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Managing ADHD


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by Robin Vanderplank

At a recent ADHD world conference in the USA every delegate agreed on two points.

• First, that ADHD is for life – it does not go away.
• Second, that medication on its own is not enough to manage the effects of ADHD.

An important part of the work of ADHASA (The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern Africa) is to help you to understand what ADHD is about:

  • Its causes,
  • How it affects adults and children, and
  • The ways it can be managed.

ADHASA is a witness to the fact that the consequences of having ADHD can be healed!

1.  Exercising

The “good stuff” that our bodies produce when we exercise includes two brain messengers (neurotransmitters) which make us feel good and able to think “sharp” that’s when we notice and focus and can learn.

2.  Drinking water

6 to 8 glasses spread out through the day – so important that even if you do everything else, without enough water you may battle to concentrate.

3.  Watching what you eat

Don’t do synthetic colorants, flavorings and preservatives in your food. Watch out for “trans-fats” and never eat margarine. Do a test that checks what foods you are sensitive to because they get into the brain and disturb it’s working. Join ADHASA and get the list of foods that have been found to be acceptable to most people – it will save you a lot of experimenting.

4.  Eating the right foods

Stay away from fast foods and use your own stove. Have some protein and carbohydrate with each meal – eat often if you feel concentration slip and reduce sugar and caffeine and cold drinks and white flour products, all of which cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.

5.  Lowering stress levels

Stress is one of the major contributors to ADHD because to cope with increased stress levels we use up vitamins and minerals that are meant for carrying out other important functions.

6.  Taking supplements of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals

“Essential” means that the body cannot make them and we must get them through the food we eat. Your grandparents did not need supplements because the nutrients were in the ground and so in their food. Not anymore. Now the nutrients are depleted through poor agricultural practices. Most of us must supplement or we suffer.

7.  Making your home (or classroom) a place you all want to return to each day

This will reduce stress levels all round. No one can think clearly and work things out when they are angry or upset. Don’t shout. Say “let’s talk about this” – we need to use our thinking brain to work out emotional issues.

8.  Growing spiritually and emotionally

Our children are the biggest challenge to personal growth that we will ever experience. Learn to deal with your challenges. You be the one to make the first move for reconciliation and understanding as you try to see things from your child’s point of view.

9. Learning how to respond differently to an ADHD child or partner or learner

A person with ADHD has challenges and opportunities on a different scale to ordinary people. Don’t listen to the neighbors and religious leaders who know nothing of what we live through. Learn what the unique problems are that your child or family member needs to work out. Do not go on doing what you know does not work.

10.  Medicating

May be crucial to use in a crisis and we need to know what side effects each medication is known to have. Furthermore, medication only helps with the symptoms, and does not deal with the many causes of ADHD. It is becoming more and more obvious that lifestyle has a powerful effect on ADHD and this means that changing our lifestyle can do a lot towards healing the symptoms.

About the author:
All enquiries to be directed to Robin Vanderplank at 082 499 1344, email vanderplankr@gmail.com, 031-562 0994 weekdays.





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Managing ADHD

Latest

Managing ADHD

by Robin Vanderplank

At a recent ADHD world conference in the USA every delegate agreed on two points.

• First, that ADHD is for life – it does not go away.
• Second, that medication on its own is not enough to manage the effects of ADHD.

An important part of the work of ADHASA (The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Support Group of Southern Africa) is to help you to understand what ADHD is about:

  • Its causes,
  • How it affects adults and children, and
  • The ways it can be managed.

ADHASA is a witness to the fact that the consequences of having ADHD can be healed!

1.  Exercising

The “good stuff” that our bodies produce when we exercise includes two brain messengers (neurotransmitters) which make us feel good and able to think “sharp” that’s when we notice and focus and can learn.

2.  Drinking water

6 to 8 glasses spread out through the day – so important that even if you do everything else, without enough water you may battle to concentrate.

3.  Watching what you eat

Don’t do synthetic colorants, flavorings and preservatives in your food. Watch out for “trans-fats” and never eat margarine. Do a test that checks what foods you are sensitive to because they get into the brain and disturb it’s working. Join ADHASA and get the list of foods that have been found to be acceptable to most people – it will save you a lot of experimenting.

4.  Eating the right foods

Stay away from fast foods and use your own stove. Have some protein and carbohydrate with each meal – eat often if you feel concentration slip and reduce sugar and caffeine and cold drinks and white flour products, all of which cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.

5.  Lowering stress levels

Stress is one of the major contributors to ADHD because to cope with increased stress levels we use up vitamins and minerals that are meant for carrying out other important functions.

6.  Taking supplements of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals

“Essential” means that the body cannot make them and we must get them through the food we eat. Your grandparents did not need supplements because the nutrients were in the ground and so in their food. Not anymore. Now the nutrients are depleted through poor agricultural practices. Most of us must supplement or we suffer.

7.  Making your home (or classroom) a place you all want to return to each day

This will reduce stress levels all round. No one can think clearly and work things out when they are angry or upset. Don’t shout. Say “let’s talk about this” – we need to use our thinking brain to work out emotional issues.

8.  Growing spiritually and emotionally

Our children are the biggest challenge to personal growth that we will ever experience. Learn to deal with your challenges. You be the one to make the first move for reconciliation and understanding as you try to see things from your child’s point of view.

9. Learning how to respond differently to an ADHD child or partner or learner

A person with ADHD has challenges and opportunities on a different scale to ordinary people. Don’t listen to the neighbors and religious leaders who know nothing of what we live through. Learn what the unique problems are that your child or family member needs to work out. Do not go on doing what you know does not work.

10.  Medicating

May be crucial to use in a crisis and we need to know what side effects each medication is known to have. Furthermore, medication only helps with the symptoms, and does not deal with the many causes of ADHD. It is becoming more and more obvious that lifestyle has a powerful effect on ADHD and this means that changing our lifestyle can do a lot towards healing the symptoms.

About the author:
All enquiries to be directed to Robin Vanderplank at 082 499 1344, email vanderplankr@gmail.com, 031-562 0994 weekdays.