Hyperactivity in Children
A large number of children with Attention Deficit and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder tend to have high levels of energy. They fidget when seated, move constantly, and tend to be overly communicative. In school, they sometimes might get up out of their seat just to walk around, appearing restless at times. A recent study focused on boys diagnosed with ADHD discovered that they tend to move around a classroom eight times more as boys without ADHD; they also were found to make twice as many arm movements.
Being hyperactive isn’t voluntary, but rather, it is the direct result of a neurological disorder. Children who are hyperactive are also sometimes unable to control their impulses, particularly the impulse to move around. Directly telling a high-energy child to stop moving may work very temporarily, but within a short amount of time, they’ll start again.
There are certainly strategies one can employ to try and mitigate the effects of hyperactivity; channeling it into productive activities or creating opportunities for children to tire themselves out can prove to be effective, both at school and at home.
- The first step in helping deal with hyperactivity is for the adults; it is important to understand that children with ADHD tend to be behind their peers when it comes to social maturity. Regardless of academic prowess, it is important to be cognizant of this; work with the child accordingly, realizing that you may need to speak to them differently.
- Get the whole class to stretch and exercise together; this can help decrease energy levels by giving kids opportunities to move around throughout the day. With older children, have them hand out supplies, collect assignments from students, and deliver messages out of the classroom.
- Schedule academic activities accordingly. If there is a subject or assignment that you know will require focus, make sure it comes after recess or gym class.
- Be aware of your students. If you sense that a student with ADHD is getting jittery, offer that they get up to stretch or walk around briefly, even if it’s during an exam.
- Be aware that methods for productivity vary between individuals; while one student may work well in a quiet space, sitting alone, a student with ADHD may need to move around while thinking. If you have time dedicated to individual work, allow students with ADHD to change seating, lie on a pillow, or move around while working. As long as they aren’t distracting others, it can be an effective way for them to release energy while being productive.
- Recognize when your child needs to move around. During a family conversation, dinner, or anything that requires being seated, make sure to let your child take quick breaks.
- Experiment with physical exercise in the mornings before school. Go for a walk with your child if you have the time, or have your child take the dog for a quick run outside. For indoor exercise, bouncing a ball or jumping rope can be effective at releasing energy.
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[Hyperactivity in Children]