Diagnosis: ADHD; Prescription: Nature
For an interesting read, try these two Angela Hanscom Washington Post blog articles linked below. They do a thought-provoking job of highlighting one of the key issues in our self-regulation learning journey. Too often, the adult world, including its schools, expects kids to exhibit what is often referred to as “self-control” – a label that puts too many eggs in one basket, believing that willpower and effort can and should trump neurophysiology and evolution. For youngsters, sitting still, compliant and attentive in school for 5+ hours/day isn’t anywhere close to being connected to human development and how we are hard-wired. We are all built to move, especially children whose overall development depends on the constant feedback that comes from physical action. Juxtapose that reality with the shape of the school day and then add to that our increasing willingness to allow those same kids to lock into “screen time” once they get home. For many children, the dominant state during their waking hours is one of physical inactivity. Many parks are empty but the household bandwidth is crowded. It is no wonder that in an increasingly sedentary population, “Diagnosis ADHD” gallops on.
The Washington Post blogs present another of those “when will what we know change what we do?” moments. Thankfully, more and more people are asking that question, becoming engaged at the awareness level, then building (through curiosity and reflection) into understanding, eventually getting to a place where we are able to take on responsibility for change. It is a long and non-linear path, one step at a time and it requires us to discard some old certainties and embrace curiosity combined with a good dose of non-conformity to system norms and expectations.
While you’re in curiosity mode, here’s a video clip featuring a school in Australia that has begun to address the sedentary/sitting challenge by introducing a stand up classroom. http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2014/september/stand-up-australia/
It’s a good reminder for all of us as we fold ourselves into cars, desks/workstations and then back home to recline on the living room couch. Just like the kids, we’re wired to move.
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