When it comes to ADHD it is a common misconception that medication is the only option but really it is only a part of the treatment not the only treatment.
Most of us as parents know this but many without children with ADHD think that we choose medication as the ‘easy way out’ but we know it isn’t. For many of us medication is a very hard decision and we are often looking for other options instead of medication or as well as medication.
I know myself that before we tried medication we tried (and still use) several different things and even when medication was administered we still had many other strategies in place.
In my research I have found many different strategies that will help with ADHD whether you use them with medication or not.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
This is psychology that helps the child change from unhelpful habits of thinking, feeling or behaving. It involves the use of strategies which are designed to affect positive changes in the child. This can help if a child has anxiety as well.
It is proven that even as little as 15 minutes exercise can help with brain function. Exercise raises the level of neurotransmitters in the brain and research has shown that it can reduce some ADHD systems. Some great exercises for children living with ADHD are Tai-chi, Kung Fu, Martial Arts and Yoga.
This is one of my favourite strategies and one that I use with my son quite frequently. This teaches our children relaxation techniques and self-regulation which is important. It helps them focus as we are training them to focus on their breathing and they become more aware of the body and mind. It also helps our children be calmer and less reactive. I have written on a previous blog on the benefits of meditation and ADHD and how to start so feel free to check that out here.
This one can be a very vicious cycle. With ADHD brings less of an ability to fall asleep easily as the mind is always running with maximum speed so many of our children can’t fall asleep easily which results in them receive less sleep than they need. The next day it can be hard for them to function due to lack of sleep and the cycle continues. According to research, 47% of ADHD Sleep Walk and/or grind their teeth in their sleep so this add to the sleep disruption. I recommend you use meditation to help your child get to sleep in enough time or chat to your doctor about the use of sleep aids for children.
Some tips to help children sleep are:
- Shut off electronics one hour before bed
- Keep the same sleep and wake time to train the body
- Have a completely dark room
- Have the bedroom at a comfortable temperature
- Use a Background sound
- Get a sleep study to check if there are any sleeping issues.
A Healthy Diet is so important when it comes to the brain. Diet affects body function in many ways and it is important to monitor this. MRI Studies have shown that a high salt, fat and sugar diet shows up the same results as street drugs – scary stuff! So that shows that this really can affect the brain function! You wouldn’t do street drugs so why would be have a diet that reflects that.
ADHD people do tend to eat more and are more likely to be overweight, they are more likely to develop diabetes and/or celiac disease. However, studies have shown that a no gluten diet had no affect on ADHD unless the person had celiac disease.
Food additives, colours and preservatives has been found to increase hyperactivity in some so this is worth looking at. We have found certain preservatives heighten certain traits of ADHD.
Working with a coaching helps with strategies and goal setting. A coach will help you work out what strategies will work for you and how to implement then so they work! They are a sounding board and a support system for you and your child. Someone who specialises in ADHD knows exactly how a person with ADHD works and will coach around that.
There are many different options available and all worth trying. It is important to know however that these are not a cure, they are just strategies that can assist you and your child with ADHD.
Some may work for your child and others may not. We are all different and we all react to things in different ways, so go with what works.
If you want to talk about any of these options, please contact me at any time for an appointment and we can discuss how I can assist you with the right strategy for you and your child.
If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and ADHD then feel free to join our Mindful ADHD Facebook Group here.