ADHD: Children must Squirm to Learn!
In his experience working with young students, adolescents, and adults who have been diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Dr. Charles R. Davenport has found that allowing physical movement makes it easier to learn and pay attention.
Recent research from the University of Central Florida found that leg swinging, foot tapping, and chair schooling movements of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is actually critical for ADHD kids to learn. “The typical interventions target reducing hyperactivity. It’s exactly the opposite of what we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD,” Mark Rapport, one of the study authors, said in a statement. “The message isn’t ‘Let them run around the room,’ but you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities.”
In a classroom setting excessive movement can be seen as interfering with other students ability to learn, students willful disobedience, or proof of insufficient attention. When the students are told to “stop moving and pay attention” they likely have bad feelings about being called out as well as intensifying feelings of discomfort in trying to sit still which can be a monumental task for students with ADHD.
Sometimes the solution is not to work harder but to work smarter where we can use our understanding of our strengths and weaknesses to thrive. People with ADHD are never going to feel comfortable sitting perfectly still, at least not without stimulant medication. This is not necessarily a bad thing that can transition into not only a problematic situation academically but can also have significant emotional fallout.
please contact Dr. Charles R Davenport if you or someone you know struggles with ADHD or ADD.