Studies on the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have been proliferating everywhere and spreading like wildfire. Along with this, naturally, is ongoing extensive research in different parts of the world on treatments that can help improve such a condition and therefore enhance the quality of life for children who manifest its symptoms. One treatment that had been delved into thoroughly is outdoor therapy. It has been proven effective in developing focus among ADHD kids as well as reducing their tendency to be hyperactive and anxious.
Lean on Green
Generally, nature has been known to have a calming and soothing effect on people. Hence nature therapy is currently being used as a natural/behavioral treatment for ADHD. This is not merely limited to having a view of a tree or a mountain from one’s window or to adding some potted plants inside the house. ADHD children will greatly benefit from outdoor activities in a natural setting— an open field of grass, a trail in the mountains, a wildlife park in the midst of a forest, a nice beach beside a vast ocean. It would be good for them to engage in hiking, gardening, jogging, kite flying, swimming, and other similarly physical and active doings. In this way, excess energy can be shed off and this will in turn increase their chances of focusing better and not being too nervous and fidgety.
Another recommendation is for them to be given the opportunity to plan and construct something, such as in building sandcastles and planting seeds that eventually grow into trees. Keep in mind, though, that it is not enough to just be outdoors. For instance, fishing may not be apt for these kids because it requires patience, which is something they lack. Then again, you may want to try this out once in a while to actually teach them to be more patient and to give them the satisfaction of a reward after waiting for a long time. Perhaps you can arrange simple games to do while waiting, like throwing stones in the water and seeing who has the farthest toss or like using binoculars to check out different birds, fruits, etc.
Spending time with animals outdoors is another way to help treat ADHD. There are several scientific studies that support this kind of treatment, in which ADHD children are encouraged to pet and take care of animals in order to diminish stress and anxiety. They also learn to plan, be more responsible, and to care for others apart from themselves. Other helpful activities with animals include horse riding, bird watching, and swimming with dolphins. Just be sure to prepare a variety of activities or integrate games such as doing a relay race that entails interaction with animals, or teaching a dog to do some tricks.
Outdoor therapy for ADHD children also highly focus on sports such as biking, climbing, soccer, dodgeball, trail running, and paintballing. These are effective in aiding behavior modification. Aside from trimming down their excessive energy, these activities develop a sense of balance, self-confidence, and a more positive outlook in life. Team sports are also quite beneficial in fostering social skills. Furthermore, these activities encourage mind and body stimulation through planning, organizing, strategizing, and many more. However, a game like baseball may not be suitable for them since it involves a lot of standing around and waiting. Perhaps it would be better to simply play throw and catch or have batting practice instead of a full-blown game.
The value of outdoor therapy for ADHD children is indeed tremendous and should thus be given sufficient weight in treating such a condition. So if you have ADHD students or kids, better not keep them indoors and force them to be quiet and still. These moves may actually worsen the condition as opposed to letting them release all that energy in the outdoors.