Seems like there are a lot of kids out there who are be diagnosed with ADHD or ADD. Is this truly a medical problem, or does it stem from poor environment and upbringing? Where does the church stand on this sort of illness?

Dear Friend,
Thank you for your question. In my studies I have read that medical research and scientists today believe the cause of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) lies in gene malfunctioning.
To quote an article found on Dr. Koop’s site

Scientific studies, using advanced neuroimaging techniques of brain structure and function, show that the brains of children with ADHD are different from those of other children. These children handle neurotransmitters (including dopamine, serotonin, and adrenalin) differently from their peers.

ADHD is often genetic. Whatever the specific cause may be, it seems to be set in motion very early in life as the brain is developing. Other problems, such as depression, sleep deprivation, specific learning disabilities, tic disorders, and oppositional/aggressive behavior problems, may be confused with or appear along with ADHD. Every child suspected of having ADHD deserves a careful evaluation to sort out exactly what is contributing to his concerning behaviors..”

The medical field does not believe that poor parenting causes ADHD, but that it can complicate the course of ADHD and thus there is a need for consistent discipline in the child’s life just as in the average child’s life.

Since I am a professional counselor and a registered nurse as well, I believe that many mental health disorders and behavioral syndromes have a physiological cause as well as circumstantial, spiritual and psychological causes.

I do not believe that the church takes a stand one way or another on ADHD. But, I would hope that leaders and people in the church would take an empathetic view of this disorder and treat those children diagnosed with ADHD with respect and compassion.

Obviously, these children will take more time and their behavior can be very frustrating because of the difficulties they have focusing and controlling their behavior. But, all of us can learn how to love them, teach them the gospel and the Word of God and patiently discipline them. Order the book: The New Dare to Discipline by James Dobson

“Robert Frost, Frank Lloyd Wright, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla are examples of creative individuals whose behavior could also be interpreted as the inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity of ADHD.” (ibid.)

So we can have an impact spiritually and personally on these children and maybe someday they will still notice us WHEN THEY BECOME FAMOUS!
Read this research article: ADHD is Genetic.
Check out the site ADHD Christian Resources .

© copyright 2014 by Lynette J. Hoy, NCC, LCPC