Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral and developmental disorder which is very common in children, and in most cases symptoms are seen before seven years of age. Sometimes it can be tough to diagnose and even tougher to understand. ADHD is associated with impulsiveness, hyperactivity, inattentiveness, or can be a combination of all these.
It’s difficult to define the symptoms of ADHD because it is hard to draw the line and measure accurately as to where normal levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness terminate, and clinically significant levels requiring effort and hampering the coordination begins. Being a chronic disease, it is seen that 60 out of 100 children diagnosed with ADHD continue showing signs of the symptoms well into adulthood. So, it’s necessary to diagnose it properly and as soon as possible. Let us see some brain exercises that can help children to deal with ADHD.
Specific concentration exercise (the coin game)
This game is very easy to be initiated even within the family. It is widely appreciated by the elderly because it improves memory as well as attention, concentration and focus. Kids enjoy it a lot because it’s a fun package and the game is fast. Now let us see what the game actually focuses on, or in simple words the rules indulge in this simple game and how it enhances the above mentioned qualities.
First, take a small pile of coins, a sheet to cover them, and a stopwatch. Choose any five coins from the pile and arrange them into a unique sequence. Now, tell your child to carefully observe the coins sequenced on the table. Then, cover the coins with the sheet. Start the stopwatch, and then tell your child to make the exact pattern taking coins from the pile. When your child is done, note down the time and remove the cardboard cover. Now see whether the pattern he has done is correct or not and if not, how much error he has made or how accurately and efficiently he has done the task. If in the first time he is unable to do it correctly, let him keep trying until he can accomplish the task. You can increase the difficulty level of the patterns gradually. The more your child will play the more improvement can be seen in concentration and sequencing. You can see quick results if you follow this process.
Figuring out puzzles
Puzzles, picture puzzles, and crossword puzzles might look simple, but they are highly effective tools for helping improve the brain of the kids suffering from ADHD. Crossword puzzles improve attention for words, tests the vocabulary and word sequence in the mind. It turns out to be very useful while developing the memory power. Word puzzles like scrabble is an excellent game to improve intellect and coordination. Picture puzzles look for things that are ‘errors’ in the picture, or look for hidden objects. They are colorful and attractive too. Picture puzzles also improve attention and concentration.
Stabilizing body and mind
This is a technique involving proper integration and coordination of mind and body. It can be achieved by practicing yoga, especially different asanas and pranayam. For example, an attempt to sit straight on the chair, avoid shaking legs, keeping the back erect, etc helps the child gain self control and stability. Other than yoga, this can also be achieved if parents follow a strict regime and turn up their child to do exercises. Such practices provide self control, strengthen body and mind integration and help in blood circulation to the brain that initiates better concentration and thinking abilities.
Positive visual imagery helps the brain to improve imagination and memory skills. The most important question that people ask here is, how does it help in improving the skills. The answer to this can be explained with a little example. For instance, if your child imagines a situation where he can tolerate teasing and bullying and this visualization is replayed in front of him everyday and practiced for many days then he automatically develops a strong supportive feeling. This will help him if he ever has to face it in real life. It’s important playing out certain role playing situations, which will further help your child be adept to the challenges of the real world.
Adult games (Brain teasers)
Some of the tough games can help kids with ADHD to develop more efficiency and can regulate their minds better. The organizations dealing with child development and nourishment, like playing brain teasers and playing cards helps us discover the tricks and increase thinking ability and speed of response. Other games for excelling the memory, strategy, and planning skills include playing chess, juggling balls, mind games and word games etc.
Brain exercise therapy and physical therapy
A Brain Power Clinic situated in Jerusalem, and the author of the book “Brain Exercises to Cure ADHD,” have cited “brain exercise therapy” (BET) to be of great help, and says, it has been verified that the neural pathways gets built up and dopamine levels increases.
Dr Douglas Cowan, the creator, ADHD Information Library, has used physical exercises for years, and claims that they immensely help ADHD kids in gaining concentration and reducing hyper-activeness. It works on the principles of bilateral movement. These are also termed as brain warm up exercises. The regime includes a march for 90 seconds, using right arm lifting the left leg and then the right leg lifting the left arm. Then increase the walking pace and try out other physical movements as the sumo wrestlers do, sitting on a yoga ball and increasing the balance, rolling a bit back and forth can work wonders.