February 1, 2023

What’s to blame for the rise in ADHD?

What’s to blame for the rise in ADHD?

Researchers point fingers at TV, genetics, overdiagnosis 

Getty Images fileSome scientists say watching TV could lead to an increased risk for ADHD, while others argue that genetics and other factors play a bigger role in the development of the disorder.

By Victoria Claytonmsnbc.com P

When most of today’s parents were growing up, the common wisdom about television viewing was not to sit too close to the screen or you’d go blind. There was relatively little in the way of children’s programming: Sesame Street, which turned 35 this year, was in its infancy and there were a few cartoons, as well as Captain Kangaroo, Mr. Rogers and Romper Room.

How times have changed. In the years since then, children’s programming has exploded. Now whole networks are devoted to young viewers.

And, interestingly enough, something else has exploded: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, a behavior condition that now affects from 4 percent to 12 percent of U.S. children. ADHD is characterized by the inability to focus, listen, and complete tasks and schoolwork. Many children are medicated to control the condition.

When it comes to TV, says Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a pediatric researcher at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, concerns over eyesight should be the least of parents’ concerns. Instead, he contends that ADHD and the onslaught of children’s programming, along with DVD players and portable TVs that make viewing possible anywhere anytime, may very well be linked.

Study finds increased risk from TV 
Christakis is the lead author of a study published in the journal Pediatrics in April that suggests TV viewing in very young children contributes to attention problems later in life. “The study revealed that each hour of television watched per day at ages 1 through 3 increases the risk of attention problems by almost 10 percent at age 7,” says Christakis.

The study attempted to control for attributes of the home environment, such as cognitive stimulation and emotional support, but a key factor was left out: the content of the programs children watched. Christakis says this aspect should be studied in more detail at some point, but he maintains that it’s not the message of the program that’s likely the culprit — it’s the visual tactics used.

Christakis and others in the field, such as Jane Healy, an education psychologist in Vail, Colo., and author of “Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence,” believe common programming tactics designed to capture a child’s attention can have a deleterious affect on brain chemistry.Advertise

Healy says overstimulation from rapid scene changes and other programming tactics may throw off the balance of the body’s catecholamine system, which is responsible for carrying communications between nerves.

“It has to do with neurotransmitters in the catecholamine system — dopamine and norepinephrine,” she adds.

Real life becomes slow and boring 
Children’s programmers use a technique called the “orienting reflex,” known as OR, to capture and keep a child’s attention. OR works in this way: If we see or hear something the brain doesn’t recognize as the correct sequence or a typical life event — such as a dancing alphabet or quick zooms and pans, we focus on it until the brain recognizes that it doesn’t pose a threat. The problem with watching too many programs that rely on OR is that real life becomes slow and boring by comparison.

“We think that with continued exposure to high intensity, unrealistic action, you’re conditioning the mind to expect that level of input,” Christakis explains. When the child doesn’t get the fast-paced input that television provides, he or she becomes bored and inattentive.Don’t miss these Health stories

“It used to be that as educators we talked about the ‘two-minute mind,'” says Healy. “Now it’s the 30-second mind.” Of course, having an extremely short attention span makes listening, problem solving and learning to read difficult.

Find out here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5933775/ns/health-childrens_health/t/whats-blame-rise-adhd/?fbclid=IwAR1dP63ojNlGnXvZER9mWRfMoBDTYODRB4zs20IOLkkwEeTWDoYyu-_Cotw#.XIBYWi2B3BI

Why Genetics may play key role?


What’s a parent to do? 



Needing help for your home schooling journey: https://hef.org.nz/2011/needing-help-for-your-home-schooling-journey-2/


Here are a couple of links to get you started home schooling:

Information on getting startedhttps://hef.org.nz/getting-started-2/


Information on getting an exemptionhttps://hef.org.nz/exemptions/

This link is motivational: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-what-is-it-all-about/

Exemption Form online: https://hef.org.nz/2012/home-schooling-exemption-form-now-online/

Beneficiaries: https://hef.org.nz/2013/where-to-for-beneficiary-families-now-that-the-social-security-benefit-categories-and-work-focus-amendment-bill-has-passed-its-third-reading