September is ADHD Awareness month, and we want to know: Can you answer the question “What is ADHD?” The National Institute for Mental Health defines Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in the following way:
“Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
ADHD has three subtypes:
- Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
- Predominantly inattentive
- Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often.”
If your child’s long-term issues with inattention, hyper behavior, and impulsivity are preventing his or her success and affecting your family’s dynamic, it could be ADHD. The million dollar question is, “What can I do about my child’s attention problem?” The following are a few tips that can be helpful for any child but particularly one with ADHD:
- Create structure and routine. For example, if your child is school-aged, give them a place to set their school work, back pack, shoes, etc. each day so they can always find their things. Make a to-do list for mornings to help keep them on track so they can get to school on time every day.
- Make sleep a priority. Set a hard and fast night time routine and bedtime. Let your child know it is non-negotiable, except for the occasional “special” night.
- Cut out processed food and artificial colors. Serve fresh fruits and vegetables with lean protein. Get rid of soda and other sugary drinks.
- Physical exercise is important for all children. Set aside time each day for running, jumping, bike riding, or any other physical activity your child enjoys. Make it fun, and do it together! Exercise the brain as well. Reading together, doing a puzzle, or playing board games with your child are great ways to improve focus and confidence.
Does your child have attention issues or an attention disorder diagnosis? Contact us today for special savings on a comprehensive assessment at your nearest Brain Balance Center! The Brain Balance Program® is an individualized and comprehensive approach to helping children with neuro-behavioral and learning difficulties connect with success through sensory, cognitive, and motor activity plans.
Click the links below to read and share more from our ADHD series: