About Attention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is a problem with the central nervous system that may have genetic origins or may be the result of a prenatal or early life trauma.
- ADD is diagnosed 3 to 4 times more often with boys than girls.
- Some symptoms of ADD can also result from the emotional trauma of divorce and other major life changes, such as moving to a new geographical area or changing schools. These situations should not be mistaken for ADD.
- Accurate assessment of the child’s overall life situation is essential.
- Comprehensive treatment usually involves a coordinated approach among child, family, school, physician, and professional therapist.
Characteristics of ADD Children
|Distractibility and difficulty paying attention||Inability to complete tasks||Unreasonably demanding|
|Non-compliance with rules||Hyperactivity in some (not all)||Careless writing habits|
|Impulsivity, poor judgment and planning||Disregard for consequences of misbehavior||Difficulty keeping up|
|Disorganized work area||Extreme sensitivity to noise||Forgetfulness|
|Allergies||Prone to losing things|
What is it like for an ADD child?
Many ADD children grow up feeling stupid, lazy or crazy. Their brains function differently from other children’s brains because of an impaired ability to screen and sort external stimuli. ADD individuals describe the feeling inside their brains as “having all the TV channels on at the same time with the volume turned up.” As a result, they are inattentive, impulsive, naughty, irritable and restless.
ADD children get yelled at, corrected, punished, criticized and blamed for misbehaving by parents, teachers, siblings and peers. They may suffer from stress, anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and poor peer relationships. As they mature, they often turn to alcohol and drugs to escape their pain. They are more likely to rebel and exhibit antisocial behavior. Difficulties in school lead to poor attendance, frequent suspensions and put the child at greater risk for dropping out. Without effective treatment, ADD children are likely to experience ongoing personal, academic, interpersonal and even legal problems.
What’s a parent to do?
- Consult a professional who will assist in identifying the pertinent components of the problem affecting the child and the family. After the problems have been identified and prioritized, the therapist works with the family to develop a treatment plan that addresses the physical, mental, emotional, academic and interpersonal needs of the child and the family.
- Consider herbal compounds and nutritional supplements specifically designed to nurture the developing brain with essential nutrients to allow the individual to concentrate, learn faster, stabilize moods and exercise better judgment.
- Invest time and energy in family therapy and parent skills training.
An effective treatment program includes:
- Assessment of the problems
- Treatment for anxiety and depression
- Education concerning the special needs of an ADD child
- Parent skills training
- Family counseling
- Stress management
- Social skills training
- Development of positive thought patterns
Before resorting to potent prescription drugs with dangerous side effects such as insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, headaches, tics, stomach aches and constipation, explore safe, effective alternative therapies for attention, mood and behavior problems.