ADHD and TV ...and Video GamesADHD and TV...
It often amazes parents dealing with ADHD and TV, that the same child who has so much nervous and cannot sit still in a classroom... is able to “zone out” in front of TV and video games for hours at a time. The temptation is to let the child do that.
His or her parent believes the child is finally relaxing and acting normally. Plus, the long periods of time spent in front of the TV and video games provide adults with much needed relief. However, ADHD and TV for do not mix. ADD ADHD children should not be allowed to play video games and watch TV for long periods of time.
Dr. Daniel Amen, an expert on ADD ADHD with three ADD ADHD sons of his own, suggests that a half hour a day is the most an ADHD child should be allowed to play video games and watch TV, and that it may be best to get rid of these systems all together. Why does an ADD ADHD child like to sit and play video games but not do homework or read?
According to a study published in Nature magazine... the basal ganglia portion of the brain becomes very active when a person plays video games and watches TV. And the body releases a chemical called dopamine. Ritalin (and cocaine) also work on the basal ganglia of the brain and increase dopamine. As Dr. Amen writes, “The problem is that the more dopamine is released, the less neurotransmitter is available to do schoolwork, chores, homework and so on.
The more a child plays watches TV and plays video games, the worse he does in school and the more irritable he tends to be when asked to stop playing.” A recent study by the University of Illinois had similar results.
Parents who kept diaries about their ADD ADHD children reported more bad behavior the more the children played video games. Bottom line on ADHD and TV and video games?...
Limit the time spent in front of screens like video games and television to a half-hour a day.