Diagnosing ADHD and Minimizing Symptoms
By Brain Balance Center
ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is a condition characterized by developmentally inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. To be diagnosed, the condition must cause significant impairment in daily functioning in at least two settings, usually meaning a child’s symptoms are present both at home and at school for at least six months. Today, three to seven percent of school-age children are diagnosed as having ADHD.
What Causes ADHD?
A study from The University of California–Davis Center for Mind and Brain shows that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have areas within their brains that fail to connect when they attempt a task that measures attention. This connectivity issue is called functional disconnection syndrome, an imbalance in hemispheric brain communication that causes developmentally inappropriate behaviors such as hyperactivity, oppositional, disruptive, and even aggressive behaviors.
Many children experience symptoms similar to ADHD. It is important to remember that while a child may be hyper or inattentive, their symptoms must have a significant impact on their daily functioning. Consider these warning signs:
Hyperactivity – Children with ADHD are often perceived as displaying excessively high levels of energy. Signs include fidgeting with their hands and feet, getting up from their seat, and difficulty remaining quiet when participating in leisurely activities.
Lack of attention – An inattentive child has trouble paying close attention to detail, has difficulty following directions, struggles with organization skills, and does not seem to listen when addressed. The level of inattention observed should seem markedly different from the child’s peers.
Food sensitivities - Many children with ADHD suffer from a variety of food sensitivities. To observe food reactions, keep a food and behavior log. This will allow you to pinpoint which foods trigger your child’s symptoms.
Impulsive behavior - A child with ADHD will talk excessively and have trouble waiting for his or her turn, leading to blurting out responses when inappropriate to do so. A high level of impulsive behavior will be observed frequently and in multiple settings.
Fortunately, experts are now realizing that while medications may control symptoms of inattention and impulsivity, they cannot offer children the skills they need to be successful adults through self-managing their own behavior long-term.
Take in to consideration the following suggestions that can be implemented at home:
Daily Structure for ADHD: Days that are structured foster better concentration for children with ADHD. Develop set routines for homework, bedtime, and chores so your child doesn’t have to think about what to do and when to do it.
Exercise and ADHD: Tap into the seemingly endless energy of your child and channel it into physical games, formal exercise and activities that need focus on body movements, such as gymnastics or dance.
Diet: Studies have shown that eating foods high in protein, controlling sugar intake, and avoiding artificial additives can go a long way towards managing ADHD naturally.
The Brain Balance program is the most comprehensive approach to overcoming the symptoms of ADHD. Our cutting-edge, integrated approach is the most effective and provides lasting results.
Based on an individualized assessment, each child’s program includes sensory motor training and stimulation and academic activity plans coupled with nutritional guidelines. The carefully structured combination of program elements helps establish proper brain and body function leading to a reduction or elimination of negative symptoms and behaviors, and improves the ability to learn, academically, socially and emotionally. By integrating physical and cognitive exercises with dietary changes, we are able to correct the underlying imbalance and achieve measurable, long-term changes in a child’s behavior and academic performance.
Interested in more information? Contact Brain Balance Achievement Center of Allendale at (201) 825-1097 or by visiting http://www.brainbalancecenters.com/locations/allendale/.