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Children with Attention Problems/Improving Posture

Last post 11-21-2007, 10:23 PM by Linda Hetue. 3 replies.
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  •  01-22-2007, 9:05 PM

    Children with Attention Problems/Improving Posture


    I am a school based therapist working in schools from elementary to high school?  Does anyone have tips for helping students that have problems staying focused/keeping attention to task?  The students that I am talking about are typical and students with ADD.  They usually ask lots of questions and get distracted easily.  I would like tips for younger and older students.


    Also does anyone have suggestions for improving the posture of students with decreased Upper Body strength.  These are typical students that slouch in chairs, rest head on flexed elbow, etc.  I would like tips for older and younger students - exercises, games, etc.



  •  01-25-2007, 8:33 AM

    RE:Children with Attention Problems/Improving Posture

    I feel your pain!  One trick I have used for elementary aged students is to have them sit on a Movin' Sit cushion.  It seems to allow them to 'get their wiggles out' without distracting their peers, and allows them to focus a bit more.  Others I have used figit toys with, of course you have to sell this to the teacher, but I usually am able to get them to agree if I promise to remove the figit toy if we see in a few days that it is not working.  You'd be surprised how effective these sensory strategies do help some kids with ADHD.  It is important to remind the teacher that they may look like they are not listening as they figit, but if they 'quiz' that student on what they were saying 9 out of 10 times the student answers right.  I hope that helps. 

    As for your children with decreased upper body strength (seems like more than 50% of my caseload) I have had them sit on a wedge to improve their pelvic positioning which seems to instantly lead to better posture.  With some of the younger kids I actually run a little motor session where we do sit-ups, and prone extension and supine flexion activities (flying like superman and curling up like a bug to them).  Additionally, I'll have them lay in prone and I will roll a large therapy ball to them and they have to use both hands to push it back to me.  They think this is so much fun and forget they are working their trunk muscles.  I also will have them work in prone on elbows, I just don't allow them to rest their chin in their hands.  I also use the strategies in the handwriting without tears manual for chair push-ups, and stretching/waking up the upper body for work.  I find this helps a lot.   

    I hope these ideas were new for you and help you in your practice.  Good Luck!

  •  01-26-2007, 1:21 AM

    RE:RE:Children with Attention Problems/Improving Posture

    Thanks for the great tips.  Any other tips are appreciated! 
  •  11-21-2007, 10:23 PM

    Re: Children with Attention Problems/Improving Posture

    Try a bungee cord on the chair legs - tight.  They can push, pull , or "bounce" on it.  I also use old bike inner tubes (free) - both are much cheaper than theraband.    My wish is that all rooms had a few therapy seats, slant boards, bungee cords, fidget toy and therapy balls.  Then all the kids can try them out and the ones who decide to use them won't be singled out as different or a "baby."

    Linda M. Hetue, OTR/L
    Shenzhen China
    Hull, MA