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Does My Child Have An Attention Problem?

Our attention span is shrinking as our attention problem is growing. 

As a culture we have made a huge shift toward convenience and needing everything at our fingertips. Young adults and busy families eat more quick meals, video game playing is now a very lucrative “sport”, advertising and an online presence are demanding more of our attention in quick bursts by shortening ads and flooding our devices with notifications; life NEVER slows down. 

Is it such a surprise that a major rising concern among many parents as their kids enter school is their ability to perform – grades, attention, behavior, sports skills, social skills? Pretty soon our infants will be born with cell phones and coffee addictions to keep up with our overstimulated lifestyle! 

One of the most common things I hear from parents in the office is that their child struggles to pay attention.

  • They can’t sit still.
  • They can’t focus or read well.
  • They’re easily distracted.
  • They’re smart but don’t get good grades. 

Why are our children having so many issues sitting still and paying attention? 

Diagnosis such as ADHD are on the rise.

  • More than 1 in 10 kids are diagnosed with ADHD, affecting boys 3 times as much
  • The impact of ADHD on academics is much greater than testing their teacher’s patience: kids with ADHD have decreased GPA, increased drop-out rates and difficulty with attendance and homework
  • 2/3 of kids with ADHD also have another coexisting diagnosis – mental, emotional or behavioral such as anxiety, depression, autism, OCD, Tourette’s.
  • Kids with ADHD are more likely to experience anxiety as adults.
  • Households with a child with ADHD spend dramatically more on therapies and medications than one with a neurotypical child – up to $15,000 per year!

Let’s shift our focus to WHY so many kids experience ADHD and attention issues:

Our brain and nervous system are our “air traffic control center” for the body, receiving all input from our muscles, organs and tissues. When input is received, it must coordinate and send an appropriate output/action. 

The “air traffic control center” runs on two modes: gas pedal and brake pedal. The gas pedal is our protection mode and the brake pedal is our growth mode. Think of the gas pedal as the stress response – fight-or-flight. 

When we are chronically in this overdrive mode, we become more impulsive, irritable and on edge for any potential stimulus (light, sound, movement) that could be perceived as a threat. This imbalance in our stress response makes kids less focused on growth tasks, such as school work, and becomes more easily activated over time. 

Behaviors and habits that mimic or contribute to ADHD:

  • Overactive stress response
  • Poor or inadequate sleep
  • Improper neurologic development
  • Food sensitivities
  • Stress within the home or social life
  • Chronic infections
  • Gut imbalance
  • Poor nutrition

Heartland Chiropractic has the tools your child needs to succeed. Many of the kids that come into our office don’t have an attention issue, they have a stress regulating issue.

Learn more about how we can help your child balance their stress system through chiropractic care by calling our office at 515-252-8668.