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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is becoming one of the most diagnosed disorders among children.
It is completely normal for everyone to zone out in a boring class, jump into a conversation, or leave their homework on the kitchen table once in a while. However, kids with ADHD have so much trouble staying focused and controlling their behaviour that it affects their emotions and how well they do in school. This disorder has a negative connotation and kids with ADHD are often labelled as “bad kids” or “space cadets”.
Do any of the following characteristics apply to your child?
- He/she avoids mental effort.
- Can’t concentrate, even while playing.
- Makes careless mistakes while doing homework, even if the work is well known to them.
- Teachers are always contacting you about “bad behaviour”. Outbursts of anger at inappropriate times seem to become more frequent.
- Is super forgetful. Important items such as stationery, lunchboxes or clothes, are lost on a daily basis.
- Always fidgeting and can’t sit still. Has frequent bursts of energy; almost bouncing off the walls.
- Can’t wait their turn, interrupts people in-class activities and at home with little or no thought of what is being said.
What can be done?
ADHD is a brain disorder caused by faulty connections between nerve cells that regulate attention. The good news is that although this disease can’t be cured, it can be managed. However, treatment for ADHD continues to be a topic of intense debate.
Hykie Berg’s comments in his controversial book My stryd met ADHD, has released a storm amongst parents with kids who have ADHD.
Prescription medication for this disorder could produce unwanted side-effects and although they may provide some relief of the core symptoms, they fail to correct individual coping mechanisms in the classroom or at home.
However, in some cases, the pros outweigh the cons. Children are able to control impulses and focus. Medication will also lessen the chances of developing co-morbidities such as anxiety and depression. Symptoms can be reduced with a combination of medication and behavioural therapy.
Also, studies show that a high-protein, low-sugar, no-additive diet combined with ADHD friendly supplements like fish oil and zinc, can drastically improve symptoms with no side-effects. So, make sure that your child:
- Eat high protein foods. Add protein snacks to lunchboxes.
- Eat fewer simple carbohydrates such as candy, honey, sugar, products made from white flour, white rice and potatoes without the skin.
- Eat more complex carbohydrates such as fruit and vegetables. Eating complex carbohydrates before bedtime may aid sleep.
- Eat more omega-3 fatty acids such as tuna, salmon, walnuts, olive oil.
Left untreated ADHD will continue to cause serious lifelong problems, such as poor grades in school, run-ins with the law, failed relationships and the inability to keep a job.
As parents, it is our responsibility to guide our children towards happiness and success.
So mom and dad, if you suspect that your child may have ADHD, learn all you can about this disease and make an appointment with your doctor or psychologist to determine the best course of action for your child going forward.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.