ADHD and Overcoming Symptoms

Occupational therapy is able to look at the foundational skills needed to help the brain grow and make new connections which is called neuroplasticity.
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed mental or behavioral disorder of children.  ADHD affects about 10% of school-age children where boys are about three times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with it.  The symptoms of ADHD are grouped into three categories: Inattention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsivity.

Inattention includes being easily distracted; difficulty following directions, finishing tasks, or not appearing to be listening; making careless mistakes; being forgetful; losing things; having problems organizing daily tasks; and tending to daydream.

Hyperactivity means that the person is fidgety; may talk excessively; they are constantly moving, running, climbing on things, or is just plain restless. It is as if they are always “on the go” and have no brakes.

Impulsivity refers to having trouble waiting for their turn; blurting out answers; interrupting others; saying or doing something that they later regret.

Did you know that there are over 20 other possible diagnoses* that can mimic ADHD because they contribute to inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity?

ADHD… a set of symptoms  

Is a runny nose a diagnosis, or a symptom of a cold or allergy?  Is abdominal pain a diagnosis, or a symptom of gastro, appendicitis, or cancer?  Is it possible then that an attention deficit and hyperactivity are symptoms of something else? These could be food sensitivities, hearing or eyesight problems, sensory processing disorder (ie. vestibular, tactile, auditory or visual processing disorder), emotional stress, trauma, an undiagnosed learning disability, poor sleep, diabetes, a seizure disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, or even a head injury such as a concussion.  This is why it is important that you tell your doctor all of the symptoms so that they can give a proper diagnosis because ADHD medication may not be needed for these other disorders. More importantly, these symptoms may be remediated with the right treatment. You may need to seek out the help of other professionals such as a developmental optometrist, audiologist, speech therapist, physical therapist, psychologist, social worker, and occupational therapist to get to the bottom of the symptoms.

OT Interventions to help with ADHD symptoms?

In order to deal with the symptoms, it is important to get to the root cause.  Occupational therapy is able to look at the foundational skills needed to help the brain grow and make new connections which is called neuroplasticity.  Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to rehabilitate the brain and overcome symptoms of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Working on basic reflexes, movement patterns, sensory processing, gross and fine motor skills, emotional regulation, and eye hand coordination are crucial for brain development. There are many interventions that exist that can help rewire the brain. Occupational therapy interventions (by an OT trained in cognitive rehabilitation) can include: a listening program, neurofeedback, or sensory integration therapy. You CAN Reboot, Rewire, Rehabilitate Your Brain.  For more info, register to come to a 90 min talk on Feb 12, 2019 (snow date Feb 19) at 6:45pm at 397 Bedford Hwy, Suite 322. www.lisasholisticrehab.com

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