Can I please have some more macaroni and chee – oh look, Sponge Bob Square Pants is on TV! I just saw a commercial, we need to go to McDonald’s right now! Sounds familiar, right? It’s no secret that young minds can easily get sidetracked. But, some children may require extra help, such as occupational therapy, to decrease their hyperactivity. These children struggle with organizational skills, staying on task, being patient, and focusing on activities for long periods of time. Children constantly come in contact with technology, toys, games, and other distractions. Occupational therapy for children can help them decrease their hyperactivity and complete everyday tasks more easily. So, continue reading for four easy occupational therapy strategies to use with hyperactive children!
Occupational Therapy for Children: 4 Activities to Decrease Hyperactivity:
This technique is a great way to get younger patients started. Begin by giving the child a few items to organize. This is something they are likely to struggle with, so show them what they’re supposed to do first. Then, have them repeat the maneuvers. It’s important to encourage and support them during this task. If all goes well, they will see the correct sequencing pattern of the task and be able to repeat it successfully. Remember to start slow so that the child is not overwhelmed.
Focus on Activities
Hyperactive children have a hard time focusing on one task for an extended amount of time. So, it’s important to teach them how to fully engage with what they are doing. Give the child something simple to do that will help increase their self-esteem and confidence. You can have them start with a game or a puzzle. From there, encourage them to participate in more advanced activities such as sports. These pursuits will not only boost their confidence, but they can also enhance their social skills, motor development, and concentration. For the best results, these activities should be short at first. This will make it easier for your patient to finish what they’ve started. With time and effort, the child should be able to focus on more complicated activities for longer amounts of time.
There is a possibility that your patient may have a sensory processing disorder in addition to their hyperactivity issues. A sensory processing disorder comes with its own unique treatment methods. You should examine the child during your initial assessment in order to determine if they have this disorder. If the child has a sensory processing disorder, its meaning is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a condition where a person’s brain has trouble receiving and responding to information that they receive through their senses. If an already hyperactive child has this disorder, something called sensory integration therapy should be used to treat them. You can read more about these treatments by clicking the link above.
That basketball on their bedroom floor, or the slinky on their desk? Those toys have to go. Taking away any potential distractions is key to helping a hyperactive child concentrate on tasks and other activities. A child’s environment plays a major role in how they operate. Therefore, one of the most important occupational therapy strategies to decrease hyperactivity is to restructure the child’s home and school classroom. This will help the child concentrate and learn new abilities more easily.
This often means getting the child’s parents and teachers on board.
Here are a few tips for how parents and teachers can help hyperactive children:
- Encourage hands-on learning
- Make learning fun
- Ask questions
- Make sure the child understands the directions
- Divide work into smaller units
Do you have experience with doing occupational therapy for children? Share your insights with us in the comments below!