ADHD and Sensory Integration


“My seven-year-old wears glasses at school. Week after week, we’ve had to take them in to get the frames straightened, lenses put back in, and so on. She has some sensory problems in addition to ADHD, and her occupational therapist thinks the feeling of wearing glasses might be bothering her. Any suggestions?”


Sensory integration problems often coexist with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and your child may very well be having trouble adjusting to the feeling of wearing glasses. Learn about sensory integration dysfunctions.

Your daughter can “practice” and get used to the sensation outside of school with cheap sunglasses from the dollar store.

It could also be that your daughter needs to keep her hands busy to focus—and her glasses are all too convenient. Better fidget options include a “stress ball” or another squeezable item, or a plastic beaded bracelet.

Or let her wear an old pair of glasses, without lenses, on a cord around her neck. Make it clear that the glasses on her face are for seeing, and should stay on, and the glasses on the cord are the ones she can “flex.”

Dr. Carol Brady is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She is also a specialist in school psychology and a well-regarded speaker in the areas of ADHD, children, and families in trauma and Tourette's Syndrome.

She received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and she is currently on the scientific advisory board for the Tourette's Syndrome Association and is an adjunct faculty at Baylor University and the University of Texas. Dr. Brady hopes to help children and families who deal with neurological/developmental disorders by serving as a regular columnist for ADDitude magazine.

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