Occupational Therapists from Kids First Children’s Services in Sydney’s northern beaches explain how OT helps children with ADHD.
In order to explain how Occupational Therapy helps children with ADHD, we need to define two things – Occupational Therapy and ADHD.
Let’s start with ADHD.
ADHD/ADD is diagnosed when there is a combination of 6 symptoms from two main groups. According to American Psychiatric Association (2013), these groups relate to “Inattentive” symptoms and “Hyperactive-Impulsive” symptoms.
Within the inattentive group, you might see characteristics like:
Within the hyperactive-impulsive group of symptoms, you may see:
The primary goal of Occupational Therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life (Wfotorg, 2015).
For kids with ADHD, OT does this in 2 main ways: Remedial and Adaptive strategies.
Remedial strategies aim to restore an impaired capacity.
Adaptive strategies re-establish routines and habits, or teach skills or strategies to cope with difficulties (Radomski & Trombly Latham, 2013).
For children with ADHD, occupational therapy might involve remedial strategies that aim to improve a child’s concentration. An occupational therapist may also work with a child with ADHD to rule out other possible contributors to their symptoms.
There are multiple factors that influence our children’s ability to pay attention that we can change, for example:
While occupational therapists work on changing the above factors, we also provide adaptive strategies and work with your child and their teacher to find some techniques that work in their different environments. These might include:
I hope this helped to give you an idea of some of the things we may do to help a child with ADHD/ADD.
Like all occupational therapists, the OT team here at Kids First likes to see the children in our care as individuals with unique needs.
Because of this philosophy, regardless of a particular diagnosis (or lack thereof!), our primary aim is always to help your child to enjoy participating in everyday life!
© 2015 Kids First Children’s Services
Kids First’s experienced team of occupational therapists has successfully supported hundreds of northern beaches children with ADHD and we can help your child too.
Contact Kids First on (02) 9938 5419 or visit read more about our OT services here
American psychiatric association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition: DSM-5. (5 ed.). United States: American Psychiatric Publishing.
Radomski, M.V & Trombly latham, C. (2013). Occupational Therapy for Physical Dysfunction . (7 ed.). United States: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Wfotorg. (2015). Wfotorg. Retrieved 15 July, 2015, from http://www.wfot.org/AboutUs/AboutOccupationalTherapy/DefinitionofOccupationalTherapy.aspx