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ADHD may be a genetic condition

Some people think that ‘bad parenting’ is the cause of ADHD.

ADHD is a genetic disorder and parents should not blame themselves for their child's behaviour problems.Dr Lin Day, founder of Baby Sensory (www.babysensory.com) explains:

Parents should take comfort from the knowledge that children with ADHD can be wonderfully creative and intellectually gifted.

Is my child too active? ADHD?

They are often successful at sports, games and creative pursuits and they can be master problem-solvers if an activity fascinates them. Many people who have excelled as entrepreneurs, musicians, entertainers and raconteurs attribute their success to ADHD.

If you are looking for strategies that can help, the following might be helpful:

There are a number of things that parents can do to help channel their child’s energies and interests.

Firstly, Children with ADHD need a regular and predicable routine that includes achievable goals. The routine might include short periods of concentration such as colouring, reading, role-play or listening to music.

If the child finds it difficult to concentrate, a stress ball or other malleable object can help to relieve tension and frustration.

A quiet period followed by physical activity such as sports, dance, gymnastics, skateboarding or cycling, boosts the brain’s dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which in turn reduces the symptoms of ADHD.

Getting plenty of fresh air is important too, because it promotes better sleeping patterns.

Other outlets might include the use of musical instruments, yoga and massage, which can help a child to unwind after a busy day.

Secondly, positive praise and worthwhile rewards such as an outing or sticker chart can make a huge difference to the child’s behaviour and sense of achievement. Praise is especially important, because children with ADHD typically get so little of it.

Thirdly, a balanced diet that excludes artificial food colours, flavourings and caffeine, but includes oily fish, protein, complex carbohydrates, essential vitamins and minerals and plenty of fluids can help to sustain attention and reduce hyperactivity symptoms. Small nutritious meals at three-hourly intervals can also help children with ADHD.

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