Occupational Therapy in the Adult ADHD Clinic
Occupational Therapy (OT) can help you overcome some of the barriers that may be preventing you from doing the activities (or occupations) that matter to you.
Occupational Therapists work with you to enable participation in the activities of your everyday life. These include areas such as Self-Care, Productivity and Leisure. A balance between these three areas is important for good health and well-being. Having ADHD can sometimes interrupt this balance or make it difficult to establish or maintain a balance.
An Occupational Therapist can help you find ways to do the things you need to or want to do.
This can include but is not limited to:
- Understanding an ADHD diagnosis and how it may impact on your daily life
- Time management and planning the day
- Environmental organisation
- Social skills
- Community integration
- Skills for managing Study/ Work /Home-Life
- Stress Management Techniques
- Sensory modulation – that is, looking at how your senses affect how you can engage with the world.
The assessment and intervention process is specific to each individual and will ensure that goals are collaborative and reflect your priorities and interests. A unique and flexible approach is provided reflecting each person’s individuality.
Following assessment a number of sessions may be required, these sessions could be in groups or individual. A combination of in person and virtual appointments may be used. In recent times the use of Video Enabled Care through Attend Anywhere (AA) has supported patients to connect with their Adult ADHD service. Clinicians can also provide support and interventions online and your clinician will decide if this is an option for you following discussion with you. It can allow therapy to be provided in your own environment, supporting accessibility without the constraints of travel and provide a blended approach to linking with the service.
Sensory Modulation in Occupational Therapy
Our senses work together to enable us to interact with the world and engage in the things we need to or want to do in our daily lives. Sensory Modulation happens when input into the nervous system translates to output through a behavioural response.The main aim of Sensory Modulation in Occupational Therapy is to enable engagement to optimise functional performance.
There are seven senses, these are: Taste, Smell, Touch, Hearing, Vision, Vestibular (balance), Proprioception (body perception and movement).
An Occupational Therapist who has received training in sensory modulation can assess a person’s sensory patterns and preferences and then recommend relevant sensory based strategies to help with things like focus, concentration, alertness and calmness. This can be particularly helpful to people with ADHD. Some people may be over responsive to sound so find it difficult to study in the library or focus on a lecture when there is background noise. Others may find certain lights too bright and so can make it hard to focus on the presentation at a meeting.
Sensory strategies used throughout the day can form part of your routine to maintain engagement and focus as well as helping you to feel grounded or regulated. An understanding of your own individual sensory system, your threshold for stimuli and strategies that work for you can be empowering in terms of taking control of your environment and your response to these.