Written by: Joanne Lowe
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.
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 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.
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.
Experts 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.
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.