Connie McCarthy is passionate about her work as a teacher of young children. She has devoted her entire career to making sure that her students do well at school, right from the start. Connie has an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education. She has been teaching first grade in East Providence, R.I. for 23 years, where she received the distinction of “Highly Qualified Teacher” by the Rhode Island State Board of Regents. Connie also taught nursery school for four years, and published numerous articles on early education in East Bay Newspapers in Bristol, R.I. She’s also been published in PTO Today Magazine. She lives with her husband, Brian, and has a daughter and a son, both young adults. Connie enjoys reading, writing about elementary education, and taking long walks with friends. During summer vacations, she likes to travel with her husband. She also loves reading readers’ comments on her weekly blog posts.
I want to share a chance remark, at a recent doctor’s appointment, that got me really thinking about American children and ADD/ADHD. At a routine medical check-up my Vitamin D levels were checked, and they came up a little low. My doctor’s next comment really caught my attention. “You know,” he said “Vitamin D deficiency is almost an epidemic among American children.” “Why?” I asked. “Vitamin D is considered the ‘sunshine vitamin’ he said. Kids don’t play outside like they used to do, and even when they do they are covered in sunscreen. They’re not getting it in their diet either.” Out of curiosity I asked, “What are the symptoms?” “Some symptoms could be weak bones, fatigue, irritability, inattention …he explained” I had a “Light Bulb” moment! “Wow” I said. “Do you think that could explain why so many more children seem to have ADD/ADHD issues?” Not being his field of expertise, he was reluctant to comment.
I need to stress that I am not a physician, and would never give advice I was not qualified to give. However, based on the information I learned from that chance remark, if my child was experiencing the symptoms presented by ADD/ADHD as a parent the very first thing I would do, is have his or her pediatrician check Vitamin D levels!