Quiet Ways for Fidgety Kids to Release Energy at School

Some kids with ADHD think better when they're moving, or tapping, or humming — or doing all three. When those fidgets disrupt other students' learning, though, we have a problem. Here, teachers and parents can find ingenious ways to blow off excess energy without driving anyone nuts.

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Support your child's need to expend energy by encouraging her to join a sports team or engage in regular physical activity.

-- Choose the sport carefully. ADHD children aren't suited for all team sports. Soccer, for example, is a better choice than baseball because there's less standing around.

Children can also exercise alone -- one student roller-skated each morning or would just run around the block so that she could sit still longer in class. Many ADHD children do well in karate or other martial arts that teach discipline and concentration while also allowing for movement.

-- Supervise as needed. Most ADHD children need constant adult supervision to keep on task, but as situations improve, and the child matures, a parent can check in frequently rather than sit by the child's side throughout the process.

-- Don't force your child to sit still. When your child's past the point of controlling her need to move around, let her take a quick break. Tell her to run and jump around and then invite her to rejoin the family when she’s able. You can use this same strategy at church or synagogue, sporting events, and any other settings that requires kids to sit still for extended periods.

Some ADHD children are better able to complete homework when given the opportunity to move around while working, or when given frequent breaks. Don't expect an ADHD child to hunker down for one long study period. Some kids read better while pacing, or may need to do their math problems while standing up.

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TAGS: Hyperactivity and Fidgeting, School Behavior, Talking with Teachers, For Teachers of ADHD Children

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