Is Occupational Therapy helpful for your child with ADHD ?

Occupational Theraphy

Occupational Therapists

(OTs) have a unique, holistic perspective. They utilize their knowledge in anatomy, physiology, neurology, psychology as well as culture, environment, and activity analysis to formulate a comprehensive intervention plan.

OTs work closely with families and teachers in a collaborative approach to plan strategies and implement them at home, in the community and at school. OTs use a child's strength and limitations to customize these intervention strategies to facilitate their participation in daily activities in a more meaningful way. Structured and graded activities are provided to scaffold learning to help the child increase independence across environments.

Our team of expert paediatric OTs are skilled at working with children with ADHD. We recognise that the condition affects each young person and family differently and therefore aim to provide an individualized approach to help them manage everyday life.

Whether in your child’s school as part of a service provided, as an occasional consultant, or someone whom your child works with outside of school, our team of OTs offer a range of ideas and supports that can help address your child’s struggles related to sensory regulation, organizational skills, motor coordination and many more.

How OTs can help in some areas for your child with ADHD

1. Organisation and Planning

OTs use their activity analysis skills to break simple tasks such as managing daily homework, doing an assignment or organising their timetables into small achievable steps which stops the child from feeling overwhelmed by the task and not knowing where to start. OTs use visual information or create a visual schedule like simple visual charts, color coding, checklists to help in developing organizing skills..

2. Sensory Processing Difficulties

Studies have found that Sensory Processing disorders (SPD) are quite evident in children with ADHD. OTs develop appropriate responses to sensation in active, purposeful and fun ways so the child can complete everyday activities at home and school. They also provide strategies to parents and teachers to help manage the child’s behavior induced from poor sensory processing at home and school by recommending some simple strategies like ‘seamless socks’, heavy work activities, having a calm down area at school or using a’ moving sit cushion’ to sit on.

3. Fine and Gross Motor Coordination

A child with ADHD often loses control of his/her movement coordination. Whether it is fine motor or gross motor tasks.

Fine motor tasks involve the small muscles of the hands. like handwriting, using cutlery. OTs help in improving handwriting skills, pencil grip, hand strength, eye-hand coordination, finger dexterity, and in-hand manipulative skills. Improvement in these areas help a child to use cutlery, tie up their shoelaces or improve writing skills.

Gross motor tasks involve the large muscles of the body. OTs 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 help the child to do activities like riding a bike, swimming independently or improving their soccer skills and team participation.

4. Developing Independence in Everyday Tasks

One of the core areas of practice for OTs is independence in everyday tasks. OTs help a child to learn and complete age-appropriate everyday tasks. This could be getting ready for school in the morning, making a snack or packing a school bag. OTs use a range of different strategies to develop independence in children. These may include visual charts, checklists, repeating instructions and lots of repetition.

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Dr. Debajani Mohapatra

Dr. Debajani Mohapatra

Dr. Debajani Mohapatra has 3 years of experience in working with children
having neurodevelopmental disorders.