It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Children's Television Is Enhancing Attention Deficit Disorders

page: 1
1

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 03:11 PM
link   
In a discussion I had today in one of my child developmental classes, the issue of Sesame Street type shows leading to attention deficit disorders in children. The thought caught me off guard initially, but the more I thought of it, the more I found myself agreeing.

Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is commonly diagnosed with children and over half carry the disease into adulthood. As a coach for organized youth sports, I've dealt with children who have been diagnosed with this on several occasions, and you can tell fairly quickly that the child is fighting a disability. Some symptoms of the disease are as follows:



Inattention:

1. Failure to pay close attention to details or making careless mistakes when doing schoolwork or other activities
2. Trouble keeping attention focused during play or tasks
3. Appearing not to listen when spoken to
4. Failure to follow instructions or finish tasks
5. Avoiding tasks that require a high amount of mental effort and organization, such as school projects
6. Frequently losing items required to facilitate tasks or activities, such as school supplies
7. Excessive distractibility
8. Forgetfulness
9. Procrastination, inability to begin an activity
10. Difficulties with household activities (cleaning, paying bills, etc.)
11. Difficulty falling asleep, may be due to too many thoughts at night
12. Frequent emotional outbursts
13. Easily frustrated
14. Easily distracted

Hyperactivity-impulsive behavior

1. Fidgeting with hands or feet or squirming in seat
2. Leaving seat often, even when inappropriate
3. Running or climbing at inappropriate times
4. Difficulty in quiet play
5. Frequently feeling restless
6. Excessive speech
7. Answering a question before the speaker has finished
8. Failure to await one's turn
9. Interrupting the activities of others at inappropriate times
10. Impulsive spending, leading to financial difficulties

en.wikipedia.org...


Now children's television shows, like Sesame Street, are very simplified and are directed to grab the attention of the child and teach them numbers, letters, etc. In the pre-school years, these shows can give children a bit of a head start on the process. But studies are beginning to show that children who are more prone to these television shows are showing problems remaining focused in school.

Obviously an elementary school teacher is far less interesting then Big Bird, Elmo, or The Cookie Monster. A child is going from lessons from their favorite day-time character, to this complete stranger who won't even sing a damn song. Trends are beginning to show that children at a very young age are bored with school and developing symptoms of ADHD.



A new study appearing in the April issue of Pediatrics concludes that children who watch television experience shortened attention spans and considerably enhances the chances, based on number of hours of television watched, of developing ADDs (attention deficit disorders) later on in life. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended that children under the age of two not watch television and this new study seems to validate such a recommendation.

The release of this study comes at the same time Sesame Street is celebrating their 35th year on the air. The assistant director for research at Sesame Workshop questioned the results of this study because researchers did not know the content of the programming during the study, instead focusing on the number of hours a child watched the television set. Sesame Street programming is considered instructional and educational.

-snip-

According to Dr. Day, who has for more than a decade advocated the eliminated of television from a child's early years:

"It is reported that children watch an average of 43 hours of TV per week, that's longer than the average adult work week. While watching, they rapidly become almost hypnotized. It has been shown scientifically that within minutes of beginning to watch TV, the brain changes from the alert brain waves (beta waves) to the hypnotic waves (alpha waves) where the judgment center of the brain is bypassed. So the violence and decadence that the child sees, bypasses the judgment center in the brain and is implanted in the child's brain without any ability on the child's part to decide whether what they are seeing is right or wrong. The violence and decadence are accepted by the brain without any moral judgment being applied to it. It then becomes part of the child's permanent subconscious.

www.newswithviews.com...


Other studies have shown that for every hour of television a young child watches, they increase their chances of developing an attention deficit disorder 9%.



Based on the findings, the authors suggest that we generally limit young children's television use. This is probably a good idea, but we question whether this report creates additional evidence for this advice.

The authors reported a 9% increase in risk of attention problems for each daily hour of television-watching. The measure of adverse behavior was based on a score of maternal report of child behavior including restlessness, concentration problems, impulsiveness, confusion, and obsession. A similar association was found at both ages of reported television-watching, which would be unexpected if the association was caused by an influence on brain development.

A log-linear association is anticipated, but whether such a relationship is actually present in the data is obscure. This particular strategy of analysis may provide more statistical power, but the assumption of a log-linear association is strong and implies that any additional hour of watching television provides the same log-linear increase in risk, whereas a threshold effect or other nonequidistant associations may very likely be present.

pediatrics.aappublications.org...


This is something that seems to have been looked at for quite some time, but garners little attention. Children's television definitely has it's benefits. In no way, shape, or form am I attempting to discredit children's television and say it has no upside. It certainly does. But it has to be introduced to the child in moderation. Parents who use the television and shows like Sesame Street as a babysitter, may be introducing their child to more problems than they realize. I think it is quite reasonable to say that these flashy characters like Big Bird can easily attain a child's attention, which will leave them asking for more from their teachers when they make it to school.

The inability to focus at such a young age can really act as a detriment to a child's future.

What does everyone think about this? Have they discussed this before? First impressions? Do you think it is a reasonable thought? Maybe it is ridiculous?

I am interested in having a discussion on the matter as I feel it is quite appealing.


[edit on 24-1-2007 by chissler]




posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 03:25 PM
link   
I never thought about that before, but now that I do, it makes perfect sense to me. What teacher can compete with the Count? And with bright colors, happy faces and cute little songs coming at the child constantly to put him in a bit of a trance (if you'll notice is exactly how a child watching Sesame Street acts), it seems the attention span is being 'trained' to be shorter and shorter.

I'm appalled that parents leave their kids in front of the TV for hours anyway, but instead of kids having to concentrate or stay interested in a 1/2 hour show, they're only required to stick with each segment for 30 seconds or a minute before the scene changes and something totally new and different is happening.

And recently, I've seen a TV channel for babies advertised. Supposedly, you can prop your infant in front of the tube and the images, music and colors on the screen will keep them occupied for hours while you clean your house or make a meal. :shk:

Very interesting, chissler. And scary. Thanks for bringing this up.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 04:04 PM
link   
I've also noticed a change in cinematography techniques that preceeded this ADHD phenomena -

The quickness of the action and the sudden screen changes - such things can condition a young mind to a certain "speed" of learning.

In the real world, things simply don't have the same pace as what youngsters see on television, and those children who spend an inordinate amount of time watching television or playing fast paced action games are more inclined to become restless, unfocused and irritable when things in the real world don't keep up the pace they're accustommed to.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 04:41 PM
link   

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I'm appalled that parents leave their kids in front of the TV for hours anyway, but instead of kids having to concentrate or stay interested in a 1/2 hour show, they're only required to stick with each segment for 30 seconds or a minute before the scene changes and something totally new and different is happening.


That is it right there. Summed it up perfectly in a neat little paragraph. These shows are geared up with very short clips that snatch the attention of young children, extensively stimulate the child, then gear them down until the next one. Bert & Ernie winds them up, then there is some down time. The Cookie Monster riles them up again, then down again. The Count begins to do his thing, then more down time. They are stimulated by eye pleasing characters for very short periods of time, and then left looking for more.

No teacher could compete with that.


Originally posted by GENERAL EYES
The quickness of the action and the sudden screen changes - such things can condition a young mind to a certain "speed" of learning.


Another great point. I think this involves an older population, which is still at risk, but it is not the target population. ADHD is beginning to be diagnosed in children at a much younger age, rather than in the past where kids were known as a "problem child" rather than one who is fighting an illness.

I am in agreement with Benevolent Heretic on all ends with this one. Today, was the first time that this had ever crossed my mind. It hit me very quickly and had me thinking. Within a few minutes of playing the thought around in my head, I was interested to see what the members of ATS had thought.


Ed: typo

[edit on 24-1-2007 by chissler]



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 09:31 PM
link   
Sesame Street is something I grew up with.. most adults did too. There is nothing wrong with most of us. You cannot tell me that because of the fast paced changes that a child is being conditioned to want changes so frequently in their lives also. There are two things that have "caused" this childhood phenomenon.. Firstly, the mainstream media.. They have scared us into believing that our children are not safe playing out the front of our houses or at the near by park. We are terrified of the society we live in. Children need to be physically active. Look at how restricted kids are compared to even 20 years ago... and secondly. I really do think that add and adhd are contributed to by having SIBLINGS and the fight for parental attention. It should be named Parental Attention Defficit Syndrome.. PADS.. How many ADHD children do you know who are the only child in a family>? and those that are possibly have a medical provable secondary GENUINE disorder/disability or illness?? Any thougts on this?TextText Yellow



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 09:39 PM
link   
hmm..

Maybe, ADHD, is really something else.
Enhanced Attention Syndrome.

A flooded mind, may crave even more flooding of information..

Perhaps this is an opportunity to discover new, and more interesting ways to teach.
To take advantage of what may actually be children with super absorbent brains.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 09:45 PM
link   
I think your completely missing the gist of the topic at hand. Sesame Street alone can not create an ADHD type disorder. However, children who do possess characteristics of the disorder can have it "enhanced" due to television shows such as Sesame Street.


Originally posted by foxywhiskers
Sesame Street is something I grew up with.. most adults did too. There is nothing wrong with most of us. You cannot tell me that because of the fast paced changes that a child is being conditioned to want changes so frequently in their lives also.


Why? Using yourself as an example is hardly enough to base any conclusions on. People have taken a bullet in the head and survived. If I were to take one of these individuals, take your process of thought, it would be suffice to say that taking a bullet in the head will not kill you. Some die, some do not. Some kids watch these shows and have no immediate or overt effects. Others may watch these shows and develop some attention problems over time. Saying it didn't happen to you and proclaiming the rest to be absurd, well that's absurd in itself.



Originally posted by foxywhiskers
There are two things that have "caused" this childhood phenomenon.. Firstly, the mainstream media.. They have scared us into believing that our children are not safe playing out the front of our houses or at the near by park. We are terrified of the society we live in. Children need to be physically active. Look at how restricted kids are compared to even 20 years ago... and secondly. I really do think that add and adhd are contributed to by having SIBLINGS and the fight for parental attention. It should be named Parental Attention Defficit Syndrome.. PADS.. How many ADHD children do you know who are the only child in a family>? and those that are possibly have a medical provable secondary GENUINE disorder/disability or illness?? Any thougts on this?TextText Yellow


That is your opinion on the subject. If a child is starved for attention from his parents, I would expect him or her to act out in different ways. In my opinion, I don't really see how an attention deficit disorder is going to develop from not receiving enough attention as a child. The thought of children's television enhancing the likeliness of the disorder seems more logical. An hour long show consists of a handful of small segments that consist of thirty second bits where information is being thrown at them left and right from characters that stimulate their senses. Their look and sound are all distinct, and that is for an obvious purpose. To grab the attention of the child. Keeping that in mind, you can see how the average Joe of a teacher would have a tough time keeping little Johnny or Susie awake while in class.

This thread is not here to discuss what society has done, is doing, or will do to our children. Whether they are able to play outside their house, at the park, or at their friends house is all moot to the issue we are attempting to discuss. One issue, one thread. Children's television and attention deficit disorders.

I think it is an interesting concept.



posted on Feb, 5 2007 @ 10:12 PM
link   
While I know that true cases of ADD and ADHD exist, I have always been inclined to suspect this is more of an epidemic in mis-diagnosis. So many children these days are labeled as ADD/ADHD simply because they can't sit confined in four walls listening to a "teacher" for 8 hours. What adult would want to do that as well? True ADHD would not allow a child to sit idle and stare at a TV for hours on end. I know because my brother had true ADHD and he couldn't sit still for any length of time. It's so much easier for parents to pop a pill in the kids mouth for control rather than to DEAL with the problems that are truly happening with their kids. It's more financially gaining for the pharm and doctor to diagnosis this condition.

I do not have any knowledge about the TV causing this problem though so I can't say anything for certain about that. I could see how that could be an increase of children not wanting to listen in class.

To me though, we live in a society that demands to be entertained. Everything created is to keep our minds occupied. But yet in a child's classroom they are handed out black and white sheets of paper to fill out. The classroom is not stimulating enough for the child to even WANT to learn. The old saying is you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. This applies to children as well. Children have to want to learn, be motivated to do this, interested enough. We have created these children that NEED to be entertained, for they are we. Therefore it is our responsibility to do so.

In conclusion I feel it is our classrooms that need a perscription not our children!



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 01:13 AM
link   
This thread is not here to discuss what society has done, is doing, or will do to our children. Whether they are able to play outside their house, at the park, or at their friends house is all moot to the issue we are attempting to discuss. One issue, one thread. Children's television and attention deficit disorders.

I think it is an interesting concept.

I certainly think its interesting also.. Thats why I posted my opinion. AND I am absolute certain that the other influential factors that I have mentioned hold credibility when taking a look at the overall influences that lead to a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.
Cheers!



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 01:15 AM
link   

Originally posted by spacedoubt
hmm..

Maybe, ADHD, is really something else.
Enhanced Attention Syndrome.

A flooded mind, may crave even more flooding of information..

Perhaps this is an opportunity to discover new, and more interesting ways to teach.
To take advantage of what may actually be children with super absorbent brains.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 01:36 AM
link   
I know I am off topic, but maybe you can answer this. Why is ADD/ADHD always classified as the same condition? I know circumstances where the condition is clearly ADD yet still labeled as ADHD. There is a difference, only you don't notice it until you are staring at two different cases right in front of you.



posted on Feb, 6 2007 @ 01:53 AM
link   
So for every hour they watch TV their chance goes up 9%. So would that mean that watching 11.11 hours of TV makes their chance 100%?



new topics

top topics



 
1

log in

join