The hyperactive behaviour exhibited by children with attention deficit disorder may actually prove beneficial for their memory.
Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may benefit cognitively from behaviours like squirming or fidgeting, said the researchers. The results showed that kids affected with ADHD moved up to 25 per cent more when trying to solve a problem. The findings suggest that making ADHD kids sit still may be counterproductive. “It’s another piece of evidence that the hyperactive behaviour more and more seems to be purposeful for them,” said Michael Kofler, assistant professor at Florida State University in the US.
Children with ADHD are able to retain information, which they use daily. But they often have difficulty with what’s called working memory, meaning the updating or mentally rearranging of information in the mind. In the study, published online in the Journal of Attention Disorders, the researchers worked with 25 boys and girls with ADHD, aged between eight to 12, and devised two types of tests to show a cause-and-effect relationship between working memory demands and hyperactivity in ADHD.
The first test required students to remember where a series of dots appeared on a screen and mentally reordering them based on colour. The other involved remembering a series of numbers and letters, and mentally reordering them, numbers first from smallest to biggest, then the letter.