Can Occupational Therapy Help With ADHD?

Boy focusing on homework while sitting with mother at desk with notebook and colored pens.If you’re raising a child who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), you’re far from alone. ADHD is a relatively common neurodevelopmental condition that affects millions of kids in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To be more specific, a national survey of parents found that the approximate number of children diagnosed with ADHD at any point in their lives was 6.1 million as of 2016.

To learn more about ADHD in general, please take a look at our previous blog post “5 Things Parents Should Know About ADHD.” The disorder can interfere with your child’s life both at home and at school as they struggle to stay focused. Although the condition can’t be cured, there are a few different types of treatment that can help kids with ADHD reach their full potential and succeed in all settings. One of those options is pediatric occupational therapy

How Can Occupational Therapy Help With ADHD Symptoms?

In general, occupational therapy assists children in becoming independent in all areas of life and mastering routine activities that occupy their time, such as getting dressed and eating. Depending on a patient’s specific condition and needs, the therapy can address fine motor skills, cognitive skills, visual-perceptual skills and/or sensory processing issues.

For children with ADHD, an occupational therapist can help them in areas like balance and coordination, staying organized, regulating their energy level/hyperactivity, and/or completing day-to-day tasks such as making their bed, according to the WebMD article “Occupational Therapy for Children With ADHD.”

What Happens in Occupational Therapy

First, the occupational therapist (OT) will assess your child’s strengths and issues, WebMD explains. After that, the OT can develop a treatment plan to help the patient improve in areas where they’re having problems.

Depending on your child’s specific needs, therapy sessions can involve various activities, from working on their handwriting to throwing a ball back and forth. OTs can also show kids new and more effective ways to complete daily obligations like brushing their teeth and getting dressed, as well as teach them tricks for staying focused and organized.

Other ADHD Treatment Options

While occupational therapy is great for addressing some issues associated with ADHD, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not the only option available. Other approaches include medication and pediatric behavior therapy, according to the CDC. The best way to address the disorder varies depending on individual circumstances (i.e., the patient’s age), so it’s recommended that parents and caregivers consult with therapists, healthcare providers, teachers and others involved in the child’s life to identify the right path to take.

If you’d like to learn more about ADHD and the therapies that can help with the symptoms, don’t hesitate to contact our team of pediatric therapists. We offer both occupational and behavioral therapy and can answer any questions you might have about these treatment methods. Connect with us today by calling 847-707-6744 or emailing

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