By Debra Collins, Family therapist
Over the last two years my 8-year-old son has had a problem with distracting others in class by tapping his pencils, playing with supplies in his desk and basically fidgeting in his seat. My son is older and larger than his classmates. We've had him tested and he does not have AD/HD, however at times he gets very hyperactive and fidgety. He gets excellent grades, is very athletic and is very hands on.
By the end of the school year he ends up sitting off to the side in his desk by himself. Sometimes it seems to me that he can't handle the whole school year, because he seems to be tired, really emotional and gets into trouble by the end of the year.
What can I do to break his habit of being disruptive in the classroom? I've tried a stress ball, but he got in trouble for using it.
Your description of your son makes me believe that he may be a kinesthetic learner. Children, who are kinesthetic, learn best through physical involvement. They do well in small group discussions, at live events with hands-on demonstrations, and enjoy field trips. They are more comfortable working in short blocks of time, rather than studying for extended periods. They need frequent breaks. They sometimes have difficulty expressing emotion without using physical gestures or touching the person they're interacting with.
If he is a kinesthetic learner, it would make sense that by the end of the year he is exhausted trying "to hold it together." It would be important to ask his teacher what he understands about learning styles. If the teacher is unfamiliar with how to integrate different learning styles into the classroom, go to the Learning Resource Specialist, Principal, School Psychologist or School Counselor for help on determining if this is the underlying cause of his stress. Once the underlying cause is determined, the teacher can work on how best to structure your son's school day.
Don't abandon the idea of a stress ball, as it is a recommended intervention for children who are either kinesthetic learners, have AD/HD or demonstrate anxiety. What is missing is a better understanding of the nature of his challenges and a thorough plan that helps you, your son, and his teacher, address his needs.
A resource for this learning style: Learning on Their Feet: A Sourcebook for Kinesthetic Learning Across the Curriculum K- 8, by Carol Glynn
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.