Nearly 1 in 10 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the rate appears to be growing, according to a report released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder commonly diagnosed in childhood. People with ADHD have trouble focusing, controlling impulsive behaviors, and may be overly active.
Shocking facts on ADHD
The percentage of children who have ever been diagnosed with ADHD increased by 22 % between 2003 and 2007, the CDC found, and two-thirds of all children with ADHD were taking ADHD medications such as Ritalin and Adderall—prescription drugs that carry warnings mandated by the government to alert people to their potential for negative side-effects. The estimated 2.7 million children ages 4 to 17 taking ADHD drugs represent five percent of all children nationwide in that age group, according to the report.
In addition to the typical behavioral problems children who suffer from ADHD typically experience, students with ADHD are much more likely to drop out of high school before graduation, according to a new study conducted at the University of California at Davis and published in July in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.
Can the Transcendental Meditation program help?
According to recent research conducted on meditating children with ADHD, the TM® technique produces significant benefits.
“The Transcendental Meditation technique increases blood flow to the brain,” says ADHD researcher Dr. Sarina Grosswald. “That’s important because one of the physiological correlates of ADHD is reduced blood flow in the brain. Practice of the TM technique also results in a dramatic reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression.” Dr. Grosswald’s study also found that organization, memory and strategizing skills significantly improved.
Dr. William Stixrud, a prominent Washington, D.C.-area neuropsychologist, says that he would like to see the TM technique offered in all of America’s schools. “It’s crazy that the first response for kids who are anxious is to put them on medication and not to teach them a way to regulate their own mind and body.”
In the words of a meditating 13-year-old boy in the study, “It’s amazing how easy it is and yet it does so much for you.”