Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) is a condition frequently diagnosed in children due to a wide range of problems with inattention and impulsiveness. Around 11% of children in the US are diagnosed with either ADD or ADHD, which mostly relates to the delayed development of self-management skills.
All young children are naturally active, impulsive, easily distracted and, at times, can be uncooperative. So how do you know if your child has a problem?
ADHD might be considered if the behaviors:
- negatively impact several areas of your child’s life in a significant way,
- are more extensive and extreme from other kids’ typical behavior at the same age, AND
- this pattern continues for more than 6 months.
If your child is distractible or impulsive like most kids his age and he is doing fine in all areas of life, an ADHD diagnosis is inappropriate. On the other hand, if these issues are pervasive and persistent and they interfere with your child’s life then you are likely desiring to get some help.
What does it mean for your child to have an ADHD diagnosis?
ADHD is a developmental delay primarily of executive function of the brain – a term used to describe the mental capacity to manage one’s life. Executive function resides mostly in the frontal part of the brain and is in continual development from infancy all the way through age 30. Self-management skills include impulse control, planning, problem-solving, time management, coordination, attention, following directions, staying on track and managing emotions.
All children are on an ongoing path to develop executive functioning and to grow up to be able to manage themselves in all aspects of their lives. New brain science suggests that it may take up to around 30 years to fully get there.
Brain science shows that executive functioning is delayed or inefficient in children with ADHD, compared to their peers of the same age. However, an area of the brain that does mature faster than usual in kids with ADHD is the motor cortex. This could explain the restlessness and the strong desire that ADHD kids have to move around like they love to do.
Many children with ADHD have one or more other conditions for a variety of reasons. These may include learning disabilities, tic disorders, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, allergies and severe behavior issues.
Are ADHD medications necessary?
ADHD medications might be helpful for some children, but there are potential, dangerous side effects that can make the risks outweigh the benefits. Medications can manage the symptoms but mask the underlying imbalances and causes that need to be addressed. The good news is that there is a path to wellness and recovery where medications may not be necessary, or only used as a last resort.
Kids do well if they can.
The important thing to recognize is that children with ADHD are challenging not because they are unmotivated, manipulative, willfully defiant or trying to make your life difficult. They are challenging because they are lacking the skills needed to do well. Many kids with ADHD have unique gifts and strengths, and with the right resources and individualized attention, they have the capability to learn and thrive.
Children’s brains are continually reorganizing, and science shows the brain has the capability to rewire itself. There is no question that parenting affects brain development. As their brains are continually developing, all children need help in managing their lives, but kids with ADHD need extra help.
As a certified parenting coach and functional medicine health coach, I can help you:
- Create a calm, connected relationship with your child
- Help your child with attention and task management
- Help your child manage emotions
- Set priorities and appropriate limits
- Reduce the stress
- Resolve sleep issues
- Learn mindfulness and teach it to your child
- Get help with the underlying physical issues related to ADHD
Here are some of the underlying physical issues to consider:
- intestinal dysbiosis and gastrointestinal disorders
- neurotransmitter imbalances
- metal and chemical toxicity
- impaired detoxification
- nutritional deficiencies and imbalances
- allergies and immune dysfunction
- food reactions and sensitivities
- mitochondrial dysfunction
This article provides more info about underlying issues: https://www.healthychild.com/physical-imbalances-affecting-childs-brain-and-behavior/
In our parent coaching program, you will get the guidance you need.
As a certified parenting coach, I provide a purely judgement-free, completely confidential space for you to talk about what’s happening. I’ll support you in a new way of communicating and interacting and help you incorporate new tools – so your kids are more cooperative and you can feel more peace and ease.
If you want to talk about your frustrations, feeling overwhelmed, or a specific challenge you’re having…whatever is on your mind… take a half hour for yourself to talk with me. Trust me, it could change everything.
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