A psychosocial rehabilitation specialist’s job is to find effective ways to correctly treat patients with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) as well as to find ways to assist the people close to the affected ADHD patient. Coping with the disorder is not only a task made for the patient – the patient’s support system, i.e. parents, siblings, friends also have a part in the healing process. A rehabilitation specialist would use several strategies to help ADHD patients to cope with their family friends and coworkers. They will also learn how to control their aggression, fix their social skills and help with their learning hurdles where a rehabilitation specialist will use creative and impactful ways to solve issues that an ADHD patient might have either behaviorally or mentally. ADHD is a disorder most commonly found in children. Initially, it is difficult to diagnose a child with this disorder because parents wouldn’t want to mistake a normal child’s behavior with the symptoms of ADHD.
Once diagnosed, the child is prescribed and treated medicine to help them focus better. Usually children have the disorder before the age of seven. Some of the symptoms that children have when they are suffering from ADHD include forgetfulness and lack of focus on a given task. Parents play an important role in helping a child with ADHD focus, preventing the introduction of medicine to treat the disorder. Patience and dedication is heavily required in order for the at home treatment to work. Some things that parents can do are removing distractions at home and improving the diet and exercise plans for the household. In order for these methods to work effectively, parents must give their children their undivided attention. Rewards and consequences are also necessary for the child’s good and bad behavior. When these methods are taken in early action, the child’s school performance will be good as well as outside help from a therapist will not be needed. Family Relationships
Family relationships can always be an issue to cope with in all families. However, family relationships in a family with behavioral dysfunctions can always create issues and circumstances that the family may never be ready for. In order to cope with a child in the family with behavior problems, the best thing to do is become educated. Regardless of the age group, the family needs to become educated in the child’s behavioral field. Cognitive skills in each individual, creates differences (Grotevant, 1986). So getting educated is the best way to go. The mindset and thoughts will change according to the behavioral situation.
Having knowledge will create a well-balanced understanding and will decrease the chances of negative interventions. It will also place the individual in a clearer state of mind. The second strategy is for the family to seek professional care for the child. Often times, a family might not afford it, but there are plenty of sources outside the therapeutic field that might help. For instance, behavioral, cognitive, and family practices all have books that are handy for the family and will help the child cope with any issues. Peer Interactions
Cognitive therapy for children with behavior problems are usually a short-term treatment. Treatment focus on the child thoughts, behavior and emotions that are connected and how they affect each other. Peer interactions are known to cause a behavior change in children on how well they get along with other children. Cognitive therapy will focus on different approaches for peer relationships such as: teaching social skills, social problem solving, decreasing undesirable and anti-social behaviors, developing close friendship, and exchanging negative thoughts into positive ones. “Effective restricting requires the use of adaptive thoughts when primed by affective arousal or by situations that trigger negative automatic thoughts (Shirk, R. 2011).”
According to the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology “peer influence are discussed in terms of six issues: characteristics of the influence source; characteristics of the child or adolescent being influenced; the relationship existing between influence source and the individual being influenced; developmental change; processes underlying peer influence; and constraints deriving from the behavior domain being examined (Hartup, W. 2005).” Aggression
The cognitive theory of aggression is that specific stimuli triggers a negative memory in an individual causing that individual to feel a variety of emotions which often result in the individual having a fight or flight response, (Anderson & Bushman, 2002). When anger and aggression are present, fight is the response that the individual is carrying out. The cognitive approach to treatment via the cognitive neo-association theory suggests that treatment for this type of aggression, especially in children would be for the child to understand the consequences and suppress the action of anger, (Anderson & Bushman, 2002). When the child feels anger, to think about what the consequences will be if he or she acts out in aggression, that it is alright to feel angry, but expressing aggression in a negative way is not appropriate. For a child, suppressing aggression is more difficult than it is for an adult due to the lack of complete cognitive development and not understanding how his or her actions affect other people as well. Social Skills
For a child with emotional disturbances, socializing can be a major hurdle to overcome. Group therapy, inductive social skills training, and cognitive relaxation coping skills are all cognitive based therapies that could be beneficial to the child, (Deffenbacher, Thwaites, & Wallace, 1994). Being able to express feelings and emotions is key for children to feel understood and to learn how to appropriately communicate with others. Social skills are needed throughout all life stages and using therapies such as group therapy and cognitive relaxation coping are efficient ways for the child to be comfortable with social interactions. Cognitive Treatment: Cognitive treatment strategies for academic difficulties: Using Abraham Maslow’s theory on the hierarchy of needs to build a treatment option for students struggling with self-esteem and depression due to domestic issues.
Abraham Maslow contributed to psychology with the “hierarchy of needs.” According to Bergen, Noltemeyer, and Patton (2012), the “hierarchy of needs” theory was originally based on five basic needs that are crucial to living the best life. A step ladder (hierarchy) places the needs from lowest to highest order. Physiological, safety, and love/belonging needs are on the lower level of the hierarchy whereas, esteem and self-actualization are on a higher level of needs (Bergen, Noltemeyer, & Patton, 2012). Maslow projected that when an individual’s basic needs meet at an adequate level, an individual could reach full potential in achieving the needs of growth. Maslow further claimed that although one need may be of present importance, a person can also find motivation by more than one need at a time. Only when an individual has satisfied his or her basic as well as higher needs, would Maslow substantiate that they have attained the highest degree of functioning (Bergen, Noltemeyer, & Patton, 2012).
By building a program around the cognitive theory of Maslow the self-esteem of maladaptive children would be boosted. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to meet the needs of students who have been either ignored or in severe domestic situations can bring them to a place of trust when their needs begin to be met. Making sure they are getting the proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise, helping to ensure they are safe and experience love and concern will then lead to a desire to learn and grow. Children who feel unsafe, unloved and are not getting the proper nutrition and rest will not perform well in school. Getting them to at least a level where there needs are being met will help them to have a desire for education and personal growth. Conclusion
There are various options for a child seeking therapy and treatment for maladaptive behaviors due to an emotional disturbance. Each therapy is based from the cognitive approach and it purposely meant to support a specific aspect in the child’s life. Family relationships, peer interactions, aggression, social skills, and academic difficulties are all major parts of an individual’s life and finding ways for therapies and treatment interventions to help with these areas are the most beneficial. Maladaptive behaviors in children are challenging, but with a support system, the cognitive theory approach allows for it to be possible to help cope with and treat.
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Hartup, W. W. (2005). Peer interaction: What causes what? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33(3), 387-394.
Shirk, S. R. (2001). Development and cognitive therapy. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 15(3), 155-163. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/89070699 Utilizing Cognitive Behavioral Interventions to Positively Impact Academic Achievement in Middle School Students Brett Zyromski Southern Illinois University Carbondale Arline Edwards Joseph North Carolina State University