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Help Hyperactive Kids Focus Better

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  • October 20, 2020
  • Dr. Hetal Dave

How to support children who have hyperactvity & inattention

I know that I am not alone when I say that I struggle to sit through webinars and meetings without doodling on my paper, shifting in my seat, getting up to use the bathroom and occasionally whispering with my colleague friend next to me. Now, these are every fortnight and only for a couple of hours. Every time I leave, I think, “How are kid expected to do it all day?!”

Working with a variety of children, I have come across several students who struggle with hyperactivity and inattention. Regardless of whether these struggles stem from a complex sensory profile, or from psychological trauma, it can impact their ability to learn and feel successful in their daily life.

Today I thought I would share some of the strategies I have learned to support these kiddos in my therapy! Here are my 6 ways to support these kids with hyperactivity and inattention.

1. Thera-Bands

 

You have probably seen these Thera-Bands used in Pilates classes, but they work great for wrapping around the legs of chairs. It helps with those wriggly legs and keeps them from unintentionally kicking their desk (and their peers!) When they sit in their chair, they place their feet behind the Thera-Band and try and pull their legs forward (it’s really hard to do!) It is a great way for them to expend energy, and helps them keep a safe body in the classroom.

2. Wobble Cushions

 

I used to use fidget toys in my therapies ,but even with consistent previewing and modelling, they often became toys and projectiles. Now I use soft weighted medicine balls, and it has alleviated many of the issues I had with fidget toys. Kids sit criss-cross and place the ball in their lap. It helps them to feel grounded in their place, while providing sensory input. They are allowed to lift it with the arms, but only to their chest and back. They are generally too heavy for them to move more than that, and I no longer find things flying across my therapy room in the middle of the session.

3. Soft, Weighted Medicine Ball

 

I used to use fidget toys in my therapies ,but even with consistent previewing and modelling, they often became toys and projectiles. Now I use soft weighted medicine balls, and it has alleviated many of the issues I had with fidget toys. Kids sit criss-cross and place the ball in their lap. It helps them to feel grounded in their place, while providing sensory input. They are allowed to lift it with the arms, but only to their chest and back. They are generally too heavy for them to move more than that, and I no longer find things flying across my therapy room in the middle of the session.

4. Therapy Balls

 

I love using Therapy balls for sitting activities . Like move-and-sit cushions, they are great for providing the feeling of movement with limited distraction, while simultaneously developing core strength.

5. Chewable Pencil Toppers

 

For schools or therapy centres where chewing gum isn’t allowed, these chewable pencil toppers are great focus tools! Chewing is a great way to give kids the sensory input they are seeking while they work. They chew and think, write something down, and then go back to chewing as they think. It works wonders! If you can’t get your hands on these toppers, a bag of pretzels or any chewy food can be a great supplement!

6. Individual Privacy Partition

 

They are particularly helpful to kids with attention issues. Limiting the amount of visual stimulation that can distract them is key, and these partitions do the trick. You can use protector sheets taped to the inside, where You can put checklists and directions for kids that need that individual reminder.

I hope you found some of these ideas helpful. I’m curious to know strategies that you might use to support kids at your home or school settings! Comment and do let me know!!

Published by

Dr. Hetal Dave

7 Articles

Dr. Hetal Dave is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist working in the field of Paediatrics with an experience of over 6 years. She has a special training in treating kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder from Com DEALL,...

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