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Do Video Games Cause ADHD? (Caroline Miller)

Among his many diagnoses, one of James’s more significant challenges is his attention, or more accurately, lack thereof. Even with medication James regularly needs to be told more than 5 times to do things like put his shoes on, go to the bathroom, turn his light off or come to the table for dinner. Sometimes it even takes squeezing his shoulder or putting my face 6 inches from his. Not to say that he won’t do these things or is being disobedient – he actually doesn’t acknowledge hearing the requests until our voices are raised (sometimes more than others) and then acts confused as to why we are “yelling.”

Now, if I whisper “Has James played any video games today?” to my husband in the dining room you can bet that James will come flying out of his room to answer – the very first time. James is not only attentive to all things electronic, especially video games, he is actually quite competent. I feel confident that James could wipe the floor with me at almost every Wii game we own, and am equally certain that I would have a much, much easier time with him day-to-day if I just let James sit in front of a screen as often as he liked. But, like so many decisions in our family, the easier road is often the one overgrown with weeds. James has to earn every limited moment of plug-in time that he gets, and unplugging after 15 or 30 minutes isn’t always a walk in the park either.

So when I saw Caroline Miller’s article (below) about video games and ADHD I felt compelled to read it. And after reading it I felt compelled to share it with you.

 

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Do Video Games Cause ADHD?

Why kids with attention problems are so focused—even fixated—on the screen

Caroline Miller

Editorial Director
CHILD MIND INSTITUTE

It has the makings of a paradox: Take a first grader who can’t stay in his chair at school, who wears out his caregivers by being in constant motion, who jumps restlessly from one activity to another, who can’t seem to focus on parental directions or finish ordinary tasks like tying his shoes or putting away his toys. In short, you have a child who exhibits all the behaviors that point to ADHD—except that this child can sit in front of a video screen, transfixed, for hours. And when you tell him to turn off the game or the TV and come to dinner, you’d better be prepared for pushback.

Seeing this combination of behaviors prompts parents to wonder several things: Does playing video games, and imbibing digital media in general, actually cause ADHD? If video immersion doesn’t cause ADHD, does it exacerbate it? Or does the intent focus this child brings to video games suggest that he doesn’t have ADHD after all?

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here.

 

Welcome Back!

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Happy first day of school! If you sent a loved one off I hope it was with the same mix of joy, feverish excitement, nostalgia, wistfulness,  and sheer relief that I experienced. I also hope that your first day back went as fantastically as ours did, meaning no phone calls from school, two nice new teachers, a blissfully small class and a return appearance by our favorite paraprofessional ever. And, most importantly, a cheerful and excited 5th grader who described his first day as “awesome!”

I’m also feeling cheerful and excited – Fall is my favorite season of them all! Football, apple picking, delicious Fall recipes, beautiful scenery, cooler weather, and that fresh back-to-school motivation to get organized – it’s all here! I’m also particularly excited about all of the plans taking shape for The Foorce this year. I’m working on half a dozen posts one eensy weensy piece at a time and am just about done planning out the first Special Needs Cafe at PS 163 (Oct. 21st at 9a.m.).

However, tonight is devoted to the “no homework” that James had, meaning paperwork for me. So for now, here are a few Foorce Favorites to kick off the new school year (some end-of-the-summer reading, if you will):

The Top 10 Weird Children of Video Games and Neuroscience

A House Becomes A Home In Brooklyn: YAI Dream House

James Durbin, the American Idol Season 10 finalist with Asperger’s and Tourette’s has announced that his debut CD will be released in November

Also keep an eye out for my FDR resort review and the October meeting announcement coming soon.