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Carol Bainbridge

Helping Fidgety Kids

By August 17, 2006

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Gifted children, particularly gifted boys, are often misidentified as ADHD children. One reason for this is that the characteristics of a bored gifted child is quite similar to those of a child with ADHD. (See Counseling, Multiple Exceptionality, and Psychological Issues.) Gifted children also may have what psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski called "Overexcitabilities." One of these is the psychomotor overexcitability, which is characterized by high levels of energy. Lack of academic challenge can cause these children to squirm and fidget. Terry Mauro, Guide to Parenting Special Needs Children, has some great tips on helping fidgety kids stop fidgeting in school.

Top 5 Ways to Help Your Child Sit Still
September 1, 2006 at 1:16 am
(1) blu60 says:

My nephew is kinda giving signs that he may have ADHD. He has really very short attention span and loves to move around all the time. Oh yes, we also bought him this seat cushion with some cute designs on it. It eas ruined after a few days.

July 28, 2013 at 7:11 pm
(2) Earthtodory says:

I worry about giving kids the impression that the world will always adapt to them. Changing the environment and saying that furniture and teachers should accommodate a behavior as common and as age old as fidgeting doesn’t give them the sense of competence or humility that prepares them well for real life. If we can help them learn ways to manage these challenges themselves, that is far more empowering and doesnt risk leading to the sense of entitlement many are seeing in new generations. I’m not talking about extreme special needs cases where adaptation may be the only solution but I was hoping to find help with physical/mental exercises or practices, more than equipment. If they’re so gifted, we should give their abilities to learn to manage boredom creatively more credit. After all, it’s emotional intelligence that predicts greater success in life so perhaps that’s where we need to focus.

September 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm
(3) Connie says:

Wow, agree totally, Earth!

October 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm
(4) djkc says:

Don’t agree. Fidgeting is good. Fidgeting is how they activate their brains. They are just kids, Earth; they don’t understand that higher psychology or management or Emotional Intelligence fluff stuff. It’s simply about basic techniques to help them learn in school. And adaptation is good; nothing wrong with adding a squeeze ball to a table, or having tables & chairs be separate instead of all-in-one, if it helps them use their working memory and concentrate better on a problem or task. Trying to shape or control them or make THEM adapt, instead of the environment, or giving them medication, is the WRONG way. Trying to control kids like this makes them shut down and be bored and unable to use working memory or concentrate on a lesson being taught or whatever it may be. The become glazed over, sometimes sleepy. And that’s WITHOUT drugs. Adding drugs robs them even MORE of their natural gift. And also, I’ve seen these Emotional Intelligence studies and books and sites. Unfortunately it’s still in the debatable realm of ‘Is it nature or nurture?’ (i.e., ‘Is it innate or is it trainable’), not to mention there isn’t much time or room for such advanced ‘curriculum”. Besides, the primary job isn’t to struggle to get them to be “self-aware” or New Age Enlightened, or make them stop fidgeting!! Just let them be. They are just kids! Adapt yourself and the environment accordingly for them to flourish the best way possible with most potential.

“but I was hoping to find help with physical/mental exercises or practices, more than equipment.”

We’re teaching them basic Reading, Writing, Arithmetic here; not Metaphysics or Yoga!!

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