How can teachers support a child who cannot sit still/fidgets in class?
Children who struggle to sit still in class may have difficulties with their sense of body awareness or proprioception. Proprioception is our sense of where our body is in space, proprioceptors in our joints send signals to our brain about the position of our body. Regular proprioceptive activities that allow a child to experience pressure through their joints helps to improve their body awareness and therefore reduce fidgeting. Proprioception is also a sensory regulator and therefore will help with general attention and concentration. Activity ideas include walking like an animal (e.g. like a bear or a crab with hands and feet on the floor and bottom in the air) pushing the wall and counting to ten (making sure feet are on the floor, body straight and elbows bent), posture preparation (e.g. pushing hands together and counting to ten, pulling hands apart and counting to ten, giving self a big hug and counting to ten). Some children may need the use of a fidget toy to help them reach the level of sensory input they need in order to be able to attend and concentrate, children should be allowed to use these when teachers are giving the input (ideas for purchase are below).