Kids with ADHD
As a mom of a child with ADHD, I can understand the struggles and frustrations that we go through as parents. I understand the stress it can put on a marriage. I understand the stress it can put on yourself feeling that you’re “failing them” or feeling that you’re not doing enough. I understand the stress it can put on a sibling if you have multiple children and one struggles with ADHD and the others do not. I understand because we went through this ourselves as a family.
Please feel free to listen to my podcast where I share some of what we had gone through or continue reading for more information.
Children with ADHD have their own struggles, and some of the markers include, but are not limited to:
- Difficulty regulating emotions
- Difficulty paying attention
- Difficulty learning/focusing in class
- Difficulty listening to direction
- Trouble getting organized
How is it diagnosed?
There is no clear medical testing to determine that a child has ADHD. It is diagnosed after months of behaviour issues bringing into account experiences that the parents and teachers have all observed and report back to their doctor.
Is there another way to manage it?
In our personal experience, nutrition has played a big role in helping to better manage ADHD, but it is not the only thing. Quite often the toxins from our environment & the foods we eat (dyes, processed foods, refined sugar) build up in the brain of a person struggling with ADHD and exacerbates the symptoms making it more difficult to focus, pay attention, completing tasks, etc. Having a strong nutritional foundation along with proper supplements to help nutritionally support the brain and digestive system is important.
It is also important to have the following checked:
- Good eye health is important when trying to better manage a child with ADHD. If the eyes are straining to see the board at school, then it puts an increase stress on the brain to process the information tiring out the child and then can lead to increased tantrums due to exhaustion and leaving the child and parents even more frustrated!
- It is important to work with an audiologist to have the child’s hearing checked. Not only can an audiologist help to determine if the child is hearing properly, but they can do a test called, “Central Auditory Processing” that checks to see how the child is processing the information from their ears to their brain. My son for example has a mild CAP disorder that can often mimic ADHD and in cases of ADHD can exacerbate the symptoms leaving the teachers and parents frustrated and not understanding why they can’t or don’t perform certain tasks.
Proper nutritional support can help maintain proper eye health, and can help with the functioning of the brain. Remember that saying, “we are what we eat”? If we are feeding our bodies and brains, especially children’s, foods that are not serving us it is very difficult for a child to make it through the day being able to focus and not shut down.
As a family, we also implement mindfulness/meditation, essential oils, and affirmations to help our son with ADHD succeed and better manage the condition making it easier on home and school life. A child struggling with ADHD is very hard on themselves and often wondering why they’re always getting into trouble, why are they struggling or behind in school. Working on building the child up through the above methods help to improve the child’s confidence in themselves.
A team of experts who are on your team, can bring all these alternate treatments together and make a comprehensive plan for families to cope with this situation.
Experts that are working in tandem to deal with this condition. Psychologists, pediatricians, occupational therapists, holistic nutritionists are some of the experts that are part of the panel and I hope to be one of those experts helping your family!
Our Families ADHD Journey
I first started to feel that Colin my younger son had ADHD when he was in kindergarten. I would get phone calls from the teacher that he was having a meltdown and was under the desk, couldn’t calm him down, talk with him, get him out and would ask for me to pick him up from school. He was struggling with his letter sounds and reading simple sight words but I was told it was too early to diagnose. We made some changes to his diet and his tantrums seemed to lessen and after 5 months in grade one, his teacher asked me to have him ADHD tested because he was struggling with his reading and was a daydreamer in class. His report card was straight C’s & D’s. We continued to support him nutritionally, adding in more natural supplements and had a tutor coming to the home 2x/wk. We managed to get his grades up to straight B’s & one A for his final report card in grade 1!
Then summer hit and he went away on a 2-week vacation with family where we were not there to monitor his food/supplement intake and have him doing his meditations, etc. When he returned he was a child that I did not recognize. He couldn’t keep his hands to himself and would be fighting with his brother all the time. He couldn’t sit still and the language and the stories that would come out of his mouth left me crying most nights. I was feeling like I was failing him as a mom, and yet I knew I had the tools to be able to help him.
It was at this point that I decided that I needed to have the official diagnosis. I needed to have it as an explanation as to why these things were happening. I had the observation letter from his grade 1 teacher, his tutor and Jeff (my Awesome husband! ) and I filled out a form about what we noticed with him and took it to our family doctor who confirmed he had ADHD. She also reviewed what I was giving him for supplements, diet, people we have to help us and she told me to keep doing what I was doing and that it was manageable through diet.
This was the starting point of my journey, from where I decided to empower myself with the knowledge of what this condition was all about and how, going forward, I can help other parents in the same predicament.
How can I help?
Children’s brains continue to develop until they’re in there early 20’s. My hope is that through better education on nutrition/supplements, and other alternatives that we can give the child’s brain a chance to develop on its own. Families need to believe that there are other alternatives to medication and be committed to making changes in the family. I feel that I can help families navigate these waters and make it easier for them to manage and find resources that can help.