After-school activity for the hyperactive child
ADHD refers to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Most of the children who
Sufferers of this disorder suffer from attention problems as well as hyperactivity. The parents of these children know very well that inattention and hyperactivity continue throughout the day. Keeping these kids busy after school can be as difficult as keeping them safe during the school day.
The first step in choosing the right after-school activity for your child is understanding how ADHD affects her. Is your child interested in sports? Are you bummed out by the fierce competition or struggling to get along with your teammates? Does your child vocalize her feelings or is communication a problem?
For a child with ADHD, physical exercise is always beneficial. Exercise uses up extra energy and helps stimulate the brain. Team activities teach discipline and social skills. But, if your child strays from team sports, you may want to consider activities like dancing, cycling, swimming, or gymnastics. Martial arts not only teach self-defense techniques, but they also teach self-control and patience.
If your child shows an aversion to sports and shows a penchant for the fine arts, you may need to look at other options. Acting classes are a wonderful form of creative exercise. It also gives the child ample opportunity to develop her social skills. Music, art, or dance can help your child stay busy and entertained.
In case your child is not interested in any of the above, you may want her to join a Boy Scout club or other community-oriented clubs that are engaged in social work. Cleaning a park, putting on a show, helping out in a nursing home are various activities that can spark your child's interest.
Whichever form of activity you choose, be sure to check your child's progress regularly. If you feel like there is no progress, you may need to change the activity. Anything that increases your child's self-esteem is good. You can enlist the help of the coach or teacher to assess your child's development.
There are certain activities that are harmful to a child with ADHD. Computer and video games are a definite NO. Since these games do not require interaction, children will feel even more isolated. These children also find it difficult to distinguish between good and bad messages. Therefore, they may show an inclination to stick to messages that are not necessary. Games that require the child to sit and wait patiently for her turn drain her patience and will not be successful.
Although you would like these children to be as close to normal as possible, understanding their needs and limits will help you select the right after-school activity - one that is satisfying, strenuous, and challenging.