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Does ADHD and overly busy working parents go hand in hand?


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Anonymous December 31, 2008


It seems to me that we are just trying to treat a medical condition when what our kids really need is time and more time. Working parents are just not able to spend the time with their children that some kids really need. What do you think?

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drjohnson December 31, 2008


I think that you've met one or two families you don't like and don't approve of.

I understand that many people "don't believe" in ADHD. Unfortunately, many of them work with our children every day. I don't know anyone who "doesn't believe" in diabetes.

ADHD is a proven medical condition that affects people of all kinds.

Here is an article fromMayo clinic discussing causes of ADHD:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/adhd/DS00275/DSECTION=causes

Please visit GS's Learning and attention group. Read some of the posts there to see what we deal with.

http://community.greatschools.net/groups/11554

Also visit CHADD for more information on the condition:

http://www.chadd.org/


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healthy11 December 31, 2008


I agree with one thing you said, which is that ADHD is a MEDICAL condition. Studies show it involves an imbalance in the brain's chemical neurotransmitters, most likely D4 and D5 dopamine receptors. It's not caused by poor parenting, although that can impact a child's behavior who has ADHD, as well as impact children who don't.

I concur with what drjohnson has said, and will also point to my own son as an example. I was a stay-at-home mom until my son was in 4th grade, but he was diagnosed with ADHD long beforehand. The job I got was part-time, so I have ALWAYS been home when he went to school, and home when he returned...he has NEVER been in daycare, and is an only child...He can't get more of my time than that, and yet his attentional difficulties are definitely problematic. I should also point out that my son has an I.Q. higher than 99.9% of the population, and he's dyslexic, too. Whatever stereotypes people may have about students with LDs being less intelligent and having uncaring, uninvolved parents simply doesn't apply to my child, nor to many others. I think it's a mistake to assume time alone will cure their difficulties.

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cwtaylor December 31, 2008


I think "anonymous" did overgeneralize and oversimplify, but one aspect of his underlying premise has merit for many (not all) parents -- they need to spend more time with their children and the child's time needs to be spent on the right things.

As a former teacher, I bore witness to hundreds of students' behavior and learning. I made it a point to ask children about their homelife and activity. Children that spent less time with their parents, and more time on video games and television almost always had much greater difficulty in the classroom. Often, kids who had ADHD or other LD were video or TV junkies -- I'm not sying that causes ADHD or LD, those are genuine medical issues that must be dealt with appropriately. But excessive video games or TV does seem to have an exacerbating negative effect on the child's ability to learn, magnifying the effect of the LD. Probably everyone at one time or another has experienced this themself when we stay up late watching TV and have a difficult time concentrating the next day. Last year, I was in a 8 hour speed chess tournament, and when I got home my mind was literally spinning for hours from the intense concentration. I couldn't sleep at all -- kids experience exactly the same effect after playing video games.

Bottom line: involved parents who monitor and limit their children's video gaming, internet activity, and television can minimize the negative effect of those activities -- especially for LD and ADHD kids.

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drjohnson December 31, 2008


cwtaylor -

I wonder if you asked your average performing student how much time they spent on video games and tv.

I have several thoughts about your comments and observations.

Many kids spend too much screen time. Undoubtedly, some of those kids have attention and learning issues. Some of them are probably high achievers as well.

Some kids with ADHD "hyperfocus" on things like video games and legos. So there may actually be some statistical difference in these kids and others relative to screen time. It can be very hard to tear them away compared to another kid. Their reaction to these activities may differ from yours.

All of the parents that I know who children with learning/attention issues are probably MORE focused on their kids than most parents. We have become black-belt parents, having gone through so many systems and strategies. We know our kids pretty well.

My kids have plenty of regular or high achieving kids with cell phones, tvs in their rooms, games systems etc. We have no game system and only one TV in the family room. We don't even get cable and our kids are very restricted in their TV viewing, mostly videos from the library. My kids are involved in organized soccer, tennis and horseback riding, girl scouting, mother's helpering, and various tutoring. They're far from couch potatoes.

It can get rather tiresome to have teachers always asking about screen time and how many books we own. It's obvious what you're theorizing and frankly, insulting. I suggest that you visit the links I posted in my earlier post.


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laura1967 January 1, 2009


I am going to go back, to the "original question". There is no doubt that there are "ADHD","AUTISM",..ETC.(some are in my own family) But i do believe that there are a lot of "LAZY" parents, who do not let their children, run, play and get off all their "energy" and/or they do not get "good feed back" for being "GOOD" , so, then "They seek attention for "bad behavior". Then the parents say "WHAT IS WRONG"? I understand parents need and have to work, but they need to make sure the "sitter", "day care", is doing their job also.

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beachcomber January 1, 2009


absolutely not! I was a stay at home mom when my second child started school, he was diagnosed ADD & with Executive Function learning disorder in 4th grade. It is a proven medical illness. I believe however, that there is a link between High IQs and ADD.

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beachcomber January 1, 2009


I think you should read the book titled "Have a New Kid By Friday" by Dr. Kevin Leman. ADD is real but children need to be be conditioned (trained) Re: attitude, behavior, and character early to avoid issues that go along with ADD & ADHD

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beachcomber January 1, 2009


I have a teen child with ADD & Executive Function learning disabilities who almost never plays video games, does not watch more than 1 hour of TV per day and spends quality time with both family and friends. He has gotten worse since 5th grade (now in 11th). Everyday is a struggle for him. A majority of children with ADD have high IQs and have a need for constant brain stimulation because that is how they function. Sometimes playing video games or other activity as such is a way for them to not be overwhelmed by everything else going on in their heads.

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laura1967 January 1, 2009


You are "absolutely Right",my cousin's son has what they call "moderate autism" and he is "AMAZING", she had her computer blocked ,so he could not go on certian web-sights "it took them 2 or 3 hours to do it" ---It took him 10 minutes to "undo it", he knows every " producer,director,and where every DVD was filmed." I just wish she could find some one the "guide his intelligentence "into out of his box".

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sissywilcox January 2, 2009


Well said drjohnson. I can not think of a thing to add to that statement!



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