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For decades, frustrated parents and teachers have been desperately trying to get troubled children with ADHD to "sit quitely and concentrate!" New research shows that if you want ADHD children to learn, you must, on the contrary, make sure to let the child be in sufficient motion.

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This writes and refers to a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.


It's all about letting children with ADHD get enough exercise

When children with ADHD constantly shake their feet, swing on the body, spin on the chair, or otherwise show what we often refer to as "hyperactivity", this is a behavior that one at school or at home often tries to reduce. But this is in direct conflict with the recommendations from the new study, where the researchers emphasize that being able to move sufficiently in reality is crucial for children with ADHD to be able to learn.

The findings show that methods that have been prevalent for many years to help children with ADHD may be misunderstood, writes

- Typical measures are aimed at reducing hyperactivity. It is the exact opposite of what we should do for the majority of children with ADHD, says Mark Rapport,

The author of the study, Mark Rapport, says that the hyperactivity in children with ADHD is not present all the time, but is most pronounced when the child has to use the brain's executive functions (control functions), and especially working memory.


Being on the move allows children with ADHD to maintain alertness

When children with ADHD show a lot of motor restlessness and movement, this can be a strategy that allows them to keep their brains awake enough for them to absorb learning.

When you as an adult insist that these children should sit still and concentrate, you are thus putting the child in an impossible situation.

- The message is not to allow children with ADHD to run around freely in the classroom, but that you must be able to facilitate that they can be in enough movement to maintain the level of alertness that is necessary for cognitive activities, says Mark Rapport.

The study suggests that the majority of students with ADHD can get better results in class, on tests and on homework if they are allowed to be in enough movement, for example by being allowed to sit on activity balls or exercise bikes, or in other ways that do not unnecessarily interfere with teaching.



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