Is there a link between screen time and ADHD?

Since September I’ve been teaching across the whole school. This has given me an interesting perspective on the behaviours of children across a wide age range. One thing I have noticed has led me to challenge recent medical conventions.

The link between increased instances (by as much as 30%) of ADHD and TV at a young age has been highlighted in a number of studies. The theories centred around the fact that over exposure to TV ‘re-wires’ young brains to respond to a higher level of stimulation. However, the most recent research challenges these findings. What I have observed in school leads me to think that there might be a link.

I can only comment anecdotally, however, I have noticed a number of children with ADHD like symptoms who instantly calm down when put in front of a screen. Could it be that only the stimulation of a moving screen can enable their mind to function as it is wired? I am not pretending to be an expert on this, but I think it’s something which needs more investigation, and in my opinion suggests that there could well be a link between exposure to TV and ADHD.

If this is the case how should we, as teachers respond. Does more exposure make the problem worse? Or should we use screen based learning to help them access the curriculum?

Is there a link between screen time and ADHD?

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