Unlike traditional video games, a Wii provides a good indoor outlet for my daughter's extra ADHD energy.
by Kay Marner
I know that too much screen time can be a problem for some kids with ADHD, so I was surprised when, not one, but two professionals Natalie works with recommended we buy her a Wii. First, her former occupational therapist, Summer, made the suggestion. The yoga and balance games on Wii Fit will both be perfect to help Natalie to work on the same skills at home that she was learning in therapy.
The second recommendation came from Natalie’s psychologist, Dr. Phillips. I told him that, despite darkness, cold temps, and snow, I was taking Natalie outside to play most evenings. She just can’t expend enough energy indoors, I told him, which is already making for a long winter. In response, he asked what Natalie has in the way of electronics. I expected him to reiterate the evils of video games. But, no! Instead, he said that, unlike traditional video games, a Wii could provide a good indoor outlet for Nat’s extra ADHD energy.
Santa must have been listening outside Dr. Phillips’ office door, because a Wii showed up under the Christmas tree, complete with Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Ultimate Dance Party. This gaming system has already proven its worth, as below-zero temperatures have kept us inside for more than a week--no sledding or building snow forts.
Playing Wii instead definitely provided Natalie with much needed exercise --she played boxing so much on the first day that she woke up the next morning with sore arm muscles!
It looks like Wii will keep our sanity this winter, after all.