Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) refer to a range of problem behaviours associated with poor attention span. These may include inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. The characteristics appear in early childhood and are a cause of major concern at home and at school. These problems often prevent children from learning and socialising well.

About 1.7 % of the UK population has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Boys are more likely to be affected than girls. Many children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also have other problems. It has been shown that 50% of children also have dyspraxia/developmental coordination disorder and 60% have sensory  processing problems.

Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may present with some of the following difficulties:

  • Fails to pay close attention to detail or makes careless errors in work
  • Fails to finish tasks or sustain attention in play activities
  • Seems not to listen to what is said to him or her
  • Fails to follow through instructions
  • Disorganised about tasks and activities
  • Loses things necessary for certain tasks or activities
  • Easily distracted
  • Forgetful in the course of daily activities
  • Always on the move or seeking movement experiences
  • Has difficulty in engaging in quiet activities
  • Fidgets with hands or has problems sitting still in chair
  • Fails to wait turn in games or group situations
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others
  • Talks excessively without appropriate response to social restraint

Sensory Integration and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Many children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) also show signs of Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory Integration Dysfunction. Some research conducted in the USA looked at children referred to a clinic with a preexisting diagnosis of either Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In this group of children, they found that 60% of the children had signs of both ADHD and SPD.

Children with Sensory Processing Disorder/Sensory Integration Dysfunction and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may present with some of the following difficulties:

  • Reacts emotionally or aggressively to touch
  • Has difficulty standing in line or close to other people
  • Touches people and objects to the point of irritating others
  • Seeks out all kinds of movement and this interferes with daily routines (eg can’t sit still, fidgets)
  • Spins/twirls self frequently throughout the day
  • Takes excessive risks during play
  • Enjoys falling or dives on floor frequently
  • Has coordination problems
  • Has difficulty planning motor tasks

Assessment of your child

Once commissioned we will carry out a comprehensive assessment in order to identify the extent and nature of your child’s difficulties. We will use a combination of standardised and observational assessments to identify specific areas of difficulty in relation to sensory processing, visual perception, motor coordination, organisation and motor planning. We will select those assessments that we feel are most appropriate for your child, following discussion with you at the initial consultation. Following the assessment we will arrange a feedback appointment to discuss the results, offer you advice and recommend therapy options that may be appropriate.

Please contact us if you would like any further details.

Therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

There are a number of therapy approaches available to use depending on the assessment findings. For children with ADHD and a sensory processing disorder, a combination of sensory integration and cognitive approaches may be used, such as ‘How does your engine run (The Alert Programme for Self-Regulation)’. The intervention will be child-centred and planned around the needs of your child and the goals they want to achieve. Perhaps most importantly therapy will be fun.

Therapy may involve one or more of the following options:

  • Consultation with parents and teachers
  • Individual therapy
  • Sensory diet for home/school
  • Environmental modifications
  • Providing awareness training at your child’s school

Useful links for information on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Visit our links and resources page for further information on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

links2Common conditions treated: