If your child has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, it can affect every aspect of his or her life. There may be social, academic, mental, and emotional problems. You, other family members, friends, and teachers will be frustrated and may lash out at the child. It can be hard for everyone involved to understand why the child behaves the way he or she does and how to deal with it. Your pediatrician may have prescribed a medication to help regulate the child's actions and to keep him or her attentive to what is going on. However, these drugs often have side effects that may cause physical or mental issues that are more harmful than the disorder. Luckily, there are treatment options that do not involve drugs. Here are a few things you may want to consider:
Depending on how your child behaves, different therapies can help. Anger management, behavior modification, and occupational therapy are good options to start. It is also important that you, the parent, consider attending these sessions with the child. You may also want to find a support group for yourself and other family members. This can help reduce the stress and frustration within the household.
Avoiding Food Allergies
Keep a journal of what your child eats and how he or she behaves after each meal. Foods like chocolate and dairy products, along with any chemical additives or preservatives may trigger episodes of hyperactivity or a lack of attention. Red and yellow food dyes, as well as sodium benzoate, have been linked to ADHD. You may also ask your doctor to perform allergy testing to find any other possible allergens.
Sunshine and Exercise
Spending time each day outside, in the sun can help your child absorb Vitamin D. This vitamin increases the production of norepinephrine and dopamine as well as facilitates the release of serotonin. These hormones are responsible for keeping people calm and content while helping them to maintain focus and concentrate on the task at hand.
Your pediatrician should be willing to discuss alternative options for treating the symptoms of ADD and/or ADHD your child may exhibit . You may need/want to keep a prescription for medication on hand for times when the behavior is completely out of hand. However, with time, you and your child should be able to find ways to avoid episodes or control them once they start. This will prove very beneficial as your child grows and matures. The important thing is to try to get to the underlying cause of the behavior so he or she does not feel they are different from everyone else.
Contact an ADD treatment center for more information and assistance.