I have read in several articles on the web about unicycle riding being a well proven treatment for ADHD - kids and adults.
I am curious about what makes the unicycle riding any different from bicycle or inline skating activities for that matter.
Is the process of teaching people with ADHD to ride unicycle any different then usual - or simply going through the standard process of learning to ride unicycle has its positive impact for people with ADHD?
Because unicycling takes MUCH more focus and balance, dedication and lots of practice to get good at it. I’m a lifelong ADHDer and those of us with this “gift” have the ability to “hyper-focus” on the stuff we like, and excel at it…and I LOVE unicycling!
Ditto with MuniAddict and blueharmony, as a long time diagnosed ADHD chick I actually work hard focusing while riding, unicycling is actually a good attention holder for me and it’s probably the thing I can keep focused on the longest.
I will admit there has been a few times my attention was lost and I UPD’ed simply for no other reason except my attention wandered.
I never considered myself to have ADHD, the thought never entered my mind. Now, after reading about it, it would explain a lot about my life. I also get super focused on things, to the point where I obsess over it. Unicycling is perfect for that, I feel best in my life when I’m riding… Lately I haven’t been, obsessed over golf right now… very frustrating. I should probably start riding again
The “classic” ADHD kid is characterized by being attracted to exciting activities, so there does tend to be a great number of ADHD people doing extreme sports, but at the same time ADHD can be a disadvantage in sports with small/slow rewards and big committments.
I have somewhere between 700-800 patients who are ADHD/ADD, only two have taken up uncycling in the five years since I learned to ride; I regularly encourage my patients to try unicycling and have "shown off for more than a few. One tried it and couldn’t stick with it, the other is all over it and is wanting go bigger!
I think sports and physical work are a great outlet for people with ADHD, but unfortunately many of our youth (and adults) have become more sedentary as the availability and access to electronic media has grown.
Unicycling is good for ADHD because, assuming we’re practicing something challenging, the moment we stop paying attention, we UPD. Contrast that with reading a book, where it’s less obvious when our attention is failing. So, unicycling, compared to some other activities, tends to focus and clarify our attention.
I’ve got minor add, right now I’m need to be writing a paper, but here I am. I don’t see how unicycling is any better than any number of other activities. It does help my add a little, but so does riding my bike.
Where are all these articles saying unicycling is good for ADHD?
I don’t have ADHD but I don’t see why unicycling would be any better than a number of other skills. In terms of requiring focus, yes it does when learning to ride but after you that riding on flat ground is as easy as riding a bike in my opinion.
Muni is the only discipline that requires me to continually focus because of the constantly changing terrain, when I play unicycle hockey I don’t need to think about riding as it is so easy to ride on flat ground.
I cant see how it would be any better than many other skills; juggling, roller blading, skateboarding, rip sticking, parkour, learning an instrument etc
For me it is the best activity because i’ve got woods on my door step and I can go out any time I have free and mess about in the woods - I also have a violin, skateboard, roller blades, surfski, seakayak, kindle and local climbing wall.
I was diagnosed with ADD at 21 (I’m 43 now). When I was diagnosed, I participated in a study that showed people with ADD, on average, had faster reflexes than people without. I’m convinced that this is a huge advantage, not some kind of deficit. In most cases, I think it needs to be channeled, not medicated or treated like a disease, and unicycling is perfect for that. You get exercise, focus, and attention (if that’s what you’re going for), and it’s all positive. For me, exercise and focus were the best medicine.
I also think that it’s best to leave them alone with the unicycle and let them figure it out for themselves. Too much active teaching or coaching could be detrimental. I learn very differently from others, and a lot of the challenges when I was younger involved trying to learn in an environment that was structured for people that learn and think very differently from myself. Eventually, I found out that it was best to give me the resources and let me learn things myself. With the exception of the very best teachers (I’ve only known a few), actively learning things from other people is frustrating, like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. The information comes at the wrong speed (usually too slow) and with the wrong focus for me to interpret it as something meaningful to my world. That’s not to say that I don’t benefit from other’s advice, but I have to take that advice and process it in my own time in my own way. Give me some information, and let me go off on my own and play around with it and figure it out for myself. Plus, it’s very empowering to be your own teacher! I learned to unicycle completely on my own at an early age, and it showed me that I could do something that’s very difficult and seemingly impossible, and something that no one else I’d ever met could do. That also showed me that despite my poor grades in school, there was nothing wrong with me. I just needed a different environment to learn in.
Agree with bradford.
And yes unicycle is very good for the adhd, I feel myself.
Even if it gets easier with time it’s still involves way more focus than riding a bike.
Riding a geared unicycle or muni also increases this needed focus.
Absolutely. Never medicate unless something is impeding you from being able to live your life, or otherwise fouling up your health. Some people really need it, but it’s not necessary for so many.
To some extent, you have to teach yourself to ride a unicycle. A teacher or coach can offer all sorts of advice and/or physical support, but in the end, it’s your own brain and body that have to figure out how to make it all work. My learning situation was similar, yet different from yours, because I had no teaching resources, but I might not have stuck with it had I not known there were a couple of other “otherwise normal” kids at my school that could do it. If they could do it, that meant I could figure it out as well.