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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In the previous issue, we browsed through some expressions and symptoms that define children with ADHD. ADHD is endemic amongst children.

Children with ADHD may show symptoms of Attention-Deficit or Hyperactivity-Impulsivity or a combination of both. These behaviors can be common in children. However, if the symptoms appear persistently for six months or more after the age of 12, the child could be diagnosed with ADHD.

Treatments for ADHD

Treatments for ADHD does not always involve taking medication.  Deciding on whether to give medication to the child requires much consideration due to the side effects of the drugs may have on the child’s developing brain. There are many other effective treatments to help children with ADHD improve their abilities to concentrate, control impulsivity and curb hyperactivity.

Parents have a huge influence on the treatment of your children. Evidence shows that nutritious meals, play, exercises and social skills learned are part of a balanced remedy to help improve your children’s relationships with others while also reducing their stress and disappointments.

It means treatments start right at home.

The Benefits of exercises

Studies show that spending time in nature helps reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Encourage your child to play outdoor at least 30 minutes a day if possible.

Exercising is one of the most effective ways to reduce ADHD symptoms because physical activities immediately increase neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, in the brain, all of which affect concentration and attention.

Activities that require close attention to body movements such as dancing, gymnastics, board surfing and martial arts are especially useful for children with ADHD.

Nutritious meals help reduce ADHD

Studies show what and when you eat has an impact on ADHD symptoms.

  • Keep a regular and timely meals to help maintain the child’s blood sugar level, reduce their irritation and support concentration. Drink freshly squeezed juice from home, stay away from any soda, soft drinks, and sugary drinks, and just consume water.
  • Check the child’s levels of zinc, iron and magnesium. Many children with ADHD are low in these key minerals.
  • Enhance omega-3 acids in your child’s daily diet. Omega-3 improves hyperactivity, impulsivity, and concentration of children and even adults with ADHD. Omega-3 can be found in salmons, tunas, sardines, chicken eggs and several dairy products. However, the simplest way to supplement your children with omega-3 in their body is to consume Omega-3 supplements.

Consistency is key

Children with ADHD are more likely to succeed in fulfilling their duties when the tasks take place in a predictable pattern and predictable places so that they understand what they are expected to do.

  • Create a simple and predictable daily routine: Set up a timetable and a place for everything from their meals, homework, play and bedtime.
  • Use a clock: Clocks should always be available in your house and your children’s bedrooms to set time and determine their deadlines. Children with ADHD often make little mistakes and sometimes they would set 7 pm instead of 7 am so they could miss an exam. Hence, to teach them to follow a routine t is of great importance.
  • Simplify their timetable: Avoid too many activities after school hours because children with ADHD may be distracted. Choose one or two activities that your child loves and try to teach them to follow through the process to finish them. If you find your child dislike an activity, help them pick up another activity. Do not overload them with too many activities. Children with ADHD are easy to get bored and change their mind. Hence, try to help your kids stay focused.

The importance of sleep in ADHD treatments

Regular quality sleep can result in great improvement in ADHD symptoms. However, many children with ADHD have problems getting to sleep. Therefore set a regular bedtime and enforce it.

Never leave any electronic devices or screens (TV, computers, iPad, games, etc.) in their bedrooms.

Train your kids some social skills

Children with ADHD often have difficulty with social interactions and struggle with low self-esteem. Another way to help your child is to train them social skills. Take your child to a doctor or an expert for good advice.

Provide Love and understanding

Parents who have children with ADHD shouldn’t be discouraged. Give your child more patience and love since we understand that ADHD is likely 30-40 percent genetic.

Remember that everyone has their skills, so do children with ADHD. Don’t get upset and keep scolding your child that might affect their development. If no one understands them, they would feel lonely and sad. Be optimistic to encourage your child and help them develop their skills. Everyone has a dream, yet children with ADHD may have two or three goals because some of them have a lot of energy. So it’s fantastic if the parents can help them achieve all of their all dreams, while normal people may have just one.

Would ADHD disorder affect relationship life as adults?

Maybe. Perhaps when they grow up, these children might not be able to maintain a long-term relationship. As parents, we are concerned, but this is something out of our control, it’s your child’s business. Of course there are things that as parents we worry for our child for a lifetime.

Research has shown that the ability to concentrate in those first years of life is quite crucial and influential on the critical thinking and future of our children. However, ADHD disorder is not easily identified during children’s early years. Parents should pay extra attention to discover early signs of the disorder through a child’ daily routine. Again, watch for symptoms that appear on a regular basis. If the frequency of these symptoms increases over six months, you need to take your child to the doctor or a psychologist for advice.

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Dr. Khoi Nguyen
Dr. Khoi holds a Science Degree from the University of Toronto and received his medical degree in 1988. He is currently seeing patients at his private family medicine practice. In 2010, he received the Canada’s Citizenship Award for his numerous contributions to the community. Bác sĩ Khôi tốt nghiệp ngành khoa học tại University of Toronto và tốt nghiệp y khoa năm 1988. Hiện nay ông đang làm việc tại phòng mạch tư chuyên về sức khỏe gia đình, và đã được vinh dự nhận giải thưởng Canada’s Citizenship Award năm 2010.