Curative education therapy of the ADS

Synonyms in a broader sense

Attention Deficit Syndrome, Psychoorganic Syndrome (POS), ADS, minimal brain syndrome, Behavioral Disorder with Attention and Concentration Disorder.


Curative education therapy forms usually start where education is negatively influenced by various causes and education is negatively influenced by various factors and symptoms. As a sub-area of pedagogy they try to deal with the symptoms in a problem-oriented and individual way and improve them with the help of different methods and measures. The attention deficit syndrome can be present in different variants, i.e. without hyperactivity (ADHD), with hyperactivity (ADHD) or as a mixed type of both variants, whereby these can in turn be very different due to the individuality of a single child.

In addition, many children with an attention deficit syndrome suffer from a variable, sometimes even below-average ability to concentrate and pay attention. This is one of the reasons why an attention deficit is often associated with other learning problems, for example with a reading, spelling and/or arithmetic weakness. In general, it cannot be ruled out that an ADS child is highly gifted, despite possible conflicting performances and serious problems.

This is generally possible. However, it does not imply the reverse conclusion that every ADS child is necessarily highly gifted. Statements like: “A genius controls chaos” may be true, but they are out of place here.

At this point it should only be pointed out that an ADS child, just like any other child, can be highly gifted. It is precisely in the area of learning problems that THE curative therapy form cannot be named. Rather, there is a multitude of possible forms of therapy to choose from. Some forms of therapy are presented below.

Exercise Therapy

Freely based on the thesis: Movement gets people moving, it is generally assumed that sport as such can also have a therapeutic effect. In children with ADHD, however, even more than in “normal” children, it is important to ensure that the sport fits perfectly. Exercise therapy, which acts on the psychomotor level, is usually carried out in small groups.

The children are provided with a wide range of movements (balancing, jumping, running, swinging, sliding) and can experience and train their own bodies beyond these forms of movement. Exercises that could not be done well at first become safer over time, which ultimately gives the child self-confirmation. The movement therapy is also suitable for hyperactive children. A rather “softer” movement therapy, the so-called sensomotoric integration therapy, which is described below as a form of occupational therapy, has often proved to be successful.


Occupational therapy aims to heal disorders of the sensory organs, motor disorders and disorders of the mental and psychic abilities of a patient to such an extent that his independence in everyday life can be described as restored. Patients can therefore be found in all age groups, and occupational therapy can therefore be found as a treatment option in many different areas. One area is also the ADS – therapy.

It starts with the typical concomitant symptoms of ADHD as well as with the secondary symptoms, whereby the social behaviour of the child is primarily taken into account and the physical level is addressed through motor exercises. Children’s occupational therapy is based on well-known forms of therapy, such as Bobath therapy or Ayre therapy, or concepts according to Frostig, Affolter, etc. The decision, which approach is followed therapeutically, depends on the child itself.

This means that the therapy starts exactly where it is appropriate for the child. From a therapeutic point of view, the child is picked up exactly where it is appropriate for its ability. This presupposes that deficiencies are recognized and taken up therapeutically.

As a result of the increasing professionalisation of the occupational therapist’s profession, success in the occupational therapy treatment of ADHD cannot be ignored. The extent to which success can be achieved in individual cases cannot be judged in general terms. Success is always partly determined by the individual concomitant symptoms.

There are too many factors – apart from the actual choice of therapy form – that can be made responsible for an improvement or stagnation. This is based on the fact that even the most conspicuous ADHD children – in relation to animals – are very caring and show above-average long concentration phases. Over time, they build up an inner and deep connection with the animal and thus strengthen its self-confidence.

There are different possibilities with regard to therapy with animals. However, one thing must not be confused here: Therapy with animals is not the same as “child gets pet”. Therapy with animals rather means that the child is connected with a specially trained animal (e.g. dog) at the appropriate point.

First of all, the child spends some time with the animal, for example monitored by a video camera. As a rule, such therapy has a positive effect on the child in several areas:

  • The self-confidence of the child is strengthened
  • The child receives affection from the animal and, in contact with it, promotes its ability to concentrate and independence. – Through these aspects the mental balance of the child can be restored.

A special form of therapy with animals is therapeutic riding. It is not only used in the field of ADS or ADHS therapy. Apart from the improvement of body mobility, motor skills and muscle development, therapeutic riding aims to build up an intensive relationship with the horses and thus ultimately to provoke an increase in self-confidence and independence.

Through the positive feeling, a mental balance is to be achieved and the child is thus indirectly moved to longer phases of concentration. Educational counselling centres are always called upon when problems arise in the education of children and young people and parents can no longer solve these problems on their own. This very general definition already shows that educational guidance centres have to cover a very wide field in order to be able to provide differentiated assistance.

Before parents turn to educational counselling centres in search of help, they must first admit that they alone can no longer cope with the problems that have arisen. This insight is often not easy and is certainly painful, but this admission is also the first way out of the problem area. Since educational counsellors are bound to secrecy and are only allowed to contact other persons involved in the upbringing of the child in case of a release from the obligation of secrecy by the parents, one should report openly and honestly about the existing problems from the beginning.

Only in this way can it be guaranteed that the assistance can have a chance of success. As soon as the first facts have been discussed in the course of the so-called initial interview and, under certain circumstances, some causes have already been identified, the initial interview should be followed by a diagnostic investigation. Once the diagnosis has been made, individual aspects become visible, so that an individual support plan can be drawn up following the diagnostic assessment, which can draw on the various therapeutic sub-areas. Due to the legal right of parents to educational counselling, the educational counselling centres are not only nationwide, but also free of charge. Educational counselling centres are offered by various organisations.