Sunday, April 20, 2008

ADHD Trick: Left Up, Right Down, Leg Around, and Nod

Try this: Draw a triangle with one hand and two squares with the other hand while tracing a circle on the floor with one leg and nodding your head twice forward, then twice backwards. Switch hands and legs.

Helps you pay attention and organize tasks and desks. (Well, I don't know about desks. Mine is still a mess.)

On the other hand I don't quite have this exercise down. I get the two hands doing something different at the same time but somehow I can't get the leg part down without stopping one or both hands. And forget the nodding! Practice makes perfect they say. Maybe I'll be able to do it next week.

You're using a Zaltsman Exercise to improve your attention and organizational abilities. You'll find all ten of them toward the bottom of the article section at ADHDChildrenToday Of course there's more than ten once kids get the hang of it and start making up their own. Fun and challenging.

When Edward Hallowell, M.D. needed a personal trainer, he hired Simon Zaltsman, a world-class Russian athlete who moved to the U.S. as an adult.

Zaltsman showed Hallowell the exercises. Zaltsman said the exercises were commonly used in Russia to help improve athletic performance. The Russians have long known that mental acuity is linked to physical well-being. Hallowell discovered, difficult as the exercises may be at first, that they help with ADHD.

Ned Hallowell, by the way, is my favorite "how to manage ADHD" author and has ADHD himself. Says he still struggles with reading even though he graduated from Harvard and then went on to Tulane Medical School. I recommend his book Delivered from Distraction which he co-authored with John Ratey.

For kids, try the exercises with music, with colored markers, standing up at the white board. Out on the playground in soft sand.

You can always start with Brain Gym's Double Doodle. It's a similar concept but much easier. Using both hands simultaneously, draw a picture or design in which the left side is the mirror image of the right side.

Once you've mastered Double Doodle, you can progress to patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time. Then you're really ready for Zaltsman.


P.S. Get lots more tips 'n tricks with a free subscription to ADHD NewsTips

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