Working as Occupational Therapist with Patients of ADHD


    Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder also known as ADHD does not only exist in children as a genetic disorder but may also occur in adolescence. This disorder may lead to relationship problems, Aggressive behavior, Moods swigs quickly and doesn’t pay attention to work or family.

    Actually, Attention Deficit Disorder is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder. The symptoms include:

    1. Deficits in executive control (Response inhibition and working memory).
    2. Deficits in related functions (Delay of gratification, processing speed).

    Boys are most vulnerable to the diagnosing phenomena of ADHD. The reason being, boys are more expressive in general and display more disruptive behaviors as compared to girls. On the contrary, some girls may spend their whole lives without being the primary subject of the illness.

    In this article, we are discussing how an occupational therapist can help?  Almost every 3rd of people with suffering this disorder. This disorder is due to brain malfunctions due to stroke or any other genetic issues. According to NIMH 2 behavioral changes occur after this;

    1. Are more severe
    2. Occur more often


    Behavioral Symptoms ADHD:

    First, many children who’re diagnosed with (ADHD) have a very short attention span. They may listen to what you have to say to them but it won’t be long before they feel distracted by something in their surroundings.

    The attention span becomes very short and variable for these children. Similar to Multiple sclerosis (MS) in many perspectives. For example, not being able to focus on any task for that matter and constantly jumping from one thing to another.

    Second is becoming hyperactive active in their tasks. These children may experience overwhelming emotions and most of the times their emotions are all over the place due to impulsiveness.

    Impulsiveness and hyperactive activity may cause them to act in a violent or unpredictable manner at times. Most parents report and claim these behavioral symptoms to evidently be the first ones coming to surface.

    Prevalence of ADHD in School Children:

    The commonness of ADHD in schoolchildren is 5 to 10 percent. Moreover, it exists in children with the following percentages in multiple categories:

    40% academic impairments – ADHD, Inattentive presentation


    10% Behavioral impairments – ADHD, Hyperactive Impulsive presentation


    50% Academic/Behavioral impairments – ADHD, Combined Presentation


    1. Inattentive Presentation: The patients are more prone to losing focus and having a short attention span. Their attention span constantly is constantly oscillating.
    2. Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: Moreover, these ADHD patients are hyperactive and impulsive in their behaviors with some degree of behavioral impairment.
    3. Combined Presentation: These ones have both, academic and behavioral impairments to some degree.

    ADHD Treatments:

    Evidently, there are multiple pathways to go forward to for the treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder. However, the fact we must keep in mind is that some individuals even after taking their chances with every treatment, may not completely improve.

    There’s obviously a room for healing for every individual out there but it’s safe to look at this disease with the intent of succeeding at life. If the patient manages to succeed in life despite having ADHD, it is obvious, because he/she learned to live with their disease.

    The above approach can be very constructive.


    Occupational Therapy and ADHD:

    Occupational Therapists may design multiple pathways for an ADHD patient to take on. Most patients go on two or more different routes at the same time and eventually learn to live with their underlying issues.

    From the top of my head is the combination of right medications, therapy and mind exercises. For patients and their parents, choosing if they want to go on the road of medicine is a very personal choice. Because where the use of medicine may turn out to be constructive, it can also be a life-long dependency for the patient.

    The best thing for the parents to do is that they go for a therapist they trust.

    • Art Therapy:

    Similarly, art therapy is an example of occupational therapy. Occupational Therapists use Art Therapy for ADHD patients since it is highly successful in providing calmness to patients.

    Patients having hyperactive activity disorder and impulsivity usually have their emotions all over the place and having a medium like drawing can be very useful. It allows the patients to express themselves.

    For many children who have the talent, this could even lead to a life-long profession where they consistently may use art to express themselves. Similarly, other forms of art, like poetry and music can also be therapy.

    In like manner, other mind exercises and neurodevelopmental toys may promote healthier growth of the brain in children. Occupational Therapists design these specific exercises for patients, which helps them, succeed in life despite having a mental illness that negatively identifies them in society from regular average children.

    Related Sources:

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Free Educational Materials

    ADHD Statistics: Children 13 to 18 years old

    ADHD Clinical Trials at NIMH – Children


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