Occupational Therapy

How Occupational Therapy can Benefit Children Diagnosed with ADHD

Occupational therapy (OT) therapy aims to help people who have been diagnosed with cognitive, physical, or sensory processingdisabilities become independent in various areas of their lives. This type of therapy can help children with different needs develop cognitive, sensory, physical, and motor skills. It can also help to boost self-esteem by instilling a sense of accomplishment.

Occupational Therapy and ADHD

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a fairly common behavioral disorder. Approximately 10 percent of school-aged children are affected by ADHD. The effects of this disorder include:

  • Acting without thinking
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Hyperactivity

Because of these effects, children with ADHD often struggle with organization, physical coordination, and several everyday tasks, such as showering, making their beds, completing homework, and cleaning up.

Occupational therapy (OT) has proven to be beneficial for children who are diagnosed with ADHD. This type of therapy can teach children how to successfully complete the tasks that they have difficulty with.

During therapy sessions, an occupational therapist will use a variety of techniques to help children with ADHD contain their energy and focus on certain tasks. These techniques may include, but are not limited to:

  • Playing games, such as tossing a ball back and forth, or catching a ball, to improve physical coordination.
  • Activities that teach children how to handle their anger and aggression in a more positive manner.
  • Practicing activities that improve handwriting.
  • Reviewing proper social skills.
  • Discovering new ways to complete daily tasks, such as getting dressed, brushing teeth, and completing certain chores.
  • Creating analogies that allow children to identify their hyperactivity and better control it.

Children with ADHD can learn how to successfully handle their attention deficit and hyperactivity by participating in occupational therapy sessions with a trained pediatric occupational therapist who specializes in this disorder.

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