Attention Deficit Disorder Symptoms and Home Treatments
Attention deficit disorder affects an astonishingly large amount of the population, and often goes misdiagnosed. There are certain symptoms to identify when diagnosing a child with ADD, and there are a few different ways to treat the disorder.
When trying to tell if a child has ADD, first look for hyperactive and impulsive behavior. Of course, every child seems to have boundless energy, but a child with ADD or ADHD are unusually so for their age range. Consistently squirming and appearing restless when they are supposed to be seated, or interrupting others when it is not appropriate can be a sign of hyperactivity. Don’t rush into a diagnoses though as some kids are just more restless or active and prone to hyperactivity with too much sugar, a lack of sleep, or even an allergy. Your doctor can help you make a diagnosis but only you really know your child and digging deeper into some options and treatments can help you determine more what type of challenge your child is having.
Inattentiveness is also another symptom of ADD. If a child has trouble focusing on anything, if their grades are suffering because they cannot sit still in class to listen to the teacher, then they might have ADD. Inattentiveness also culminates in uncompleted and forgotten tasks. If your child tends to forget many things because he is changing his thought pattern frequently, then it might be due to ADD. Difficulty in conversations may also be a sign of inattentiveness; the child’s lack of focus makes it hard to stay on the topic of conversation.
There are different variations of ADD and ADHD that can include some or all of these symptoms. Hyperactive ADD includes just the physical impulsive characteristics, while the inattentive ADD contains just the traits that result in a lack of focus. The combined ADD/ADHD has symptoms of both.
Various drug makers have created pills and other medicines that are meant to help a child calm down and focus, but many parents do not like their children on excessive drugs. They search for a clean and holistic way to treat their children’s disorders. Thats what I did for my child and I am very happy to have found some treatment options that can help in a safe and natural way.
Some believe that changing a child’s diet will help them in treating ADD. Some doctors or natural remedies recommend incorporating high protein meals into the diet, reducing suger and taking out dyes. Reduce the number of simple carbs and increase the amount of complex carbs like whole grains and seeds. These are all meant to stimulate and strengthen the brain. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish are also a very healthy supplement for the brain. Check for dyes in foods and avoid them best you can. You will be surprised by the amount of dyes in your every day foods such as bread, crackers, fish, and more, its not just limited to candy and colorful treats. Reduce or cut out unnatural sugars, high fructose corn syrups and eliminate sodas. There are many healthy alternatives you can make and your whole family will be healthier eliminating these items.
Certain vitamins and supplements can aid in the treatment of ADD as well. A small amount of studies has shown that those who suffer from ADD often have a deficiency in zinc. Increasing the amount of zinc in a child’s diet has had mixed success among scientific studies. Ginseng and Ginkgo also prove to be promising, although more studies will need to be done to prove its effectiveness. An Omega 3 kids vitamin can be beneficial as well. We love the Smarty Pants brand- they taste really good.
Instead of using food to affect the child’s behavior, training can have a positive impact as well. A program that plays a steady rhythmic beat is given to the child. They are instructed to tap their hand or foot in cooperation with the metronome beat. The child receives feedback about how concise their timing is, and is encouraged to improve their “score”. This trains the child to develop better mind-motor skills, and has been shown to increase focus and improve behavior in children. Kids can also use a drum or pan to make beats themselves and some really seem to get into this type of working activiity.
Another option along the same lines is exercise or using a stress release toy to get energy out. The use of a squishy ball or toy to give to them when they are supposed to be focusing on a task such as reading or paying attention in class, can work very well. Giving them something to take their extra energy out on will help them focus and release the energy build up. This also allows them to concentrate on relieving their energy in a constructive way so they don’t bother others around them. For school, we used a squishy ball as well as putty that he used under the desk when he felt the need to release energy. This kept him in his seat longer and allowed him to continue on with his learning. If you are in a home environment and your child seems to be in over active mood- having them jump on a trampoline in between learning sessions can also work very well to release that energy allowing them to refocus afterward. Having a 10 minute break with every 60 minutes of work is ideal for kids with attention deficient disorders.
If your child has ADD, it couldn’t hurt to try these remedies. Keep in mind that more studies need to be done to prove the effectiveness of these treatments but it a good start and a way to see if your child’s behavior changes with any of the improve options.