ADHD and tests

Watch Judy Willis, MD, MEd's video on ADHD and tests...
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ADHD and tests

Actually, there is an increase in the amount of kids that are diagnosed today with ADHD and ADD. And it's really fascinating but sad that the brain reacting to the stresses that are evident in school with so much information forced into the curriculum, the brain is reacting the way it's designed to. When the brain is in a high stress state, which is easy to have happen in schools with so much they have to memorize and the emphasis on reading and on math and on less and less time with other things, the brain gets into the stress state, there's blockage of flow to the higher brain, and behaviors are controlled by the reactive brain. The responses of the lower reactive brain are three: fight, flight, freeze. That's a great thing for survival. We have the same system though that animals do. Animals, when there's something stressing, they need to act quickly. We have the same system. So when a child is stressed by boredom or frustration, what comes out in their behavior is involuntary. It's not a choice. The acting out, the zoning out, is the brain's response to the excessive pressures that are making them bored or frustrated. So school and parents need to help them lower the stress by reengaging, promoting their curiosity again.

Watch Judy Willis, MD, MEd's video on ADHD and tests...


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Judy Willis, MD, MEd


After graduating Phi Beta Kappa as the first woman graduate from Williams College, Judy Willis attended UCLA School of Medicine where she was awarded her medical degree. She remained at UCLA and completed a medical residency and neurology residency, including chief residency. She practiced neurology for 15 years before returning to university to obtain her teaching credential and master's of education from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She then taught in elementary and middle school for 10 years.

Dr. Judy Willis is an authority on brain research and its applications regarding learning. With the unique background as a parent, neurologist, classroom teacher, and neuro-educator she writes extensively for parenting magazines and professional educational journals. Dr. Willis has written six books for parents and educators about applying brain research to parenting and teaching.

Dr. Willis is on the adjunct faculty of the Graduate School of Education, University of California and gives presentations to parents and educators nationally and internationally about how to help children learn joyfully and successfully. She is on the Board of Directors of the Hawn Foundation, dedicated to helping children improve academic performance and acquire vital social and emotional skills. In 2011, she was honored by Edutopia, as a “Big Thinker on Education”.

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