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See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 25, Issue 2

Can ADHD Be Prevented?

A game-style intervention for preschoolers might prevent ADHD from developing, reducing reliance on medications


Games such as freeze dance coach kids to abruptly stop what they are doing.


PJ LOUGHRAN

From the start, Tzippora Gold was a smart and loving little girl, with a strong independent streak and tons of energy. During infancy and toddlerhood, her family noticed nothing amiss. But when Tzippora entered preschool, she did not listen to the teacher or sit in a circle. “I had never in my life thought that a three-year-old could get sent to the principal's office,” recalls her mother, Sara Gold of New York City, a graphic designer. “But she was. I pulled her out in the middle of the year because they couldn't handle her. And this was supposed to be a top-of-the-line preschool.”

A few months later Gold began seeing flyers posted by psychologists at nearby Queens College. The researchers were seeking unusually distractible, talkative and active children for a study. Gold signed up Tzippora. She had just turned four.

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