More questions from my Facebook friends:
a popular therapist in the area believes that ADHD can be a learned behavior – is that true?
And then Molly added:
I’ve read articles about how today’s technology is “creating” a generation of children with attentional issues… maybe that’s what that therapist meant..
So what about it? Is ADHD a learned behavior and/or is it being created by today’s technology?
Wow – how about asking me some hard questions?
The truth is I don’t have any definite answers, just my own opinion, for what that’s worth.
The other day, Tamara asked a similar question about one sibling learning ADHD behavior from another. And in that post, I said that I didn’t think it was possible.
Of course, siblings learn a lot from one another as they grow, and behavior is certainly part of that. But to adopt an ADHD behavior to the extent that the parent wonders if that child has it too seems a bit much. At some point, the child’s real personality will have to come out.
But if you think of “learned behavior” as something more generalized – sort of a sociological thing – then the answer is not so clear.
Certainly all of us as a society have “learned” such ADHD kinds of behaviors as focusing on more than one thing at a time. When you have ADHD they call that inattention to the task at hand, but if you don’t have ADHD, it’s just multi-tasking. And yes, I think all of us have come to expect things to be fast and faster – we get impatient having to wait too long. Remember dial up? Could any of us stand the wait for a page to load now?
I have said for years that the increase in the number of people being diagnosed as ADHD is evolution in action. As the world around us changes, we have to change too.
I don’t believe that ADHD is learned, but I do believe that one day those of us who have it will no longer be considered “deficits” and “disorders”. We’ll be the lucky ones with the advantage.