Ways to Cope with ADHD

Over the last ten years, prescription medication has become the first option for treating most cases of ADHD in children between 4 and 17. Unfortunately, many physicians who’ve prescribed stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin have failed to discuss all the potential side effects that do not reverse after medication cessation. As parents learn of typical effects like increased blood pressure and irritability, they’re now turning to alternative ways to treat and cope with ADHD that have less or no negative side effects.

No one knows for sure the cause of ADHD but it is known that medication only treats symptoms of it. Finding alternative, holistic treatments can help treat the potential causes, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include hazardous environmental exposure, alcohol and tobacco use during pregnancy and even low birth weight.

Although there is no current proof that processed sugars and carbohydrates cause ADHD, consuming them in high quantities will cause a spike in blood glucose levels. This may make your child more restless and fidgety which is a common sign of the hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD. To curb this spike, nutritionists suggest removing high fructose corn syrup and other processed sugars from their diet and increase the amount of fiber. High-in-fiber foods like fruits, whole grain and oatmeal will help to manage the amount of glucose in the bloodstream.

Many researchers have recently examined the benefits of behavioral intervention for children with ADHD. The interventions include multiple components like parenting-skills classes and child safety courses that instruct parents and teachers about motivating and rewarding children who would normally find challenges performing schoolwork and other related tasks. When these sessions were performed at home and school research found a decrease in ADHD symptom.

Dr. Frances Kuo, a University of Illinois researcher, has compiled evidence correlating the time spent in natural settings to an increased ability to focus with ADHD. The study found that children who participated in activities around a green environment had the largest improvement over all outdoor activities. As the number of hours spent in a greener setting increased, symptoms became less and less.

It’s been found that people who suffer from ADHD have excess theta waves and lower than normal beta waves in the brain. Through training and monitoring of the patients brainwaves, they can be instructed when brain activity has reached a desired level and ultimately learn to control these waves on their own. The one downside to this alternative is the high cost and low number of insurance companies who cover the therapy.

ADHD sufferers have been told for a long time that medication is the answer when dealing with symptoms of this attention disorder. But as alternative therapies continue to gain attention, parents should feel relief that this disorder can be managed and possibly even cured.

As always, make sure to consult your physician or specialist before beginning alternative therapies.

via Parents in Action: Ways to Cope with ADHD.

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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