However great the controversy over ADHD has been throughout the past four decades, one thing remains clear: high functioning children are at risk of greater, more serious injuries than children who can demonstrate attentiveness and self-control. Perhaps this is obvious, but researchers from the University of Alabama Birmingham have drawn up more than a hypothetical probability. In fact, their research indicates that 5th graders with a diagnosis of ADHD, in particular, face double the risk of serious injury than those without such diagnosis.
The lead author of the UAB study is Dr. David Schwebel, who says, “We found that children with more ADHD symptoms, those in the 90th percentile, are nearly twice as likely to get hurt as those with symptoms in the 10th percentile.” He expanded this comment by noting that girls are far less likely to be injured than boys, by nearly half the numbers.
Schwebel’s study was performed on approximately 5,000 fifth graders out of three major cities: Houston, Los Angeles, and Birmingham. In addition, the concept of a ‘serious injury’ was clarified to mean that these are children who must receive medical attention beyond the old-fashioned bandaid approach. At least half of the injuries cited in the report were broken bones acquired from a rising lack of supervision among children this age who have ADHD. Due to their impulsivity and tendency to wander in hyperactivity, the risks go up exponentially. Dr. Schwebel uses this research to encourage parents and teachers to teach children about themselves, so they will understand their own limitations, boundaries, and risks. No, this doesn’t alleviate the problems, but if we learn to instruct our children in self-awareness, the study suggests, they may respond more than we give them credit.
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