Yesterday we spoke of foods and additives that may add to the problem with regards to ADHD in children. Today we take a closer look at foods that may help children that have been diagnosed with this disorder.
From the research that I've done and from the discussions that I've had (and they have been extensive as my own daughter, Stormy, has been said to be ADHD); that there is quite a big chance that your child could also be incorrectly diagnosed with ADHD. Sometimes a child might just be dyslexic, just naturally energetic, may have some other issue or could be just plain damn naughty due to lack of assertive discipline (to spank or not to spank, that is the question!).
So don't just take the word of a teacher or the first doctor at face value. Please, for the health of your child, extend yourself and research, research, research and speak to as many people as possible and even acquire more than one medical opinion.
Having said this, here are a list of foods that may help your child who has correctly been diagnosed with ADHD..........oh! And I'd like to add that food is NOT directly linked as the primary source to ADHD, but there are suggestions that foods can either assist or exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.
Fresh vegetables (although frozen can also be acceptable)
Products high in Omega 3 and fatty acids, eg: sardines, tuna, mackerel or salmon.
Fresh juices with as little added preservatives and additives as possible
LOTS OF WATER
And start each day off with a full and balanced diet in conjunction with the medication provided.
Getting your child active in sports or in a social hobby may also help to alleviate a lot of the excess energies in children. Join a support group for parents that have children with ADD or ADHD.
Here are SIX parenting tips to help with being a parent to an ADHD child with tips from Dr Meyer.
1. Be honest with your child about ADHD.
Meyer never thought about keeping the news from his son. “I told him exactly what was going on,” he says. In contrast, some parents hide the disorder by telling their child, for example, that their ADHD drug is a “magic vitamin,” he says. But Meyer has done ADHD coaching with kids who have confided that they aren’t fooled: they know that it’s medication. ADHD isn’t a child’s fault. It’s a brain disorder that causes youngsters to have trouble with concentration, ability to complete tasks, or plan for the future. By being open, Meyer lessened the stigma for his son. Once, he took his son, who was 7 or 8 at the time, to a restaurant where they spotted a youngster in perpetual motion -- so much, in fact, that one parent had to hold him down. “My mouth must have dropped,” Meyer says. “And my son said to me, ‘Don’t look at him as hyperactive; look at him as being in a hurry to see the world!".
“We can reframe things,” Meyer says. “We don’t have to always look at the most negative.”
Patricia O. Quinn, MD, a developmental pediatrician in Washington, D.C., agrees that it’s best to tell the truth. “It’s really important to be honest and upfront,” she says. The child really needs to understand that it’s just part of who he or she is and it’s really something they can control.”
Quinn specializes in treating children and adults with ADHD. She has the disorder, as do three of her four children. She has consulted for pharmaceutical companies and has written numerous books about ADHD.
2. Don’t turn ADHD-related problems into a character issue.
Children with ADHD may not perform as consistently as peers who have no problems with focus and concentration.
“I don’t expect consistency from a child with ADD,” Meyer says. “One day, a child may come in with a 90 on a test. The next day, it may be 60. The next day, 70. The next day, it might be 95.”
When grades bounce around, “It’s typical for any [parent] to say, ‘Well, you did so well yesterday. Why aren’t you doing it today?’” he says.
“Often, kids with ADHD are very bright," Quinn says. "They know what to do, but they simply don’t know how to get started, they don’t stick with it, and people may misinterpret that.”
3. Don’t let ADHD become a convenient excuse
Yes, ADHD makes many tasks harder, but children should learn to take responsibility, Meyer says.
“Don’t let them make ADHD an excuse for something.," Meyer says.
"For example, many young children quickly learn to say things, such as, “I don’t need to do my homework because I have an attention deficit disorder,” Meyer says. “That’s not going to cut it."
The reality? “It may be harder for me to do my homework because I have an attention deficit disorder.”
4. Enforce rules and consequences calmly.
For a child with ADHD, it helps to have verbal and written expectations. For example, parents could post a chart that lists the child’s responsibilities and the house rules.
Rewards are fine, Meyer says, but make them immediate, such as TV time or gold stars that can be redeemed for prizes. Since children with ADHD have trouble with planning for the future, it may not work to offer a new bike for a year’s worth of good grades.
Parents must be clear about consequences and enforce them right away, calmly and clearly. While parents may often feel frustrated, avoid punishing in the heat of disappointment or anger, Meyer says.
That can be hard when a parent has ADHD, too, Quinn says. The disorder can run in families.
Parents with ADHD might yell because they have trouble with impulsivity, according to Quinn. “We really do try to help the parent remain in control in these situations," she says. "Often, I say that the child doesn’t need a time out -- sometimes the parent needs a time-out before they discuss the situation.”
Parents need to get their own ADHD under control so that they can model appropriate behavior, Quinn says.
5. Help your child discover his strengths.
Children with ADHD are often compared unfavorably to others. Hence, some develop low self-esteem and depression, Meyer says.
Problems with self-esteem occur as early as age 8, says Quinn. Many teens with ADHD, especially if undiagnosed, develop a learned helplessness. “They say, ‘Nothing ever goes right for me. Why should I even bother to try?’ There’s a lot of demoralization and depression that goes along with it," Quinn says.
Meyer wanted his son to discover his own best abilities -- “islands of competency,” he says. “I would say to him, ‘Look, you have weak spots and you have strong spots.”
When his son found subjects dull, “He couldn’t care about it, period,” Meyer says.
“But when he was interested in something, he would master things five years above his age [level],” he says. For example, his son knew how to wire electrical outlets and replace computer parts well ahead of peers. “That stuff stuck with him and he knew that was one of his islands of competency. So he had things to look at other than negative things.”
Meyer would offer a favorable comparison: he told his son that few people his age could master such tasks. “High expectations in the proper areas, I think, is very important,” he says.
6. Don't overprotect your child.
As children with ADHD grow, they’ll need to learn independence.
“We tend to try to solve everything for kids with issues,” Meyer says. “I’m adamantly against that. I want them to learn how to be on their own, to be successful. I don’t want them to feel, ‘I have a disability and Mommy and Daddy are going to be there to solve all my problems, to make everything good.’"
With his son, that involved “not telling him what to do, but having him telling me what he should do,” Meyer says. “He had to learn to be able to do it by himself, which is very hard for kids with ADHD.”
For parents, that might mean allowing children to deal with their own traffic fines instead of paying on their behalf. Or letting them solve their own roommate problems when they leave home.
O’Malley, the mother of a college student with ADHD, learned that lesson in hindsight. When her daughter had dorm-mate troubles, O’Malley and her husband asked the president of the college to intervene. The couple “went to bat for her,” O’Malley says. After they gave her some solutions, the young woman ultimately rejected the ideas.
Don’t rush in and present solutions for a child with ADHD to select, O’Malley says. “This is a lesson you learn when you have teenagers and you’re always giving them choices. You’re never really teaching them how to solve problems.”
So get out there, parents. Educate yourselves and your children and don't give up. There is help and there is supposrt out there!
Keep yourselves healthy and it'll be easier to keep your children healthy too.
I hope these past two days have been informative and helpful. God bless you and your child.
Much support and love
Chef Shants xxxxx