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Can Playing and Engaging With Kids Reduce Chances of ADHD?

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“By definition, ADHD requires that symptoms have to have a significant effect on life,” says Dr. William Barbaresi, director of the developmental medicine center at Boston Children’s Hospital. “To say that a tenth of all children have a biologic condition that affects their life enough to call it a disorder just does not make sense.”

 

Playing and engaging more directly with children on a regular basis, for example, tends to calm them down, and setting limits and educating children about the consequences of their actions can also help, according to new AAP management guidelines. 

 

http://news.yahoo.com/understanding-rise-adhd-diagnoses-11-u-children-affected-113247987.html

 

by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Replies (11-16):
apple4teacher
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM
1 mom liked this

So many preschools and kindergarten programs have essentially done away with "play" as we remember it.  Too much emphasis is placed on worksheets and testing. And it's so easy to hand over your phone when a child needs some amusing at a restaurant or the pediatrician's instead of really engaging with them. All kids respond positively to play and attention. I am encouraged that the AAP is not just pushing a pharmaceutical solution.

MentorMom1
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:47 PM

Well, let's see. Curly hair = Mendelian genetics. Faulty wiring = Epigenetics. It's a newer science that deserves a look-see by everyone. Environmental influences on genetic expression can cause DNA changes that are then passed down to future generations. Epigenetic changes are widely recognized now to cause many cognitive and behavioral problems.

Quoting UpSheRises:

Sure. Early brain development is dependant on the experiences children have. The more positive interactions a child has with the world the better their chances of reaching optimal brain development.

It's important to remember though, that the brain is a body part whose functionality is dependent on biological functions. Some brains just have faulty wiring in the same way that some people just have curly hair.


 

Simply4today
by New Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 4:26 PM

I am a child psychologist in Northern VA and have been researching this and related topics on how best to help children experiencing symptoms of ADHD and firmly support the notion that  playing with children is an ideal strategy for symtptom reduction. One thing I have learned though is that when simple techniques are added to the playful interactions, a higher degree of symptom reduction will occur and does so more rapidly. I believe so strongly in this premise that i am about to publish a great deal of writing that that I have complied on the topic.

Thanks for bringing up a topic in which I feel great passion!  And if anyone is interested in receving further information, please feel free to let me know. 

 

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Apr. 3, 2013 at 12:12 AM


Quoting MentorMom:

Well, let's see. Curly hair = Mendelian genetics. Faulty wiring = Epigenetics. It's a newer science that deserves a look-see by everyone. Environmental influences on genetic expression can cause DNA changes that are then passed down to future generations. Epigenetic changes are widely recognized now to cause many cognitive and behavioral problems.

You might find this paper to be of interest:


Trevor Archer, Marlene Oscar-Berman, and Kenneth Blum [2011] "Epigenetics in Developmental Disorder: ADHD and Endophenotypes" J Genet Syndr Gene Ther. 2011 June 30; 2(104): 1000104.


Abstract

Heterogeneity in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with complex interactive operations of genetic and environmental factors, is expressed in a variety of disorder manifestations: severity, co-morbidities of symptoms, and the effects of genes on phenotypes. Neurodevelopmental influences of genomic imprinting have set the stage for the structural-physiological variations that modulate the cognitive, affective, and pathophysiological domains of ADHD. The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors provide rapidly proliferating insights into the developmental trajectory of the condition, both structurally and functionally. Parent-of-origin effects seem to support the notion that genetic risks for disease process debut often interact with the social environment, i.e., the parental environment in infants and young children. The notion of endophenotypes, markers of an underlying liability to the disorder, may facilitate detection of genetic risks relative to a complex clinical disorder. Simple genetic association has proven insufficient to explain the spectrum of ADHD. At a primary level of analysis, the consideration of epigenetic regulation of brain signalling mechanisms, dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline is examined. Neurotrophic factors that participate in the neurogenesis, survival, and functional maintenance of brain systems, are involved in neuroplasticity alterations underlying brain disorders, and are implicated in the genetic predisposition to ADHD, but not obviously, nor in a simple or straightforward fashion. In the context of intervention, genetic linkage studies of ADHD pharmacological intervention have demonstrated that associations have fitted the “drug response phenotype,” rather than the disorder diagnosis. Despite conflicting evidence for the existence, or not, of genetic associations between disorder diagnosis and genes regulating the structure and function of neurotransmitters and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), associations between symptoms-profiles endophenotypes and single nucleotide polymorphisms appear reassuring.


A relevant bit from the middle

Discordant DNA methylation patterns in adolescent or adult MZ twin pairs have shown that that the epigenome is in constant drift over the life course in response to stochastic and environmental factors, but in infancy the situation appears ‘prehensile’. Several features of neuropsychiatric disorders, such as ADHD, are consistent with an epigenetic dysregulation, including discordance of monozygotic twins, late age of onset, parent-of-origin and gender effects, and fluctuating disease course have permitted insights regarding the epigenome and its role in maintenance of normal genomic functions, as well as disease etiopathogenesis


Conclusion

The epigenetic aspect to ADHD involves a multiplicity of complex genotyped entities, environmental realities, and endophenotypes that interact to express the gene structural material, the symptom-profiles inherent to disorder pathophysiology, and the eventual responses to the therapeutic intervention, namely methylphenidate. There exists much variability and conflicting evidence for the existence, or not, of genetic associations between disorder diagnosis and genes regulating the structure and function of dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline, and the neurotrophic factor, BDNF. Nevertheless, the results pertaining to associations between symptoms-profiles, synonymously endophenotypes, such as lack of attention, overactivity, lack of impulse control, or overeating, appear surprisingly reassuring. The genomewide association studies carried out on ADHD population samples have failed to identify replicable associations that explain plausibly the heritable variation, but twin studies have provided sufficient instruments in the development of endophenotypes, defined as alternative, more highly heritable traits that act at earlier stages of the pathway from genes to behavior.


LINK

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Apr. 3, 2013 at 1:57 AM

I think the 'chances' of ADHD don't change... because I don't think of it like something your immune system might be able to fend off, or that you might be exposed to.

I do believe that there are environments that are highly conducive to the development of ADHD, and there are changes that can be made to the environments children spend their time in that can ameliorate it (or eradictate it, in some cases.)

LindaClement
by Thatwoman on Apr. 3, 2013 at 2:01 AM

Years and years ago, Benjamin Hoff wrote, in The Te of Piglet, about 'educating Eeyores' -- the folks who look at the results of the system, say 'that's not good enough' and determine that the 'fix' is to start earlier and extend the hours, make it mandatory for longer, and spend more time testing everything along the way.

If driving north from New Mexico gets you further and further away from Peru then driving longer hours, faster and with a bigger engine is UNLIKELY to get you to Peru any more effectively.

Quoting apple4teacher:

So many preschools and kindergarten programs have essentially done away with "play" as we remember it.  Too much emphasis is placed on worksheets and testing. And it's so easy to hand over your phone when a child needs some amusing at a restaurant or the pediatrician's instead of really engaging with them. All kids respond positively to play and attention. I am encouraged that the AAP is not just pushing a pharmaceutical solution.


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