What is ADD/ADHD?
Attention deficit disorder/Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a syndrome, usually diagnosed in childhood, characterized by a persistent pattern of impulsiveness, a short attention span, and sometimes hyperactivity, which interferes with academic, occupational, and social performance. Other symptoms include decreased attention span, increased impulsivity, and impairment in perception, conceptualization, language, memory, concentration, and motor skills. ADD/ADHD is significantly more prevalent in boys than in girls.
Children with ADD/ADHD Can Be
- Inattentive, but not hyperactive or impulsive
- Hyperactive and impulsive, but able to pay attention
- Inattentive, hyperactive, and impulsive (the most common form of ADD/ADHD)
It is not uncommon for a child with ADD/ADHD to be perceived as a “quiet dreamer.”
Attention Span Symptoms
- Doesn’t pay attention to details
- Has difficulty with organization
- Is not a good listener
- Struggles to follow through on instructions
- Can’t focus and is easily distracted
- Tends to forget simple daily activities
- Has a hard time being organized
Hyperactivity and Impulse Control Symptoms
- Has difficulty remaining seated (e.g., squirms in chair)
- Runs and climbs excessively
- Has a hard time engaging in quiet activities
- Talks excessively and interrupts others
- Has a hard time taking turns and/or waiting for his/her turn
- Doesn’t pay attention to details and makes careless mistakes
- Has trouble staying focused and is easily distracted
- Appears not to listen when spoken to
- Has difficulty remembering things and following instructions
- Has trouble staying organized, planning ahead, and finishing projects
- Gets bored with a task before it is completed
- Frequently loses or misplaces homework, books, toys, or other items
If you suspect your child may have ADD/ADHD, it is important to have him or her evaluated by a specialist – typically a physician or clinical psychologist.
Effective treatment for ADD/ADHD in children and teens requires a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach. While no two treatment regimens are alike, treatment options typically include behavioral interventions and/or medication. While Kid’s Creek Therapy is not able to diagnosis ADD/ADHD nor subscribe medication, we do offer occupational therapy, behavioral intervention strategies, and social skills training to children with ADD/ADHD. Learn more about each of these options below.
Occupational Therapy for ADD/ADHD
Occupational therapists use their unique expertise to help children prepare for and perform important learning and developmental activities. Occupational therapists support the achievement of developmental and learning outcomes for children, with and without disabilities, by facilitating social skills development, motor development, emergent literacy, and the development of adaptive and self-care skills. Occupational therapists are particularly skilled in helping children access curricular activities by contributing to the design and planning of activities, including identifying any needed accommodations or modifications.
Additionally, occupational therapists play a key role in training parents and caregivers about the development of children with diverse learning needs.
Learn more about Kid’s Creek Therapy occupational therapy services.
Behavioral Intervention Strategies
A behavioral specialist helps set up behavior modification programs at school, work, and home while setting clear and concrete goals for behavior and achievements. They also help families and teachers set and maintain reward programs.
Social Skills Training Groups for ADD/ADHD
Because kids with attention deficit disorder often have difficulty with simple social interactions and struggle with low self-esteem, another type of treatment that can help is social skills training. A social skills group teaches children how to “read” others’ reactions and how to behave more acceptably. A social skills group should also work on transferring these new skills to the real world. Many children with attention issues may also benefit from private social skills coaching.
Learn more about Kid’s Creek social skills programs.
To speak with our therapists about treatment possibilities for your child with ADD/ADHD, please contact us for a free consultation.
References: Mosby’s Medical Dictionary, American Occupational Therapy Association