5 therapies that could help with childhood behavioural issues

Posted on May 15th, 2018

Try a different approach to behavioural issues by trying one of these complementary therapies. By Lisa Witepski

5 therapies that could help with childhood behavioural issues

It’s easy to lose patience with a child who’s being impulsive, refusing to listen, or just acting out. But, often, these issues are a symptom of a deeper problem that can be treated through therapy.

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Here’s a sampler of the various therapies available, and how they can help with childhood behavioural issues:

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy can help in many areas, from improving fine-motor skills to developing hand-eye coordination. Increasingly, it’s used to help children who have trouble processing sensory information. Kids love it because it’s therapy disguised as a series of play activities and the results are excellent, helping to improve social skills, increase concentration, and focus and regulate moods.

ALSO SEE: 10 red flags that could indicate a motor development delay


Strong academics start with strong bodies, so if your little on has a weak core or even a weak shoulder girdle, you might find that they lack the energy to concentrate or manage the fine-motor activities required to complete tasks in class. Physio works on building strength, improving gross-motor skills and building endurance.

Play therapy

If your little one is struggling to make friends or has expressed social anxiety, her teacher may recommend play therapy. It differs from regular therapy and instead of being asked a series of questions, children are encouraged to play as they would in any other setting. This gives the therapist a chance to observe the choices and decisions the child makes, and interpret how this impacts on their experience.

ALSO SEE: Your child’s social development in the first five years

Art therapy

This modality differs from play therapy because it uses art as the vehicle of expression. It’s particularly useful for children who often lack the vocabulary or understanding to explain what they’re going through.

Speech therapy

While those lisps and mispronunciations are adorable, they can have a  negative impact on your child’s learning and development. Say, for instance, your little one battles with ‘s’ sounds, she may start to avoid saying words with this sound because they’re too difficult or make her feel self-conscious as her learning extends to reading and deeper discussions. This is where speech therapy comes in – it’s designed to help children improve their grasp of language, in terms of both understanding and expression. It can also enhance their non-verbal communication.

ALSO SEE: Does my child need speech therapy? Look out for these signs