ADHD Parents Together
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Play Therapy Effectiveness

What has your experience been with play therapy as a treatment for ADHD? I'm not sure why, but our experiences haven't been really effective. I tend to think my son gets more out of occupational therapy then he does play therapy. It could also be the time of day. We attend in the evenings in the middle of the week. We're all exhausted by the end of the day. Please share your experience and what helps make play therapy more helpful for your child!

4 Replies

We tried social play groups for about a year with little success. I think part of the problem was that my son had very different challenges than the other kids in the group so what he needed to work on wasn’t what everyone else was working on. At school he started in a social group with peers more like himself and had much more success. I have seen both good and bad with OT too. We stopped doing after school activities because his meds wear off at 4 and it was simply too much after a full day. We play outside for an hour everyday after school and that I’ve found makes all the difference. Free play with peers is his best intervention. I really think it’s a lot of trial & error to find what’s right for your child. It’s rough trying to find the sweet spot for your child but when you do it’s magic! Hang in there!!


We explored this and found it helpful only if we took time each day to try things with him at home. When you schedule in playoffs no with your kid, it helps inject positivity in perhaps a mostly negative relationship. If you are like us, we were constantly in a negative cycle with him and this caused more defiance!


It doesn't address the core symptoms of ADHD but may help develop some positive behavioral skills.


According to Dr. Barkely, social skills taught NOT at point of performance will not have much effect for ADHD kids.


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