Improving Classroom Behavior: Help ADHD Children to Stop Fidgeting

How teachers and parents of children with ADHD can help them fight the fidgets and concentrate better at school and at home.

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Solutions in the Classroom

The number one thing teachers can do to help ADHD students squirm and fidget less is to provide physical outlets that let them regularly release pent-up energy and improve focus.

-- Send ADHD students on errands. Ask your ADHD students to deliver a message to another class or take a note to the office. These tasks help kids build a sense of self-worth while providing an opportunity to stretch their legs and move around.

-- Let students stand and walk around between lessons. One teacher, for example, put a mini-trampoline in her classroom for kids who got restless. In the beginning of the school year, everyone used it frequently; but after the novelty wore off, only the ADHD students who needed to use it continued to do so. Another teacher let students use exercise balls instead of chairs so ADHD students could move around a bit, but still stay seated.

-- Provide fidget objects. These object can include worry beads, Wikki Stix, and squeeze balls—anything that can be quietly squished or handled. Not having to focus on staying absolutely still conserves the student’s energy for focusing on class lessons.

(Tip: Attach squeeze balls to the desk, so they don’t get hurled across the room!)

-- Keep lessons short and provide frequent breaks. You can even do this during tests if you sense that a student needs to move.

Next: Solutions at Home...

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