Does your child have trouble sitting still in the same place for an extended period of time? Did your child run in a circle or climb everywhere? Is your child restless and overly active? Kids with ASD or ADHD may have less sitting tolerance. Sitting tolerance is an important component for focus and concentration. It can have a substantial impact on the child’s academic achievement, social connections, and family bonds. Keep reading to understand more details, tips, activities and foods to improve sitting tolerance of your child.
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What is Sitting Tolerance?
Sitting tolerance is a key ability that is necessary in school, mealtime and even during play times. Sitting tolerance includes skills including being focused, handling things, understanding and implementing new abilities. Children with ADHD or ASD may struggle to grasp this ability due to behavioural difficulties. Those behavioural difficulties include sensory seeking, difficulty to communicate, less attention span etc.
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Benefits of improving sitting tolerance of kids
Sitting tolerance can improve many skills of kids. Here are some benefits of improving the sitting tolerance of kids:
- Improving the focus
- Follow direction or instructions
- Boosting the memory
- Reduce hyperactivity
- Calm and regulate the emotions
- Reduce fidgeting
- Reduce physical activity like jumping or climbing
Also check, Ways to manage hyperactivity
Tips to improve sitting tolerance of kids
Parents may follow some strategies to increase the sitting tolerance of kids. Here are some tips:
1.Choose your kid’s favourite activity
Your kid will be able to concentrate for longer periods of time on something they find interesting. Be conscious of what your child tends to move toward and see if you can utilise one of them to practise improving sitting behaviour.
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2. Create a calm and distraction free environment
Children with ASD and ADHD are significantly more readily distracted and have difficulties paying attention to specific things. Creating a surroundings that is clear of distraction can improve the sitting tolerance in kids.
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3.Satisfy their sensory needs
Children with ASD and ADHD have sensory issues. They may feel uneasy when wearing particular clothes or handling specific textures. The seat you choose is extremely crucial. Sensory chairs come in a range of styles, sizes, and textures.
Also check, Tips to manage sensory overload
Activities to improve sitting tolerance in kids
Parents can engage their kids in some easy activities that can help to improve the sitting tolerance of kids. Here are some simple activities:
- Sensory Bins
A sensory bin is often a large container or plastic tub loaded with items and things that have been chosen specifically to stimulate the senses. Chopped paper, water beads, water, sand, pebbles, spaghetti, rice or wheat, marbles and a number of other objects can also be used to fill a sensory bin. These bins offer sensory stimulation as a soothing activity and several chances for learning and exploration. It can help to improve the sitting tolerance in kids.
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- Play with Clay or Slime
Playing with clay or slime is commonly utilised as an element of senses. Help your kid to make different structures like balls or snakes with that clay. Allow your kid to pull, twist, and press the slime. This activity has a calming effect which will eventually improve the sitting tolerance in kids.
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- Play with Sponge
This game is very simple. It only requires a sponge and a bowl with water. First, tell your kid to soak the sponge in the water. Then, tell him to squeeze the water in another bowl. You can also join with your kid and challenge them. This is an easy exercise to relax your kid and it aids in sensory motor development as well as sitting tolerance.
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- Play with Sand
When you go to the beach, give your kid a toy shovel. Allow them to play with sand like digging, scraping, building castles, etc. Your kid will enjoy it and it may improve their sensory skills as well as sitting tolerance in kids. In indoors you can use play-sand or edible sand.
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2. Sitting on therapy ball
Some kids may have sensory issues with their chair or seats. If your child feels uncomfortable sitting in a chair, you can encourage your kid to sit on an exercise or therapy ball first. Because a therapy ball allows for mobility and it may assist to manage hyperactivity of kids.
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3. Fidget toys
Fidget toys are self-regulation aids that support the improvement of focus, attention, calming, and listening skills. These fidget toys can also enable your kids to sit for extended periods of time by keeping them entertained. This can keep them involved and occupied, causing them to remain seated while playing.
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4. MIND-BODY INTEGRATION
This activity helps in imbibing self-awareness and control. For example: Ask your child to sit calmly on the chair without moving at all. Measure the capacity of the child by recording the time for which the child can sit at ease on the chair. This activity helps in strengthening the neural connections between the brain and the body. It helps in imparting self-control.
5. JIGSAW PUZZLE
Playing jigsaw puzzles is a great way to exercise your short-term memory. Sorting out the different colours that make up a picture requires focus and thus pushes the kid harder to arrange the pieces attentively. Their brain has to put more effort when there are more components to arrange. Daily jigsaw puzzle solving can greatly enhance a child’s sitting tolerance and focus.
6. THROWING THE BALL INTO THE CUP
This game tests child precision. In this one, place a sturdy cup in front of the child and ask him/her to sit and throw the ball in a way that it should exactly land inside the cup. Initially place the cup near the child so at the beginning it is easier for the child to throw the ball into the cup. Slowly slide the cup away and ask the child to throw the ball. As the cup moves gradually away from the child, they have to concentrate more on the cup and have to throw the ball with more force for it to land into the cup! Thus it’s a simple activity to improve the sitting tolerance in kids.
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Foods to improve sitting tolerance in kids
Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and macadamia nuts all have unique qualities to offer. Macadamias support healthy brain function, while pistachio nut oils store fatty acids and fight inflammation. Almonds aid with memory improvement. For children who don’t consume meat, nuts are a fantastic source of several minerals including omega-3 fatty acids. It has been shown that omega-3 fatty acids can manage hyperactivity and improve sitting tolerance.
Apart from nuts, seeds like sunflower, melon and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers and therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration and memory. One of the easiest to feed brain boosting foods for kids.
Jowar, which is rich in iron, can also lessen ASD and ADHD symptoms like anxiety, hyperactivity, and tantrums. Iron has the ability to relax the nervous system, which helps the child in improving sitting tolerance.
Gotu kola has strong anti-oxidant qualities and enhances cognition, memory, and mental performance. It gently relaxes the nervous system while also encouraging alertness—the best possible state of consciousness for any form of mental focus, study, or cognition.
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Spearmint extract has higher quantities of phenolic compounds that enhance working memory, spatial working memory and increase attention, concentration, and brain function by promoting the formation and protection of new brain cells.
- St John’s wort
St John’s wort contains chemical messengers like Hyperforin and Adhyperforin. These chemicals has antidepressant properties. The extracts of this herb enhance mood, focus, and also reduce anxiety and insomnia. According to several studies, adolescents with ASD and ADHD may benefit from taking St. John’s wort every day for four weeks. It is also used to treat problems including anxiety, exhaustion, appetite loss, and difficulty sleeping that might occasionally accompany depression.
- Passion flower
The chemicals in the passion flower provide a calming and relaxing effect. Early research indicates that taking passion flower orally for eight weeks may help some ASD and ADHD symptoms in kids aged 6 to 13 years.
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The herb valerian has relaxation properties. Additionally, it contains some anticonvulsant qualities that might be advantageous for kids who are prone to seizure activity. Children with ASD and ADHD, cognitive impairment, hyperactivity, irritability, anxiety, behavioural regulation, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities can benefit from valerian for improved attention and sleep.
The most well-known essential oil for soothing is lavender. Lavender essential oil can be helpful for reducing anxiety and making you feel more at ease, which may help with ASD and ADHD symptoms. The aroma of lavender oil can calm and soothe the nervous system. Its relaxing qualities can benefit autistic children by enhancing their sleep quality and assisting their bodies in combating emotional stress.
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Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric is known to improve spatial memory, long-time retrieval and visual memory as per a study. It helps in managing anxiety, depression etc which is commonly seen in people with ASD and ADHD
- Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo biloba is a promising herbal supplement that may alter the neural system in a disorder similar to ASD and ADHD. It enhances the memory and cognitive performance. According to a study, Children who took a ginkgo extract daily for three to five weeks showed a manage the symptoms of ASD and ADHD.
Sunflower lecithin is an excellent source of choline, a vital nutrient required for a variety of health functions. Since choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter involved in memory and learning, choline is particularly significant for maintaining good brain function.
A research found that the exposure to the aroma of rosemary oil improved people’s performance on thinking tasks in terms of speed and accuracy.
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