As a parent, finding the right activities for your child can take time. For kids with ADHD, it can be even harder. Is ballet for a kids a good activity for kids with ADHD? As it turns out, some researchers have looked at dance and ADHD.
If you’re wondering if dance and ADHD can go together, science may be able to help. Researchers looked at dance therapy to manage ADHD symptoms in children aged 6-12. Not only can children with ADHD participate in dance, but they are also likely to experience significant benefits.
Effectiveness of dance movement therapy on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder children aged between 6-12 years – A Study
According to the CDC, “ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.”
When thinking about dance training, especially ballet for kids, you might wonder how dance and inattentive behavior could work together. However, one thing we do know is that movement is vital for all children. For those with ADHD, movement is even more impactful.
This study at Yenepoya University looked at school aged children to see what, if any, impact dance had on ADHD symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms of ADHD?
The primary features of ADHD are inattentive and hyperactive-impulsive behavior. In some cases, the symptoms are notable by age 3, thought it is rare to receive a diagnosis until 4-5 years old. ADHD symptoms begin before age 12 but delayed diagnosis can occur, especially in females.
Children with ADHD will often have some of the following symptoms/behaviors:
- Difficulty paying attention to detail
- Making careless mistakes in school work
- Struggle to stay focused on tasks or in play
- Trouble completing tasks, projects, and chores
- Dislike and try to avoid tasks which do not hold their attention
- Easily distracted
- Forget to complete simple daily tasks
- Seem to be constantly moving
- Fidget frequently
- Talk a lot or blurt out answers
- Seem to act before thinking
How Can Ballet For Kids Help ADHD?
Researchers evaluated symptoms in children and spoke with teachers and parents. They did this before and after children had dance movement therapy.
The study said, “Koshland, Wilson and Wittaker (2004) found that the Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) fostered social interactions and expression of feelings as well as gaining self-control. According to studies done by Gronlund, Renck and Weibull (2005), there is a strong relationship between motor-perception dysfunction and ADHD, which is why a movement intervention, such as DMT could serve as an appropriate treatment method.
We know that ballet for kids in general improves confidence, aids in motor coordination, and helps with memory. For children with ADHD, these are areas they may struggle with. Adding dance, including ballet, to their activities could help with managing these difficulties.
The Benefits of Ballet For Kids With ADHD
Children with ADHD benefit from ballet just as other children. The benefits of ballet for kids with ADHD is often more noticed. We know there is a strong connection between behavior and learning with movement.
Ballet provides a lot of big movement, vestibular input, motor planning, and more. All of these things improve focus.
While many assume children with ADHD cannot focus, it is actually that children with ADHD struggle to focus on things which do not hold their interest. It is not that they lack interest in reading and math but rather they lack the interest of focusing on these topics without any additional kinesthetic input.
Ballet requires focused movement which can improve their overall ability to focus. The more a child focuses on dance and movement, the more their overall ability to focus can improve.
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