ADHD Diagnoses Rise, How Washington Would Spend Race to the Top and Cartoons and Junk Food


The world is full of early learning news. Let’s get to it:

ADHD Diagnoses Rises: A new study found nearly 1 in 10 children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and the increase may be fueled by better awareness among parents, doctors and other medical professionals, reports today.

While the rise is interesting, another reason, changing views of children’s behavior, cited as a possible contributor is more intriguing.

“We are increasingly more academically, cerebrally, and intellectually focused than we were two, three, five decades ago,” he (Dr. Bradley Peterson, head of child psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center) explained. “And our requirements for kids to do well in school – having to sit still, stay focused, and attuned – have changed over time. I think the tolerance and threshold for saying a particular child is too fidgety, too distracted, has likely changed over time, too.” –1 in 10 US Kids has ADHD, Study Finds: Increase in diagnoses due to more awareness, rise of cases in minority and poor children. 8/18/11.
Washington Would Spend RTTT Grant on K assessment & QRIS: If Washington State wins a Race to the Top Early Learning grant it would spend the money on expanding its kindergarten assessment pilot, WaKIDs, and its Quality Rating and Improvement System, the Associated Press reports.

The grant would help Washington expand both initiatives statewide, the story adds.

“There’s nothing in the draft guidelines that is a nonstarter,” (Department of Early Learning’s head of government and community relations, Amy) Blondin said. “We think we are in a pretty good position to be competitive.” – WA aims for federal dollars to expand preschool: Washington state has quietly grown its commitment to early learning over the past few years and, state officials say, is well prepared to compete for $50 million to $100 million under a new federal grant program for preschool education.,” 8/17/11. Associated Press via The Seattle Times.

Cartoons and junk food: Cartoon characters are telling preschoolers to nag their parents for junk food, USA Today reports.

…You may have wondered, what makes even preschoolers yearn so desperately for the character-shaped marshmallow cereal? Or the prepackaged frozen meal in the brightly colored box?

New research suggests one culprit: those cutesy cartoon characters used to sell foods in TV ads. – Cartoon characters prod kids to nag for unhealthy foods. USA Today, 8/17/11.