It often amazes parents dealing with ADHD and TV that the same child who is so nervous and cannot sit still in a classroom… can “zone out” in front of the TV and video games for hours at a time. The temptation is to let the child do that. Their parent believes the child is finally relaxing and acting normally. Plus, the long periods spent in front of the TV and video games provide adults with much-needed relief. However, ADHD and TV for do not mix. ADD ADHD children should not be allowed to play video games and watch TV for long periods.
Dr. Daniel Amen, an expert on ADD ADHD with three ADD ADHD sons of his own, suggests that a half-hour a day is the most an ADHD child should be allowed to play video games and watch TV and that it may be best to get rid of these systems altogether. Why does an ADD ADHD child like to sit and play video games but not do homework or read?
The basal ganglia become active, and dopamine is released when someone plays video games or watches TV. Ritalin and cocaine also work on the basal ganglia of the brain and increase dopamine. The more dopamine is released, the less of it left to do schoolwork and so on.
The more a child plays watches TV and plays video games, the worse he does in school and the more irritable he tends to be when asked to stop playing.” A recent study by the University of Illinois had similar results.
Parents who kept diaries about their ADD ADHD children reported more bad behaviour when they played video games.
The bottom line on ADHD and TV and video games? — Limit the time spent in front of screens like video games and television to a half-hour a day.