Therapist Interventions for Children With ADHD
An individual diagnosed with ADHD struggles with many aspects of the disorder. Medication can control the hyperactivity and increase concentration, but interventions are necessary for the development of social and educational skills that will keep a child up with her peers. A therapist is a key component in the process.
A Team Approach
To effectively work with a child with ADHD a team approach is essential for success. The team includes the child, parents, therapist, physician, psychologist, support staff, teachers and schools. The therapist is essential in finding the correct route of interventions to focus on.
The therapist works with the student and teachers to devise a reward system that will reinforce positive behavior in school. A similar system can be put into effect at home to add to the individual’s success with following schedules, completing tasks and behaving appropriately.
The team devises a schedule for the child; one that remains fixed will help the child build the routine necessary for success. The team then composes checklists and charts to record the child’s progress in completing chores and daily activity skills. These charts will enable the child to understand the expectations of the team. The therapist is there every step of the way to ensure proper communication between the child, the school and the home.
It is important for the child to keep up with his peers with schoolwork. One-on-one instruction focuses on essential study skills. For example, the child may need to learn to study in a quiet space, to take notes and to schedule breaks. The therapist can help the teacher devise cues that will get the student’s attention without alerting the rest of the class to a problem.
The therapist assesses areas of weakness in test taking and develops a plan to help the child succeed. For example, she may arrange extra time to complete the test, have a third party read the test questions to the child or allow the student to take a test in a quiet place without other students around to distract him.
The therapist instructs the child to use meditation and self-control techniques to delay instant gratification. The child needs to learn to think through the results of doing exactly what he desires in the moment. Learning to delay gratification is an important skill in getting along in the world.
Consistent use of schedules, techniques and reward systems enables the individual to master skills and therefore master his disorder. While ADHD is a lifelong disorder, it need not to control his entire life. With medication, therapeutic interventions and the support of family, school and professionals, the child will attain success.