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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that becomes apparent in some children in the preschool and early school years. It’s hard for these children to control their behavior or pay attention. It is estimated that between 3 and 5 percent of children have ADHD, or approximately 0.2 million children in Australia. This means that in a classroom of 24 to 30 children, it is likely that at least one will be experiencing ADHD.


The principle characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. There are three subtypes of ADHD recognized by professionals:

Delayed learning of language


Difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation


Difficulty with executive functioning

The cause of ADHD is unknown, however it has been thought that a number of factors (including diet, genetic as well as social and physical environment) contribute to exacerbate the condition. Genetics tend to be a factor in around 75 percent of all cases whilst environmental factors are thought to be the next major influence. 


Diet and the use of artificial food colours have a strong link to ADHD (The Lancet 2007). The study found that certain yellows and reds used in food were the main contributors. A study conducted at Southampton University found that along with food colouring, some food preservatives are also thought to contribute towards ADHD. 


Treatment involves a combination of medication, behaviour modification, learning coping techniques, lifestyle changes and counselling. Many children with ADHD will also have sensory processing disorders and this can contribute to their inability to pay attention, focus and concentrate. These children will either withdraw from or seek sensory stimulation like movement, touch, light and sound. They may make loud noises and constantly move, touch and fidget in order to get the appropriate stimulation that they seek. Other children with ADHD may withdraw from loud noises, busy rooms, bright light and not engage appropriately in an activity as expected. They will then be considered to be troublesome and badly behaved in school and in other social settings.


Action Kids Therapy provides treatment programmes which address the sensory processing difficulties and help the child to attend and learn by adapting the environment and activities. Our programs include: 

The Alert Program


This is also called "How Does Your Engine Run" and was created by Mary Sue Williams and Sherry Shellenberger as a means of helping children to learn self-regulation. The programme works well with children who have sensory processing difficulties as it teaches the child that their brains are like "engines" that are sometimes running fast and sometimes running slow. The goal is to make the engine run just right. The child learns this by engaging in activities that bring their engine up or down according to their needs at any particular time. "Engine speed" is altered via the application of specific sensory methods which mirror the given child's neurological profile. 

Sensory Retraining


Action Kids Therapy design individual Sensory Retraining Programs to provide children with the type of stimulation they need to remain focused and learning throughout the school day. The program includes neurological methods applied within the following sensory areas:


(1) Vestibular,

(2) Proprioceptive,

(3) Tactile,

(4) Visual, 

(5) Oral, 

(6) Smell, and 

(7) Auditory


These are incorporated into the school day to ensure the child remains alert and focused for learning. We regularly review the activities to determine which ones help the child's brain to become more organised at different times of the day.

To get started, contact us today

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