. (Start by asking the school in writing for a "core evaluation.") Many kids like ours have executive functioning deficits that the schools can help with. (Some may need to be led, kicking and screaming to offer such services, but I hope your school district isn't one of those!:rolleyes2) There are many of us who are trying to keep our kids off of meds, unless we've exhausted the other avenues first. Good luck and have a great trip!
03-16-2008, 05:31 PM
Positive behavioral rewards works wonders for many. As my name indicates, I am a foster parent. We have been very successful with one of our recent children who was crazy about hot wheel cars. He also had ADHD. We would display the cars by having them taped to the entertainment center. This way we could remind him each morning before leaving for school, then depending on his behavior at school, he'd get the oppurtunity to choose one as soon as he came home from school. The thing to remember is that these can become less effective as time goes by, AND when choosing the reward, it must be of value to the child. Mix it up a bit if she starts getting board with it. Example, use different characters (I think they come in different characters).
Using her natural strengths as a way to help meet her need of moving is very smart!! We did that with our son. He started baseball at age 4, and just graduated from High School last year. Baseball scholarship in hand. :banana:
03-16-2008, 06:05 PM
I am a teacher and think your idea sounds great. Sometimes I see teachers/parents offering rewards to kids that are in the distant future. As great as the reward may be, if it is too far away, the child cannot often see that far ahead, so the reward isn't motivating the child in the here and now. In your case, even though the reward of spending the dollars may be a ways off, the physical reward of her receiving the Disney dollar bills is immediate, so it is motivating for her. If you start to see her behaviors slipping, you might want to consider changing the reward temporarily to something she can receive right away, and then go back to the Disney Dollars. Count the money with her often and let her go on the Disney Store website often so she can see some of the possible things she could buy. That way the thought of the purchases will keep her motivated.
Just the fact that she CAN be quiet and listen makes me think she probably is not really and truly ADHD because she is showing that she CAN control her behavior when she wants to. Good luck with your plan!
03-16-2008, 06:16 PM
Been there done that! :)
Change the reward this week (or next), do a good job 2 days in a row for a Disney Dollar. Otherwise, you will go broke. LOL
Good luck to you.
03-16-2008, 06:51 PM
I personally think you came up with a great plan. I have my Bachelor's in Psychology, and am finishing my Master's in school counseling. Behavior Modification is the theory most backed up with research, probably because it's so easy to measure and study whether it works or not, and it's something I use a lot at the elementary level. I have used token reinforcement with a lot of my students, some who are in Special Education, some who are in Regular Education, usually to success. The most important thing is to constantly re-evaluate the behavior plan and change it as needed. As others said, immediate reinforcement is key because it shows a connection between the behavior and the reward.
Best of luck to you! :hug:
03-16-2008, 06:54 PM
ABSOLUTELY!!! I am a third grade teacher and recommended this very strategy to the parents of one of my students. It's working very well, but takes constant communications between teacher and parent.
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