Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Benefits Of Yoga For ADHD Kids

When I tried yoga a few years ago, I found that there were certainly a lot of benefits. It is a well known fact that with the advanced breathing techniques which are correctly applied, you can gain the following benefits:-

·        reduction in stress and anxiety and being less dependent on ADHD meds.
·        less tension
·        relaxed breathing means more oxygen in the brain
·        there is a definite feeling of calm and at the same time mental alertness.
·        forward bends help to deepen breathing
·        relaxation can boost the central nervous system
·        it is well known that the pose and routine of the Sun Salutation can stimulate both sides of the brain which will help with learning.

Now, when experiments with yoga for ADHD children have been tried, they have found that there are many benefits for them too and some relief from common ADHD symptoms. So much so that yoga courses are now offered in some elementary schools. That is a great way to begin a childhood, rather than giving them a new electronic gadget.

We should not be surprised that forward looking educationalists realize the value of yoga.  It is truly a unique combination of learning how to relax the body, stretching major muscle groups and learning to use breathing techniques for maximum benefit.

The ADHD child or adult does not have to be an expert although some practice will be needed to gain maximum results:-

1.      The child can learn to restore the body mind balance which is often out of sync in ADHD
2.      He or she can learn more about self awareness. These two factors alone will help the kids to really focus better.
3.      The brain transmitters are better balanced too and that leads to a better mood and feelings of happiness and contentment
4.      Children who do yoga are found to be less aggressive and violent because the body mind balance is starting to kick in.
5.      Children were also found to be less impulsive, again because of a better balance all round.
6.      Another great advantage was the fact that improved body alignment helped blood circulation which in turn had a knock on effect of higher energy levels.
7.      Even the simplest balancing routine can help ADHD kids to channel their thoughts constructively. Experts are now agreed that this routine can help the brain’s executive function which is often defective in those with ADHD.

As we have seen, there are definite advantages in considering some yoga practice which can tie in very nicely with a comprehensive type of program which may include some form of medication coupled with behavioral training.  It can complement help with learning and support for homework tasks. It should really be just regarded as another tool in the ADHD treatment plan.  

Saturday, 16 February 2013

How To Deal With Temper Tantrums In Toddlers

Ever wondered what your toddler is thinking as he or she has a temper tantrum in public?  Well, nothing much is going on in the brain except that there are emotions like frustration and anger. This is the only way she knows of trying to get what she wants!

Now contrast that with you. You are the one who is rational, reasonable, sensible and you have it all thought out!  You are going to give several reasons why this behavior is unacceptable and you may throw in a few threats and consequences as well. You are also keenly aware of how people in the vicinity might be judging you and that is going to also determine your behavior!

As we can see, these two approaches are worlds apart and they are light years away from resolving the problem. So, how can we approach this enormous gap in attitude, thinking, maturity and the way each of the protagonists sees the world.

Four tips to help with temper tantrums in public

1.      Long speeches and tiresome explanations are out!  First, the child has no way of taking all that in and even if he or she could, he has not got the mental capacity to respond to it.  I like the rule where you use as many words as the child’s age.  So for a two year old, it is ‘No hitting’ and a for a five year old is ‘We don’t throw toys around’.

2.      Allow your child to make choices beforehand. So, if there is a daily battle about what to wear at school you can do a bit of forward planning. Involve the child in getting the clothes ready the night before and ask him what he wants to wear. Saves time and hassle the morning after, provided he does not change his mind!  We are building a certain amount of autonomy in a pretty well structured environment and that is fine.

3.      Set limits. OK, it is great giving choices and allowing a certain amount of flexibility but this can go too far when the child wants and decides about everything. A good approach is to say what the procedure is for getting up or going to bed.  The photo shows that pretty well and is a great reminder of how parents should be dealing with this routine. 

 4.      Keep calm. There is no screaming match because this ruins everything. Take him away to his room and explain using the ‘age/number of words ratio’ what is acceptable and not acceptable. Remember never to give reasons or start on the ‘because’ list. It does not work. Rationality is not yet part of the child’s world.

So, there you have it. We can more confidently deal with temper tantrums before bed and in public by following these simple steps. Learn more about temper tantrums for no reason.

Watch the video on tips for child anger management

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Stimulant Drug Dangers – The Tragic Story of Richard Fee

Earlier this week, the New York Times featured a long article on Richard Fee who hanged himself after becoming addicted to Adderall and other psychostimulant drugs. It is no surprise that there were over a thousand comments on that article.

 Richard did not suffer from ADHD but was prescribed these meds because he was determined to get into medical school and he found that the stimulants helped him to study. Through clever lying and careless medical personnel, he was able to support his habit.

But he became addicted and displayed increasingly aggressive behavior, moodiness, psychosis, and became delusional.  In spite of his parents pleading with doctors not to prescribe him these meds, it was too late.  The final result was a tragic suicide.

When we talk of stimulant drug danger like the above heartbreaking case, we should not forget that when these drugs are properly prescribed after correct diagnosis, they can change the lives of many  ADHD children and adults for the better and help them cope.

But what happens when young college students take them without prescription?  These meds can be addictive for those who do not really need them. There are many health risks and psychological dangers which can ruin lives. These meds are easily available on college campuses and can be bought for between $5 and $10. There is no need to fake ADHD symptoms. 

                                DON'T DO DRUGS - MAY HAVE SIDE EFFECTS!

ADHD drug update

Guess which segment of the population is now taking these meds on an ever increasing basis?  They are young adults in the 20 – 39 age group and they had 14 million prescriptions filled for their ADHD in 2011.  That is an increase of 250% compared to four years ago!  We can explain this partially by saying that there is a growing awareness of ADHD and that people feel less inhibited about their condition.

But that whopping number also contains those students who are faking their symptoms to get an unfair advantage. Many of them are getting prescriptions by filling out questionnaires dishonestly and also with the connivance of obliging doctors. These are the ones who are taking the drugs legally. Those who are getting them on campuses illegally are committing a felony.  In either case, they seem to be completely unaware of the medical and psychological dangers.

Moral of the story? We should be alert to stimulant drug dangers. We should also look carefully at a more comprehensive treatment program and other alternative ADHD treatments. 

College Students Snorting ADHD Drugs