Why Latinos Have Low Rates Of ADHD

Little boy in red looking up at cameraThe Latino community has put a stigma on mental conditions for a very long time. Any type of mental condition is looked at as “crazy” with a lack of mental strength, a piece of bodily function that is taken for granted. “No te pasa nada,” says your mother or father when you fall or hurt yourself. This philosophy falls under the same category for mental illness.

The image of strength is held up high. There’s nothing wrong with you, your family says because you can control your mind and keep everything in order. But what many don’t understand, nor do they want to think about, is the fact that there are many health conditions that don’t necessarily constitute an individual as “crazy,” but can affect behavior and attention span, like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

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Over the past few years, it has been noted that Latinos are diagnosed at half the rate of non-Latinos, which baffles many health professionals in the field. The dissection of the reasoning behind this is complicated. Some people may not have the funds or capacities to have their children tested for the disorder while many others may not even realize that something is wrong.

Many others, though, choose to go against the idea of treating such a condition. Since nothing is physically wrong with their child, they don’t feel any type of pressure to have them on medication or even consulted by a specialist in the field. Since many Latinos would much rather have natural remedies than taking pills, they feel the same about their children. They don’t feel it necessary to give their son or daughter any extra medication if it isn’t necessarily needed for something dire.

There are many other worse conditions that people have had to endure. Hyperactivity does not fall into the “serious” category, although it should be paid attention to due to repercussions later in life, especially among children.

Children with ADHD end up having a hard time in school, affecting their education and their success in school. Because children often daydream or have a hard time paying attention to what is being presented to them, they have a hard time following and completing instructions and homework.

Children also lack focus with ADHD. They get distracted easily and find it hard to complete tasks at home.

If your child shows the following symptoms, they should see a doctor.

Difficulty paying attention
Frequently daydreaming
Difficulty following through on instructions and apparently not listening
Frequently has problems organizing tasks or activities
Frequently forgetful and loses needed items, such as books, pencils or toys
Frequently fails to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
Easily distracted
Frequently fidgets or squirms
Difficulty remaining seated and seemly in constant motion
Excessively talkative
Frequently interrupts or intrudes on others’ conversations or games
Frequently has trouble waiting for his or her turn