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What are the root causes of Attention Deficit Disorder in our children and youth, and how do we address these challenges? According to the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 percent of children in the United States age 4-17 (6.4 million) have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011.
Dr. Russell Barkley, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina and medical expert in ADD, shares that this disorder is primarily about emotional regulation and self-control. It is not just about inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Emotional regulation, which is foundational to social, emotional, and academic success, is underdeveloped in these youth. Dr. Barkley discusses five executive skills, centered on emotional control, that are deeply affected by ADD. He emphasizes that the cause of this disorder arises from within neurogenetic roots that "effective" or "ineffective" parenting do not touch. ADD is not a knowledge or intelligence disorder. When we study the inability of many children to control emotions and regulate behaviors, we begin to address the specific organic components of ADD and the social repercussions affecting many students at all hours of the day.
File contains an archival version of an article originally available on Edutopia. Archived with permission. The author reserves all rights.
Desautels, Lori, "Strengthening Executive Function Development for Students With ADD" (2015). Scholarship and Professional Work – Education. 100.