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Treating ADHD naturally

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ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is the UK’s most common behavioural disorders said to affect between two and five per cent of children and youngsters. Those with ADHD find it difficult to pay attention, display hyperactivity and impulsiveness. They may find it difficult to sit still, hard to follow instructions and have a reduced sense of danger. The condition can be treated with medication, but treating ADHD naturally as an alternative approach could help calm your child.

Routine

Children with ADHD like new activities and change. Relaxing, calming environments can create a balance. Creating a structure and regular times to eat, sleep, wake up, and do homework can go some way to counter their natural tendency towards chaos.

Relaxation

Relaxation techniques can help. Lying on the floor or in bed and asking your child to deepen their breathing can regulate children and prevent them from becoming over stimulated. A relaxing atmosphere and focusing on a simple task like breathing may also help concentration for a short time.

Bedtime Massage

A massage at bedtime has long been recommended to help babies drop off to sleep, it can also work for older children with ADHD. Organic oils such as olive, almond and sesame are particularly thought to be grounding. Using a teaspoon of oil, massage your child’s skin letting it soak in for a few minutes and then wipe off any excess. If you don’t have a lot of time just massaging their feet could calm them, and help with any sleep problems.

Diet

Treating ADHD naturallyExperts say there is no causal link between food and ADHD. However, some parents have reported an improvement in their child’s behaviour when sugar, refined foods and additives have been reduced. Eating more cooked vegetables, whole grains and protein may help along with fish oil supplements for children which aid brain function. There are also herbs like chamomile which nourish the nervous system, but always check with a medical professional before giving your child any herbal remedies to make sure they are safe.

Cut the Technology

It’s very easy for our children to be constantly stimulated by technology. TV, mobile phones, and computer games are all easily accessible. This electronic stimulation not only breaks up their attention, but also exposes them to electromagnetic radiation which can agitate a child’s nervous system. Reducing the amount of time in front to the TV or on the games console can help.

Medication Breaks

If you want to try alternative ways to treat ADHD find a doctor who is willing to work with you and prescribe the minimal dose that works for your child. Taking breaks from the medication with your doctor’s consent will enable you to monitor how your child does without the help of drugs.

Explain the Changes

Tell your child why you are trying these new techniques and that the routine is an experiment to help improve their attention. Let them be involved in the changes where possible, if you take away a computer game let them come up with another form of play which they’ll enjoy. The changes are designed to make improvements to your child’s symptoms not to make your child’s life uncomfortable so compromising on some of the techniques will help create the new routine.

 

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About Joanne Lowe

About Joanne Lowe

Joanne is a mum of three children all under the age of five. She came to parenthood quite late watching close friends change nappies and choose school uniforms while focusing on a career in radio. She is a broadcast journalist, newsreader, radio producer and parenting blogger, who juggles freelance work with minding her kids. Joanne was born in Australia and moved to the north of England as a child and thinks living in these two ‘no nonsense’ areas has made her straight talking. She is also mother to a baby boy who didn’t make it here. Joanne enjoys writing about being a mum and calls it her therapy. She spends most of her time trying to make sure that the right kid’s socks are in the right drawers, and getting her children to sleep and stay asleep! Joanne hopes her writing is honest with a dash of humour, and will give people real advice. In her spare time she usually stares into space and falls asleep, too tired to do anything more.

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