Positive Research Results: Parent Approved
In a study carried out by Temple Researchers in 2005, an astounding 95% of the children tested experienced a reduction in specific problem behaviors. These researchers, Kristie Koenig, PhD, OTR/L, and Moya Kinnealey, PhD, OTR/L, did their OT work along with tests to ascertain which ADHD behaviors would decrease. They believed that if OTs were used to address a sensory processing disorder (also known as sensory integration dysfunction), which is an underlying condition that most kids with ADHD also have, problem behaviors wouldn’t be so severe.That disorder manifests itself by making the person who has it over-sensitive to touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.
Their scientifically-founded hunch paid off, and occupational therapy was seen to lessen the amount of restlessness, impulsivity and hyperactivity witnessed in the children who were tested.
Fighting boredom when you have ADHD is also a key component to helping manage it. Coordinating regular trips to the occupational therapist gives children something to do, occupying their time and mind in a positive way. Moreover, the fact that it’s a proactive manner of living in the solution rather than the problem, compounds its worth. Cultivating a positive outlook stemming from the fact that you are working toward a goal of dealing with your disorder effectively has a profoundly positive psychological effect. If you look at it as a chore that probably won’t work then you’ll wind up just looking for the evidence that it’s not working and overlook any areas where it is lessening the symptoms. If it bodes well for children, it seems it should work equally well for their larger, perhaps more cynical, adult counterparts.
Studies are great and we appreciate the good work researchers do to try and help create positive and meaningful change by testing the results of a particular type of therapy. But the real proof that parents of ADHD children are looking for is whether other parents in the same situation have experienced positive results for their children. From what I have read around the web where this was being talked about in forums, many parents were really pleased with the improvements they saw following their children's regular visits to an occupational therapist. Therefore, when you’ve got the research and the personal experience lined up and applauding this treatment approach, it’s certainly a good thing. Hopefully, your family medical insurance will cover it.