NATURE DEFICIT DISORDER AND ADHD
“Nature Deficit Disorder is a serious modern phenomenon whereby human beings, particularly children, experience a growing series of physical and behavioural problems due to a prolonged lack of contact with Nature and the external environment. The further children are removed from the natural world, the more problems of anxiety, depression, bullying, aggression arise’. (Stiffler, 2007).
“It has been shown that children with ADHD show better attention functioning after spending time and/or performing activities in a natural environment. The greener the everyday family/school environment in which the child lives and plays, … the less severe their symptomatology appears. Since these children need frequent regenerative breaks, it would be appropriate if, in addition to an outdoor garden, natural elements or real ‘green’ areas for psychological regeneration were also present inside the school.” (Berto, 2017)
According to a recent study, children suffering from inattention and hyperactivity who spend a lot of time outdoors in nature have less severe symptoms than those who spend more time indoors. The research, conducted by Taylor and Kuo (2011) on a sample of 400 children, found that those who habitually played in green settings had a higher level of concentration. They were also, on average, calmer, more relaxed and happier.
Being in contact with nature increases a sense of belonging.
Van Wieren & Kellert’s 2013 study of a small sample of children found that those who spend more time outdoors feel a greater sense of belonging to the world and experience a stronger connection to the earth. In addition, being outside amplifies the feeling of appreciation of beauty. These children are more interested in colours, symmetry and balance, as well as showing more imagination and curiosity.
TESTIMONIES WITH CHILDREN AGED 2 TO 5
The sense of wonder and fascination that Alamar videos instill in children is proven by some experiments in kindergartens.
The children, even the most agitated, calm down, relax and bond with each other in a spirit of respectful cooperation. Togetherness is spontaneous and immediate, as is a sense of peace and an increase in imagination and concentration. Testimonies speak of an almost meditative silence that continues even in the hours following the viewing.
“The slow, relaxing images allowed even the two most motorically unstable children to find calm and concentration.
The experience fostered socialization, the sharing of opinions and ideas, and the ability to adapt and consider changing ideas by welcoming the other.”
Raffaella Castrale, kindergarten teacher
“Specifically, the details that were immediately highlighted were the great effort that the children put into the execution of the activity, the silence that was a predominant element, but also a relaxation and serenity that pervaded the children and made them more cooperative with each other, thus avoiding those little quarrels and misunderstandings that are often caught in the cooperation between children. It was also interesting to point out that these attitudes of extreme calmness, continued in the children even in the following hours during their stay at school.”
Alessandra Nardelli, teacher at the Spring Section of Don Michele Albertolli Preschool, Capoliveri, Elba Island Italy