Almost 5% of Singaporean kids are believed to have ADHD. In France, ADHD is far less of a worry for French parents, with a rate of less than 0.5% of children. Find out why French ADHD treatments are more successful.
Children often find it hard to concentrate for long periods of time, become easily distracted and experience periods of hyperactive behaviour. Many parents across the world to have deal with these niggling issues on a day-to-day basis.
However, these seemingly common problems can sometimes turn into despair for a parent, when a child’s behavioural problems become so severe and so frequent that they are actually diagnosed with a neuro-developmental disorder: Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder or ADHD.
According to Psychology Today, in the US, approximately 9% of school-going children have ADHD. A survey amongst 2,400 children aged 6-12 in Singapore indicated that close to 5% of Singaporean kids had disruptive behaviour disorders. Worldwide ADHD rates are around 5% too. However in France, only 0.5% of kids have been diagnosed with the same disorder. This begs the question of why would a medical disorder affecting how a child thinks and behaves vary so much between different countries?
Nature vs nurture
The disorder has long been considered to be a biological-neurological disorder, which suggests that there is little a parent can do to prevent it. If its root cause lies with nature, then why fight it? The huge difference between American and French children indicates that the picture isn’t so black and white after all.
Many might view America’s and even Singapore’s approach to dealing with the issue as a somewhat narrow minded one, when compared to French ADHD treatment. In recent years, Ritalin and Adderall have gained a reputation in America as being super drugs, which will cure all sins from young troublemakers.
In both Singapore and America, ADHD treatment relies far more on prescribed medication. Although scientists worldwide will agree that both Ritalin and Adderall are effective ways to quickly increase attention and reduce hyperactivity in children, these drugs are not long term cures and will only mask the problem.
Triggers of ADHD
The French approach has less emphasis on popping pills, and more on the upbringing of the child. In France, when a child is beginning to show signs of ADHD, they are asked what is giving them the problem. They are referred to a psychiatrist who will then give them a tailor-made style treatment, depending on what triggers the ADHD. This generally involves a course of psychotherapy or family counselling where the problematic situations will be discussed. They are asked why they are receiving the problem, not why they are making the problem.