With treatment, children with ADD and ADHD can lead fulfilling lives.
Attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are two slightly different conditions in which individuals have difficulty paying attention or concentrating on a problem or task. Those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also display impulsive behaviors. While there are medications to treat both of these disorders, there are also many natural remedies that can be used to help treat some of the symptoms.
As a parent with a child who has ADHD or ADD, you must first decide what limits you want to impose on your child’s behavior. You should not expect that your child will ever behave as calmly and quietly as a child who does not have this disorder. Instead, set priorities that define behaviors you simply will not accept. Lay these limits down as rules for your child and make it clear that these are boundaries that he or she is not to go beyond. Examples of these boundaries might include violence toward you or others or refusal to attend school. When the child violates these rules, there should be negative consequences. It is vital that both parents consistently enforce these rules, since any variation in enforcement and punishment will simply confuse the child.
Just as punishment has some place in handling the behavior of a child with ADHD or ADD, you can also use positive reinforcement with a reward system. A reward system can either be a direct and immediate reward for good behavior or a reward that they only get to keep if the good behavior continues. Examples of rewards might be a recognition chart with stars added for positive behavior, extra game or television time or getting to stay up a bit later.
Foods to Avoid
Anecdotal evidence from parents and various studies indicate the foods a child with ADHD or ADD consumes can have a significant impact on the child’s symptoms and behavior. There are a number of foods these children should eat less of or avoid entirely. These foods include chemical colorings and additives, chocolate, milk, eggs, wheat and any foods containing salicylates.
Another technique for treating ADHD and ADD is to use music therapy during 3- to 5-week training sessions. In this approach, children are equipped with hand and feet sensors and headphones. They then listen to a metronome played through the headphones while performing a number of exercises or tasks. This approach has been demonstrated to have a significant impact on behavior, attention span and cognition.