ADHD refers to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. People with this disorder suffer from attention problems as well as ADHD. Parents of these kids know that inattention and hyperactivity can persist throughout the day. Keeping these kids busy after school is as difficult as protecting them during school.
The first step in choosing the right extracurricular activities for your child is to understand how ADHD affects your child. Is your child interested in sports? Did the intense competition put him off, or did he find it difficult to get along with his teammates? Does your child express their feelings or have trouble communicating?
Physical activity is always beneficial for kids with ADHD. Exercise absorbs extra energy and helps stimulate the brain. Team activities teach social skills and discipline. However, if your child avoids team sports, you may want to engage in activities such as dancing, biking, swimming or gymnastics. Martial arts teach not only self-defense, but also self-control and patience.
If your child shows an aversion to sports and an inclination toward fine art, you may want to consider other options. Acting classes are a wonderful form of creative exercise. It also provides ample opportunities for children to develop their social skills. Music, art or dance can help children stay engaged and entertained.
If your child is not interested in any of the above, you may want them to join a Boy Scout club or other community club involved in social work. Cleaning the park, putting on a show, and helping out in a nursing home are some of the activities that can pique your child’s interest.
Whatever type of activity you choose, make sure you monitor your child’s progress regularly. If you feel there is no progress, you may need to change the activity. Anything that increases a child’s self-esteem is good. You can seek help from a coach or teacher to assess your child’s development.
Some activities are harmful to children with ADHD. Computers and video games are definitely not acceptable. Since these games do not involve any interaction, children feel more isolated. These kids also found it difficult to tell the difference between good news and bad news. Therefore, you may tend to stick to unwanted messages. Games that require children to sit and wait for their turn will drain their patience and will not be successful.
While you want these children to be as normal as possible, understanding their needs and limitations will help you choose the right extracurricular activity—one that is fulfilling, tiring, and challenging.