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"Nature-Deficit-Disorder" and how a sensory garden can help

Childhood anxiety, depression, isolation, and disconnect with nature can be alleviated with a simple prescription: spend some time in the garden.

When journalist and author Richard Louv coined the term "Nature-Deficit-Disorder" in his book "Last Child in the Woods . . . " in 2005. In this book, Louv illustrated how the children of the time spent far less time interacting with the natural world. Needless to say, the amount of quality, unrestricted time in nature has been in decline since then.

When Louv's book was first published, we were already in trouble. Childhood obesity was on the rise along with depression and severe anxiety. In fact, about 10 percent of teens have been diagnosed with either severe anxiety, depression, or both.

However, all is not lost. An article in the Mental Health Journal showed a strong connection between gardening and increased happiness and peace of mind while reducing anxiety and depression.

As a bonus, add a water feature where your child can interact and experience the touch and sound senses associated with water.

A sensory garden may not cure all of Nature-Deficit-Disorder, but it's an easy place to start.

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