Saturday, June 5, 2010

Swimming vs Ritalin in Treating ADD; Nelly Yankovic, a mom in Chile, shakes up the way ADD-diagnosed children develop.

When doctors suggested Nelly Yankovic drug her son so he could sit still long enough to learn to read, and she noticed that 60% of the children she was teaching were taking prescription Ritalin several times a day, it struck her as "not right."

The DEA agrees. As long ago as 1996 they reported that Ritalin (methylphenidate) is "potent, addictive and abusable," and it is "over-prescribed, over-marketed and over-sold." Prescriptions increased 500% from 1990 to 1996.

Since then, the prescribed (and not prescribed) use of this psychotropic drug has only increased. While some children experience no side effects, other children taking Ritalin drop dead.

Nelly decided to do something about it.

Being a physical education teacher, she knew from personal experience that conscious physical exercise can develop self-discipline and focus.

What if ADD-diagnosed children, instead of taking Ritalin, were taught to correctly swim the crawl stroke? 

She contacted neurologists and other experts and convinced them to conduct a study. The results of that study will soon be published in Spain. Here is a sneak preview.

Guess what? Swimming, correctly, improves academic test scores. And as you can imagine, the exercise also improves health. And of course we feel more self-esteem when we are strong and have mastered a skill.

I had the great honor to meet with this mom who is making a difference, Nelly Yankovic. Here is an English translation of our conversation.

What inspired you to conduct this study? What experiences in your life compelled you to dedicate your efforts to the field of swimming and its relationship to learning? 

The grand inspiration that led me to carry out this research is my son. I want my son to be (as much as possible) happy. In my opinion, swimming is a method that helps students who have difficulties learning to read and write overcome these difficulties.

You have conducted impressive research about the effects of learning to swim well on improving grades, in comparison to children taking Ritalin. Can you tell us something about these studies?

The study was of [the relationship between] Ritalin, swimming, and learning how to read and write in children between 6 and 11 years old who had learning disabilities. I studied the pedagogy of physical education. When I started teaching physical education I noticed that 60% of the second graders were given a pill called Ritalin, with the objective for those children to concentrate and be able to learn the class subjects. That was how the children stayed calm and got very good grades.

I decided to demonstrate that by learning to correctly swim the crawl stroke, that the students could successfully learn to read and write. They had good results.

The study was conducted with groups of 10 students each that had difficulties learning to read and write. The students were selected by the child psychologist Amanda Labarca in the municipality of Vitacura in Santiago, Chile. The high school has a heated swimming pool.

At the end of the year and after 30 sessions of swimming, the 10 students of the experimental group demonstrated (in various tests) a significant improvement in reading and writing. They had better grades and were more homogeneous than the control group. Furthermore, they had a good time being in contact with water — they learned in a natural way.

The children on Ritalin had even higher test scores, and the control group had not improved their reading and writing abilities at all by the year-end test.

In the study, the children taking Ritalin had better grades scholastically than the children swimming. In your opinion, how important are grades apart from everything else that makes us human beings? Do you believe that grades are the only way to judge the quality of a person?

Grades or scoring or evaluations that they give to students can stigmatize the child. The teacher needs to be very careful. Every single student is unique and furthermore I believe that for every single student there needs to be a unique method for teaching this person.

Children who take Ritalin have higher grades than those who do not consume this medicine. The problem is if they are not medicated, they do not have excellent scores.

Whereas, practicing the crawl stroke, correctly, improves reading and writing scores. It is a natural method that has for its objective the physical psychomotor activity of the thick trunk; promotes the development of fine motor skills and of being better coordinated, such as breathing correctly.

In regards to scores or grades, these can cause damage to the self-esteem of the student.

On the other hand, a student with high grades is not guaranteed future success... or happiness or to be kind-hearted or loving. My experience in the school was to evaluate according to the initial capacities of each student.

In your opinion, what are the ingredients, or qualities, for a person to be well-developed?

The qualities to be a well-developed person are different for each student. Each student has different needs.










As Nelly Yankovic is rebuilding her home and life in earthquake-ravaged Santiago, Chile, she continues this self-motivated work to benefit children around the world. And her son? He is happily reading and writing and swimming.

First published on blogcritics

Photo Credits -
Digital collages;
Ritalin Boy
and
Swimming in Books
by Lynette Yetter 
(using elements from wiki-commons and purchased from www.dreamstime.com)

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RITALIN VS NATACION COMO TRATAMIENTO PARA DIFULCULTADES EN APRENDEZAJE DE LEER Y ESCRIBIR; Nelly Yankovic, una madre Chileña, esta cambiando la manera para niños desarrollar

Cuando los médicos sugirieron Nelly Yankovic drogar su hijo para que él pudiera quedarse quieto el tiempo suficiente para aprender a leer; y ella se dio cuenta que el 60% de los niños que ella enseñaba estaban tomando Ritalin varias veces de un día, le pareció "no está bien."
La DEA está de acuerdo. Ya en 1996 indicaron que el Ritalin (metilfenidato) es "potente, adictivo y con potencial de abuso," y es "sobre-prescrito, el exceso de comercialización y más vendidos". Las recetas aumentó un 500% desde 1990 hasta 1996.
Desde entonces, la prescrita (y no señalado) el uso de esta droga psicotrópica ha hecho sino aumentar. Mientras que algunos niños no experimentan efectos secundarios, otros niños tomando Ritalin caída de muertos.
Nelly decidió hacer algo al respecto.
Siendo un maestro de educación física, ella sabía por experiencia personal que el ejercicio físico consciente puede desarrollar la auto-disciplina y enfoque.
Lo que si tiene más de niños diagnosticados, en lugar de tomar Ritalin, se les enseñó a nadar correctamente el trazo de rastreo?
Se puso en contacto neurólogos y otros expertos y los convenció de llevar a cabo un estudio. Los resultados de ese estudio será publicado próximamente en España. Aquí está una vista previa.
¿Sabes qué? Natación, correctamente, mejora los resultados académicos de prueba. Y como se pueden imaginar, el ejercicio también mejora la salud. Y por supuesto nos sentimos más la autoestima cuando son fuertes y han dominado una habilidad.
Tuve el gran honor de reunirse con esta mamá que está haciendo la diferencia, Nelly Yankovic. Aquí está nuestra conversación. 





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P. ¿Que fue tu inspiracion para hacer estas investigaciones? ¿Que experiencias en tu vida te impulsaron dedicar tus esfuerzos a este campo de natacion y apredezaje? 

R. La gran inspiración que me llevó a realizar esta investigación  es mi hijo.
Yo quiero que mi hijo sea ( dentro de lo posible) feliz.
Opino que la natación es un metodo que ayuda a los escolares que tienen dificultades
para aprender a leer y escribir , a superar estas dificultades.

P. Has hecho unas investigaciones impresionantes sobre el efecto de aprender como nadar bien, en vez de los niños tomando Ritalin. ¿Puedes contarnos algo sobre las investigaciones?

R. Ritalin, natacion y el aprendizaje de leer y escribir en escolares entre 6 y 11 anos que tienen dificultades  al respecto.

Yo termine de estudiar pedagogia en Educacion Fisica a los 40 anos. Retome esta carrera a los 35 anos.
Cuando me inicie como pedagoga dando clases de educacion fisica medi cuenta que al 60 por ciento de los alumnos de un segundo ano basico se les daba una pastilla  llamada ritalin.con el objetivo de que estos ninos se concentraran y pudieran aprender  las materias en clases..Asi los ninos se mantienen tranquilos y obtienen muy buenas calificaciones.
Yo decidi demostrar que utilizando la natacion como un metodo para aprender a leer y escribir los escolares tambien logran aprender a leer y escribir. Claro que sus aprendizajes van a resultar buenos, no excelentes como con el ritalin.

Para realizar la investigacion  se consideraron  2 grupos:
cada grupo esta formado por  10 escolares que presentan dificultades para aprender a leer y escribir .Estos grupos fueron seleccionados por las psicopedagogas del Liceo Amanda Labarca en la comuna de Vitacura en Santiago de Chile. Este liceo tiene piscina temperada.
El grupo experimental iba a las clases de natacion y a las clases de psicopedagogia
.El grupo experimental asistia solamente a las clases de psicopedagogia
Al final del ano y despues de 30 sesiones de natacion los 10 escolares del grupo experimental demostraron ( por medio de varios test) una significativa mejoria en sus aprendizajes de leer y escribir. Los del grupo experimental obtuvieronmejores evaluaciones  y mas homogeneas que los del grupo control. Ademas lo pasaron bien en contacto con el agua, Aprendieron en forma natural...........
El grupo control no obtuvo mejoria en sus aprendizajes de leer y escribir al aplicar el test al final del ano.

P. En las investigaciones, los niños tomando Ritalin tenian mejoras notas en sus estudios de los niños nadando. ¿Que opinas tu de la importancia de notas, aparte de todo el resto de ser humano? ¿Creas que las notas son la unica manera para calificar la calidad de una persona?

R. Las notas o calificaciones , o evaluaciones que se les da a los escolares pueden estigmatizar al alumno. El profesor debe tener mucho cuidado. Cada uno de los alumos es único y por lo tanto ( pienso) que para cada alumno en particular debe existir un metodo particular para ese alumno.
Los alumos que toman ritalin tienen mejores calificaciones que los que no consumen ese medicamento.El problema es que " si no consumen el medicamento no tienen un excelente rendimiento.

El  practicar correctamente nado crol mejora el rendimiento de la lectoescritura : es un metodo natural que tiene por objetivo desarrollar: la psicomotricidad  del tronco ( gruesa) ; promueve el desarrollo de la motricidad fina y de las difrentes coordinaciones ; así como una correcta respiración.

Respecto de las calificaciones o notas, estas pueden causar daño en la austoestima del escolar. Por otro lado un alumno con notas sobresalientes :no significa que su futuro sea exitoso......y feliz . y bondadoso y amoroso. Mi experiencia en la esuela fué evaluar de acuerdo a las capacidades   iniciales de cada alumno.

P. En tu opinion, ¿que son los ingredientes, o cualidades, para ser una persona bien desarrollada?


R. Las cualidades para ser una persona bien desarrollada van a " ser" diferentes para cada alumno. Cada alumno tiene necesidades diferentes.
______________________________________________________________________
Mientras Nelly Yankovic esta haciendo la reconstrucción de su casa y su vida despues del terremoto en Santiago de Chile, continúa este trabajo auto-motivado para beneficiar a los niños de todo el mundo. Y su hijo? Él es feliz leendo y escribiendo y nadando.   

Foto Créditos - Digital collages; 

 Ritalin Chico y
Natación en los Libros
por Lynette Yetter 

(Utilizando los elementos de wiki-commons y comprados a www.dreamstime.com) 


 


2 comments:

  1. Hi Lynette,

    I've been arguing this point for years! Though not specifically thinking of swimming, I've maintained that most of these kids diagnosed with attention or hyperactivity problems are simply not getting enough physical activity.

    Whenever friends have brought this subject up, usually out of concern because a school official is insisting on medicating their child, which worries them, I've asked the parents to seriously evaluate how much physical activity their child gets in the course of the day — especially compared to what the parent remembers of their own childhood. Seldom can they say their own kids today get the level of exercise anywhere near what we got all those years ago.

    Sadly, many parents today are so paranoid about the safety of their child that they wind up unknowingly restricting severely the child's outdoor exercise. For example, I know parents who won't let their kids out of the house even to play in the fenced back yard unless an adult is available to supervise, which they seldom are.

    Bravo to Nelly Yankovic for pioneering this approach. Thank you, Lynette, for sending out word of it. I shall forward your email with the link to everyone on my list.

    Best,

    Bruce Mitchell
    Los Angeles, CA
    ibamINV@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bruce, you are brilliant! Lack of physical activity. How sad that some kids can't even play in their own backyards without an adult looking on.

    I don't know that I got a lot of exercise when I was a kid, but we did go camping and I LOVED being out in nature.

    Thank you for passing the article on to your friends, and letting the world know.

    Un abrazo desde La Paz,
    Lynette

    ReplyDelete