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Focus and Flow: The Benefits of Pilates for Kids with ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can pose unique challenges for children, impacting their focus, impulse control, and overall well-being (Ng et al., 2017). At Kids Heart Pilates (KHP), our small boutique paediatric exercise physiology clinic, situated in Ashgrove and Caboolture, we recognise the potential of Pilates as a valuable tool in supporting children with ADHD. In this article, we'll explore the advantages of individual Pilates sessions tailored to the specific needs of these children.

Understanding ADHD and Physical Activity:

Children with ADHD often struggle with maintaining attention, regulating impulses, and managing energy levels (Magnus et al., 2023). Engaging in physical activities has been shown to be an effective complementary approach to traditional ADHD treatments (Mehren et al., 2020; Ng et al., 2017). This is the exercise-induced release of endorphins and catecholamines which lead to enhancements in mood-related symptoms and is relevant for cognitive and behavioural control (Mehren et al., 2020). Pilates, with its focus on controlled movements, breath awareness, and mindfulness, provides an avenue for children with ADHD to channel their energy in a positive and structured manner.

Tailored Approach in Individual Sessions:

Our paediatric exercise physiologists at KHP are committed to delivering personalised Pilates sessions that cater to the unique needs of each child with ADHD. Individual sessions allow for a customised approach, enabling us to focus on specific goals such as improving concentration, enhancing coordination, and fostering a mind-body connection.

Promoting Mind-Body Awareness:

Pilates emphasises the importance of mind-body awareness, encouraging children with ADHD to connect with their bodies in a positive way. Through controlled movements and intentional breathing, Pilates helps children develop a heightened sense of self-awareness, promoting a calmer and more focused state of mind.

Enhancing Executive Function:

Executive function, which includes skills such as planning, organisation, and cognitive flexibility, is often impaired in children with ADHD (Sun et al., 2022). Physical activity has been proven to enhance executive function such as memory and attention which is also accomplished through Pilates (Benzing et al., 2018). 

Pilates engages multiple facets of executive function, requiring participants to follow sequences, make decisions about body positioning, and adapt to different movements. Over time, these challenges can contribute to improvements in executive function, positively impacting a child's daily life.

Individual Attention for Improved Focus:

One of the standout features of our clinic is the one-on-one Pilates sessions we offer. In this personalised setting, children with ADHD receive individual attention, allowing them to fully engage in the session without the distractions often present in group settings. This individualised approach enhances the child's ability to focus, promoting a more effective and beneficial Pilates experience.

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem:

Engaging in regular Pilates sessions can contribute to the development of confidence and self-esteem in children with ADHD (Neudecker et al, 2019). As they master new movements and witness improvements in their physical abilities, a sense of accomplishment emerges, positively influencing their overall self-perception.

Pilates at Kids Heart Pilates provides a holistic and tailored approach to support children with ADHD. Through individualised sessions at our paediatric exercise physiology clinic in Ashgrove and Caboolture, we aim to empower these children with the tools they need to thrive. 

By promoting focus, enhancing mind-body awareness, and building confidence, Pilates becomes a valuable ally in the journey towards better overall well-being for children with ADHD.

Helping people to LEARN & GROW 

through MOVEMENT

Our team of Accredited Exercise Physiologists & Pilates teachers engage you in fun, contemporary and interactive sessions. We understand that everyone's needs are different so we offer an approach that is flexible and dynamic that will suit your very specific needs. 

Our clinicians are experienced in designing personalised solutions that meet your child's individual needs. 

Our sessions are all delivered by Accredited Allied Health professionals and focus on all key areas of development through movement. Early intervention Is the best way to support the development and wellbeing of children with disability or developmental delay. It can help children develop the skills they need to take part in everyday activities.

  • Available under NDIS funding*

  • Individualised therapy & treatment

  • Options for in-home or at-school sessions

  • Small group reformer & mat pilates


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