Alternative Treatment of ADHD

maftab92 By maftab92, 30th Jun 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Mind & Spirit>ADHD & ADD

Instead of giving Ritalin to children with ADHD one should consider an alternative method because Ritalin has many side effects. It may cause reduced appetite and weight loss, stomachaches, insomnia. More seriously, stimulants may cause tics and Tourette’s syndrome. Moreover, stimulant drugs affect the nervous system or other parts of the body later in life.

Alternative Treatment of ADHD

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common behavioral problems in children, which has been diagnosed in millions of American children and adults. It is indicated that 3 to 5 percent of school going children are affected by ADHD. This disorder is two or three times more common in boys than in girls.

The main symptoms in children are reduced attentiveness; lack of concentration; excessive levels of activity; distractibility and impulsiveness. Researchers generally agree that ADHD has genetic roots. A child with ADHD might fall behind in school and need extra help from his parents. The child loses self-esteem because he is not welcomed in other people’s homes, in play groups, or in team activities. The parents are in a miserable condition as the have to cope with the child’s need to concentrate on essential activities and to help him control his impulsive behavior.

Before concluding that your child has ADHD, consult a psychologist who is qualified to make the diagnosis. ADHD is usually diagnosed by observing a child’s behavior, interviewing parents and teachers, and by using a checklist of behaviors, such as those included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV published by the American Psychiatric Association. Researchers are working hard to develop more reliable diagnostic tools and have found subtle differences in brain structure and metabolism between children with and without ADHD.

It is not possible for children with ADHD to outgrow or learn how to control their symptoms rather symptoms sometimes persist into adulthood, making it more difficult to succeed in careers, to start and maintain healthy relationships, and to become involved in community activities. Adults with ADHD have higher rates of alcoholism and drug abuse problem. Thus, early treatment is crucial.

Once the diagnosis is made the child will be treated with medication. The most frequently prescribed medicine is methylphenidate, the most popular brand of which is Ritalin. Other behavioral problems may be treated with other medicines. Ritalin is often highly effective in reducing the symptoms of ADHD but having many adverse effects.

Alternative Methods

Alternative methods may include dietary changes, food supplements, behavior modification and family therapy.

Dietary changes

Help your child avoid junk food and make him eat fruits and vegetables. You can try different fruits from the following list.

Fruits: banana, honeydew, papaya, cantaloupe, kiwi, pears, dates, lemons pineapple, grapefruit, mangoes and watermelon.

Vegetables:

Bean sprouts, cauliflower, peas, beans (all types) celery, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, lentils, Brussels sprouts, lettuce sweet corn, cabbage, mushrooms, sweet potato and carrots.

Behavior modification and Family Therapy:

• Observe your child in a variety of situations to have deeper understanding of his strengths and weaknesses
• Do not place him in highly competitive situations. This can be a source of anxiety and failure for him, thus affecting his self confidence adversely
• Establish good rapport with him so that he is able to express his feelings openly
• He should be made to work in pairs with more socially able peers and also indulge in group activities
• He should be assigned such tasks at school and at home that require Self-Acceptance
• Open criticism must be avoided as it will only damage his Self Esteem and Confidence
• Open confrontations must also be avoided
• He must be provided with opportunities to choose in most situations. He needs to have more exposure
• Family Counseling is strongly recommended on regular basis
• Reinforce his strengths by using behavior therapy charts

Tags

Adhd, Behavior, Boys, Children, Girls, Ritalin, Side Effects

Meet the author

author avatar maftab92
I am a clinical psychologist from Pakistan. I am running my own clinic to help people overcome psychological problems.

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