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Therapies

At a Glance: Therapies That Can Help Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

By Erica Patino

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Therapy may be helpful for some kids with learning and attention issues. Finding the right therapy depends on the social and emotional challenges affecting your child. Here’s a primer on some common therapies.

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At a Glance: Therapies for Different Issues
Occupational
Occupational therapists work with kids who just have trouble using their hands (such as those with dysgraphia) and kids who have problems playing sports and maintaining balance (such as those with dyspraxia). Kids practice physical skills that help them move more confidently and creatively. Occupational therapy can also help kids with sensory processing issues.
Educational
Educational therapists are more than tutors. They teach in ways that work with and around kids’ specific learning and attention issues. Educational therapists often have training in specialized educational tools to boost math, writing and reading skills.
Speech Therapy
Speech therapists help kids who have trouble speaking clearly. This includes kids with dyspraxia and those with other language-based issues. They work with kids who have problems understanding what they hear and communicating in social situations. Speech therapists can also help kids who have difficulty with reading comprehension.
Social Skills Groups
Social skills groups help kids start conversations, control emotions, and make and keep friends. They can help kids who become anxious in groups and other social settings. Social skills groups can help kids with attention or behavior issues, or who have trouble understanding social cues, such as those with nonverbal learning disabilities.
Solution- Focused Counseling
A solution-focused counselor will ask a child to think about what’s working, what isn’t, and how to make a situation better. This may be helpful for kids in middle school or older as they take on bigger social and academic challenges. Look for a counselor who is specifically trained as solution-focused.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy looks at how thoughts cause feelings and behaviors. CBT can be helpful for kids with anxiety or depression, or for kids who are impulsive.
Graphic of Common types of therapy for kids with learning and attention issues: introductory guide
Graphic of Common types of therapy for kids with learning and attention issues: introductory guide

Find out more about occupational therapy, educational therapy, speech therapy, social skills groups, solution-focused counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy. You can also explore alternative therapies. Here are some questions to ask doctors and specialists.

About the Author

Erica Patino

Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

More by this author

Reviewed by Mark Griffin, Ph.D. Feb 07, 2014 Feb 07, 2014

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