Behavior Plans: How to Create One and Improve Life at Home

Children have been back to school for over a month and the dreaded phone calls from school have started.  You are distraught and totally emotional.  You are overwhelmed because you know it’s hard to control your child’s emotions and actions.  Especially when they are away from you at school.  Perhaps home life isn’t any better.  Schedules have become increasingly more demanding with homework, projects, and after school activities.  Everyone is a little more stressed.  Behavior plans are a great way to improve your child’s behavior.

Every child would behave appropriately — if they could. Because misbehavior is symptomatic of an underlying disability that’s intensified by situational triggers, behavior plans should more aptly be thought of as teaching plans.  Good Behavior Plans reward children for appropriate behavior and prevent undesirable behavior.  They can be simple and target 1-2 behaviors for preschoolers or they can be used for teens that are highly motivated by rewards like access to a car or money.

Here are some common causes of behavior problems in children:

  • Difficulty regulating their emotions (staying calm when frustrated);
  • Flexible thinking (only one way to do something); and
  • Taking another person’s perspective (it’s my way or the highway).

Behavior plans work.  As a parent you need patience, consistency and the ability to follow through.  You might also need a coach to help guide the way.  A qualified coach can create the appropriate behavior plan and improve your life at home!

Katherine Price coaches parents on everything from behavior modification plans to IEP goals.  She helps DC area parents get the ADHD help and resources they need by guiding them through the options available to them, connecting with the right people, and making a workable, affordable plan for the whole family.  For more information about ADHDC, go to


Top 10 Accommodations for Children with ADHD

I asked some local parents in Arlington, VA to share IEP goals and accommodations they found to be most effective.  Below is a list of ten that I think are most reasonable for teachers to implement. Of course, by law teachers are required to provide all the accommodations set forth in an IEP, but sadly this is not always the case.  It’s important to note that each child with ADHD has different weaknesses and therefore different goals.   For every weakness a child has, an IEP should have a corresponding “SMART” goal.  Accommodations can be used in a 504 Plan or in an IEP (Individualized Education Plan).

10 Useful Classroom Accommodations/Goals

1.  For distractibility, the teacher uses a private signal to cue the student to stay on task.  Sometimes all a student needs is a subtle redirection…not “Joey, pay attention!!!”

2.  For a child who can’t keep up with notes, the teacher provides notes.  The student should still try to take notes, but will have a complete set given by the teacher in case they didn’t get it all.

3.  The teacher checks with student for understanding.  This doesn’t mean asking the child if they understand the assignment!  Of course the student will say, “yes.”  The teacher should ask the student to repeat what was asked to be certain the student knows the assignment.

4.  For a self advocacy, the student will ask for help/clarification/direction when he doesn’t understand what is being asked within 2 minutes in 4 out of 5 opportunities with fading prompts.  While I realize this is a hard goal to measure because the teacher won’t know when the student didn’t understand and didn’t ask, but it’s worth putting in the IEP.

5.  For organization, the teacher should sign the child’s agenda or assignment notebook daily.  Ideally, this book also serves as a communication tool for parents and teachers.

6.  An IEP goal for organization, would be the student will accurately write assignment details in their agenda 80% of the time in 8 out of 10 assignments.

7.  For behavior, the teacher can fill out a daily chart reflecting the student’s behavior at school that goes home. This chart ties into the parents behavior plan.  This can be done discreetly between the student and teacher so they don’t feel self conscious.  Good behavior at school translates to points on the “at home” chart and ultimately a reward.  This also provides good communication between the teacher and parents.

8. For fidgeting, the teacher will allow a fidget toy to be used by the student during all classwork.  Sometimes this might be gum.  Sometimes this might be a sensory cushion.  Each child seeks different sensory input.

9.  For homework, the teacher modifies the amount of homework.  A student can demonstrate understanding of a new math concept without doing 20 math problems.  The student can do only the even-numbered problems.

10.  For reading, many kids don’t have the attention or stamina to complete all the reading homework that is required (social studies, reading, science, etc…).  At home, try buying audio books that accompany the print version.  They hear the book while they are following it in print.  Also, many textbooks have audio capability.  Inquire if your school offers text books in audio.

Katherine Price coaches parents on everything from behavior modification plans to IEP goals.  She helps parents figure out the services their child needs in school, helps draft accommodations and goals, and can attend 504/IEP meetings as an advocate.  Katherine is also familiar with the local resources and can provide referrals to doctors, therapists, tutors, etc….  For more information about ADHDC, go to