You love your child. You choose their food, their school, their doctors and dentist carefully. You are intent on giving your child the best of everything. There’s no question that when you have the right information you make the best choices. When your child has ADHD, those choices get a lot tougher. Add to this the myriad of information that is suddenly being thrown at you. It can be overwhelming. From doctor recommendations to therapies to medications with said effects and names, you can barely pronounce. You want to help your child more than anything in the world but do they really need a ton of mind-altering chemicals dumped into their developing system? ADHD can be one of the toughest trials for parents.
It's important to understand that while some parents consider medication a valuable tool for managing ADHD symptoms; medication is not the only option. Many parents want to reduce the chemicals tossed down their children's throats. Some are rightfully concerned about the plethora of possible adverse side-effects. There are several parents that realize having their child's well-being tied to high-priced pharmaceuticals isn't an optimum long-term solution. No one wants to make their child a Big Pharma customer if they can avoid it. The good news is that you can avoid it and there are more effective and research proven options. Let’s consider what one parent discovered.
Karen was exhausted. She’d tried everything to help her son focus better. She met with the school and secured him a seat in the front of the classroom. Teachers gave him little reminders to pay attention, and extra time on tests. The long list of ADHD medications offered little success but serious side effects. Initially, the ADHD medication had Ben buzzing around getting a ton of school work done. Two weeks later, he stopped eating during the day. His sleep became erratic.Sweet unfocused Ben vanished. Punchy and snarky Ben replaced him. Sure, school work was done but at what price? He was cranky and his emotions were a roller coaster. This was not the Ben his family knew and loved.
Karen spoke to his physician. For the next two years, they bounced from one medication to another. Each with worrisome side effects. Finally, Karen insisted her doctor consider natural alternatives. Only then did he discuss Ben’s diet and trying supplements. Karen could feel her blood boil. “Why didn’t you suggest this in the first place?” The doctor’s answer frustrated her. “Everyone wants meds and so that is what I give them”. Karen knew there had to be more information. At home, she became a “Google MD.” With a little time and patience she uncovered a treasure trove of well-researched natural treatments. She started byreducing gluten and dairy. This brought about big shifts in his attention. Could it be that easy? Yes! Karen found a pediatric functional doctor who figured out what was interfering with Ben’s attention. More dietary tweaks and the addition of supplements and nutrients was needed. Ben responded when his name was called. He remembered to do little things, like flush the toilet, for the first time in his life. Things that Karen accepted would never happen were happening!
Karen discovered the power of neurofeedback and that supercharged Ben’s health journey. With neurofeedback, Ben’s brain learned to act in a healthy manner. Ben wasn’t so distractible. He followed directions; no more zoning out. His grades improved and without the frustrating side effects. The positives didn’t stop there. Ben was humming, snuggling again. Best of all, he felt proud of himself. For the first time in a long time, Karen felt relief. She was able to break the cycle of worry that once defined her life. The whole family was less chaotic. Seeing the difference in Ben convinced the whole family to change their diet and exercise routine. In the end, everyone found themselves feeling healthier and pretty darn zen too!
Once you’ve decided to manage your child’s health journey in a more natural manner, you may wonder where to start. This easy to understand primer offers you information Karen was denied. This information is not specific health advice. It is offered so parents and caregivers know about options that are often overlooked. We recommend consulting a physician before beginning any supplement regime for information on specific dosages or possible drug interactions.
Natural Supplements for ADHD
When someone struggles with focus, attention, and impulse control, there are always nutrient deficiencies and difficulties with nervous system regulation. Direct nutrient supplementation can really go a long way in powering up the brain so that you or your child can think clearer, hear directions, and get work done. Whether supporting serotonin deficits, vitamin deficiencies or just trying to make your nervous system healthy, supplements are a natural and effective way to really help the brain focus.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain and nerve cell function. Our body is incapable of making these critical nutrients, and people rarely get enough of them through their diet. A good rule of thumb when selecting an Omega-3 supplement is to look for one with an EPA amount that is two to three times the DHA amount.
- Protein Rich Diet – Because protein prevents blood sugar surges that contribute to hyperactivity, a diet rich in protein can significantly assist an ADHD child. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains can help stabilize a child's energy levels when incorporated properly into the diet. It is important to have protein every two to three hours and never go more than four hours without protein to keep blood sugar stable to aide in focus.
- Melatonin – Children struggling with ADHD often experience erratic sleep patterns. Melatonin is a hormone secreted at night by the pineal gland and is needed for the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. Research indicates melatonin improves sleep for those with ADHD. Long-term research demonstrates its continued effectiveness over time. When children get a good night’s sleep, so do parents and caregivers.
- Iron – Iron is a key factor in the creation of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and especially dopamine. Dopamine imbalance can lead to muscle and behavioral problems. The numbers of dopamine receptors in the brain correlates with the iron levels in the brain.
- B6 – B vitamins contribute to a healthy nervous system and play a vital role in both attention and executive functioning. B-6 assists the manufacture of neurotransmitters, such as serotonin. The delicate balance between dopamine and serotonin is key to attentiveness and helps calm hyperactivity.
- Vitamin C – Aside from being an antioxidant that every child should have in their diet, the ADHD child can benefit from additional amounts of this building block of the neurotransmitters.
Other Natural Remedies For ADHD
- Exercise – It's a well-known fact that exercise is a great stress reliever and endorphin boost. Lesser known is the fact that a moderate amount of exercise increases dopamine levels, as well as, elevating levels of serotonin and norepinephrine. This means even a simple thirty-minute walk three to four days a week can be effective for the ADHD child.
- Read The Ingredients – In today's fast-paced world, even the healthiest looking snacks can be loaded weapons undermining our ADHD Child. Several colorings and preservatives are believed to increase hyperactivity. ADHD children can benefit from avoiding additives such as Red No. 40, Yellow No. 6, Yellow No. 10, and Yellow No. 5.
ADHD Treatment Without Medication
- Behavioral Therapy – A wide range of therapies for children and adolescents that fall under this term, but most if not all of them function on a similar principle. Behavioral therapists reward children for desired or appropriate behaviors while ignoring inappropriate or unwanted behaviors. The theory is that the child will be encouraged by the reward to repeat the appropriate behavior, and less desirable behaviors will fade away.
- Neurofeedback – Also referred to as “Brain Training” programs for ADHD, this is a non-invasive, medication-free therapy. As discussed above, Neurofeedback is very much like taking your brain to the mental gym to workout. Initially, the therapist will create a brain map enabling a comparison of the child's brain to brain wave patterns stored in a database. This facilitates an individualized treatment plan for the patient.
- Expressive Art Therapy – Based on the principles of therapeutic play, this therapy employs drawing, painting, and other forms of expressive play in which the therapist helps children address issues with managing behavior, interpersonal skills, and self-awareness. Used as a part of a comprehensive treatment program this form of therapy can reduce stress, address emotional problems and assist children in learning to self-regulate
- Executive Functioning Therapy – Executive functions are central processes intimately involved in giving organization and order to actions and behavior and these skills can be taught. They support complex cognitive functions. These are involved in all of our cognitive processes including planning for the future, strategic thinking, the ability to inhibit or delay responding, self-regulation, initiating behaviors, and shifting between activities flexibly. Without it, any task that requires planning, organization, memory, time management, and flexible thinking becomes a challenge.
There are many effective and proven ways to help you be more focused, listen better, be more organized, and actually finish things! Each person’s needs are unique and require an individual approach but starting with a QEEG brain map is the best way to know what you or your child needs. We help clients along every step of the way.
How Can I Help My Child With ADHD?
From school problems to trouble listening at home to difficulty getting along with others, having a child with ADHD can make parenting even harder. It may be challenging to know the difference between clinical ADHD and focus difficulties, so understanding how ADHD is diagnosed is important. There are evidence-based supplements for ADHD that can help your child alert differently, focus, and concentrate. For more information on what the research says what dosages of these herbs and supplements your child should be taking, then download this FREE ADHD Supplement Checklist. Neurofeedback for ADHD has been used to reduce and reverse symptoms for decades and has thousands of research to support its efficacy and every parent with a child with ADHD should consider neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is safe, effective, and natural. To learn more about natural treatments for ADHD, grab this FREE DOWNLOAD, Natural Solutions and Treatments for ADHD.
Are you looking for help for your child’s or teen’s behavior?
Boy, the world is stressful right now (and it has been for a long time!). Of course, you are worried about your child’s mental health! Your child may be struggling with ADHD and you aren’t sure what to do about it and you feel STUCK… Well, Dr. Roseann is here to show you how to GET UNSTUCK!
As a licensed therapist and certified psychologist, as well as a special needs mom herself, Dr. Roseann knows what it is like to search for ways to help your child’s attention, learning, and behavior and still see your child struggle. So, if you’ve gone down the Google MD and ineffective medication and therapy rabbit hole, it is time to get support from Dr. Ro who can help you help your child to be focused, calm, and feel good about themselves.
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Want to work with Dr. Roseann personally? She sees people at her Ridgefield, CT center usi=g neurofeedback, biofeedback, and psychotherapy to turn behavior around, as well as does neurofeedback and coaching remotely. She also does small group special needs parent coaching though her Get Unstuck Program™, where Dr. Ro walks parents through how to reduce and reverse mental health issues to break free from those barriers that are holding your child and family back so they can be calm, making connections, and getting good grades. She has also reached billions through her dozens of media appearances on her mission to, ‘Change the way we view and treat children’s mental health™.”
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Dr. Roseann is a Children’s Mental Health Expert and Therapist who is regularly featured on media outlets including, CBS, NBC, FOX News, PIX11 NYC, The New York Times, FORBES, Business Insider, USA Today, CNET, Marth Stewart, and PARENTS.
She is the founder and director of The Global Institute of Children’s Mental Health and Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge. Dr. Roseann is a Board Certified Neurofeedback (BCN) Practitioner, a Board Member of the Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS), Certified Integrative Medicine Mental Health Provider (CMHIMP) and an Amen Clinic Certified Brain Health Coach. She is also a member of The International Lyme Disease and Associated Disease Society (ILADS), The American Psychological Association (APA), Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR) and The Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB).
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