Children With ADHD Have Problems In Traffic
ADHD or the attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the condition of the century when it comes to children, as more and more appear to be suffering from it.
And as if it were not enough that thee children already have a whole bunch of problems, it seems that they cannot even cross the street properly. According to a new study, it seems that children with ADHD find it more difficult to avoid traffic when crossing the street, in comparison to their healthy peers. A group of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham tried to identify whether this theory was true or not and so, they used a computer-generated street intersection to see who finds it more difficult to cross the street – the 39 children with ADHD or the other 39 ADHD-free children? Well, given that previous studies have clearly shown that children suffering with ADHD have more chances to get general injuries and that ADHD adults tend to be riskier drivers, the researchers wanted to test this theory.
“We expected that the kids with ADHD maybe weren’t displaying the appropriate curbside behaviors,” said the study co-author, Despina Stavrinos. Well, although the children with ADHD looked both ways when crossing the street, in comparison to their healthy peers, they went for a more dangerous crossing of the street. When the researchers looked at things such as how close the car was when they crossed the street and how much time they had to spear, the researchers realized that children with ADHD were all almost hit by cars when they tried crossing the street.
24 hours before the trial, the kids with ADHD had to stop taking their medication and the researchers checked for things such as the household income and parent education. At first, the children were asked to walk a 25-foot distance, so as to let the researchers determine their average speed and then, they were put in a virtual street and they had to cross it. Given that there were screens around, on them appeared a virtual road coming from both directions. The kids had to step off from a wooden curb to a pressure plate when they felt it was safe to cross the street and they repeated that for 15 times.
What the researchers observed was that even though children with ADHD looked both way before trying to cross the street, just like their ADHD-free peers, they decided to cross the street when it was less safe. According to Stavrinos, the difference between ADHD kids and ADHD-free kids is represented by decision making. Although ADHD kids were able to acquire all the information needed in order for them to cross the stress, they did not seem to be capable of actually processing that information. In ADHD, the main deficit has been observed in the function of the brain called executive function and this is the first time researchers decided to make a study to see how the executive functions influences decision making when traffic is involved. The thing with kids with ADHD and crossing the street is that they do not seem to realize that if they have 10 seconds and they start crossing the street, they must walk fast. Rather, they act like they have all the time in the world and that can get very dangerous, if not fatal.11