Occupational therapy travel jobs provide such a wide range of opportunities, allowing you to work in new locations and settings all the time! Additionally, you’ll meet patients of all ages and various challenges to overcome. One condition that occupational therapists routinely work to treat is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) — especially in children. The wide-ranging symptoms cause the treatments of this condition to vary greatly. However, occupational therapy for ADHD is an effective way to help children and some adults develop strategies for dealing with the disorder. Here we’ll discuss some tips, tools, and techniques that occupational therapists can utilize during travel assignments!
What is ADHD?
As a basic refresher, ADHD is a combination of six main symptoms between two main groups — a group of “inattentive” symptoms and “hyperactive-impulsive” symptoms.
Individuals within the inattentive group often display characteristics like:
- A lack of attention to detail
- Disorganized work and behavior
- Difficulty with listening and concentration
- Struggles with finishing tasks / easily distracted
- Will often lose and forget things
On the other hand, the hyperactive-impulsive group symptoms include:
- Difficulty sitting still
- Avoiding leisurely play
- Talking excessively / interrupting others
- Emotional outbursts
- Self-focused behavior
With these symptoms in mind, occupational therapy for ADHD consists of several different strategies and approaches. Generally, the goal of occupational therapists is to help those with the condition recognize the challenges their condition presents. They help patients to build the skills they need in order to lead normal, happy lives. The methods employed in occupational therapy for ADHD mainly include Remedial strategies and Adaptive strategies.
- Remedial strategies restore someone’s impaired capacity for behaving and interacting in a productive way.
- Adaptive strategies generally work to cultivate good habits or routines, in addition to teaching skills and strategies for effectively coping with difficult symptoms.
Jobs in Occupational Therapy for ADHD
As far as occupational therapy for ADHD is concerned, each individual patient deserves their own tailored treatment and therapists need to have a flexible knowledge of how the condition presents itself. One of the greatest benefits of finding travel occupational therapy positions is that you can bring your expertise to areas and families that are in need of your help!
If you’re interested in bringing your occupational therapy skills on the road for these great opportunities, here are some basic ways professionals help those with ADHD:
Managing Tasks as Steps
For both kids and adults with ADHD, a common symptom is struggling to find a starting point for even simple tasks, especially those requiring a great deal of thought or concentration. Occupational therapy for ADHD provides techniques for organizing tasks into individual steps for an efficient way to initiate and track progress. The main goal here is to allow individuals to implement these skills in many different environments.
Help With Sensory Processing
Those with ADHD often find that sounds, visual aspects, and smells are very distracting while concentrating. Realistically, when someone’s mind begins to wander or lose focus, their ability to regulate the body also diminishes. Learning ways to consciously shut-out excessive stimuli is a major goal of most jobs in occupational therapy for ADHD.
Work on Inner Core Strength
Sure, exercise and staying fit is important no matter who you are, but those with ADHD use aspects like inner core strength to their advantage. By strengthening one’s stabilizer muscles things like breathing effectively and holding posture are much easier. For children especially, strength training helps with their gradation of force. This means they develop a better gauge of how roughly they can play with others, or how much energy should be exerted in routine tasks like opening doors, holding pencils, etc.
Although you can work with a range of different types of patients, occupational therapy for ADHD remains a viable option for children or adults who may not respond well to other methods.
Do you have experience with using occupational therapy to treat ADHD? Let us know your experience in the comment below or on social media!