OT tips for ADHD child
OT tips for ADHD child
I’ll start by telling you about the disorder in brief, after that I’ll be sharing few OT tips for managing Hyperactivity in ADHD child –
What is ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder?
ADHD is neurological disorder that affects functioning of the brain. People with ADHD face difficulty in paying attention, sitting at one place. They show impulsive behavior and gets easily distracted. ADHD affects different people in different way. It takes time to manage ADHD, there is no quick fix. But it doesn’t have to hold you back.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes inattention, hyperactivity-impulsivity, or a combination of the two.
ADHD symptoms in children can sometimes be misinterpreted by parents and caregivers, whereas untreated ADHD in adults can cause symptoms that significantly interfere with daily functioning.
You can learn to manage ADHD symptoms and improve your overall quality of life with the right diagnosis and treatment.
How would I know if my child has ADHD?
OBSERVE. See if your child often has trouble in focusing for any activity, sitting still or waiting for their turn. They act impulsively, and don’t take time to think or process.
They may have ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder or Hyperactive disorder or combination of both.
Lookout for red flags for ADHD in child –
- Hyperactive/ restlessness – unable to sit still at one place, continuously fidgeting
- Impulsive behavior – take quick actions without thinking about consequences
- Forgetfulness – forgetting the task they were doing or where things are kept
- Frustrated behavior – Gets angry or annoyed quite often due to multi-tasking or unable to finish the task in hand
- Multi-tasking – Takes up too many tasks at a time and unable to deliver within given time.
- Always on the go – They never settle & stick to one thing may it be a task, place or job
- Lack of attention span –unable to focus or concentrate on particular task
What to do if you notice ADHD red flags in your child?
ADHD cannot be cured, however early intervention helps them to cope up with it. Managing ADHD might mean taking medicine or working with a therapist. Most people with ADHD do both.
An Occupational therapist would help the child improve their higher executive functions like attention, concentration, memory, etc. As a result, it helps them to be independent in their daily living activities, moreover also helps to control their impulsive behavior.
How will Occupational Therapy help ADHD child?
Occupational Therapists can address physical, social, educational & organizational deficits with a plan, focused on individual’s skills, needs & activities. We focus on skills that helps the child to function independently in daily life. Firstly, we assess by observing, evaluating & interviewing the child & parent. This helps the therapist to know about the child & to make client oriented & customized therapy plan.
Well, here are few OT tips for ADHD child
Develop healthy eating habits –
Healthy nutrition diet plays very important role in child’s development. Balanced diet is necessary for child’s growth. Make your child eat healthy food in natural form like salad, fruits, etc. Avoid artificial sugars – Jam, chocolates, lollipops, etc. No caffeine products. Avoid packaged goods, junk food items like chips, biscuits, etc.
Participate in daily physical activity –
Engage your child in daily physical activity or exercise to channelize hyperactivity in task or any activity in a productive manner. This has to be a part of their regular schedule.
Limit screen-time –
Excess screen-time can deteriorate child’s development. Put a time limit to use of mobile, television, laptop, etc. Explain the child about when they will get access to screen-time. Also, tell them about the duration. Gradually decrease the screen time & prepare your child for the same.
Adequate sleep –
Child should get adequate amount of sleep, around 6-8hours atleast. Observe child’s sleep pattern & required sleeping time and accordingly follow sleep schedule. Fix their time to sleep & wake up. Avoid sleeping in afternoon if that hinders his night sleep schedule.
Maintain routines –
This is very important to stay organized. Make a schedule and explain the child about how to follow & go about it. Try to maintain child’s routine and avoid frequent changes in their regular schedule.
Read more about Tips for improving attention & focus in ADHD child here
Make sure instructions are clear, simple & understood –
Giving easy instructions is the key. Always give simple commands that can be understood by your child. For example – Brush your teeth. Or simplify the task and break it into small parts. Don’t give more than 2 step commands.
Focus on effort & reward good behavior –
Observe & appreciate their good qualities. As they may face lot of failures in their daily activities, focus on their effort & appreciate them for the same irrespective of the result of the activity. Give positive reinforcement for encouraging them to participate in various tasks.
De-cluttered space –
Keep surrounding organized & clean. Avoid cluttering the space around them. They might get easily distracted due to the things kept around.
Be an example of calm & organized individual –
Focus on child while talking to him/her, don’t promote multi-tasking by talking with them & indulging into some other activity at the same time. Be a role model for your child. Create soothing & calm environment around them.
Boost your child’s self-esteem –
As these children may face lot of failures in their day-to-day life, it is difficult for them to feel confident to participate into new activities. Always focus on their effort & appreciate to boost their self-esteem, as it may help them to feel confident enough to engage in other activities.