Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Exercise in the morning to help ADHD symptoms!

Did you see the news article today about how kids with ADHD symptoms benefit from exercise? I suppose to some this may seem obvious, but it's always good when studies start to confirm what seems to be intuitive. The Wall Street Journal reported that "A recent study found regular, half-hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped young children with symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder become more attentive and less moody. Other research found a single bout of exercise improved students' attention and academic skills."

I know I've seen this to be true with more than one student at the elementary school where I work. Sometimes the behavior plan includes a morning exercise break, with anything from shooting baskets outside to running laps in the gym. And the payoff is great--students who are unable to focus at all gain the ability to learn in the morning. 

I'd love to hear about any other schools who are implementing the idea of morning exercise to help students with ADHD and ADHD-like behavior. What has worked for you? 

More from The Wall Street Journal:

It isn't clear whether physical exercise offers particular benefits to children with symptoms of ADHD, since students with typical development also showed improvements after the sessions. Children with the condition have greater-than-normal difficulty paying attention and may exhibit impulsive behavior, among other symptoms.
Some doctors who specialize in treating children diagnosed with ADHD say they often incorporate exercise in the therapy. And some teachers have begun getting students up from their desks for short bursts of physical activity, finding it helps them pay attention to their studies.
"It benefits all the kids, but I definitely see where it helps the kids with ADHD a lot," said Jill Fritz, a fourth-grade teacher at Rutledge Pearson Elementary school in Jacksonville, Fla. "It really helps them get back on track and get focused."
Growing numbers of children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated 11% of children had an ADHD diagnosis in 2011, the latest data available. That was up from 7.8% in 2003. Among all children in the U.S., 6.1% in 2011 were taking an ADHD medication, such as Adderall and Ritalin, up from 4.8% in 2007.

~Heather H

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