Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Is Boredom the Problem with ADHD?


Thank you to one of our teachers for sending me this link, suggesting that one of the issues that we are labeling as ADHD is actually boredom.  In many cases, it might be.  I can’t speak for all children, but I can certainly speak for my own, two of whom were tagged to be labeled as ADHD.  For my youngest child, when I asked the school to provide him with more challenging work, they instead recommended that I get him tested for a learning disability.  I agreed, hoping that with the results in hand, the school would respond with the correct level of challenge.  After paying $3,000 for testing, my husband and I went in to hear the results.  The doctor explained that though our son was in 3rd Grade at the time, he did poorly on the 2nd Grade level questions, nearly failing out of the test.  He did fine on the questions at the 3rd Grade level.  However, at the 4th Grade level, he got every single question correct.  The doctor explained that they didn’t like these types of results, as they invalidate their testing methods.  Her diagnosis: “Boredom”.

It is not a new suggestion that we may be drugging our children to make them fit into a system that is broken.  When I took the results of my son’s testing back to the school, proof that he could thrive on more challenging work, I was told by the Principal that it was not possible for her to alter the curriculum for my son, due the system of “No Child Left Behind”.

The Positive Psychologists amongst us have recognized the problem with the double-negative concept of no child left behind, which has created an entire Federal educational system focused on the single least-performing child in the country.  Consider the alternative, “Every Child Thrives”!  The programs that we would develop with such a mission would be entirely different from those in place right now.

Are there children with differently functioning brains, as this article points out?  Yes!  A system focused on every child thriving would have fulfilling programs for all students.
As I discuss in the Introduction to “Meditation for ADHD: A Family Approach”, scientists have shown that the brain changes, both structurally and chemically, according to how it is exercised.  Mindfulness exercises change the structure of the brain.

Yes.  Research has shown that the Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC) of the brains of children with ADHD is less developed than that of others.  The ACC is the part of the brain that regulates self-control, self-awareness and self-regulation.  Researchers have also found that meditation changes that, resulting in growth of the ACC, and improved self-regulation, self-control and awareness.  It also gets the creative juices flowing again, stimulating enthusiasm for learning, curiosity and self-love.

I don’t know that all children with ADHD are the same; indeed to positively rephrase that, I’m certain that there is a beautiful abundance of differently abled, creative, intelligent, inquisitive and loving children in this world, longing to fit in, thrive and find and live their life’s purpose.  And I do know that the skills of mindfulness practices have been proven in thousands of research studies, and in my own children’s lives, to enable them to do just that, thrive, and enjoy learning and life.

Now we want to see if this easy to implement meditation program is going to do just that for families across the country.  After all, “If it is going to create ease in life, it has got to be easy”!  Just follow this link, and be a part of changing our children’s lives for the better!