Attention hyperactivity deficit disorder, or ADHD, is a common diagnosis among elementary school children based on behaviors that include an inability to sit still, trouble concentrating, disruptive behavior, and inattention to details. Children with these problems often experience difficulty completing assignments and learning new materials. Current treatments for ADHD include counseling and medications. In the past decade, more cases of ADHD have been diagnosed than in the decades before put together. What is the reason for this rise in ADHD? Is there something parents can do to prevent it? Here are some possible reasons why ADHD is becoming so prevalent:
We know more about ADHD
One theory is that ADHD itself is not becoming more common, but that the medical community is becoming more adept at recognizing it. In the last decade, there have been more studies on the problem, more evaluations developed, and more awareness of the problem. Parents and teachers know the symptoms of what to look for and doctors are more willing to treat it than ever before. All of these things could be leading to easier recognition of problems as opposed to just letting children with problems pass through the system working extra hard to do well in school. Most of us probably know an adult who has either been recently diagnosed or probably should be diagnosed with ADHD. Those adults were once children with ADHD whose symptoms were not recognized. ADHD is generally treated with prescription medications, but this isn’t always necessary. Natural supplements like Focus Formula by Native Remedies can be just as effective at calming symptoms and are safe for both children and adults.
Changes in our educational system
In decades before this one, education involved a lot of creative play, physical activity, games, and the integration of music and the arts. Today many schools have stopped creative activities in favor of more stringent educational programs. This can lead to pent up energy and creativity. Also, teachers often have more students in their classrooms than they actually have time for. Many students’ needs are not being met because either they are bored or they need more help than their teacher can give, so they begin acting out. Children are being diagnosed with ADHD when their actions make it more difficult for the teacher to pass on knowledge and manage the classroom.
Children today are exposed to more electronic media than ever before. They are listening to electronic music before they ever even make it out of the womb in many cases. Many babies are exposed to television daily as their parents watch the evening news. Children as young as three have their own video game devices. All of these electronics produce images that stimulate the brain. A lot of television shows and video games change scenes as often as every 5 seconds. This can result in an over stimulus in the young child’s brain. According to child development experts, some children develop a sort of addiction to that stimulus and need to have that much stimulation regularly. This can result in ADHD in school age children and translate into adults with ADHD.
Developments at Home
Home life has never been more strained than it has been in the last decade. Most homes are two income households, meaning both parents are stressed about work and maintaining a home. Also, divorce is steadily on the rise leading to higher occurrences of single-parent families. Homes with only one parent means more responsibility falls on one parent making it harder to manage everything. In general many parents in today’s generation of parents tend to let discipline fall through the cracks, whether because they are just too busy to notice everything or because they are more lenient than generations of parents before. Lack of discipline can translate to bad behavior in the classroom, which makes teachers consider the possibility that the child has ADHD.
If the above theories are accurate for the increase in ADHD symptoms, then there are things that our society can do to prevent or at least control these symptoms without the use of prescription drugs. If the rise in ADHD is truly just a product of knowing more about the problem, then treating it should be a main focus. In the cases of the other three possible causes, parents need to take a more active role in their children’s lives. Provide outlets for children’s energy such as a dramatic arts class and sports lessons. Also, these activities are a great substitute for video game systems. Children also need boundaries. They need to know that if they get in trouble at school, they will definitely be in trouble when mom and dad find out.