Remember when our parents thought that video games were causing behavioral problems? – A good case could be made that they were somewhat right! Fast forward 30+ years, and now we as parents should be concerned that cell phones and tablets are the new video games.

As access to entertainment and information becomes more convenient, the attention spans of our youth are getting shorter at a disproportional rate. These short attention spans are considered symptoms of ADHD.

In the past 20 years, ADHD has become the most common behavioral disorder among children. “The brains of children adapt to that (rapid transition) speed, so when they’re forced to work in the slower pace of life, they often struggle to pay attention because it’s less stimulating and rewarding,” said Dimitri Christakis, the George Adkins professor in a Time magazine interview.

There is no one conclusive test to diagnose ADHD, yet the rate of ADHD diagnosis has increased parallel to the rate of mobile device usage by children. According to Common Sense Media, 38% of children under two-years-old use mobile devices. This number increases to 72% by the age of eight. Over six million children have been diagnosed with ADHD in the U.S. In the past 10 years, ADHD diagnoses increased by 50% among children. NewsOne reports that Black boys are diagnosed with ADHD at a higher rate than any other group of students in the U.S. and spend around seven and a half hours starring at mobile devices.

One study showed that neurobehavioral deficiencies among young children may be linked to the radio-frequency radiation received during pregnancy, suggesting that, children who were exposed to cell phone radiation during pregnancy are at higher risk of ADHD.

ADHD is often misdiagnosed because the ADHD diagnosis is based on a physician’s observation of the child’s behavior. Psychiatrists wisely advise improving parental and teacher involvement before filling an ADHD prescription. Increase family and quality time before deciding that your child may be suffering from a behavioral disorder.

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