Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (AD/HD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental condition which is usually identified in childhood. The child has problems with paying attention, excessive activity and difficulty controlling their behaviour as would be expected at their age.
Some children with the condition present with inattention, but do not have the hyperactivity and impulsiveness aspects. This is called Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). ADD is more likely to be missed as the symptoms are less obvious.
Typical signs of inattentiveness are:
- having a short attention span and being easily distracted
- making careless mistakes, being forgetful or constantly losing things
- unable to stick to tasks which are long, boring or tedious
- seemingly unable to listen or carry out instructions
- frequently jumping from one activity to the next without completing what they have started
- difficulty organising self and tasks in everyday activities.
Hyperactivity and impulsivity manifest as:
- being unable to sit still and constantly fidgeting with excessive physical movement
- unable to get started or stay focused on tasks
- excessive talking, being unable to wait their turn and interrupting conversations
- acting without thinking about the likely outcome
- little or no sense of danger.
Occupational Therapists often find that children with ADHD can have sensory processing differences too.
Consequences in everyday life can be serious underachievement at school, poor social interactions and friendships, difficulties with discipline and getting into trouble, stress in family life.
Some or all features of ADHD can continue into adulthood where difficulties can include:
- Carelessness and lack of attention to detail
- continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
- poor organisational skills and an inability to focus on prioritise
- continually losing or misplacing things and forgetfulness
- restlessness and feeling ‘on edge’
- speaking out of turn and interrupting others
- mood swings, extreme impatience, irritability and a quick temper
- inability to deal with stress
- interpersonal difficulties at work and failed relationships
- risk-taking activities, with little or no regard for own or others safety e.g driving dangerously.
How can KMA help?
Our Occupational Therapists can help you to better understand the unique profile of strengths and difficulties of your child with ADHD. We can undertake assessments of your child’s sensory integration skills, their interests and attention span and their ability to engage in age appropriate play, everyday activities and independence skills.
If your child is experiencing difficulty managing the demands of school, we can liaise with school staff or carry out a school observation (with your consent) to better understand the underlying functional difficulties for any presenting behavioural challenges.
We use a range of standardised tests and assessments which are specifically designed for use with children. Assessments can be carried out to:
- help determine medical, developmental or educational diagnosis (in co-operation with other relevant professionals)
- document developmental, functional and participation status
- plan intervention programmes
- measure progress and outcomes
Our Occupational Therapists are also highly skilled in assessing and supporting adults with ADHD as well. The assessment process may involve family, carers or other support networks as appropriate.
KMA will produce a detailed, yet accessible report of the assessment. The report will provide a summary of your child’s abilities and how ADHD is impacting on their function, and recommendations that may help with the challenges faced. We aim to get the report back to you within 10 working days of the assessment.
Our Occupational Therapists are highly trained and experienced in providing occupational therapy for children. We’re also passionate about providing evidence-based interventions to improve functional performance. Each treatment plan will be individual, underpinned by occupational therapy philosophy, taking a person-centred and strengths-based approach. Our ultimate aim is to help each person to achieve their goals and improve their functional performance.
Working with parents and/or teachers, goals may include:
- Teaching how to break down tasks into manageable steps
- Organisation strategies which can be taught at home or school
- Sensory integration therapy aimed at improving sensory processing, reducing sensitivities and minimising accompanying disruptive behaviour
- Strategies to self-monitor behaviour to keep on task
- How to implement accommodations that eliminate distractions and enable focus
- How to help a child or teen achieve independence in everyday life
- Addressing motor co-ordination difficulties and improving handwriting
- Confidence and self-esteem building
- How to use a positive mindset and words to help a child take ownership of his or her ADHD.
Do you or your child have difficulty…
Coping with anxiety and stress?
Socialising with others?
Understanding social situations?
Feeling overwhelmed with sensory stimulation?