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Can Occupational Therapy Help with ADHD?

occupational therapyOccupational therapy (OT) uses therapeutic techniques and technology to help people of all ages overcome the barriers that prevent them from doing daily activities. Generally, OT attempts to increase independence and quality of life.

Overall, the primary goal of occupational therapy is to adapt the client’s environment to fit the client. Fundamentally, each person has unique abilities, so OT attempts to modify daily tasks and environments to best serve each individual allowing them to be their most productive.

ADHD is closely correlated to a person’s executive function. Executive function includes emotional regulation, decision making, planning, and following instructions. The hallmarks of ADHD include deficits in emotional regulation, impulsive behavior, and poor decision making. An occupational therapist may work with both the ADHD person and family members to assist in increasing self-esteem and some executive functions. This may include guidance and education for family members or caregivers of those with ADHD to assist them in helping understanding, coping, and managing the ADHD person. Other recommendations may include the use of adaptive equipment or a visit to evaluate the individual’s home, workplace, or school environments.

An OT can also provide techniques, technology, and strategies to help improve an ADHD person’s emotional control. Physical techniques are often employed that help coordinate mind and body. Technology can be employed to help increase attention and focus.

Since the incidence of comorbidity is quite high with ADHD, special considerations must be taken when formulating their programs or therapies. Many occupational therapists use Play Attention to help increase the executive function of their clients. These occupational therapists find that the two programs compliment each other very well. Play Attention is used to improve the client’s attention and executive functioning. Once the client has developed the foundational skills required for learning, the client can then truly receive maximum benefit from the other therapies implemented by the OT.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Will OT cure ADHD? No.

Can it help with some symptoms? Sometimes

Can OT help with the classroom, work, or home environment? Yes.

Can OT increase self-esteem? Yes.

Can OT increase mind/body coordination? Yes.

Should it be part of an overall program for ADHD? If you can find an OT associated with your school system, speak with him/her. Find out what they are willing to provide and see if they think it will help.

You can lay the foundation for strong executive function and self regulation by starting your Play Attention program today. Call 800-788-6786 or click here to schedule your free 1:1 consultation.