Teachers have long struggled to get children to sit still at their desks. But for children with ADHD, those orders might be counterproductive.
That's the research focus of Florida State University Assistant Professor of Psychology Michael Kofler, who is developing new, non-medication treatments for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). New research by Kofler at FSU's Children's Learning Clinic shows that children often fidget or move when they are trying to solve a problem, and that movement may have a positive effect on children with ADHD.
The tips of all my pens are all chewed up. When I’m nervous, I take my ring off and put it back on, repeatedly. I twirl my hair and crack my knuckles and play with my necklace and slip my shoes off and on under my desk. In short, I fidget.
It's the era of students in motion. Gone are the days when they had to sit still until gym class or recess. Enter some K-12 classrooms across the country and you'll find exercise balls instead of chairs, standing desks instead of sitting ones, and movement welcome, even in math class.
For example, at Wilder Elementary in Louisville, Ky., a privately-funded effort called "Let's Move Wilder!" added new equipment such as standing desks and bouncy bands (which strap to a desk so students can stretch their feet back and forth while sitting) to classrooms for the new school year. And a 3rd grade teacher at Wetumpka Elementary in Wetumpka, Ala. has raised money over the last two years so her students can ride exercise bikes and sit on exercise balls during lessons.