ADHD is typically 4 times more common in boys than it is in girls. An estimated 50% of the children diagnosed with ADHD continue to have symptoms in adulthood. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002518/
The exact cause of the disorder is still unknown. The etiology of ADHD is a combination of multiple genetic and environmental factors such as: genes (estimated 70-80% of cases), food additives and preservatives, excess sugar, watching too much TV, discordant family relationships, mother's cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse during pregancy, infections in childhood and formula-feeding of infants. .http://www.jpands.org/vol8no2/ottoboni.pdf
In fact I think it's more of a miracle the rate is not even higher considering the circumstances children are brought up in the Kingdom.
In some places it could even be assumed the ADHD prevalence in Saudi is somewhere around 90%.
Just entering any malls children's entertainment area at midnight and a typical scene is revealed:
A Saudi kid is frantically running around in the almost deafening noise of the fully-packed amusement area. He goes from one place to another screaming from the top of his lungs holding onto a bag of chips on one hand and an energy drink in the other. His maid has told him already 10 times they must leave but he does not seem to have heard anything. She is chasing after him while trying to feed formula to a crying baby in her arms. The kid races over to the next machine pushing over three other kids with Bebsi-colas in their hands because he could not wait for his turn. They start hitting each other and calling each other donkies while the Bebsies go flying on the floor. No ones says a thing. The father comes to pat the kid on the shoulder offering an ice cream.
Many cases of ADHD will go undiagnosed or their conditions will get worse due to this attitude.
Factors in Saudi society that contribute to or exacerbate the exceptionally high rate of ADHD:
- inbreeding and genes (most marriages are between cousins)
- consuming foods containing high amounts of additives and preservatives
- diet rich in sugars
- children consuming energy drinks and cola drinks
- lack of sleep at NIGHT
- having maids (absence of parents)
- lack of discipline
- high prevalence of formula-fed babies
- large family sizes
Back to the article, it raises the importance of early treatment of the condition for better prognosis. Early diagnosis and treatment of ADHD is crucial for the affected person to be able to lead a normal and successful life.
However this news article tells us that there are currently only approximately 40 specialist doctors in the Kingdom for the treatment of the one MILLION Saudi ADHD patients.
In the article, Prince Saud bin Abdullah "urged all sections of society *pay attention* to this problem and understand how to deal with it adequately".
He did not disclose how that would happen though.
What would you suggest, how to help solve this problem?
Support group for ADHD in Saudi:http://www.adhd.org.sa/en/
Facebook support group:http://www.facebook.com/pages/ADHD-Support-Group-Saudi-Arabia/118757624872903