In last week’s health tip, we met Abby and her son Charlie. Abby had just realized that Charlie was following her own pattern of attention difficulties. The doctor told her that Charlie may have an Attention Deficit Disorder – ADD. He also exhibits a Learning Disability (LD) that he can’t describe to anyone (LD encompasses challenges like dyslexia, slow speech, difficulty with numbers, etc).
Abby was assured that, just as the learning disability is tangible and addressable, ADD and ADHD are very real physiological deficiencies where the Brain and Central Nervous System aren’t communicating properly. Charlie isn’t just being a “bad child”.
But Abby isn’t sure if she wants to start Charlie on prescription medication. There are only 2 or 3 weeks to go before school starts. What can Abby do?
Unlocking doors to communication, knowledge and encouragement
Relying on one course of action isn’t necessary when there are so many avenues open. Here are some tips we’ve put together from a variety of expert resources:
It’s very important that families with ADD, ADHD and LD challenges have open lines of communication, especially at this time of year when kids must face the doors to the classroom and parents can’t be with them.
- Include your special child in conversations about avenues selected to decrease their discomfort and anxiety, be it dietary changes or the need for natural or prescription medication. Plan an activity they enjoy. Do dry runs of schedules to ease “first day jitters”.
- Talk to your child’s school, and know their education rights. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantees services that are designed to meet the individual needs of qualified students to the same extent that the needs of other students are met – i.e., to give the ADD, ADHD and LD child the same devotion and chances as others get through services that may help them adapt.
- Check for allergies or sensitivities to things like milk and white flour, sugar and chocolate. Be aware that, although certain foods may aggravate symptoms of ADD and ADHD, dietary changes alone will probably not be the only necessary solution.