ADHD/ADD is a serious problem that should not go untreated.

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. With the help of occupational therapy, a child can learn to master day-to-day skills and be engaged at school and at home. In the school system, occupational therapy is a related service under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and is designed to help a student with a disability benefit from special education. A child must be eligible for
special education under IDEA before being considered for occupational therapy in the schools.

Signs of ADHD/ADD:


  • Has difficulty concentrating
  • Has unrelated thoughts
  • Has problems focusing and sustaining attention
  • Appears to not be listening
  • Performance depends on task
  • May have better attention to enjoyed activities
  • Has difficulty planning, organizing, and completing tasks on time
  • Has problems learning new things
  • Demonstrates poor self-regulation of behavior, that is, he or she has difficulty monitoring and modifying behavior to fit different situations and settings

Hyperactivity (not in ADD)

  • Seems unable to sit still (e.g., squirming in his/her seat, roaming around the room, tapping pencil, wiggling feet, and touching everything)
  • Appears restless and fidgety
  • May bounce from one activity to the next
  • Often tries to do more than one thing at once


Difficulty thinking before acting (e.g., hitting a classmate when he/she is upset or frustrated)

Problems waiting his/her turn, such as when playing a game


What can an occupational therapist and speech 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.
What can parents of children with ADHD do?
■ Learn about ADHD and how it affects a child’s ability to manage daily life.
■ Seek professional help in providing the resources a child needs to learn to manage his or her own behavior.
■ Join a support group for families with children with ADHD.
■ Use charts and checklists as a guide for children to complete daily tasks.
■ Break school assignments and home chores into a two-step process: listening to and understanding instructions, and accomplishing the task.
■ Offer minimal, low-key feedback for success and failure to reduce anxiety, frustration, and perfectionism.
■ Be consistent. Establish rules for the child and maintain them throughout his or her schooling.
■ Provide the child with activities outside the school environment. Consider noncompetitive physical
activity, such as martial arts, swimming, and horseback riding.
■ Focus on the child’s strengths and abilities. Do not overpraise or overcriticize.

If your child has been diagnosed with and ADHD/ADD or has some of the signs listed above please go to our HOW TO GET STARTED page to see how we can help you.


pediatric occupational therapy new jersey

pediatric speech therapy tree


contact pediatric therapy