Fidgety Behavior May Help Cognition in Children with ADHD

Children with ADHD performed better on a test involving simple tasks when they were moving the most.

For decades, frustrated parents and teachers have barked at fidgety children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to “Sit still and concentrate!”

But new research shows that if you want ADHD kids to learn, you have to let them squirm. The foot-tapping, leg-swinging and chair-scooting movements of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are actually vital to how they remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks, according to a study published in an early online release of the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

The findings show the longtime prevailing methods for helping children with ADHD may be misguided.

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