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A Pediatric Perspective

Is Nature Deficit Disorder on the Rise in Children?

Published April 19, 2013 3:11 PM by Cecilia Cruse

With Earth Day this Monday (4/22/13) it seemed appropriate to bring up this topic.  No NDD is not an official medical diagnosis, but a description of “human alienation from nature.”  Upon the recommendation of a trusted OT friend, I have just downloaded the Kindle version of the book Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv.  The opening quote in the review is revealing as a 4th grade student reports:   "I like to play indoors better 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are."   As peds therapists, we certainly know how helpful AT devices can be for  all children, especially those with disabilities, yet our fast gains in technology may  be causing other ailments as well…including children who no longer get enough outdoor time.  Research studies indicate that children with ADHD performed better on tasks (such as reading) when done in outdoor green spaces vs. indoor or built outdoor spaces such as a parking lot.  In another 2011 study, researchers found that children with ADHD who had plenty of green space time had milder symptoms than their peers who played indoors.  For a recap on these studies see the article entitled   The Most Natural Treatment of All:  Green Spaces and ADHD.  So next week (as weather permits!) why not arrange for your treatment sessions to be outdoors in a green space.  From a SI standpoint, what could be better?   Happy Earth Day!


Continuing on our Earth Day adventures with the theme of getting outside one of my fellow colleagues

April 23, 2013 4:21 PM

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