If You Have ADHD, Fidgeting May Help You Learn

If You Have ADHD, Fidgeting May Help You Learn

Some kids (and adults) with ADHD simply cannot stay still. This propensity toward fidgeting can cause people with ADHD trouble at school, work, and even in home life. A fidgety child will find it hard to focus on lessons in a classroom setting, even if the subject is something he or she finds interesting. Fidgety children are often also disciplined by teachers for disrupting the class. Likewise, adults with ADHD may find that others are distracted by their restlessness. However, fidgeting can also be useful: new research has suggested that those with ADHD learn better on the move.

Recent research carried out by Mark Rapport, a researcher at the University of Central Florida, has found that the excessive movement (hyperactivity) which is symptomatic of ADHD helps children with the learning disorder to retain more information, and more easily perform certain tasks. This research should be of interest not only to people with ADHD, but to teachers and parents as well. This is because in many learning environments the aim is to actively reduce hyperactivity. While there is a justification for this (teachers, for instance, often try to discourage hyperactivity because it has a tendency to disrupt other students, and they believe it impedes the learning process), the author of the study has claimed that reducing this hyperactivity (by forcing children to sit down, for instance) may not be best for people with ADHD.

Typical behaviors associated with ADHD include constant chatter, restlessness, non-stop movement, an inability to concentrate on one task at once, and difficulty paying attention to certain tasks for a long period of time. Children with ADHD are more likely to fidget than adults. In the classroom, children with ADHD often play with their hair, tap or spin pencils, or squirm around in their chair. The imp