September is National ADHD Awareness Month
What is attention
deficit hyperactivity disorder? *Adopted from National Institute Mental
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the
most common childhood brain disorders and can continue through adolescence and
adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention,
difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These
symptoms can make it difficult for a child with ADHD to succeed in school, get
along with other children or adults, or finish tasks at home.
Brain imaging studies have
revealed that, in youth with ADHD, the brain matures in a normal pattern but is
delayed, on average, by about 3 years the delay is most pronounced in brain
regions involved in thinking, paying attention, and planning
the symptoms of ADHD in children?
Inattention, hyperactivity, and
impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be
inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD,
these behaviors are more severe and occur more often.
Scientists are not sure what
causes ADHD, although many studies suggest that genes play a large role. Like
many other illnesses, ADHD probably results from a combination of factors. In
addition to genetics, researchers are looking at possible environmental
factors, and are studying how brain injuries, nutrition, and the social
environment might contribute to ADHD.
How can parents help?
Children with ADHD need
guidance and understanding from their parents and teachers to reach their full
potential and to succeed in school.. Mental health professionals can educate
parents about ADHD and how it impacts a family. They also will help the child
and his or her parents develop new skills, attitudes, and ways of relating to
What about martial arts and Children with ADHD
John Ratey, M.D, the author of
"Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain"
states that regular exercise, like karate, can turn on a child's attention
system -- consisting of the cerebellum, frontal cortex and limbic system --
which can affect the parts of the brain responsible for sequencing,
prioritizing, working memory and sustaining attention.
Ratey maintains that combining
martial arts and medication lessens ADHD symptoms more than the use of
medications alone. He also stresses that while exercise in general is good for
children with ADHD, martial arts offers more benefits than many other forms of
exercise, such as soccer or baseball.
Shihan:Growing up, while there was no formal
diagnosis or term referred to as ADHD I certainly demonstrated many of the
classic symptoms & behaviors including a robust about of misdirected
energy, fidgeting, getting out my seat at school, lack of focus &
attention, not completing assignments or turning them in on time, etc. During
this time nobody seemed either capable or willing to invest time/energy on what
to do with kids like me. While some of behaviors subsided as I became a young
adolescent, the struggles with focus, following through with responsibilities
did not. As result the issues with poor performance continued until…
Martial Arts was placed in front of me. Numerous aspects of
the physical training encouraged not only fitness, my focus turned on from the
self-discipline I gained. It was not easy yet with each step I managed to
better understand the how too to get things done so my view of being
responsible for my actions and taking pride on performing well with all tasks grew.
The key component was the positive view of myself as a result
of the self-confidence I gained. The doors starting opening up the stronger I
felt about myself. It was like magic.
The same individual that for years struggled in school now
was excelling. Others began to notice the turn around and it was a great
feeling to experience my self-respect growing and respect given to me by
family, friends etc. Transforming for sure!!
Over recent years it is recognized that a quality martial
arts program can be a great addition as a therapeutic regimen for children that
have ADHD. Although not intended to replace appropriate medication, we have
seen many children over the years that were able to either have their
medication reduced or eliminated after being in our programs at International
The difference for our students today at International Karate
Centers is we have a greater understanding of the dynamics of ADHD and with the
assistance of other educators & psychologists over the past 40 years we
have created teaching methods and strategies that make for even better results
from participating in our life changing programs.
As a result of these
successes we receive many referrals from parents and professionals. Let other
parents know that have a child with ADHD we can help!