Special Reports - Tips For Your Children's Well-Being

Treatment is usually multi-dimensional and can include medical management, counseling, educational or organizational planning and behavior modification. Medical management often involves the prescription stimulant Ritalin. Ritalin is not effective for everyone and has many side effects. Behavioral modification, on the other hand, is usually more benign and can include participation in martial arts training. We at Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy believe in martial arts training as an adjunct to therapy in students with ADHD and have witnessed its benefits over the years.

ADHD can have a significant effect on school performance. In the classroom setting children are asked to sit still and concentrate, to comply, keep quiet and generally contain themselves in an effort to learn. Is this very much different than what is expected at Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy? The learning material is very different but the skills to absorb, retain and apply the information is the same. The skills of self-control and paying attention are necessary for learning both in the classroom and at Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy. These skills are so necessary for learning and are consistently reinforced at Midwest Martial Arts Academy as our students learn various techniques, sequential movements, terminology and self defense skills.

There are some things that are different between the classroom and Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy. The child is required to be at school for six or even eight hours a day. While there may be small breaks the child is required to be still and quiet the majority of the time. At Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy the classes are 30-60 minutes with many changes in activity during the class.

One big difference between Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy and the classroom is that in the classroom the child is almost constantly asked to sit still and concentrate, to be inactive. At Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy in order to learn the elements of martial arts, the child must be active. The child is learning during this time of active movement and using what he or she has the most of; energy.

Children with ADHD often have difficulty in school. Their lack of attention, impulsiveness, hyperactivity, disorganization and focus often lead to missed assignments and careless errors. Their behavior is disruptive not only to themselves but to other students s well. Master Pham, Certified Martial Arts Instructor and owner of Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy has attended many conferences and workshops on teaching children with ADHD and other learning disabilities. It is his belief that relatively simple and straight forward accommodations in teaching style can help the ADHD student in the martial arts or classroom setting. Educators should learn and apply these relatively
simple techniques.

Techniques For Teaching The ADHD Student

-Provide reassurance and encouragement
-Frequently compliment positive behavior
-Speak softly and in a non-threatening manner
-Work with a partner
-Ignore minor inappropriate behavior
-Increase frequency of rewards
-Increase immediacy of consequences
-Praise student often

Research has suggested that training in martial arts can have a positive influence on personality traits, especially self-esteem and self-concept. Research also has shown that martial arts training can lower anxiety and increase independence, social skills and social values. These studies suggest that participation in martial arts training may be useful as part of a balanced therapeutic program. I doubt anyone would argue that the improvement of these traits would not be beneficial to the ADHD student.
Martial arts can be an outlet for both aggression and for the development of self-esteem. Studies have shown that an increased proficiency in martial arts lessons aggressive behavior. Many experts believe that martial arts training is good for everyone. Martial arts training often helps establish confidence and orderliness in some ADHD individuals.

Most experts agree that a multi-modality approach aimed at assisting the child medically, psychologically, educationally and behaviorally is often needed. Historically, this has involved the coordinated efforts of physicians, psychologists, pediatricians, teachers and parents all playing different roles. I am not suggesting that this change, only that it be expanded. It appears that there is a unique role not currently being filled in the group effort to help ADHD patients and that role belongs to an experienced, qualified and caring martial arts instructor.

Master Pham
Certified Martial Arts Instructor
(239) 369-PHAM (7426)

Diagnostic Criteria
For a child to be diagnosed as having ADHD he must display a problem for at least six months in at least eight of the fourteen characteristics starting before seven years of age.

  1. Fidgets with hands and or feet or squirms in seat
  2. Difficulty remaining seated when required
  3. Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  4. Difficulty awaiting turn
  5. Blurts out answers before questions are completed
  6. Difficulty following through on instructions/chores
  7. Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play
  8. Often does not seem to be listening to what is said
  9. Shifts from one uncompleted activity to another
  10. Difficulty playing quietly
  11. Often talks excessively
  12. Often interrupts or intrudes on others activities
  13. Often loses things (toys, pencils, books)
  14. Often engages in dangerous activities without any consideration of consequences

* Diagnosis should only be made by a physician. Information presented here is not intended to replace the advice of a physician.

Facts On Ritalin (methylphenidate)
Effective in only 70% of patients
Affects behavior for only three or four hours
Severe let down when effects wear off
Must be taken multiple times each day
May cause insomnia and irritability
May cause decreased appetite, weight loss
May cause stunted growth
May cause headache and stomach pains
Lowers the epileptic seizure threshold
May cause tics
In high doses may cause cardiac death


Call Pham's Tae Kwon Do Academy Today!

(239) 369-PHAM (7426)


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