New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD at School

Occupational Therapy

Basics:  6 year old, ADHD combination, 1st grade, just started adderall XR.

I was told my son just qualified for OT help ( he already has an IEP for speech and a 504 for his ADHD) My meeting isn’t for a month and I have no clue what OT is. 

What services do OT provide, how do they help, etc?


My son is 10 years old and has being seeing an Occupational Sensory Therapist for about 3 years. It has really helped with his aggression, social skills, organisation and co-ordination. The best thing is he loves to go because it seems like its a full on hour of play to him. See info below on what an Occupational Therapist is. It not Government funded in new Zealand so you are lucky he qualifies.

Hope this helps….

What Is an Occupational Therapist?

An occupational therapist or “OT” helps kids with ADHD improve certain skills such as:
•Physical coordination
•Efficiency in everyday tasks

Occupational therapists typically have a master’s degree. They are certified in their field and licensed in the state where they practice.

An occupational therapist might work in a hospital, clinic, or private practice. Some occupational therapists are based at a school.

The Occupational Therapy Session

The first thing the therapist does is evaluate your child. This is usually done with input from you and your child’s teachers.

During the evaluation, the therapist will look at how ADHD affects your child’s:
•Social life
•Ability to function at home

The OT will also perform a standardized assessment to check into your child’s strengths and weaknesses.

Then the therapist will recommend strategies to address these issues.

During a therapy session, the occupational therapist and your child might:
•Play games such as catching or hitting a ball to improve coordination
•Do activities to work out anger and aggression
•Learn new ways to do daily tasks such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, or self-feeding
•Try techniques to improve focus
•Practice handwriting
•Go over social skills
•Work on time management
•Create organizational systems for the classroom and home

Posted by bennyboy1 on Aug 29, 2014 at 12:45am

OT is fantastic for kids with ADHD and sensory issues! My son has been going off and on for years. Now that he’s older (about to turn 12) they are focusing on life skills like planning and organization, emotional regulation, social skills, etc. When he was young, it was mostly working on sensory issues. That was all with private OT. My son had school OT for a couple years as part of his IEP and it was a joke - she worked with him for about 30 minutes a month and only on his handwriting disability).

Here’s more on OT for kids with ADHD:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Aug 29, 2014 at 1:14pm

A good pediatric OT can be worth their weight in gold for a child with ADHD!  They can help with self-regulation, physical coordination, sensory challenges, handwriting, and more—some even help with social skills.

My son with ADHD (now 19 and in college) saw several OTs over the years (privately and through school) who helped him tremendously.  OTs tend to be very creative problem-solvers, and can be a wealth of information on tools and strategies for home and school for both you and your child. 

Good luck!

Lynne Edris, ACG
Life & ADHD Coach

Posted by ADD_Coach_Lynne on Aug 29, 2014 at 3:23pm

Join the New ADDitude Forums

ADDConnect is shutting down on July 31.
To continue sharing and receiving support from the ADDitude community, visit our new discussion forums.

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions