Almost 7 million kids will be diagnosed with ADHD this year. Here are observations from a parent of one young cyclist.
Because of his diagnosis of ADHD, Jon has struggled to master focus during the typical 8 hour long "sit at your desk all day and stare at a screen" that is often school these days. His team has worked hard to give him opportunity to access classes that are more hands-on as well as allowing him the freedom to find what works for him. This has been essential as medications have not always been an easy answer. However, the number one beneficial tool for Jon has been movement and exercise and his top choice has been cycling.
Cycling is really the ideal of all worlds for someone with ADHD. It has allowed Jon to minimize the use of and maximize the benefit of medications. He only takes medication on most school days. When Jon is on a bike, nothing is needed to grab and focus his attention other than the ride itself. Cycling and racing tap into all of the strengths of ADHD (because there are many...ability to hyper-focus, stay calm in a crisis, creative problem solving, excellent intuition, ability to jump in and not worry, quickly assessing patterns and willingness to try new things) and help minimize the weaknesses. We’d love to see schools add spin trainers in with the fidgets, standing desks and other interventions they provide so that all kids with ADHD can start accessing the benefits of cycling. It's an excellent tool for the physiological side of ADHD that allows for social networking, physical mastery and psychological challenge all at the same time.
-Dan and Jeni Heinemann
Cycling helps me relax my mind and focus my mind on one thing. After a ride, I can get things done because I’m much more focused. Cycling helps me feel good overall, less stressed, more ready to do what I need to do. If I can’t get out for a ride, it throws my concentration off. Racing helps my brain train to stay focused. Cycling gives me the best workout and the rhythm of pedaling relaxes my brain. There’s nothing better than cycling and racing takes it to a whole other level. Can’t beat it.
-Jon Heinemann, age 16
ADHD America's mission
ADHD America was established as a 501(c)(3) with the purpose of reaching the nearly 7 million school-aged students and young adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD. We believe that many parents, particularly those in underserved communities, are unaware of the consequences ADHD can have on the lives of their children, not the least of which are the potentially severe physical and mental side effects of ADHD medication. There are alternatives to taking yet another pill! Through the development of a Digital Therapeutic smartphone application (ADHDmyway), we will provide an ADHD “Virtual Coach” to guide proper study habits, nutrition guidance, exercise advice, and more. We are committed to making a difference in the lives of those struggling with the effects of this disorder. Your donations will go towards the development and eventual free distribution of the ADHDmyway smartphone application to kids:
•Allowing those with ADHD to organize their life for success
•Giving the user tools to self-manage their emotional and physical state
•Providing Application data that parents, doctors, and teachers can use to fine tune current treatmnent methods and support ongoing research
•Improving parents insight regarding their childs progress
This fall we hope to pilot a program at a Milwaukee high school. Members of our team will be “training partners” with students from their school who are diagnosed with ADHD. We will provide everything necessary for these students to train as part of our team, bikes, clothing, access to the indoor training center, etc., without the expectation of them actually racing. We are hopeful that, as has been shown in other research, consistent moderate to high level exercise, at least 30 minutes daily, will promote a positive change in the students ability to manage the effects of their ADHD. Your support will help make this possible!