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Minimising the affects of ADHD

Minimising the affects of ADHD
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-behavioural disorder that is linked with developmental difficulties. Classic symptoms include inattentiveness, being easily distracted, hyperactivity and impulsivity.

5-7% of children are diagnosed with this developmental disorder. Some simply cannot concentrate, others become disruptive, defiant and have trouble getting along with family, peers, or teachers.

There are mixed views on ADHD. Some professionals see it as a medical disorder, whereas others see the behaviours as being judged as less acceptable in today’s world. Different theories point to different causes and experts disagree as to whether the treatment should focus on behaviour or medication. Given all the confusing and conflicting professional opinions, it can be very tricky as a parent to know which road to go down. Parents of children with ADHD have collated information from their own experience, to offer guidance to other parents to minimise the effects of ADHD.

Diet

The first area concerns diet. It is suggested that a protein rich breakfast is the best way to start the day. This could include meat, eggs, fish, peanut butter, cheese or milk. Making sure that you also eat a good breakfast is a great way to role model the importance of this meal. You might also keep a food diary and take note of any reactions that your child has to particular foods.

Food that are high in additives, such as those labelled fat free, are more prone to bring on surges in energy and a feeling of being high. Avoid energy drinks for the same reason, they can be full of caffeine and will almost guarantee to send any child through the roof whether they are sensitive to food or not! Finally include essential fatty acids in your child’s diet.These are found in oily fish, avocado’s and lots of nuts.

Space and relaxation

Minimising the affects of ADHDSecondly, you might want to find ways of being restful and spacious. If possible walk your child to school and leave enough time so that you can do so in a relaxed fashion. When you talk to your child, be present and give them your full attention. Don’t be looking at a phone at the same time or think about other things that you need to get done.

Create routines that support unwinding such as a thirty minute downtime slot when they get home from school and a half an hour away from TV / phone / tablet screens before they go to bed. Make a space in your home that emits peacefulness and stillness; a room without screens that is very simply decorated and therefore minimally stimulating.

Exercise

The last area to reflect on is exercise. In America, cycling has been advertised as an alternative to the medication, Ritalin, by a family run cycling business whose son was diagnosed with ADHD. Enrol your child in an active exercise class of their choice so that they have a positive outlet for their energy.

Create opportunities to be active outside so that there is the double bonus of exercising and natures natural benefits. Do physical activities together as a family like walking and cycling, and play games that are co-operative rather than competitive. Let your kids climb trees, swim in fresh water lakes and generally express themselves physically as much as possible.

Avoid focussing on their energy as a problem. Instead create a lifestyle that supports your child to feel loved, accepted and able to be themselves in ways that work for the whole family.

 

 

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About Jenny Smith

About Jenny Smith

Jenny Smith is a freelance writer and facilitator specialising in mental health, well-being and ecotherapy. She writes for National Mind and The Working Parent and facilitates training in the Work that Reconnects and Ecotherapy. She is inspired by nature, gardening, love and non-duality teachings

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