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How Occupational Therapy Can Help Children With ADHD

by Melissa Bell
3 minutes read

Occupational therapy (OT) refers to the use of certain activities as a way to help with physical or mental illness. Common activities can include playing games, practicing socialising, posture techniques, practicing focusing, learning to become more independent in everyday tasks such as showering and feeding, as well as much much more. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Many children with ADHD find it difficult to listen to their parents and teachers, to socialise with other children and to sit still during class times. Because of this, many of them can become destructive and unruly. Many even get kicked out of school because of their disturbances. Having said this, with more understanding of the condition, there are certainly things that can be done to improve the life of a child with ADHD as well as the lives of the people around them.

Occupational therapy for children with ADHD has shown great results for many kids and is a great way to teach them skills that they can use for the rest of their lives. It can increase productivity, teach them to listen, teach them how to focus and show them techniques to use when they feel frustrated or angry. This article will further explore the benefits of occupational therapy for children with ADHD and how their lives can greatly improve with just a little bit of work.

Learning strategies to stay organised

A great way that OT can help is with organisations strategies. School work can become extremely overwhelming for those who suffer from ADHD as they simply cannot organise themselves. Some ways to help is by encouraging them to use a diary, to make a list of their tasks and make a schedule for themselves. They can also be taught to use reminders, so they don’t leave homework for the last minute. They can also be taught to break down their tasks into smaller goals. Instead of looking at a homework task and feeling completely overwhelmed by it, they can look at it and see the small steps that can be taken to complete it. These types of strategies can help them feel better about themselves and help them in school.

Improve sensory processing

Sensory processing involves how a child sees things, hears things and feels things and how this impacts their ability to concentrate. When they aren’t processing things properly they can become overly excited and become distracted in class. OT can help develop strategies that will allow them to process sounds and sights differently which will help them concentrate for longer. Therapists can also give the child a sensory circuit to participate in each morning which will help them get ready for the day ahead. This can include stimulating the nervous system with things like bouncing a ball or skipping. Then it may include organising activities which will mesh the brain together with movements, such as balancing. Finally, it will likely include calming exercises such as using weights which will allow the child to feel aware and in control of their body.

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Learn how to breathe

According to Best in Au, it is not uncommon for a child with ADHD to not know how to breathe correctly. They will often breathe shallowly and don’t know how to take deep breathes from their diagram. This can help them when they are needing to exercise, when they are needing to remain calm or when they are feeling anxious or frustrated. OT can teach them how to stabilise their core which will help them not only breathe better but to sit still and move easier. Learning to breathe is one of the best things included in OT for children with ADHD.

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1 comment

Nethan Paul May 11, 2020 - 10:31 am

Attention Deficit Hyperkinetic Disorder or ADHD is a common disorder for children and more or less every child has faced this problem. For the treatment of ADHD it is very important to take the help of occupational therapy. I am an autism support worker and have engaged in several adventure activities in Australia to help people who are suffering from mild to severe autism. This article provides me with information on how to treat ADHD among children.

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