Play Therapy for ADHD Children

 

Licensed psychologist and social worker Miriam Galindo, PsyD, has worked with the Orange County Superior Court as part of its approved panel of experts regarding child welfare issues. One area Dr. Miriam Galindo works in, play therapy, can be used to treat a variety of issues, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Play therapy can help children with ADHD express themselves, making a connection with their parents or professionals through play that they might not otherwise make. Even neurotypical children can often hide their thoughts, and play therapy affords them the chance to express themselves without aggravation or intrusion. Allowing them to play freely during play therapy helps ADHD children even more than neurotypical children, as aggressive imposition of structure can make a child feel abnormal or unwanted.

Some techniques that can help children with ADHD include helper toys and fantasy play. A helper toy, such as a puppet or doll, can help redirect emotions when a child is upset or struggling. Fantasy play, meanwhile, can turn a disappointment such as a missed opportunity or sad day into a chance to explore one’s mind and diminish irritation.

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