Treating ADHD with Exploration, Adventure, and Exercise

Like exercise, exploration and adventure are non-traditional, non-medicinal ways to help kids harness the power of their ADHD.

An ever-growing archive of research points to the many benefits of treating ADHD with physical activity.

ADHD — its over-diagnosis, misdiagnosis, and treatment — is always on the front page of the Internet, and on the tips of our tongues.

Nationally, we’ve struggled to understand the non-neurotypical brain. Is it an asset? A superpower? A disability? A disorder? A mental illness?

And always the question: what to do about it, how to treat it? Medication? Therapy? Diet? A combination is often best.

Increasingly, the research concludes that in addition to more traditional treatments, exercise can greatly benefit the stimulus-seeking ADHD mind.

Outside magazine’s in-depth look at Soar in North Carolina — a school for children with ADHD and other learning disabilities — highlights much about how adventure and exploration helps students with ADHD thrive, especially when little else has.

Perhaps one of the program’s greatest strengths is its desire to do something long overdue in the history of diagnosing attention deficit: honor and respect children with an ADHD mind.

The message at Soar is inclusive and clear: we need you, we need minds like yours.

[su_quote cite=”Aaron Siskind”]It’s worth taking a look into the brains of kids like Zack, because not only do kids with ADHD need exploration, but exploration needs them. Zack and his tethered band of misfits might look like merry miscreants, but they hold clues to the adventure impulses lurking in all of us, impulses that are increasingly at risk in a world moving indoors—onto screens and away from nature. Attentional mutants everywhere have saved the human species, and they may yet spare us the death of adventure. [/su_quote]

For further reading on treating ADHD with physical activity — and ADHD in general — explore these articles:

Exercise is ADHD Medication

Vindication For Fidgeters: Movement May Help Students With ADHD Concentrate

Read This Before Assuming Your Kid Has ADHD

ADHD Misdiagnosis in Girls Has Profoundly Negative Consequences

Source: Outside, The Atlantic, NPR