Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ADHD Epidemic?


The active, kinesthetic student and the passive daydreamer have something in common--they may have ADHD of ADD (the 'H' in ADHD adds hyperactivity to the disorder, meaning more physical activity.) Both may not be able to focus and concentrate in the classroom. But does every daydreamer or active student have ADHD or ADD?

Here is an informal checklist to see if maybe the student is not ADHD or ADD.

  • When is the student's birthday?

Uncovering the Why Behind the Rise in ADHD Cases

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nichola-petts/uncovering-the-why-behind_b_5604461.html 

According to researchers at the University of British Columbia in a 2012 study, children born in December were 39 percent more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and were 48 percent more likely to be treated for the disorder, compared to classmates with a January birthday (who are almost a full year older). 

It is possible the student is immature, not ADHD or ADD. The teacher could try differentiation of curriculum, modifying the lesson plan to include more review and breaks in instruction. Sending the student a grade back is a last resort. 

  • Could outside stress cause focus issues?

Could Stress Cause an ADHD Diagnosis? 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marilyn-wedge-phd/protecting-a-child-from-f_b_1084421.html 

The notion that family stress -- marital problems, financial issues, illness or injury of a parent, and so forth -- can be toxic to children and is at the root of many childhood emotional and behavioral problems. 

Who can truly concentrate during a crisis except on the crisis? Students have less personal stability than ever, and a solution to the ADHD epidemic could well be more counseling.

  • Is the student in a sedentary classroom?

    Can Physical Activity Help Children with ADHD?

    http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/blog/post/News-and-Reports-March-1-2010.aspx  

    Can physical activity help symptoms of ADHD? There is burgeoning research in this area that suggests this may be the case. There is also evidence that physical activity outdoors may be more beneficial for children.

    What ever happened to recess and outdoor activities? We can blame the need for higher test scores, or the popularity of video games for the sedentary experience of kids now, but the fact is it is easier for sedentary adults to manage kids that are also sedentary at school and at home. This is affecting the quality of life and the effectiveness of education. All kids (all humans) need physical activity to get the oxygen to out frontal cortex for higher level thinking, and the stimulation of nature to satisfy our sensory needs. 

    ADHD? It is real. But how often can a balanced, satisfying life keep it on the run?

     Here are other websites that have information on ADHD and ADD.

    National Center for Learning Disabilities, Special-Ism, ADD Magazine.  

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