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Improving Executive, Attention, and Motor Skills Preschool Children With ADHD with Parent and Child Groups

Posted Oct 18 2013 4:00am

The Journal of Attention Disorders published research on 29 (4 to 5 year old) children and their parents who participated in group sessions with 3-5 children per group.  The training sessions consisted of introducing games that would help to enhance inhibitory control, working memory, attention, visual spatial skills, planning skills and motor skills.  The parents were encouraged to play these games at home with their children 30-45 minutes per day.  In addition, parents were given tips on scaffolding the play and dealing with obstacles to daily playing.  Following the intervention, parents rated that they were considerable satisfied with the training programs.  In addition, parent and teacher reports on the ADHD rating scale showed significant improvement from pre to post test treatment which continued three months later. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if pediatric occupational and physical therapy sessions could be conducted in this manner?  When we push into classrooms, provide home based services or out patient services we have the option.  By demonstrating in front of teachers and parents why we do the activities during the therapy sessions there is a greater chance of carry over occurring in the classroom or home.  Teachers and parents are ridiculously busy so perhaps make it even easier to provide carry over.  Maybe a toy lending library of the activities you would like the child to play each day or use hand outs that can be easily distributed for follow up.  What techniques work best for you to encourage therapeutic play outside of therapy sessions?

Reference: Jeffrey M. Halperin et. al. Training Executive, Attention, and Motor Skills A Proof-of-Concept Study in Preschool Children With ADHD. Published online before print March 5, 2012, doi: 10.1177/1087054711435681 Journal of Attention Disorders November 2013 vol. 17 no. 8 711-721 .

Need hand outs to explain what, why and how regarding different therapy topics?  Check out the What? Why? How? Series 1 , What? Why? How? Series 2 and What? Why? How? Series 3.  
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