On this site I mention some negative environmental factors I went through, but my six year old cousin’s obvious SCT symptoms and struggles are a case and point in my view that there has to be a strong genetic, rather than just environmental basis for attention difficulties.
I would consider her environmental factors ideal, almost perfect if such a thing could ever exist. Her father makes a handsome living as a businessman; her mother recently graduated college with a degree in elementary education so she most likely is aware of the care needed for children with special needs. Because of increased public awareness on conditions like autism and learning disabilities, today’s elementary school teachers in training receive additional instruction about these concerns like never before.
During family gatherings I can see that she struggles with communicating with others and is a shy and passive child who says little and appears “spaced out” in her own little world. But what is more revealing than my observations is how her parents describe her behavior. I heard from her mother that she struggles in school as well as extracurricular activities such as gymnastics. (Interestingly, I have once entertained the thought that “tiger parenting” would instill behavior and discipline on those who struggle with ADD but I am still undecided on the possible benefits, if any.)
One time, I heard her father describe some concerns and make comments that seemed quite revealing to me. (A family member had asked him about private schooling because she was interesting in having her child go as well.) As a sort of undercover shrink that lurks in the distance, I jotted some notes so these comments are nearly verbatim.
In regards to his daughter, my uncle says the following:
“I have no high plans like you (referring to the family member who originally asked a question about private schooling). I just want her to be normal.” He describes his then five year old girl as “not an active kid,” “a spoiled special brat,” and “not a rocket scientist.” He also says that he puts his daughter in private school because she’ll get “eaten up” at the public school.
“She’s going to be a mommy when she grows up. What little girl doesn’t want to be a mommy?”