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Many parents who discover that their child has ADHD (or attention deficit hyperactive disorder) are not keen on treating them with pharmaceuticals due to potential side effects. While many health experts point to prescription medication as the most common treatment for ADHD, they also acknowledge that medication is effective in only 80-percent of cases.
This is why many parents turn to non-medical means (with recommendation from their family doctor), including the following therapeutic, dietary, and lifestyle changes, to control and decrease the symptoms of ADHD, and thus help their children live better quality lives at home and at school:
1) Dietary changes
The link between diet and ADHD symptoms has long been controversial. However, studies from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration claim artificial food dyes, while considered safe, have been known to contribute to hyperactive behavior. Other known dietary culprits that have been linked to increasing ADHD symptoms are milk, food additives, sugar, wheat, and eggs.
While the verdict is still out on the scientific effect of this treatment on the behavior of patients with ADHD, many parents turn to neurofeedback (or electroencephalography biofeedback) by recommendation from a family doctor. Neurofeedback treatment connects patients to a brain wave machine to monitor brain activity as they concentrate on different tasks. This therapy is believed to help the brain become more efficient, and improve focus for patients with ADHD
3) Exercise and Meditation
Certain types of exercise, specifically yoga paired with meditation, have long been linked to stress-relief and calming anxiety. So it should be no surprise that yoga and meditation are often used to soothe the symptoms of ADHD, and to teach patients techniques for increasing relaxation and self-discipline. Involving your child in an extracurricular or team sport can also help increase self-esteem and help with self-discipline.
4) Reducing stress and distractions
Outside of the home it’s often difficult to control the environment. However, parents can do much to help a child with ADHD feel secure, calm, and relaxed at home. ADHD patients often respond negatively to distraction and chaos. So establishing a regular regimen at home around waking up, meal times, homework, and bedtime, can go a long way towards lessening ADHD symptoms. Also, keeping clutter and distractions (i.e., TV, computers, video games, and mobile devices) to a minimum can help soothe ADHD behaviors.