Understanding Kids and Attention Disorder

Untangling the Myths About Attention Disorder, by Perri Klass, MD

Kinship Center recommends this New York Times article.

This article revisits the myths about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although most today acknowledge the reality of the disorder, the author notes that attention (or its lack) is still sometimes “used as a marker and a metaphor for something larger in society — for the multitasking, the electronic distractions, the sense that the nature of concentration may be changing, that people feel nibbled at, overscheduled, distracted, irritable.”

The article quotes Dr. David K. Urion of Harvard, who directs the learning disabilities and behavioral neurology program at Boston Children’s Hospital.  Urion points out that attention is a really complex cognitive phenomenon that has a lot of pieces in it.

“The circumstances of modern life can give rise to the false belief that a culture full of electronics and multitasking imperatives creates the disorder,” says Urion. “People have this idea that we live in a world that gives people A.D.H.D.”

Urion says that of course one shouldn’t drive and text at the same time, but for “a harbor pilot bringing a huge four-masted sailing vessel into Boston Harbor, paying attention was a good idea then, too.”

Click here for the full article.

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