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Fidgeting Helps ADHD Kids Learn

Update Date: Apr 17, 2015 06:29 PM EDT
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Fidgeting can help children with ADHD learn, according to a new study.

Letting children with ADHD tap their feet, swing their leg or scoot their chairs significantly influences the how they remember information and solve complex problems.

Researcher said that the latest findings suggest that the traditional methods for helping people with ADHD might actually be counterproductive.

 "The typical interventions target reducing hyperactivity. It's exactly the opposite of what we should be doing for a majority of children with ADHD," lead researcher Mark Rapport, the head of the Children's Learning Clinic at the University of Central Florida, said in a news release. "The message isn't 'Let them run around the room,' but you need to be able to facilitate their movement so they can maintain the level of alertness necessary for cognitive activities."

"What we've found is that when they're moving the most, the majority of them perform better," Rapport said. "They have to move to maintain alertness."

Researcher also tested normal children without ADHD and found that movement during cognitive tasks actually had the opposite effect and resulted in lower scores.

The findings were published online in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

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