Does Occupational Therapy Help ADHD?

22 Feb, 2021

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders among Australian children. It’s estimated that around 20% of children in the country have ADHD, with boys being statistically more affected than girls.

While the exact causes for ADHD are unknown, the disorder can disrupt everyday life, from affecting the child’s motor skills to decreased academic performance and other executive functioning skills. One potential way to help kids with ADHD is through Occupational Therapy, whose methodology draws from several different fields such as sociology, anatomy, or neurology to create a personalised plan to cater to the specific needs of the child with ADHD.

How Occupational Therapy helps with ADHD

Occupational therapists work with children diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing disorder (SPD) or other developmental disorders by building the skills required to self-regulate their energy levels and attention, so they can learn new skills and properly engage in different environments.

The skills that the therapist will focus on will generally revolve around the skills the children find it difficult to do, such as:

  • Fine motor and gross motor skills
  • How to stay organised
  • Control or manage their energy levels
  • Help them reduce impulsivity

The goal is to help the child develop independence when it comes to daily life.

What does an Occupational Therapy session look like?

Occupational therapy will be tailored to the specific needs of each child to ensure it targets each person’s individual needs. For example, if attention is the biggest difficulty your child faces, the occupational therapist will design the sessions with activities and strategies that address this.

The therapist will first assess your child to get a better understanding of their personal needs and analyse how their disorder impacts on their engagement across different environments, such as school, home and in social situations.

Then, the therapist can talk to you about different options regarding your child’s occupational therapy journey. Sessions for neurodevelopmental disorders like ADHD can include different types of activities, such as:

  • Games that improve coordination, such as catching a ball;
  • Learning techniques to improve focus;
  • Doing activities that help them address their frustration or aggression;
  • Learning new ways to perform daily tasks, such as getting dressed by themselves;
  • Practising handwriting;
  • Developing time management skills;
  • Learning tactics to help them stay organised at home and school, etc.

It is important to note that an occupational therapist will break up their therapy into small, achievable steps to ensure that your child is not overwhelmed and get the most out of their sessions.

Getting the right support

An occupational therapist’s role is to ensure that your child learns strategies and skills that will allow them to develop along with their peers. At Gen Physio, our therapists would love to work with your child to assist them in reaching their fullest potential.

Call us now at 1300 122 884 to book an appointment!

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