Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD
About 3% of all school-aged children are estimated to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a disorder in which children are unable to pay attention, control their activity, and restrain impulsive behavior. These problems may interfere with a child’s ability to hear or read instructions, complete school assignments, participate in games, and perform tasks at home. A diagnosis of ADHD is determined by a health professional based on observation of the child’s behavior by parents, educators, and health professionals. Children with ADHD may have difficulty learning and participating successfully at school.
What can an occupational therapist do?
■ Evaluate a child at home and at school to determine how ADHD is affecting the child’s ability to perform assignments and participate at home.
■ Recommend a program that addresses the physical, behavioral, and emotional effects of ADHD and identifies goals to help the child succeed.
■ Use the intervention of sensory integration to modify the environment to decrease noise and distractions caused by visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation
ADHD is a serious problem that should not go untreated. If you would like to consult an occupational therapist about your child’s condition, practitioners are available through most hospitals, community clinics, and medical centers. Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants are trained in helping both adults and children.
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