I sure have.
First off, let me start by saying that I am neither parent, nor doctor. What I am is an MMA academy membership consultant in an academy with a thriving kids program.
What I have been noticing far too frequently, is that when discussing our program with the parents, they will at some point become visibly distraught and lower their voices to tell me that their child has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
I could understand it being a one time thing, or even a relatively infrequent anomaly. It is almost getting to the point where I feel the need to break the ice with nervous parents by saying:
“Martial arts are great for children with ADHD”.
After finding out their children have this “disorder” they will then tell me that their child is being medicated for it.
This blows my mind.
I hope I am not making any parents who may have ADHD diagnosed children feel uncomfortable, especially due to my ignorance; but children do not want to pay attention to that which is “boring” to them. A pill isn’t going to change that, and if it can, that should be troublesome.
Children are also “hyperactive”. Just because some decline into lazy people, does not mean that those who have a zest and thrill for life (children), should be subjected to medications to destroy their youthful energy.
So what in the world is really going on here?
In 2011, the CDC reported that the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children ages 4 to 17 years was 11%, with 6.4 million children diagnosed with ADHD and 4.2 million taking psychostimulants.(1)
These findings represent a dramatic increase from more than 30 years ago, when the rate of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was estimated at between 3% and 5%.(2)
What is more concerning is that the prevalence of ADHD increased by about 35% just from 2003 to 2011, and there is no indication that this increase leveling out. More than 20% of high school-aged boys have been told they have ADHD!(3)
So we have a real problem here. Medicine isn’t slowing the epidemic rate and someone is making a lot of money selling these drugs. In my opinion, I would rather err on the side of caution that my kids will grow up just fine, practicing martial arts, rather than subjecting them to psychostimulants for perhaps the rest of their lives.
I again admit that this is an unqualified opinion.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): data & statistics. New data: medication and behavior treatment. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html. Accessed July 28, 2015.
2. Miller RG, Palkes HS, Stewart MA. Hyperactive children in suburban elementary schools. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 1973;4(2):121-127.
3. Visser SN, Danielson ML, Bitsko RH, et al. Trends in the parent-report of health care provider-diagnosed and medicated attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: United States, 2003-2011. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2014;53(1):34-46.
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