Stop Think Do

Specific Application: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Criteria for ADHD (ie, weaknesses): Distractibility, restlessness, impulsivity

  • Frequency: 5-10% childhood population, 4:1 males:females

  • In the STOP THINK DO framework, children with ADHD are stuck at DO; they are mentally and physically active, and rarely stop to think in the learning or play context

  • After identifying these weaknesses in concentration and behavioural control and gaining the child's interest in improving these areas at STOP, options to consider at THINK may include drawing up a concentration and behavioural control plan

  • Specific concentration/behaviour plans involve cognitive and behavioural re-training using

    • visual, auditory and tactile cues to remind the child to STOP

    • self-talk strategies to help them THINK about controlling themself

    • behavioural redirection to implement these strategies at DO

STOP THINK DO plan for concentration/behavioural control

STOPWhen I see or feel red tape on my pencils or my watchband (or other reminders), I will STOP and
THINKTHINK 'Concentrate' or 'Control myself' or
'What will happen if I keep doing this? Then I will
DODO the following concentrating/behavioural things (chose which)
  • stop fiddling, wriggling, rocking, talking, daydreaming, calling out, fighting

  • listen to or look at my teacher

  • get on with my work

  • tell my friends I will speak to them at lunch

  • go to another place in the yard to get away from trouble

If I forget my plan, my teacher could remind me. I'll change my reminders regularly to keep them novel until I remember myself.

  • If the child is also taking medication for the problem, this is identified as yet another option at THINK. While medicine can help the child STOP (ie. stop his attention and behaviour zapping around), it is up to him to learn how to THINK and what to DO in the longer term.

  • Due to their sequential memory weaknesses, many children with ADHD also have learning difficulties affecting literacy, numeracy and/or writing. After their concentration and impulse control issues have been addressed, specific plans need to be drawn up to address their learning weaknesses.

  • Since children wtih ADHD are impulsive, they often have poor social skills which affect their peer friendships and their self-esteem. Plans may be drawn up to address these areas as well eg, participating in personal and social skills training programs