Skip to comments.Why so many kids can’t sit still in school today
Posted on 07/11/2014 2:15:56 PM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
The Centers for Disease Control tells us that in recent years there has been a jump in the percentage of young people diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, commonly known as ADHD: 7.8 percent in 2003 to 9.5 percent in 2007 and to 11 percent in 2011. The reasons for the rise are multiple, and include changes in diagnostic criteria, medication treatment and more awareness of the condition. In the following post, Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist and the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England, suggests yet another reason more children are being diagnosed with ADHD, whether or not they really have it: the amount of time kids are forced to sit while they are in school.
A perfect stranger pours her heart out to me over the phone. She complains that her 6-year-old son is unable to sit still in the classroom. The school wants to test him for ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder). This sounds familiar, I think to myself. As a pediatric occupational therapist, Ive noticed that this is a fairly common problem today.
The mother goes on to explain how her son comes home every day with a yellow smiley face. The rest of his class goes home with green smiley faces for good behavior. Every day this child is reminded that his behavior is unacceptable, simply because he cant sit still for long periods of time.
The mother starts crying. He is starting to say things like, I hate myself and Im no good at anything. This young boys self-esteem is plummeting all because he needs to move more often.
Over the past decade, more and more children are being coded as having attention issues and possibly ADHD...
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
State-based Prevalence Data of ADHD Diagnosis (2011-2012): Children CURRENTLY diagnosed with ADHD (Centers for Disease Control)
Well, there you have it...gambling prevents ADHD
Kids were exactly the same when I was in school in the 1960’s. But the teacher had something that made us focus and sit. It wasn’t a drug. It was just a stick of wood. Usually it had printed on it, “The Board Of Education.” Frequently, it had holes which whistled...I still remember the tune.
The problem is that the system is designed to “administer” education. When it takes that approach, the system tells the student when the lesson is done. The alternative is to
“present” education. The difference being is that the student has a limited attention span and can only absorb what is presented during that attention span.
Instead of hour long lecture sessions, there needs to be changes to make the material interesting. 15 min of lecture, 15 min of class activity to demonstrate, etc.
One reason they can’t sit still is because they never play outside. They don’t spend time running, climbing trees, riding their bikes, playing games they organize themselves. In other words, they have a lot of pent up energy that never gets spent.
Used to be known as “ants in your pants.” If it became distracting, the teacher made you sit on your hands. I still do that from time to time.
When I was in school, we had large classes (at least 40) and several recesses per day. There was morning recess where we played organized games. Then there was lunch recess where we spent part of the time eating (or going home for lunch) and the remainder of the time playing games which we organized ourselves witha teacher watching so we didn’t kill each other. Then there was afternoon recess.
Nobody got out of line in, or out, of class. There was a little boy/girl teasing, but that was it.
There were ample playgrounds, gym space, shops and music rooms where students used up energy. The ceilings were high, the windows were large, could be opened and filled a full wall of the classroom. The lights weren't flourescent. Those rooms had corners with puzzles, chairs to sit and read, spaces to unwind. The hallways were wide, so the classrooms were separate entities where children could thrive.
The new schools are like prisons with the rooms being locked cells. Of course that matters. FWIW, it seems that well-run "old" schools (that they're still tearing down) have better natured children.
It's amazing how much difference extra time in the gym or outdoor recess after lunch can make. Instead, the ptb have imprisoned kids in unnatural environments and then drugged them to cope.
This sounds like so much crap.
Except for one thing.
Sixty years ago, we had to sit in a disciplined way through out the school day. After school we could run around all we wanted.
You see, there was limited TV, no video games, and if we pestered Mom she’d run us out of the house with the admonition ‘You children go outside! I’ve work to do!’.
We got lots of play time 60 years ago.
What we didn’t dare do was be a nuisance or a distraction in the classroom. If you didn’t get a paddling from the principle you’d certainly get a taste of the belt when you went home.
My parents although not Dr s cured that problem in their three children.
Kids were exactly the same when I was in school in the 1960s...
I was going to say the same thing. In the 60s you sat still and didn’t talk, or else and that seemed to do the trick.
We had a 15 minute recess in the morning and afternoon and an hour at lunch to burn off the energy. Rainy days were hell for teachers. LOL. I guess they stopped doing recess.
Actually, gambling is an addiction, and addictions have a fairly high correlation with ADHD.
As for the lack of physical coordination, I’d throw in that the teachers’ unions and lawyers/judiciary have more to do with both lack of exercise and absolute boredom in the curriculum.
Maybe (?) it’s just too BOOOORRRING!
Where are the two (2) periods of recess for the kids????
Yeah, the classroom experience is so bad you have to drug the inmates to make it tolerable.
Yup, sounds like modern education to me.
Same here at elementary school. On rainy or snowy days recess was in the assembly room, otherwise it was coats and hats and outside you go. Oh, and we didn’t have school buses, we walked. Buses were for special field trips.
before ADHD, there used to be a thing called recess... but we can't let boys be boys anymore, can we???
For those of us with children who truly are ADHD, please don’t insist that we don’t discipline our children. It has nothing to do with that. For some of the cases, maybe, but not for true ADHD cases. We’ve rejected drugs and have opted for dietary and therapeutic treatments. I now that a traditional school is probably not the best option so we are prepared to homeschool if/when necessary. If you think discipline is the answer, then please take that miracle cure to a cancer treatment center and paddle the patients until their bodies rid themselves of cancer.
We look at our son’s ADHD as a blessing. Like many with the issue, he has a much higher IQ. It’s fascinating to watch him learn, and to discover how he learns. His unconventional ways are astounding yet extremely effective.
Are some ADHD cases really misdiagnoses so that parents and teachers can get an easy med fix? Yes. But that is not the case for all of us.
One of the differences is that when I was in school, our teacher supervised us for everything. There were no “aides” that came in to help. The teacher was always watching — she even ate lunch with us. So, there was no pulling the wool over her eyes. And there was plenty of opportunity to run off steam and plenty of opportunity to organize our own games — something that little league, etc. does not allow.
On rainy days (which were few and far between in CA) we had Folk Dancing.
When we got to 7th grade and above, we had an hour of PE daily. I don’t think the kids get that much any more. I hated PE — except for dance == because I never made good grades. But, it was necessary.
Can the kid sit still while playing video games or watching TV? No problem except a lack of discipline.
Still can’t stay still? Send him outside to play...
I never said that. I just said that ADHD was unheard of in my day, and the schools handled restlessness differently. I think that too many children are diagnosed (and drugged) for ADHD. I never said that measures weren’t necesscery for those who are truly ADHD. I just think that more unstructured time on the playground would take care of the matter for most of the kids.
I had some serious ADHD or OCD or something. Citalopram changed the world.
As for the lack of physical coordination, Id throw in that the teachers unions and lawyers/judiciary have more to do with both lack of exercise and absolute boredom in the curriculum."
But, but, but Nevada has the lowest ADHD rate and the highest gambling rate, so...isn't this how research connects dots? Maybe I should have said "strip clubs" prevent ADHD? Mob affiliation?
But, definitely I agree that lawyers are to blame in the high states...they are to blame for almost everything.
I'm reading the intelligent replies from freepers.
Why is it all of us lay people can respond to this question quickly, correctly and intelligently....when the pointy-head, highly-trained, high-priced therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and their ilk are all screwed up for answers?
(....rhetorical question, of course.)
I remember when a mom working at home and raising her kids was considered normal too.
My apologies. I guess I was ranting in general and not necessarily at you personally. I shouldn’t even click on these threads because I get so worked up. Some FReepers can get really nasty on this subject. They seem to lump all issues into discipline and home environment. Well my husband and I were married for five years before the first came along, we carry no debt, our parents are still married to their original spouses, we both grew up in God fearing households, and with our work schedules one of us is almost always home with our kids (who really look forward to our in home babysitter once a week). I cook, we don’t eat fast food, and we have a huge garden. So I’m not a welfare queen looking for a handout, like many FReeoers want to lump all ADHD parents into. ADHD is an actual issue, and when people discount it as a discipline or environment problem, they are no better than those who scam docs for false ADHD diagnoses.
Me too. And thank God for that.
It was called “having the nerves” when I grew up. But you woulld never dream of forcing the children to take such drugs as they do today.
Because school is boring. Being geared primarily towards not leaving kids behind rather than challenging kids makes it impossible to keep kids attention. Make school harder, let the dumb ones fail, keep the smart ones engaged.
Yep. We walked TO school, home for lunch, and back to school, then home again.
Oh, and recess in the morning and afternoon. If it rained, we played dodgeball in the gym. And actually HIT each other with the balls. Survive or wilter. Or become democrats.
Because they have no chance to run around and get "the wiggles" out of their system.
When I taught the beginners in Sunday School I always had some very active songs for them to sing. They waved their hands, clapped, jumped, bobbed their head and spun in circles for ten to fifteen minutes before I had them sit down for a drink of juice and the lesson.
The class was very well behaved (ok for the MOST part). Kids need to move. Give them ten minutes an hour to be active and they will give you their attention the other 50 minutes.
In elementary school, we walked to and from school twice a day because we had to go home for lunch and walk back again. In addition, we had 15 min. of recess in the morning and 15 min. of recess in the afternoon.
In Jr. High, we had one hour for lunch - after we ate lunch we could go to the rec room and dance or listen to records or play ping pong or just hang out and talk to our friends. Or we could walk up to the avenue and buy doughnuts and junk in the bakery. We had a full 10 minutes for passing time. Same thing in high school. We could drive out to Burger Chef if we had a car during lunch. Kids have 20 minutes for lunch now and about 5 min. between classes. We had lots of time to recreate and decompress. Not so anymore.
Wife been saying this since the 90s when our kids were in grade school. Bears repeating though. Anyone with kids currently in grade school should check out your school's recess operations in case your kid gets an adhd warning.
“Can the kid sit still while playing video games or watching TV?”
A teacher with decades of experience explained that the problem is connected to the fact that many children’s attention spans are the length of a TV commercial.
How creepy is that?
“So Im not a welfare queen looking for a handout, like many FReeoers want to lump all ADHD parents into.”
Are you confusing this with the “autism spectrum” scam?
ADHD is part of the autism spectrum.
Did you have recess when you were in school? Kids need recess, especially active boys. Today the punishment for not sitting still is denial of recess.
These are “educational professionals” doing this.
“ADHD is part of the autism spectrum.”
That’s a new one to me; ADHD parents should sever that link. Autism and ADHD are very real and clearly definable; “autism spectrum” is a scam with vague symptoms.
“Did you have recess when you were in school? Kids need recess, especially active boys.”
I did. The entire school system is a relic of nineteenth century industrialization. It was designed to teach kids to sit quietly, do a boring job and respond to bells. This was preparation for working in the new factories. What has happened to the incredibly brilliant men and women who were probably always 1-5% of the population? Research them and practically none of them went through formal schooling. Today they are dumbed down because they intimidate the other children. (A friend showed me a note from his son’s teacher which, in essence, stated, “your son needs to shut up in class as he already knows everything I have to teach and he embarrasses the other students.”) The entire concept of education needs to be rethought.
I mentioned in a previous post that people who truly have ADHD (not those scamming for $$$) tend to have higher IQs. I think that some of history’s brightest and best today could be diagnosed with ADHD. The difference is the form of education they received, the food they ate, and the lack of access to drug pushing docs.
I took ONE course like that in college, and it was my favorite course. I finished it 25% faster than a regular course, and I learned the material thoroughly.
Yes, many of these ADHD issues are biologically based, but why compound the problem with our wildly outdated and outmoded teaching method?
The idea of "seat time" and "Carnegie Units" came from Carnegie. There is no evidence that it works. Why do we perpetuate it, especially with all of the on-line learning technology available today?
My middle son's fourth grade teacher called us in for a conference. He said that my son was not reading along with the class. Instead he was reading a book of his own. I asked what the class was reading and he said the book was "There's a Girl in the Boys Bathroom". I asked what my son was reading he said, "The Odyssey".
I just gave the teacher a blank stare for a minute. He finally got embarrassed and said he would assign something more appropriate for my son. Fortunate we moved the kids to Catholic schools.
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