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Classroom Strategies Series from My Attention Coach: #5 Encourage Fidgeting

Posted Feb 21 2012 10:05pm
Fidgeting can help the student with ADHD and I would like to share a few specific ideas. I would also encourage you to check out , a book written by Sarah Wright and Roland Rotz for more ideas and information.

Stress Balls
Allow students with ADHD to hold and squeeze a small stress ball or a Koosh ball with knobby ends to it. Of course, the fidget should not be distracting for the student with ADHD or others in the classroom. Different fidgets will work for different students. If they are going to throw the ball to their friends, it probably is not a good strategy, but if it something helps them focus, everyone can benefit.

Just general movement, having physical breaks to move around can help. It allows them to release some energy, but it does not disrupt your classroom. Tied in with this, I also encourage you, if you are an elementary teacher, not to take away recess. I understand that it is a natural consequence of not getting work done, but you are potentially taking recess away from the student that needs it the most.

Teaching the value of exercise to the students and encouraging them to do it can also help. I recently taught a workshop and someone mentioned “Brain Gym .” Although I have not personally tried it, just doing some of those exercises where you move your arms across your body may help with focus.

What concerns do you have about fidgeting?

Laura Rolands is an ADHD Coach, the founder of My Attention Coach , and host of Practical ADHD Strategies .  She works with students, adults and families to find effective solutions to their ADHD challenges.  
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