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Readers Respond: Should a Child With ADHD Lose Recess Time? Why or Why Not?

Responses: 10


Updated January 26, 2011

For parents, caregivers, and teachers of children with ADHD - What are your thoughts about using loss of recess time as a consequence for misbehavior in the classroom? Feel free to share personal experiences your child has had with losing recess. Share Your Thoughts

Recess ADHD

Recess has been a constant fight for us with our son's school. Both his public school and now private (ADHD) school. You have to write into your child's IEP or 504 plan that recess is to be granted every day, specify the # of minutes and that the child must be given physical activity (i.e., playground or all purpose room). Public school withheld recess as punishment. Private school was allowing kids to choose their activity for recess & all were choosing the computer and video games. Crazy!


As a fifteen year old girl with ADHD I can safely say no. For me recess was for the purpose of releasing my energy. When my teachers would take away recess then I would be fidgety and space out at times. But mostly I was always out of my seat. Never take away recess.
—Guest Cat Rutherford

Should a Child w/ ADHD Lose Recess Time

I think it's the worse thing for the teacher because recess can blow off a lot of steam for a child with ADHD and help the teacher out alot

Alternate to Loss of Recess @ School

Our suggestion (we've been thru this): write in his/her IEP that recess is never to be taken away. Discuss with the teacher and/or your IEP team what the other options are. We identified -- with the teacher's help -- things our child really enjoyed in school and told our child those things would be lost - at the teacher's discretion - when bad behavior occurred. Be mindful that 6 is really young for kids with ADD to make the connection (my bad behavior will mean I lose ###) but with consistency & reinforcement, it eventually clicks. Good luck; things will improve as your child gets older.
—Guest AlwaysSharing


Loss of recess for any student as a consequence shouldn’t happen. That’s their fun time. It is also a time to release their energy. As it has happened when my oldest son was younger. I can see taking choice time for part of the day away and having them clean within the school. This way they are also taking responsibility for their actions. As taking away recess time tells you that my fun time is taken away so have fun dealing with me.
—Guest Kathy

ADHD and recess

As the parent of an ADHD child who dealt with much too much nonsense from other teachers....and as a 5th grade teacher of ADHD students, my philosophy is that no student loses all of recess---especially ADHD students. They can lose 10 minutes of it, but I want them out there being active before afternoon classes. Moreover, a little bit of tolerance (okay, a lot of tolerance) with ADHD students wouldn't hurt either.
—Guest Fifthgrade teach

recess is a must-have

What part of "ADHD" doesn’t the teacher understand? Taking recess time away is ultimately counterproductive because inevitably that HD energy will show up in the classroom following the missed recess. A structured energy-release practice such as the 'walk/run the perimeter of the playground' is the answer. Best case scenario is a recess activity structure that allows the ADHD youth to challenge themselves to achieve new personal bests.
—Guest BRD


I feel that of all the punishments, loss of recess should not be the one that is used. Kids, all kids, need to have a break and expend some of their energy. Kids with ADHD need it even more....they need a way to use up some of their "excess" energy or they will find a way.
—Guest April

Loss of Recess?

My son has had the same thing happen. When I found out, I went to the school and had a calm conversation with the teacher explaining how this would not help anyone involved. I requested that we (she & I) come up with a different consequence for his behavior. As my schedule allowed, I would sign my son out of the school for lunch and we would walk our dog around the track at a nearby park. He would eat his lunch in the car. That one thing alone made a world of difference for him. I wasn't able to do this every day, but I did try a few times a week.
—Guest ahsweeney

Loss of Recess

The teachers at my son's school would have him walk or run around the playground during recess.
—Guest beasterling@cox-internet.com

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Should a Child With ADHD Lose Recess Time? Why or Why Not?

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