Effective Strategies for Parents and Teachers of Students with ADHD: Physical Activity, Social Skills, Diet, and Sleep Routines

Project Abstract This research project examines how physical activity, diet, and sleep routines support children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). By improving attention, known as focus, while reducing impulsivity and hyperactivity in children living with ADHD, they can achieve greater success in classroom and in society. The purpose of the research was to obtain a better understanding of the disorder, the signs and characteristics of ADHD, causes of ADHD, how ADHD is diagnosed, along with treatment and specific movement-orientated interventions for young children with ADHD. The method of research included analysis of journal articles and scholarly studies about the use of physical activity as an intervention to help children with ADHD develop the ability to focus, to reduce impulsivity and hyperactivity, and to integrate appropriate social skills. The research was narrowed to children ages five to eight years old, or school grades K-3rd mostly in the United States; however, some of the research included children younger than five and up to three years older than the maximum age stated above. The results of the research resulted in the production of a handbook addressing four themed areas of support: cognitive, behavioral, social, and diet/sleep. The handbook offers strategies for specific supports and physical activities for teachers and parents to use in the classroom and at home. Through exhaustive scrutiny of the literature, the effects of physical activity, implemented as therapies along with proper diet and sleep routines for children living with ADHD, were found to improve areas of cognition, behavior, and social development. The strategies found in the handbook derive evidence from research that investigates how physical activity improves cognitive and executive functions, appropriate academic behaviors, and social development for children living with ADHD. In addition, this handbook includes strategic supports in the areas of diet and sleep as they are related to ADHD. Teachers and parents are able to utilize this handbook and a quick guide to support the child with ADHD at school and at home.