ADD or ADHD Child
What is AD/HD?
The diagnostic criteria offered by the American Psychiatric Association states that Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is categorized by a combination of six symptoms;
- Fails to pay attention
- difficulty sustaining focus on tasks or play
- does not listen when addressed directly spoken to
- does not complete tasks (chores, schoolwork )
- difficulty organizing tasks
- avoids tasks that require effort
- loses items needed to complete tasks
- easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
in conjunction with six or more of the following symptoms which have lasted over six months:
- child fidgets constantly
- will not stay seated
- climbs inappropriate objects or at inappropriate times
- does not play quietly
- constantly going
- excessively chatters
- blurts things out
- does not wait their turn
- interrupts others
In addition to the symptoms extreme behaviors Amy be present that are disturbing to adults such as:
- aggressive behavior toward people or animals
- destructive behaviors
- theft or disregard others property
- does not follow age appropriate rules
I want to be clear about what these symptoms mean. We are not talking about a kid who can't keep track of a pencil, we are talking about a kid who when you give him a pencil, will lose it quickly. We are not talking about a kid who is distracted by another student talking, we are talking about a kid who cant focus because he sees a bird outside or hears cars going by. We are talking about a kid who is told to stay in line 15 times by his teacher just walking from the class to the playground. Every kid has these issues on a minimal level. The AD/HD kid has these issues to an extreme. To put it mildly it's like trying to wrangle monkeys. This diagnosis takes hours and tests to determine. It is not up to teachers or your child's doctor to decide if something is wrong with your child.
Only 5% of all children have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (Center for Disease control and Prevention CDC, 2017). Right now over 45% of children in the US are on medication for either ADD or ADHD (Center for Disease control and Prevention CDC, 2017).. This is a scary statistic. In all the time I worked at the schools, as a soccer coach, and as a mom I have only met one child who was ADD and one child with ADHD. It is important that every parent understands that continued use of the medications to treat AD/HD will make a child have psychotic episodes, paranoia, cause heart problems, attempted suicide, and it will do Permanent DAMAGE to that child’s brain.
I know what you are thinking, “but the FDA approved these drugs”. Consider this : in 2005 the pharmaceutical companies spent FIVE BILLION dollars on lobbyists to have drugs passed with MINIMAL TESTING (that testing was done on adults only)! Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) has shown that the use of these medications for prolonged periods of time damages brain cells rendering them NON FUNCTIONAL. Some of the scans I have seen show worm holes through these kid’s brains from drugs like Ritalin.
Never Medicate a Child
I know what you are thinking, “But little Tommy is really hyper”. Here are some reasons why no matter how hyper your child is you should NEVER let them give your child drugs:
1. Children are naturally hyper, they need an outlet for that energy, not a pill.
2. Most children go through stages during growth where they are hyper, but they outgrow it naturally.
3. Unless you have had your child tested for a food allergy (which mimics the symptoms of hyperactivity and ADD) you are not going to fix the problem. Most children have a food allergy, if something they eat is affecting them, then you need to know.
4. If you give your child sugar cereals, soda, coffee, donuts, or other sugary/ caffeinated substances, or even just feed them junk, then chances are their diet is causing their behavior.
5. Is the child reacting to their environment? Children will behave badly when they are upset about home or school issues (divorce, abuse, teasing, bullying) Sudden changes in a child’s behavior should be INVESTIGATED by the parent.
6. Young teachers do not usually know how to handle children. A teaching degree does not mean that teacher understands your child’s behavior. They are not QUALIFIED to tell you what is normal. The older more experienced teacher know that kids go through stages, they are less likely to panic over a child’s behavior.
7. ALL of the school shooters were previously on medication for ADD or ADHD. These are dangerous drugs that stimulate the part of your brain that controls aggressive behavior.
8. These medications can also damage the central nervous system and cause a child to have nervous ticks for the rest of their lives.
9. Children on ADHD medication can have heart palpitations or other serious heart problems.
How Do I help My Child?
To help your child you have to take a holistic approach to everything from what they eat to what they do. Cut all sugar, caffeine, and dyes from their diet. This is difficult but it's also the fastest way to identify if food is the cause of the behavior. Take your child to the park after school or enroll them in a sport. Physical activity is good for developing brains. Take extra care to teach your child appropriate behavior. We took our kids to the library where they learned to use library voices. Supervision is another key to creating a healthy environment for your child. It is best if this child is supervised by their actual parent. Studies have shown that children who are close to their mothers are smarter and more well adjusted. If you have done all you can and the child is still continuing to exhibiting behaviors seek a mental health professional. Believe me it is worth putting in the extra time to have a fully functioning adult later.