Excellence in Action resulting from students optimizing brain functioning


Teachers report that children are less stressed and more open to learning, after they practise the Transcendental Meditation technique.










Dr Handy, principal
Dr Linda Handy, currently a school principal, highly recommends the use Transcendental Meditation for children with ADHD.


'A whole different world' for students with ADHD
by Global Good News staff writer
5 June 2009

Dr Sarina Grosswald, an expert in cognitive learning, emphasizes that the results of her study, analysing the effects of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation Technique on middle school students with ADHD, 'will not come close to telling the real story'.

The study demonstrated great effects of the Transcendental Meditation Programme, both less ADHD symptoms and 50% less stress and anxiety in the students practising Transcendental Meditation. But for Dr Grosswald, the results go well beyond the statistics. 'The real story,' she says, 'is how Transcendental Meditation has affected the life of each and every child.' She then elaborates. 'The numbers won't tell about one child who now does his homework more independently because he doesn't get as frustrated doing the work.

The numbers won't tell about another child whose previous response to stress or frustration was to lash out physically and to get into fights almost daily, and who now no longer regularly turns to violence in these situations. And the numbers won't tell about yet another child who would lose hours in the school day because when he was upset he would simply shut down, and who now shuts down less often—and when he does, recovers in minutes, not hours. And the numbers won't tell about the children who simply say that after meditation they feel great—they feel happy.

The study results cannot convey how just 10 minutes twice a day has made such a difference in all of these children's lives and in the lives of their families—and what a help it is to the teachers who work with these children every day,' the researcher says.

Linda Handy, PhD seconded Dr Grosswald's feelings. A lifelong educator and the current principal of the Waldorf School in Silver Spring, Dr Handy was the academic director of the Chelsea School during the three-month Transcendental Meditation study there. She says that students who could never sit still with their eyes closed doing nothing for two minutes—much less 10 minutes—were able to easily learn and practise Transcendental Meditation and see concrete benefits in their own lives right away. 'There was an unquestionable sense of peace and calm once the students took the Transcendental Meditation training,' she says.

'They are no longer impaired'
The inability to plan and carry out tasks to meet goals; the difficulty for these bright children to finish tasks, resulting in a sense of themselves as being lazy, unproductive, and unaccomplished; the 'bull in a china shop' behaviour—these and other manifestations of ADHD seemed to change.

'In general,' Dr Handy says, referring to the children in the study, 'they appeared to be more whole and no longer exhibited the traditional symptoms of ADHD. They seemed to be empowered: they stood taller, with a greater sense of self and others. They seemed to have a sense that now they had some control over their world rather than the other way around. They are no longer impaired—they are just different.'

Dr Handy adds that it's easier for teachers to gain the attention of students who meditate—and it's easier for the meditating students to concentrate on what is being said and absorb it. 'Transcendental Meditation has a great effect on a student's learning ability,' she says. 'Teachers can teach more—so students can learn more as a result.'

The children themselves greatly noticed the difference. After meditating three months, Josh, a ten-year-old at Chelsea School who had been diagnosed with ADHD four years earlier, said, 'Transcendental Meditation has kept me calmer and more alert in class—and I study better, too.' And eleven-year-old Andrea, reported that 'It's easier for me to focus my energies on one project at a time. Before I started meditating, it wasn't so easy. I would try to work on one thing, then fidget around, then try to stop fidgeting—and the whole time I was supposed to be listening to the teacher. Now, I am more relaxed and more focused. For the first time, I have confidence I can do well in school.'

'The Transcendental Meditation practice is the answer'
Dr Handy points out that until the introduction of Transcendental Meditation, all approaches to overcoming ADHD and Executive Functioning Disorder included a strong reliance on medication. This medication, most commonly amphetamines, powerful drugs with many side effects, has left parents and educators desperately looking for alternatives.

'Now we know,' Dr Handy reports, 'that students with ADHD can be reached and calmed with the practice of Transcendental Meditation. We gave our students the tools for creating a more peaceful and productive inner life as well as helping to provide a school environment that is wholesome and stress free. I am convinced that the Transcendental Meditation practice is the answer to accomplishing the long overdue goal of maximizing the potential of students who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Children are our future, and through Transcendental Meditation we are giving them every advantage to lead successful lives.'

Dr Grosswald echoes Dr Handy's comments, reflecting on the response of one of the children who was instructed in Transcendental Meditation for the study. 'I asked him how he felt after just the first meditation. He told me, "I feel like it's a whole different world now." Every child deserves to experience that world,' Dr Grosswald concludes.

Editor's note: The content and quotations used in this article are from the Abramson Family Foundation web site, www.abramsonfamilyfoundation.net

© Copyright 2009 Global Good News


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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