The Natural Alterative for ADHD
Today more and more parents are craving alternatives to Ritalin, Focalin and other ADHD medication. While there is certainly a place for medicine in our world, as concerned parents, we are looking for alternative and sustainable long term solutions for ADHD.
ADHD Medications such as Focalin have not been scientifically tested for long term effects but some studies have shown that even over a sustained period, the effects of these ADHD medications seem to diminish or in some cases may be detrimental to the health of our children.
In some reported cases, the use of Focalin has led to such negative side effects such as suicidal thoughts says an advisory committee to the FDA who wish to label the medicine as a risk. (Reuters January 2012)
Has our society been too quick to offer the solution of financially profitable Ritalin or other medications for ADHD and ADD? Are teachers and doctors too quick to label ADHD with what used to be termed as “being an active kid”? Fifty years ago, ADHD was unheard of. Today we tend to label any child with a strong spirit and lots of energy as ADHD. As a concerned parent, it is imperative that we research alternative methods of caring for our spirited children who seem to learn and act differently than others.
Relaxation and meditation has been found to be exceptionally beneficial for symptoms of ADHD.
Children need to learn tools that can help them use emotional intelligence and also see their gifts as true gifts...not something to be ashamed of or labeled because of.
Children and teens with ADHD need to understand that the world truly needs leaders and creative thinkers, exactly like them. ADHD kids can succeed phenomenally. In order to do so, they need phenomenal parents who encourage and accept them exactly as they, always finding the silver lining in their diagnosis with ADHD.
Following is a GAME PLAN for your family to help your ADHD / ADD child:
- Feed your child only healthy, nutritious foods and drinks. Food dyes and preservatives have been associated with behavioral and emotional imbalances and hyperactivity. Many children have emotional outbursts which are sometimes explosive and even violent after consuming these chemicals. For one month refrain from giving any food dyes and preservatives to your child and watch the improvements.
- Make sure your child gets plenty of daily exercise. Exercise is good for the brain and children really need an outlet for all that extra energy, especially those who have trouble sitting. Their wiring is just not made for sitting and constant calm for 6 to 7 hours a day. We need people like this in our world. They are the ones who motivate others as they grow and become some of our best leaders. They are the new “movers and shakers” of today.
- Learn to channel the energy. Most ADHD kids are natural leaders. They are motivated, smart and they don’t necessarily like being told what to do. They want to make the rules. These characteristics can be wonderful qualities as long as they are channeled correctly. Help your child channel the extra energy with exercise and fun positive activities with adult guidance. Yes ADHD kids may require more of your personal energy to parent, but you will be a better person and a better parent for it.
- Use relaxation and guided imagery in the evening right before bed. After story time, put on a relaxation CD so your child will relax with ease and listen to positive, encouraging messages right before bed. Having a label is no fun, using a relaxation CD especially tailored to ADHD characteristics and Hyperactivity helps your child see his gifts and eliminate negative self talk.
- Use fish oil supplements. Fish oil feeds the brain. ADHD kids have shown to be deficient in polyunsaturated fatty acids. Using fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) helps replenish the imbalance. Many ADHD kids have shown vast improvements with the daily use of fish oils supplements with a high ration of Omega 3s to Omega 6s.
- Limit the amount of TV and electronics. In our current generation, we seem to be chained to media and electronics. Most of us need and use the devices for our daily work. However, for an active kid, this is a detriment if overused. While the TV is a sure fire way to have some peace and quiet, it also shortens attention span and creates a type of hypnosis for your child. After the TV viewing or electronic game playing, your child’s mind is wound up but his body has not been given the opportunity to work out all the active mind play. The two are incompatible. In our household, we have found that the Dance games are a nice compromise. They are electronic but there is real sweat involved too. Everyone wins.
- Heighten your child’s self esteem. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, he may feel something is “wrong” with him. With current rates of diagnosis at about 10% of the school age population, there are many children who feel outcast. ADHD children are also more likely to be bullied. Remind your child often how much you love and accept him just the way he is – without asking to him to change or conform. Remind him of all the positive sides of being active – he’s the ‘motor’ of the family, he infuses fun energy into any situation. He can talk to almost anyone and start conversations easily. He gets very enthusiastic about new projects and ideas. He’s very creative. Your world would just not be the same with him.
- Allow your child to encourage you to be more active and playful. ADHD kids are not statistics. They are not defective. Although you may find yourself having to take a long, deep breath at what the school teacher or Sunday school teacher has to say regarding your child, remember that you are on your child’s side. Do not automatically agree with the person in charge and punish your child for misbehaving or not conforming. Let him explain his side of the story. ADHD kids are like that cube shape trying to fit in the round hole in the puzzle box. Don’t try to change them, but work with what they have. Make sure they are physically and emotionally balanced and healthy and then enjoy life with them! ADHD kids have a habit of waking us up and helping us realize that not all of us are the same, nor should we be. Honor your child. Set well-defined limits and boundaries but protect your child from other’s labels and misconstrued projections. Always advocate for your child and understand all sides before jumping to conclusions. ADHD kids do inject fun and freedom into many situations. They also challenge a lot of people. Allow for that growth as your child grows. Learn to relax more deeply and play more often right along with your child.