ADHD and Play Therapy

With constant movement in our society, there’s a surplus of distractions, not to mention the expectations and pressures that often influence our overall behavior. When a child “fails” to comply with common societal expectations, a parent or teacher beg to question what may “be wrong” with the child.  Commonly, ADHD can be confused or interchanged with alternative learning disabilities, trauma or anxiety. The parents or teachers may assume the issue is stemmed from ADHD. Such a diagnosis has become a common trend that has brought children and adults alike into therapy within recent years.  

Some common symptoms of ADHD include: hyperactivity, inability to sit still or concentrate, a tendency to make careless mistakes, trouble with time management, or difficulty finishing homework. Simultaneously, these symptoms can also imply other causes, while manifesting themselves uniquely in boys versus girls. It's imperative to ensure the proper diagnosis matches correctly in order to treat it appropriately.

Behavior and play are the language children use to communicate to the world - allowing us to gain insight into what it feels like to be them. Play Therapy allows children with ADHD to better regulate their emotions and behavioral responses to a situation. This type of therapy  can also help a child understand their emotional responses and provide resources to the parents to better understand the struggles that come with ADHD. Often, when a child has medication combined with play therapy, the two married together can be life changing for not only the child, but the whole family unit. In therapy, the child can learn coping strategies to gain control over their symptoms, help them with creating a plan for organization and/or prioritization. In working with the school and parents, it can be really advantageous to have a child with a therapist who can help the child better understand their own personal learning modality. 


Often times, the child may present as having ADHD like symptoms, when in reality, the root of the symptoms are due to a learning disability, anger, or anxiety. It could also be the cause of issues with peers at school, or problems at home. Therapy can help find the root of some of these potential causes of behavior. Equiping the child with the ability to learn regulation through the play experience, can ultimately help in decreasing some of these concerns or behaviors.




Amanda CoselComment