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ADHD or Lack of Movement?

June 23, 2015

By Jessica Vician

ADHD or Lack of Movement? In an article published on WashingtonPost.com, a pediatric physical therapist found that many children in the classroom aren't moving enough. | A girl plays hopscotch.

You’ve heard the stories, or maybe you’ve experienced them yourself—children are having trouble focusing and sitting still in school. Teachers are having trouble holding students’ attention and are recommending that some parents have their children tested for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder).

There are many valid reasons for recommending these tests. From a parent’s perspective, it’s important to know if your child is struggling in the classroom so that you can help identify and address the problem. Once your child learns to manage whatever the issue may be, he or she will be better prepared to learn.

WashingtonPost.com recently featured the article, “Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today,” by a pediatric occupational therapist who has been fielding frequent calls regarding childhood ADHD.

But what this therapist found through a day of observation in a fifth grade classroom wasn’t a bunch of kids with ADHD. She found kids who had poor core fitness—their abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to support proper balance. That’s right—the same reasons adults go to the gym to exercise our abs and use stability balls as chairs at work are just as important for our kids. Because of the students’ restricted movement throughout the day, they weren’t ready to sit still and learn.

You can read the article in its entirety here. This therapist’s experience isn’t unique—it’s likely happening with your kids, too. There are many questions we should be asking:

  • What can parents do to address this lack of mobility inside the classroom?
  • How can you spend this summer helping your child build core strength and improve his or her fitness
  • What will you do when your child starts school in the fall to keep him or her active and fit for the classroom?

Help other parents and share your ideas in the comments below or in the forum. We want to hear your solutions.

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