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Sophia Education Funds
We are born to give tools to the educational system, our focus are children and we are delighted to share with parents, teachers and even pediatrists their concerns about necessary skills in XXI Century and how to help kids to reach them.
ADHD - The incidence of learning disabilities in children is increasingly high. For example, in the United States an 11% of school-age children are diagnosed with ADHD. And in the age group of 14 to 17 years old, this percentage rises to 20%. Two thirds of these children are treated with drugs. It is expected that these rates will be higher in the next years, and that countries that have a lower incidence will catch up with the American situation.
Moreover, the criteria used for diagnosis in this condition relays only on clinical observation, so it can incorporate a significant bias depending on the experience and judgment of the physician or psychologist. There is no biological marker, or objective test to diagnose a ADHD as per example we have in the case of diabetes. This fact explains the large differences in the number of cases among countries and regions. We can just compare the high incidence of ADHD in the US east coast, compared to the west coast.
Currently, the most widely used treatments are based on the prescription of drugs (usually stimulants), alongside (or not) the use of behavioral or psychological therapy. These drug therapies are applied on a long term basis (years, or even throughout the whole life of the patient). However, no studies of sufficient volume are available to assess the effect that such a long-term medication may have on children. So far, there is evidence of growth-deficit in ADHD-treated children, being debated whether it is a side effect of drugs or is caused by the alteration of base.
It is also necessary in ADHD cases, to take into account the changes that this disorder causes in the families. This is highly relevant because many of the behavioral therapies are applied by parents, and the stress imposed by the disease over family members, and the fatigue accumulated over time, could provoke an inadequate and inefficient application of these therapies, often inducing negative changes in the relationships within families .
This entire situation has led to a search of alternative treatments to supplement or replace the currently pharmacological -and psychological- therapies. Among them, the most promising ones appear to be related to Mindfulness techniques. This new type of treatments is currently being studied in different centers in the U.S. and Europe, with encouraging results.
In tests with adults, Mindfulness techniques have shown substantial improvement in attention focus, the main alteration in ADHD disorders (Jha 2007, Semple 2010). In the case of meditation techniques, concentration and inhibition of automatic responses significantly improved (Van der Hurk et al., 2010).
Moreover, it can be combined with Self-Awareness techniques, which ensures that the individual -the child- is able to realize their own level of attention focus, improving it as these techniques are practiced. Self-Awareness can use devices and computer applications to help the child to focus on some tasks, and to discard other confounding stimuli. Furthermore, the use of these techniques helps to reduce tension and fatigue within the family, improving relationships with children and increasing parent satisfaction (Singh 2010).
Text from Enrique Lizaso, doctor.
Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating our children. He defends a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence
We would like to share with you this CV example from a sciences teacher, her sensitivity, excellence and creativity are helpful to exercise her vocation.