My Son Has ASD And ADHD: Occupational Therapy And Counseling Can Help



What Was Your First Reaction?



Of course, I blamed myself at first. I mean, what happened? Why does my only son have these disorders? I look back from six years ago and think deeply. Did I smoke when I was pregnant with him? I sure as heck stopped wine when I learned I was pregnant. And yeah, no smoking either. I’m pretty sure that I had almost perfect health back then except for a terrible cough when I was in the 8th month, but my OB prescribed me cephalexin. It’s safe for pregnant women.


Genes And Environmental Factors Can Affect ASD/ADHD Development In Kids


My eyes had tears in them as I asked the doctor, “Why does he have this, doc?” He told me with an as a matter-of-fact tone, “Genetics can play a big role in this disorder development on your child. The environment is also an issue. Do you have a history of autism or ADHD in your family?”




I said NO, we don’t have those disorders. As for the environmental cause, well, as I said – no smoking, no drinking, no bad thing that happened to me back then, and our home was well-kept.


“How about your husband’s family?” And there, I think, I heard a DING-DING-DING inside my head! His cousin has low-functioning autism. My husband’s aunt has Asperger’s. I’m pretty sure his dad was depressed, but not diagnosed. His cousin has Bipolar Disorder and well, the list goes on. Now, I know the answer. Genetics. My husband is the reason why my son has these disorders.


It’s not his fault that his genes are built that way, and so I cannot entirely blame him for something he cannot control. Right now, what we had to do was stick together, have a treatment program or therapy plan for our son, and support him all the way. That’s all we can do. And yes, pray that everything will be alright in the end.


Treatment Programs For Children With ASD And ADHD


“When people think about attention deficit disorder (ADHD), they usually consider it a childhood problem. However, a large proportion — between 30 and 70 percent — of children with the condition remain affected throughout adulthood.” Ben Martin, Psy.D said. But there were three programs recommended by the neurodevelopment pediatrician for my son – Occupational Therapy and Counseling, Speech Therapy, and Educational Therapy. He was delayed at least a year on all of his skills, and the doctor even mentioned medication use. My husband denied the last one and said that if his hyperactivity will ever be extreme, then that’s the time we’ll use prescription drugs.


Occupational Therapy




Kids can learn how to manage their ASD and ADHD symptoms through occupational therapy. Here they will be able to enhance their various skills – cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills. As for my son, during his OT sessions, he was given eight rules always to remember:


  1. Sit on the chair.
  2. Hands-on the table.
  3. Eyes in front or on the teacher.
  4. Shut your mouth and no talking to others when in class.
  5. Listen attentively to the teacher.
  6. Finish your work.
  7. No hitting your head.
  8. No slapping, grabbing, and pushing others.


If he were to deviate from the rules, my son was given an X-mark which he doesn’t like. This forced him to curb some of his unintentional misbehaviors. (If you need online assistance on this, BetterHelp is your best choice.) Dr. Chantal Gagnon Ph.D. LMHC “Therapy can be adapted to meet a variety of individual needs and goals.” I believe that.


Speech Therapy


He was taught how to speak his mind with articulation, and how to start and end a sentence correctly. The therapist helped him how to be vocal about his feelings and emotions. It was a big help for my son.


Educational Therapy


At six years old, my son couldn’t read at his level. His writing ability was that of a four-year-old, and he is just so non-compliant when it comes to reading and writing. Educational therapy has helped him with reading and comprehension, and practice on his penmanship, among other intervention methods.

I also tried reaching out to BetterHelp, an online platform that is committed to assisting mothers like me in dealing with their children’s mental health issues, including ASD and ADHD. I read great reviews about their counselors before I considered signing up. If you’re in the same situation as I am today, why don’t you try it out yourself?

It’s tough to have a son with a disorder. If only I could take it away from him and put it on me, I would do it. But it’s not that simple. Kara Tamanini, M.S., LMHC reminds us all to “Target the most pressing problems. Avoid trying to fix too many things. You will get bogged down that way.” These disorders will be for my son to bear forever and I will do everything I can to support him and assist him all the way. I mean, what else can I do, right?