GOODBY SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS, San Francisco / THE SPECIALIZED FOUNDATION / 2018
The film opens on two different kids struggling to focus—one in front of his computer and the other one at school. A male voice describes how it feels to live with ADHD. As the day goes by and their anxiety grows, both of them leave for a bike ride. And as they ride their bikes in the darkness of the night, we start to see projected alongside them wild animals running free. As the kids pedal more and become more focused, the projected animals become more prominent. The faster the kids pedal, the faster the animals run. The group of kids grows in number, with more projected animals running alongside them. The final shot shows a large group of kids riding together. A title card comes up that says, “One in nine kids has been diagnosed with ADHD. A bike ride a day helps set them free.”
“#OUTRIDEADHD” was a campaign to combat the alarming increase in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis and the overmedication of children in the US. Today one in nine kids are diagnosed with the disorder in the US, more than every other country in the world combined. And misinformation among parents and teachers helps to create a epidemic of overdiagnosing. Diagnoses of the disorder increased 42% in 13 years. The effort launched the Specialized Foundation’s program “Ride for Focus,” which turns cycling into a tool to help children achieve academic and social success at public schools in the US and introduced the research finding that riding a bike daily can help children focus and reduce the need for medication, presenting a bike ride a day as a complementing—and even alternative treatment—for the symptoms of the disorder.
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