ADHD is an increasingly common problem among our nation’s children. But what is ADHD, and what causes this condition? Mike Smith seeks an answer on today’s Home School Heartbeat.
With us this week is Steven Duvall, director of the School Psychology Training Program at Fort Hays State University and author of a new study on ADHD comparing homeschool students with public school students. Thanks for joining us, Steve.
Dr. Steven Duvall:
Thank you, Mike. It's good to be here.
Steve, what is ADHD and what causes it?
Well, Mike, ADHD (which is short for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) makes a person’s thoughts race from one thing to another. And this makes it difficult for a person to plan ahead, finish tasks, sit still, maintain focus, avoid distractions, and resist acting impulsively.
Concerning the causes, scientists don't know for sure what the causes are, but they have found that the brain areas that control attention use less glucose, indicating that those parts of the brain are less active in a person who’s ADHD.
Steve, why study homeschoolers?
Well, Mike, because the children have so much difficulty focusing on academic tasks and are so easily distracted, they’re difficult to teach. And because we estimate that there are at least 60,000 of them being educated at home, it was important to determine whether parents could teach them as effectively—or more effectively—than the public schools could teach them.
Well, thank you, Steve, for joining us. We look forward to hearing more about this study next time. And I’m Mike Smith.