Hey mom, can I get some macaroni and chee – oh look, Sponge Bob Square Pants is on TV. Oops, I forgot to finish that puzzle I was working on earlier… Sound familiar? We know that children can be easily distracted, but there might come a point where they need to do occupational therapy activities to decrease hyperactivity.
Some day to day things that a hyperactive child is likely to struggle with in order to qualify them for therapy includes, difficulty organizing work, getting off task easily, trouble waiting for his or her turn when in a group setting and unable to focus on games for the same amount of time as other children.
In a world where children are surrounded by technology, toys, and games, there are several occupational therapy activities to decrease hyperactivity in children that therapists are using.
4 Occupational Therapy Activities to Decrease Hyperactivity in Children:
Start by giving the child something to organize. Since this is something they likely struggle with, show them what they’re supposed to do, and then have them repeat it. It’s important to encourage and support them during this task, and if all goes well they will see the correct sequencing pattern in the task and be able to repeat it successfully.
Focus on Activities
Hyperactive children have a hard time focusing on one thing for long, so it’s important to teach them how to fully engage in the activity at hand. Give the child something simple to do that will help increase their self-esteem and confidence, like a game or a puzzle. From there, encourage them to participate in sports activities, which can help them improve not only their confidence but their social skills, motor development and concentration. Keep the occupational therapy activities to decrease hyperactivity short at first, so that the patient is more likely to finish the activity. The goal is that over time, they will be able to focus on activities for longer.
The child might not only be hyperactive. They could also have what is called sensory processing disorder, which has its own unique treatment methods. The therapist typically examines the child to see if they have this disorder during the initial assessment when starting occupational therapy activities to decrease hyperactivity in children. If the child has a sensory processing disorder, its meaning is exactly how it sounds – it’s a condition where the person’s brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that comes in through their senses. If the hyperactive child has this disorder, something called sensory therapy can be used, instead of traditional occupational therapy activities to decrease hyperactivity in children.
That basketball on the bedroom floor, or the slinky on the desk – those toys have to go. Taking away any potential distractions is key to helping a hyperactive child concentrate. One of the most important occupational therapy activities to decrease hyperactivity is to restructure the child’s home and school classroom so that they are conducive to learning and concentrating.
Sometimes, this also means getting the parents and teacher on board.
Here are a few tips for parents and teachers to help hyperactive children:
- Encourage hands-on learning
- Make learning fun
- Ask questions
- Make sure the child understands the directions
- Divide work into smaller units