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ADHD in the News – ADHD Boys and Addictive Gaming

August 6, 2013

ADHD and GamingA recent study found that boys with autism and ADHD spend more time playing video games than their peers without those conditions.  Participants in the study who have been diagnosed with autism spent and average of 2.1 hours a day playing games and those with ADHD averaged 1.7 hours per day as compared to the 1.2 hours spent per day by boys in the control group.  While there was no real consensus on what constitutes “addictive levels” of gaming and no real explanation of why these findings seem problematic, everyone in every story seemed to agree that this was bad.

I, as the mother of two ADHD boys and the wife of an ADHD/Aspie husband, do not necessarily agree.  While I, like every parent, wish my children spent more time outside and worry about what all this online living means for their future, I do not believe all this game playing is “bad” for my boys.  They have gotten real benefits from playing games that I don’t believe they may have gotten without the virtual experiences gaming provides.

In my house, it is now and has always been all about balance.  I don’t place arbitrary limits on things like TV and gaming simply because some expert who has never met my children told me I should.  My boys are excellent students who are active both physically and socially.  They have hobbies other than video games.  They have friends and manners and can both make fire without matches.  They are kind, well-rounded, loud, fun, funny teenagers….and if they ONLY played games for 1.7 hours a day, we would have a significantly smaller electric bill.

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 7, 2013 5:54 pm

    I admit, I usually play a couple hours on an MMO every night, after everyone else has gone to bed. Did they study total screen time or just video game time?

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