For years, children have been hearing the same words over and over again, “Sit still and concentrate!” But, recent research by UCF shows that children with ADHD have to move and squirm in order to learn.
For a child who has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, they need to be able to tap their feet, swing their legs and move about. The movement actually helps them retain information and work out complex cognitive tasks, according to a study published in an early online release of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
The research was set in place to teach parents and teacher how to teach children with ADHD. The study suggests that children with ADHD may perform better on work, test and homework if they were sitting on activity balls or exercise bikes.
The study at UCF included 52 boys ranging from the ages of 8 to 12 years old. Twenty-nine of the boys have been previously diagnosed with ADHD and other 23, have no clinical disorders and showed to be developing normally.
Each of the children were asked to perform a series of complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning and comprehension to test their memory. One of the tests that took place was on a computer screen. The children were shown a series of jumbled numbers and a letter that flashed on the screen. They were asked to put the numbers in order, then followed by the letter. A camera recorded the children and observers recorded every movement.
This study was going a bit further than previous studies, because it was going to provide the purpose for the movement.
“What we’ve found is that when they’re moving the most, the majority of them perform better,” Rapport said. “They have to move to maintain alertness”
The report finished up by showing that the children who weren’t affected by ADHD, performed worse due to the movement during the cognitive tests.
Want to know more information about classroom strategies for children with ADHD? This episode below with Dr. Jonas Bromberg speaks with a 5th grade teacher Jon Weinberger of the Lawrence school in Brookline, MA, about strategies for improving the classroom experience for his students with ADHD.
Source: Information has been provided by University of Central Florida
Dustin E. Sarver, Mark D. Rapport, Michael J. Kofler, Joseph S. Raiker, Lauren M. Friedman.Hyperactivity in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Impairing Deficit or Compensatory Behavior? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 2015; DOI: 10.1007/s10802-015-0011-1