We are learning more and more about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) every day. And what we are learning tells us a number of things.
Many children with this type of behavior are not diagnosed at all. Many children who are diagnosed do not have measurable symptoms. That is not to say they don’t have ADD or ADHD but rather that it is difficult to pinpoint symptoms.
Experts believe that any assessment should only be carried out by a neurosurgeon or a psychiatrist. Having an education expert or a pediatrician is, according to some, not the way to truly assess the child.
But whatever the method of assessment we can be sure of certain things. The first is that just because a child is hyperactive, that does not mean they have ADD or ADHD. Being busy, being active and seemingly acting as if on a rollercoaster do not mean the child has this condition. Only a proper diagnosis from an approved authority can make that determination.
The second important fact concerns the treatment. In many cases the child is given an approved drug and while this may allow the child to remain calm and not behave in a hyperactive way as before, it may also be simply masking a deeper problem. In some cases the recommended treatment is not to use drugs.
In place of the drugs is a program to remove some or all of the forces which are likely to have caused and still cause the condition. Food additives are a perfect example. By removing foodstuffs which stimulate the hyperactivity, young people with the condition are treated without the use of drugs.
Other factors which may stimulate the condition are diet, environment and family relationships. Children fed a bad diet or who are exposed to chemicals from nearby factories or even passing traffic and children with poor relationships within their family are not helped if they have a problem with their hyperactive behavior.
Diet is particularly important. A hyperactive child will flush vitamins C and E from their body at a rate faster than other children. These vitamins need replacing and a diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and grilled meats will help replenish their supply. This is a classic example of treatment without drugs.
Many teachers working with such children know that good eye contact and strong personal relationships are essential in helping such children. Parents can do much for their child be providing a sensible and well-planned diet, removing as much as possible the supply of any chemicals which aid hyperactivity and by developing a close relationship with their child – plenty of quality time is recommended.
So all of these activities are ways in which a child can be treated without the use of drugs.
One of the sad aspects of children with ADD or ADHD is that, unless proper help and understanding is provided, their academic progress and social skills are held back. Simply prescribing drugs may reduce the rollercoaster forms of behavior but may mask other problems.
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