10 ways to support students with hyperactivity and attention needs in class.
I have a fair amount of experience in finding useful ideas and products to help use up all that excess energy in class.
Some kids just NEED to move in order to concentrate. Sounds stupid right? I’m not just talking about kids diagnosed with ASD, ADHD or any medically diagnosed disorder either. Kids with sensory issues, hyper-vigilant children, anxious children all benefit from using fidget tools.
My philosophy is that the things we do for kids with learning difficulties / disorders and special needs are usually just best practice for typically developing kids.
Physical activity, like rolling on the classroom floor during mat time, chewing gum, chewing pencils etc area all ways that kids find to naturally self soothe and or stimulate themselves into being able to boost cognitive performance. They can also unfortunately annoy and distract the rest of the class. What we want though is kids to recognise and be able to support these movements in a less distracting way so teachers and students can get on with the day without the outbursts or huge energy surges some kids provide.
When my son was small (I mean like 2) he had SO much energy I couldn’t keep up. He woke up and was on the go, but not actually achieving anything he started because he had moved on to the next. At an older age when you expect children to be able to sit at the table and eat their dinner he couldn’t do this, he just couldn’t stay sitting in his chair. There were so many other circumstances, but this isn’t about just Sam – this is about the other thousands of kids that can benefit from a few simple tools.
When children are jumping up and down , jumping on chairs , diving under tables , or even just unable to sit without distracting someone on the mat at floor time it’s usually when the task at hand is demanding , boring to them or something they just do not grasp the subject being taught . They must move in order to boost their attention or to perk up and not fall asleep.
Researchers say that children with ADHD or who generally can not concentrate and stay still are unable to modulate their arousal systems efficiently, and movement helps them compensate for that deficit. Sometimes they are over aroused by irrelevant information
(And what DON’T kids find irrelevant information cause they know EVERYTHING – am I right??) And other times they are under aroused (aka BOOOOOORRRRED)..
About 11 percent of all children between the ages of 4 and 17 have ADHD, making it difficult for them to pay attention and control impulsive behavior, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. With a few simple tweaks and tools though these kids can go on to enjoy school and learn. PLUS stop driving the teachers and other kid crazy !!
The top 10 strategies or products I have learned through research and trial and era for use in the classroom or kindy are listed below. Remember these can be used on children with a diagnosis or any child that may benefit.. You’ll know if it may be your child that could benefit or not !!