With the prevalence of ADHD diagnoses and the questionable side effects of medications, what effects does exercise have on kids in the classroom for learning and implementation? Rather than force a “be quiet” strategy to those with ADHD, ultimately setting kids up to become discouraged and frustrated, the exercise focus promotes physical literacy and understanding to the public about managing ADHD. Total inclusion of everyone allows the kids an opportunity to succeed and encourages mental wellness and health related quality of life.
What is ADHD, first of all? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Ed. (DSM-5): “ADHD is characterized by a pattern of behavior, present in multiple settings (e.g., school and home), that can result in performance issues in social, educational, or work settings. As in DSM-IV, symptoms will be divided into two categories of inattention and hyperactivity and impulsiveness that include behaviors like failure to pay close attention to details, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, excessive talking, fidgeting, or an inability to remain seated in appropriate situations”.
Statistically, for kids ages 4-17, approximately 11% (6.4 million) in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. In Canada, it’s 5% of kids who are diagnosed with ADHD.