ADHD on NPR (“Tell Me More”)

This morning, driving to school, I heard a snippet of a program on ADHD. Several adults with ADHD talked about their experiences, and the moderator and researcher brought up several interesting points.

One in particular: that ADHD only shows up in countries with compulsory education, because in other countries, young people work hard and work off their excess energies.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t educate our kids, of course. But it does indicate that sitting still and quiet most of the day doesn’t meet the natural requirements of growing kids.

We humans need movement, activity!

This all speaks to arts integration, to me. The arts get us up and moving and participating.

It also speaks to rigorous PE every day. If you need convincing, you should buy and read  Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey and Eric Hagerman.

Indeed, I wish every public educator could read this book. It demonstrates an easy, straightforward way to raise test scores, one you may not have thought of. Every student, every day, gets rigorous exercise. Without further academics or tutoring, students in two kinds of schools (low-income and high-income) achieved dramatically higher standardized test scores, when they participated in vigorous PE every day.

What better elements for growing up happy: arts and PE?

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