What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder that affects between three and five percent of American children, interfering with their ability to stay on task or exercise age-appropriate control over their behavior.
Some common symptoms of ADHD include:
- Failure to listen to, remember, or apply instructions
- Difficulty organizing schoolwork
- Not finishing projects, chores, and homework
- Trouble paying attention to and responding to details
There are three main types of ADHD:
- Predominantly inattentive subtype
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype
- Combined subtype
ADHD symptoms often begin before age 7 and is typically diagnosed in children in their elementary school years. The condition sometimes resolves in adolescence but can continue into adulthood.
Dr. Oskin’s Interview on Voice America
Listen to Dr. Jamie Oskin explain how homeopathy and natural medicine can help children with ADHD
There is wide agreement that treatment of ADHD should be multifactorial and should not be limited to the use of medications alone. This is especially true when you consider commonly used stimulant medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin) or dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine) tend to decrease impulsive and hyperactive behavior and increase the ability to focus but potential side effects include nausea, dry mouth, nervousness, tics, diminished appetite, weight loss, stunted growth, palpitations, and insomnia.
Other aspects of treatment include the creation of a structured classroom environment and improved parenting skills through parent education. Behavioral therapy and tutoring can also be helpful.
Medication can help manage the symptoms of ADHD but there is currently no conventional cure for ADHD. Many children with ADHD do learn to compensate for their symptoms as they mature, allowing them to be more productive at school and work.
The parents who work with Dr. Oskin desire to fix their children’s problems rather than putting their kids on medications that mask symptoms and can have significant side effects like appetite suppression and insomnia.
Dr. Oskin has experience treating many kids with ADHD with natural remedies to help them to be healthier children overall, improving focus, behaving better, and excelling at school.
Homeopathy is a safe, gentle, and effective treatment for children suffering from ADHD with no known side effects. It is a beneficial alternative to pharmaceutical medications like Adderall, Concerta, Ritalin, or Strattera for kids who are suffering from symptoms like behavior and anger problems, developmental problems, and learning disabilities.
Treatment of ADHD with homeopathy may sometimes feel like taking two steps forward and one step backward and modifications in the homeopathic medicines (remedies) may be necessary through the various stages of the child’s treatment, which may take a year or two to resolve fully.
* Frei H, Thurneysen A. Treatment for hyperactive children: homeopathy and methylphenidate compared in a family setting. Br Homeopath J. 2001 Oct; 90(4):183-8.
* Frei H, Everts R, von Ammon K, et al. Homeopathic treatment of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Eur J Pediatr. 2005 Dec; 164(12):758-67.
Natural Treatments for ADHD
Self-Care for ADD/ADHD
Kids who suffer from ADHD require lots of love and support, and extra attention, from their parents. The book, “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, The Heart of Parenting” by psychologist John Gottman, PhD is based on research and offers tips and strategies for parenting, especially for kids who require more attention and support. It can be a valuable resource for parents.
Tips for parents and teachers to help kids who suffer from ADHD:
- Set up a quiet, non-distracting place for homework completion
- Allow for increased activity in a safe environment
- Utilize short work sessions
- Maintain immediate consequences
- Reinforce good behavior
- Coordinate homework between parents and teachers using a daily assignment notebook
- Have a second set of school books at home
- Put a strong emphasis on behavioral therapy, such as token systems
- Reinforce good behavior (with rewards and attention)
- Make eye contact with each request
- Focus on one task at a time
- Employ brief time-out periods
- Stop behavior before it escalates
- Find things the child is good at and emphasize these
- Some families benefit from anger training, social training, and family therapy
- Utilize time-outs to allow children to “self-soothe,” but not as a punishment
Dr. Robert Myers is a child psychologist who recommends exercises you can do with your child if they are suffering from ADHD.
Case Study: ADD/ADHD
Dr. Oskin treated a 5-year-old boy suffering from ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder who would scream and threaten his mother and then do the exact opposite of what she told him to do when they first came for treatment.
He was violent and frequently hit his siblings and had behavioral problems at school where he frequently got in trouble because he could not wait his turn. If another child had a toy he wanted, he would just take it from them.
He was having difficulty learning and was easily frustrated. He said things like, “I don’t want to go to school because I don’t like it.”
He had difficulty with focus and would quickly lose concentration. He would throw temper tantrums and couldn’t follow instructions as he was easily distracted.
Mom reported that it was difficult to get him to sit still as he would fidget, squirm, and be impatient. He was always “on the go” as if “driven by a motor.”
At night, it was tough to get him to sleep because he would be wide awake and want to play until at least 1 am, which was exhausting for Mom. Then he would wet the bed four nights a week, causing a great deal of extra stress for Mom with loads of laundry and disrupted nights of sleep.
The boy’s mother wouldn’t discipline him because he would retaliate with such nastiness. She didn’t know what went wrong with her youngest son as her other children all had normal temperaments.
The teachers at school were telling her he needed to be on Ritalin, yet she wanted to try alternatives to medications first, so Dr. Oskin started him on a homeopathic medicine that was individualized to him.
A month later at his first follow-up, the boy was no longer as aggressive and was not hitting his siblings as much. He was less restless and impatient. He was no longer threatening Mom when he got in trouble and would respond with apologies rather than threats. Mom reported he was much calmer and had not wet the bed a single time since starting homeopathic treatment.
Mom was also getting more sleep because her son was falling asleep by 11 pm every night rather than staying up later to play.
This is an example of how homeopathic treatment can help a child rebalance naturally for improved health and happiness overall.
Other non-pharmacological treatments for ADHD may be useful, besides Homeopathy.
These may include a whole foods diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, and essential fatty acids, avoiding highly processed foods high in sugars, artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives, and partially hydrogenated oils.
Many families benefit from behavioral modification and lifestyle changes like individual and family counseling and some psychologists and natural doctors utilize neurofeedback and biofeedback computer programs to help children improve focus and the ability to pay attention. Behavior modification programs can help children improve their self-monitoring and self-reinforcement, and control their anger. Families can reinforce positive behavior by implementing reward procedures while providing consequences for unwanted behaviors. Some psychologists recommend using positive reinforcement and immediate response to help children learn about the consequences of their actions.
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