ADHD and iPads

All directionsWhile I don’t usually post about this disorder, my 8 year old grandson was recently diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, so it’s become of interest to me.

I think the diagnosis was actually for the combined ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). And, his symptoms started at around age 7. He had lots of trouble concentrating in class (2nd grade).

According to WebMD.com, “the symptoms of ADHD include inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity.”

One of the problems is that most 7 and 8 year old boys are a bit hyperactive and can be inattentive. So . . .

Where Does It Cross ‘Accepted Behavior’ Line?

It crosses that line when a child’s behavior it interferes with school, with the child’s ability to sit still and/or pay attention to what the teacher is discussing. This is what happened to my grandson in second grade. Not that it caused him to fail tests or be left back. But, the teacher would have to ‘bring him back’ to focus. And, he felt overwhelmed with lots of homework.

One of my first thoughts is that teachers are in a tough situation. My other daughter is a 3rd grade NYC public school teacher – she’s been teaching for 10 years.

The students today are a new breed. Depending on the geography of the school, students can be disrespectful and feel it’s okay not to do homework or pay attention in class. But, even if the majority of the students are attentive, if a teacher has just one student who needs extra attention or help, it adds an additional burden on her work load. I completely understand this.

A problem that arises is when a child is somewhat hyper and inattentive – unfortunately, in an already overburdened system, there are teachers who simply want the child ‘taken care of’ and may request the school recommend medication.

Now, I have my arms flailing above my head and screaming “WHOA.”

This is when a parent MUST get professional medical evaluations and advice.

There are so many alternative health strategies to take advantage before deciding to medicate a child with medications that ALL have side-effects. There’s allergy testing, there’s diet changes, there’s acupuncture, and there’s Eastern medicine.

ADHD and the iPad

Getting to the title of this post, what I’ve noticed, and my daughter and son-in-law also, is that when my grandson doesn’t use his iPad for a day or two, his behavior is different – it’s better. Not that he isn’t still a bit hyper and has trouble sitting at the table for meals, but it’s not as bad.

My daughter discussed this with my grandson’s psychologist and he said iPads are one of the worse things to happen to young children.

Let me reword that a bit. I think it’s more YouTube on iPads than actually playing games, although I’m not absolutely sure that’s what the doctor meant.

Young children are watching some things on YouTube that they shouldn’t be watching. And, the problem is you can’t ‘parental control’ it. Either you have YouTube access or you don’t. And, it’s near impossible to monitor what a child watches every minute of the day. If the parent is doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, or doing work at home, it’s literally impossible to monitor the child every second. And, we all know, kids will be kids.

So, my daughter is keeping both my grandsons away from the iPad.

Since it’s summer now, we’re waiting to see how my grandson handles 3rd grade. The good thing is my daughter is on top of what’s going on and getting my grandson all the help he needs.

Getting an ADHD Diagnosis

WedMD notes that “for a diagnosis of ADHD, some symptoms that cause impairment must be present before age seven. Also, some impairment from the symptoms must be present in more than one setting. For instance, the person may be impaired at home and school or home and work. Also, there must be clear evidence the symptoms interfere with the person’s ability to function at home, in social environments, or at work.”

I’ll be coming back to this topic now and then.

To get more information on ADD and ADHD, visit:

http://www.webmd.com/add-adhd/guide/adhd-symptoms
http://www.add.org/

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