ADHD stands from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. It is a mental disorder mostly characterized by excessive activity and problems paying attention. Sometimes, children with ADHD also has behavior problem that they cannot control. Generally, this kind of case will result children with poor performance at school and troubles at home. However, some studies showed that when children with ADHD find some certain activities interesting, their attention span is also increasing. Karate is one of the activities recommended for children with ADHD because it is believed there are a lot of benefits of karate for ADHD.
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Signs and Symptoms of Children with ADHD
Don’t just assume that when your children are super hyper and then they must have ADHD. Well, being hyperactive is only one of the signs of ADHD and not all hyperactive children are having ADHD. To learn more about ADHD, below is some general signs and symptoms usually found in children with ADHD.
- The most common sign of children with ADHD is they are too self-focused. It looks like they don’t care about their surrounding like what people feels or needs.
- They find it difficult to stay calm. That’s why children with ADHD could be really impatient in certain situations like when they should wait or sit calmly.
- Children with ADHD may have temper tantrums more often than normal children because they find it difficult to control their emotion.
- Lack of focus is also one of the sign of children with ADHD. They may find a lot of things interesting but that’s it. They may start doing something but they are not going to finish it, instead they find something else entirely to play with.
- Because of lack of focus sometimes children with ADHD cannot engage in a conversation like a normal person, they may hear what people say to them and probably catch some words but it is totally impossible for them to repeat it.
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Actually there are more sign and symptoms of children with ADHD but the five points mentioned above are the highlight. Parents or people around may find children with ADHD disturbing but you should understand their mental state; it is not like they want to do it but it is just simply because they cannot control it.
Why Karate Is Beneficial for Children with ADHD?
It is not easy to cure ADHD but it doesn’t mean they have no hope to be part of the society. In this world, there are a lot of adults with ADHD history could make their success by working harder than anyone else. Well, even normal person should work hard to achieve success. Parents who have children with ADHD may consider the benefits of karate for ADHD and the list below may tell you why it is highly recommended.
- Practices Self-Control
During karate class, children will practice about self-control. There are some routines children should follow like bow to teacher before the class started and they should stand still for a while before the exercises were begun. If they could deal with it in regular basis, positive impact will be following them not only in the karate class but also at home and at school.
- Improves Self-Discipline
Children with ADHD usually act impulsively. It is like they act first before they think. In karate class they will be thought about self-discipline. As mentioned in previous points there are some routines they should follow during classes. Though it is not going to be instant but in regular basis, it could help improving their self-discipline.
- Develops Better Coordination
Sometimes it is not only their brain that could not focus but also their body coordination. Movement during karate class will train their body and posture to have better coordination. Though theoretically brain is controlling everything but still sometimes because of habit, your body could do more better job in coordinating.
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- Gains Confidence
It is not only applicable for children with ADHD but even normal kids will feel more confidence when they could master at least one martial art. However, it works much better to children with ADHD because when their focus span, they will achieve the goal even better than normal kids.
- Teaches about How to Respect Others
As mentioned above, children with ADHD have no awareness about their surroundings. They could be very insensitive about others people. However, karate is not kind of exercise you could complete yourself; you need to practice in pairs. This condition will teach them about how to respect others. They should learn the movement but at the same time, making sure their practice will not hurt their pairs.
- Children Learns about How to Follow Instruction
One of the problems that children with ADHD mostly face is they will not be able to follow complicated instruction. Instead simple instruction will work perfectly fine in them. Karate class is full of instruction but if the instructions were kept in simple way, instead of confusing them, the instructions will assist children to learn about how to follow it.
- Solutions to Workout Their Aggression
It is true that children with ADHD are mostly hyperactive. Activity like karate is the perfect solution to workout their aggressions because there is no way for children to just sit around during karate class. They should keep practicing, keep moving, and keep jumping or whatever movement they should do. So, it is perfect activity for children with ADHD.
- Improves Focus and Concentration
Actually all kinds of exercise are able to improve focus and concentration. It is because during exercising, your blood regulation will be in optimal mode. It means oxygen stock in the brain will be fulfilled optimally, so brain will function excellently. It applies to children with ADHD as well.
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- Chance for Peer Interaction
Children with ADHD are mostly self-centered. However, during karate class they are not going anywhere if they don’t do the peer interaction. This will give them an excellent practice to interact with others.
- Boosts Self-Esteem
Though children with ADHD are mostly self-centered but it doesn’t mean they have excellent self-esteem. The fact is quite the opposite. Though they may not care what people though it doesn’t mean they don’t care about themselves.
- Improves Behavior
Karate is also one of the behavior therapy that is great for children with ADHD. During karate class they learn about how to respect others, how to follow instruction and how to control themselves. If they do it regularly, their behavior will slowly improved and this positive impact will follow them to home and school.
- Turns On Attention System
Children with ADHD find it very difficult to pay attention. No matter how hard they try sometimes simple things will take away their focus and attention. However, karate class help them turning on their attention system. So, children will be more focus and calm while paying attention.
- Improves Memory Ability
Memorizing is another problem of children with ADHD. They could be really forgetful because they have problems with long term memory. However, during karate class there are some movements they should memorize. First time it must be really hard for them as well but with regular practices, they will be able to memorize them.
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- Increases Alertness
The problem with children with ADHD is sometimes they don’t get the memo about what happens around them. They were too focus to themselves but karate trains them how to increase alertness about their surrounding unless they want to got beat up by their pairs during practice.
- Makes Children More Relax
When children with ADHD could at least control their emotion, manage their behavior and follow some daily routines. It means they have achieved sometimes. It is not only making them more confidence about themselves but also making them more relax because at least they know what they have done and what things they should do next.
Though many studies have shown positive impact to children with ADHD who take karate lesson, still as parents you should finding out more about the need of your children because each children is unique and though they are diagnosed with the same mental disorder like ADHD, their current need will be different to another. It is true that there are a lot of proven benefits of karate for ADHD but actually it is not limited to karate only, if somehow your children shows a slight interest of certain physical activities, you could pursue that way though studies have shown that martial arts give more benefits than any other forms of exercise. Furthermore, though karate may reduce the symptoms but it is not the replacement of ADHD medication because ADHD is not condition you could deal with just by doing some exercises.
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Here comes the last question related to ADHD, whether this kind of mental disorder could be cured or not? The best answer is no, ADHD cannot be cured. However there are some strategies and treatments that children with ADHD should take. The purpose is not to cure but so they could manage the symptoms and control themselves. The treatments are included medication, behavioral therapy and daily diet. As benefits of karate for ADHD, they are part of behavioral therapy. So, for parents who have children with ADHD, it is not the end of the world or the end of your children’s bright future because everyone should work hard to reach their goal but you just need to work a little bit harder than anyone else and don’t ever stop to educate yourself about ADHD.