Friday, July 18, 2008

Some Possible Answers

Since taking Gus off his medication, I've looked for some alternative ways to help him focus during the school day. He's had a great week, only one less focused afternoon. That's pretty darned good! The weather is a big factor; he's just naturally more hyper and has a harder time during the colder months. But it's looking like physical activity and noise have been playing a big role as well.

It seems that when Gus has lots of physical activity on a daily basis, he's more focused in school. This is not surprising. Exercise increases serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and endorphins. The neurotransmitters control alertness, emotions, and concentration, while endorphins are natural mood lifters. So, I've made it a point to make Gus exercise for about 10 minutes every morning with a peddler - an exercise bike without the seat part - spending 5 minutes working his legs and 5 minutes working his arms. After school, he's been either swimming at the beach or walking or something else to get him out and moving. I think that if I can work something out with his teacher in the fall where he has a break midday to do some exercises, everyone may have a happier school year.

The other change we've made is that Gus now uses headphones in the classroom. It seems that when he doesn't have to be anxious about noise, he can concentrate better on his work.

So I'm feeling optimistic about the possibility of a drug free school year to come. Now I just have to find an exercise regime that we can afford and that will be interesting enough for him to want to do it every day.

1 comment:

  1. If mine swim for [at least] an hour then they are so much more coherent and focused, unfortunately that's not an option for the school year.

    I'll have an internal debate about headphones.


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