Shpilkas, n. [shpeal-kuz] (Yid. obs) shpeilkas, the state of constant movement; restlessness.
- A condition marked by an inability to sit or stand still.
- A source of endless exasperation to parents and teachers.
- A colorfully linguistic equivalent of more common psycho-educational
terms– hyperactive, sensory-seeking, impulsive, high strung.
While he always looked like he had to go the bathroom, it was determined that what Noah really had was shpilkas.
The treatment? More. More movement. More resistance. More repetitions. More variety. More intensity.
Personal Exercise Charts not only give children the outlet they need, they empower them to take responsibility, exert control and gain insight into their behavior. Assure the kids who may have previously gotten in trouble for being in perpetual motion, “You’re OK. You’re just a kid with a lot of energy. Let’s find a way to get rid of some of the extra energy that may be interfering with your work.”
Then, with the teacher’s knowledge and permission, hang the chart in a pre-designated spot and get ready to demonstrate the first rotation of exercises alongside them. First, note the month and date in the appropriate box. After each routine, have the child place a tally mark next to the corresponding exercise. If one series isn’t enough to satiate the child’s needs, do the entire cycle again.
Teachers may subtly suggest a round of exercises before any lesson, prolonged sitting period, group activity, etc., especially those that have been challenging in the past. Encourage children to advocate for themselves if they feel like they need a break. Once children recognize how ‘their own engines run,’ they begin making huge leaps toward regulating them. When that happens, heap on the praise.
Personal Exercise Charts should be checked and updated regularly. Increase the repetitions and vary the exercises.
Oh… and have fun.