My six year old son was on the verge of expulsion, and the diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) burned on his shirt like the Scarlet Letter. Desperate to save his short academic career, self-esteem and my sanity, we engaged in a remarkable journey that has made our family grateful for a label that, at first, seemed like a death sentence.
Weigh Medical and Holistic Options
I was completely against prescribed medication as a treatment for ADHD for my son. That is, until he tried one and seemed immeasurably happier. There are many options among stimulant medications for ADHD. Visit www.adhdnews.com for information on all medication choices, side affects and benefits.
Diet is an overlooked area that can drastically affect your child's behavior. Despite our prescribing physician's fits of eye rolling when I suggested that diet and food allergies might contribute to Ryan's behavior, a simple blood test uncovered 18 food allergies. This helped create a new avenue of treatment. Visit www.feingold.org for information on how foods might be affecting your child.
Chiropractic care is a natural and effective way to treat ADHD. Research shows that there is a connection between spinal alignment and brain activity. Ryan experienced improved attention and less hyperactivity after six weeks of adjustments. Visit www.chiro.org for more details and a listing of pediatric Chiropractors.
Align With the School
Even if sitting with your child's teacher makes you want to poke your eyes out with a plastic spoon, you still must foster this relationship. There are few things more important in this process than getting the school on your side.
Communicate with your child's teacher honestly about the diagnosis and treatments you are using. Be proactive and coach the teacher about your child's gifts, challenges, and preferences. Work together to coordinate a discipline plan. School and home need to be on the same page about what works for your child, and cooperate to offer consistent consequences. Check in regularly to see if changes are needed.
While I'd love to report that Ryan is now the perfect, angelic student, his teacher will occasionally call to report a missed assignment, minor ambush, or his unrelenting chattiness. The difference now, is that I have the information, tools and confidence to address issues in a way that is empowering for us. Today I realize that ADHD is Ryan's secret ingredient for a life full of energy, leadership and marching to the beat of his own drum.
Read more from Susan Hyatt at Ideal Life Design