Attention Deficit Disorder
What Every Parent Needs to Know
Eileen Silva, Ph.D., N.D., C.T.N., is a doctor of Natural Health & Naturopathy, in Southlake, Texas with a
" Your child has ADD."
"Your child can't return to the classroom until he gets treated for hyperactivity."
"Your child needs a school-psychologist evaluation."
If you've heard any of these statements before, then here's what you need to know: there is no set of clinical tests that can objectively diagnose Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). If your child has been identified as having this problem . . . what are you to do?
You should certainly understand is that if your child has taken Ritalin, a commonly prescribed drug for ADD, after the age of 12, then he or she will not be considered suitable for serving in the Armed Forces. According to Army recruiters, Ritalin can potentially cause brain alterations.
Questions We Must Ask
Let's ask ourselves some compelling questions: Should we risk medicating children with potentially brain-altering drugs on the outside chance that they will be beneficial? Do the risks outweigh possible benefits? Could we accomplish behavior modifications some other way? What's behind this type of problem anyhow? Perhaps it would help you to look at some lifestyle support issues that have a major bearing on children's behavior.
First of all… there's television and technology
The average American is watching 6 hours of television per day. This is both sedentary and over-stimulating with negative messages.
Limit your child to no more than 2 hours (preferably less) of viewing per day. Take the television out of your child's room and do not use it as a babysitter.
Ditto for computer games and video games. Send your child to your backyard gymnasium for a little old- fashioned physical play. Better yet, join them.
Really work to improve your child's diet. Cut out sugar, white flour, chemical additives and preservatives as much as possible. Instead of sodas and Kool-Aid, have your child drink plenty of pure water. (Use an interesting glass and straw to stimulate acceptance). Stop using Happy Meals and cookies as rewards. Substitute non-toxic prizes, like a trip to the zoo, an art project, or a storybook readings.
Medication and Dental Concerns
Be sure your doctor is aware of your desire to only use absolutely necessary medications. The body chemistry problems that might be triggered by the drugs could outweigh the benefits, and drugs like antibiotics should only be taken when a culture or other test indicates a bacterial infection.
If your child needs tooth fillings, communicate with your dentist about your desire to avoid mercury (silver fillings). Possible alternative materials are composite (inexpensive) or porcelain fillings.
Be sure your child gets at least 8 hours of sleep. Studies show that a sleep-deprived child is much more of a behavior problem. See chart below for your child's actual sleep needs.
In addition to doing these things, you will want to "language" your child into having a great day in school while doing better in classes and on tests by reinforcing positive things in your conversation.
Have a Positive Outlook
Finally, don't feel like a failure if your child is singled out by the school system. You are not alone. In some school districts, nearly half the students have been labeled with such problems.
Isn't it time for your child to fit in again?
Here are your child's actual sleep needs, according to the Chicago Tribune, quoting Dr. Judith Owens, a pediatrician at Brown University:
You too can discover that there is life without dieting.
For more detailed information and our recommendations for all-natural, botanical help in kicking back into a weight loss mode, contact our office for a customized report to obtain even faster results.
© Copyright 2005. Eileen Silva. All Rights Reserved.