Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder affects as many as 10 percent of all school age children, and the symptoms — inattention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity — can get in the way of learning. Children build self-esteem and confidence by being successful in school, and parents can help their children thrive in the classroom despite an ADHD diagnosis.
Work with teachers and other school personnel to ensure your child’s needs are met. Working as a team and ensuring you are all educated about ADHD will help with this process.
When it comes to controlling symptoms, many families are reluctant to consider using typical ADHD medications, such as stimulants, and prefer to use complementary and alternative medicines — elimination diets, vitamins, vision therapy or herbal supplements. Unfortunately, there is little data to support the use of these therapies.
One area that shows promise: the use of essential fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally found in fish, have shown a small but positive effect on ADHD symptoms in several small studies. Study authors suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids be used to augment standard medications — not necessarily for use by themselves — but this treatment may be an alternative for a family that chooses to forgo traditional medications or for the child who cannot tolerate ADHD medications.
Behavioral interventions also can be quite helpful. Designed to help a child curb problematic behaviors with rewards or non-punitive consequences, behavioral interventions may help your child organize time and activities, complete a task or control impulses.
Behavioral programs are recommended as the treatment of choice for preschoolers and can be a helpful adjunct therapy for school-aged children, especially when paired with medication. Also, behavioral interventions can be particularly helpful with some “non-ADHD” behaviors, such as aggression, oppositional behaviors and improving parent-child interactions.