Monday, November 15, 2004

The Hyperactive Child

OK, this isn't exactly a game post, but if you have a hyperactive child that enjoys playing games, I guess you could apply this information to that situation.

My daughter is 6 years old and is very (dare I say hyper) active. I believe that in many schools we would have been encouraged to put her on medication, which we would have rejected. At her school, they have a card system for tracking a child's behavior. Whenever a child gets in trouble (talking, running, etc) she has to turn her card from green to yellow. In the first 40 days of school, Sarah turned her card 30 times (her classes average was about 15). We have done all we can to encourage her to behave better (rewarding her for staying on green) but it really hasn't had any affect.

About 2 weeks ago, her teacher gave her a cushion to sit on. The theory is that it allows the child to wiggle in their seat and still concentrate on their work. I know... I was suspicious as well. However, as of today she has stayed on green for 8 straight days... Eight! So, I decided to try it at home. The other night we were working on her reading. She started on a book that was fairly easy for her... and she could not get through the first line. She couldn't sit still... kept getting up... looked around. I asked her to grab a pillow from the sofa. She put that on her chair, sat on it, and read through the book non-stop. It was amazing. Again tonight, we sat down to work on her homework and she just wasn't able to concentrate on her work. I had her get the pillow and she zipped through her homework.

If you're still suspicious (and I would certainly understand if you are), Google "cushion ADHD" for some online discussion on the topic.

So, to make this a game related post, if you have problems getting your child to sit still during a game, give the cushion a try.

Sorry for the off topic message, but I couldn't possible overstate the significance this has had on our lives. I have decided I will tell this story to whoever will listen, and even to those that won't. Perhaps you know a child that could benefit from this information. Please contact me if you have questions.