Treatment for ADHD
What is ADHD?
ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.
How can OT help my child with ADHD?
At Ready Set Grow Therapy, we see a lot of kids in our clinics with ADHD. We work with families to provide strategies to help kids with ADHD manage everyday life.
We help children with ADHD with:
Executive Function Skills
Sensory processing difficulties
Developing self-regulation skills
Fine and gross motor skills
Developing independence in everyday tasks
Let’s look into these five areas a bit more closely to see how we could help your child at Ready Set Grow Therapy.
1. Executive Function Skills
We work with children to break tasks down into small achievable steps. This stops them from feeling overwhelmed by the task and not knowing where to start. These could be simple tasks such as managing daily homework, doing an assignment or organizing their room. We find using visual information the best way to help kids with ADHD. For example, we might use simple visual charts, Post-It-notes, color coding, and/or checklists.
2. Sensory Processing Difficulties
Studies have found that 40% of children with ADHD also have Sensory Processing Disorder (Ahn, Miller et. al., 2004). Children with sensory processing disorder may not be accurately interpreting sensory information. As Occupational Therapists, we work with children with SPD to develop appropriate responses to sensation in purposeful fun ways, so the child can complete everyday activities at home and school. We also provide strategies for parents to help manage their children’s behavior at home.
3. Developing Self-Regulation Skills
Self-regulation means we are able to regulate our own feelings and behavior. A child with poor self-regulation may have a meltdown over a small problem, like being told they have to leave a favorite place, or stop playing with a favorite toy to go to bed. At Ready Set Grow Therapy we use multiple curriculums including The Zones of Regulation® Curriculum and How Does Your Engine Run to teach kids how to regulate their emotions and behavior.
The Zones of Regulation® visual tool is divided into four different colored areas that each represent a different emotion. For example the Blue Zone is seen as the sad, tired Zone and the Red Zone is when you are feeling angry. Children are taught to identify how they’re feeling and what Zone they are in. They then learn a range of strategies to help them get back in the Green Zone, which is when you’re calm, paying attention and well-regulated.
The Zones of Regulation®
4. Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Fine motor tasks involve the small muscles of the hands. Occupational Therapists help develop children’s handwriting skills, pencil grip, hand strength, eye-hand coordination, finger dexterity, and in-hand manipulative skills. Improvement in these areas might help a child to use cutlery, tie up their shoelaces or improve the legibility of their writing.
Gross motor tasks involve the large muscles of the body. As Occupational Therapists, we help children use both sides of their body together in a coordinated manner, develop core strength, cross the midline, improve their balance and general coordination skills. Improvement in these areas may help children to do activities like riding a bike, swimming independently or improving their soccer skills and team participation.
5. Developing Independence in Everyday Tasks
Occupational Therapists work with kids so they can complete age-appropriate tasks. This could be getting themselves ready for school in the morning, making a snack or packing their school bag. We are trained in breaking tasks into small achievable steps. This way the child is always feeling positive and motivated to complete the task. As Occupational Therapists, we use a range of different strategies to develop independence in children. These may include visual charts, checklists, repeating instructions and lots of repetition.
Occupational Therapists work with lots of kids with ADHD in a range of different areas. At Ready Set Grow Therapy we help kids with ADHD in a variety of ways, including:
Sensory Intensive programs for children with sensory processing difficulties
If your child has ADHD and would benefit from some extra support, please contact us to see how we can best help your child.