Sometimes a child needs to move, and will find ways to participate that may be a bit more active than other students. If attempts are made to restrain that need to move, the focus will be on CAN’T, instead of CAN, and this will effectively nullify any chance of learning. Some children just have a more active metabolism that requires almost constant movement. My daughter is a mover, so I know. And I know it is a lot of work to adapt the situation to encourage different types of participation that work WITH their need to move.
The most important strategy for the parent is simply to move around with them, verbally describing the things they see, encouraging likely ways to participate, and specifically describing how they choose to participate – imitating them when appropriate. Of course, this does include some redirection when they attempt actions that are not appropriate, for example, running wildly around, screaming, or actively disrupting the class.
Keep in mind that there are a WIDE RANGE of acceptable options, and just moving is not disrupting. Socializing is not disrupting, but may rather be an attempt to engage another child in an appropriate way of participating. Watch, and only intervene and redirect if there is a real problem.
Also keep in mind that as you listen to the CD at home and in the car, then practice some of these activities at a time when they are receptive to them, you will find that their participation level becomes closer and closer to those of other children. Oftentimes, they are unaware how much fun active participation in structured activities is, then wholly absorb it once they figure out, “Oh, it is more fun to do it this way.” Sometimes their own way may be the best way for them to learn, and it is important to support that.
Please feel free to ask any questions if you have concerns, or questions on how to help your child participate effectively. firstname.lastname@example.org