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Home > General Information, Links, and Resources > Movement is the Key to Learning

Movement is the Key to Learning

Moving HELPS Children LEARN

Movement Is Best For Calming and Learning

The latest research shows that children who are given more recess and movement time- retain information and learn more!

Consider the input we give an infant. Typically, we bounce the baby up and down. Next, we may rock the baby back and forth and side to side. When done rhythmically this movement can calm the body for hours.

Swinging from a single-point hanging swing, such as a hammock swing or platform swing, can calm a child for up to 6 hours!

Up and down movement equipment such as pogo sticks, trampolines, large balls, hippity-hops and swings that bounce can also provide calming input. Similarly, equipment that rocks or swings or that goes back and forth are calming as well.

There are some children that look like they really need calming down. They may be literally going around in circles and bouncing off the walls, or even climbing the walls. Children with ADHD often have a severe history of ear infections (more than 1 a year is severe).  This causes their vestibular system (inner ear) registration to be disordered  and the brain stops paying attention to the poor information it gets from the inner ear.

Surprisingly, what they may need is to be spinning more often!  Their bodies are seeking rotational movement because they don't feel where they are in space well.  These children often have very low vestibular registration. Their systems may be so low that they need vestibular stimulation to participate or focus such as standing desks, therapy ball seats or move and sit inflated seat wedges.

These children MUST exercise intensely and be involved in sports and running.  Trampolines and swings available at home are vital for these cravers.  Mini trampoline breaks in a classroom corner can really help children focus more when they do sit down. 

Movement release Brain Derived Nerve Growth Factor (BDNGF) this has been called the "Miracle GROW" for the brain. 

So instead of making students sit more and punishing them by taking away their recess...why not give them more movement brain breaks like Brain Gym, Go Noodle, jumping breaks, more recess, foot pedals under their desks, bouncy bands to move their legs while sitting, standing desks and help feed the brain & body what it needs from movement... instead of starving it! 

When we test children with ADHD in the clinic to see how well their vestibular balance systems are registering with a test called the Post Rotary Nystagmus Test, 99% of the time they have VERY low processing of vestibular input, meaning that they CRAVE lots of movement, because they simply don't feel the movement. 

We must do EYES CLOSED vestibular therapy activities like platform swinging, jumping, balance work with eyes closed to "WAKE UP" the vestibular registration and normalize it with visual processing. 

After we "wake up" the vestibular processing, then we can effectively get the vestibular and visual systems to start to work as a TEAM together for better focus, reading, left to right visual tracking, improved seated attention and better eye hand coordination!

If this sounds like your child, ask your MD for a referral to OT if your child has developmental delays in sensory processing and fine motor skills. 

If they have ADHD and lack visual focus then ask for a Neuro-Vestibular-Visual evaluation with Dr. Clopton.

On a precautionary note, some children with sensory processing issues will become physically ill if the input is not a match for their system. "Stop" always means "stop!" And those with significant neurological issues such as seizure disorder should always have medical clearance before using equipment. This is why having an Occupational Therapy evaluation is so important, to find out what exactly the child needs to match their Central Nervous System needs.

Movement is what helps the brain develop from infancy.

Movement is stimulation that the brain craves.

Have plenty of movement opportunities available for the children.

Remember, KIDS in MOTION are NOT commotion! This is Miracle Grow for the BRAIN!

Check out the research- Movement and Learning 


Related Topics:

More info on the importance of vestibular and movement ideas!

More info on the importance of vestibular and movement ideas!

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