How to Treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in Children

This disorder, although not new, has been the subject of much recent debate. ADD is another term for hyperactivity, and although many parents might loosely claim their child is hyperactive, ADD is thought to be hereditary and is caused by a minor disorder of the brain, which fails to stop unrea­sonable behaviour. It mildly affects about 10 per cent of children and 2 per cent more severely. More boys than girls are affected and problems are more noticeable once the child has started school. Symptoms can include inattention, over­activity, impulsiveness which leads to accidents, insatiability and social ineptitude. It affects the child’s learning and behavioural abilities, causing problems in lessons and in the play­ground. This in itself can cause problems as the child feels stupid and left out by his classmates. Over half the children affected also have specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia.

What you can do

Many parents feel they are inadequate to deal with such a dis­ruptive child and that they are in some way to blame. But there are ways of making life easier. Accept your child as they are – and accept that they are different. Provide routines and guidelines so they know where they stand and let them know what you want in calm and simple language. Try to avoid possible triggers of outbursts such as long car journeys, keep­ing situations as stress-free as possible. Emphasize and reward the good in them rather than concentrating on the bad. And if things do get out of control, have a room or a chair for ‘time out’ where they are sent until they’ve quietened down.



Although it is generally agreed that diet does have some part to play in ADD, there are differing opinions as to how large a part that is. But some studies have shown that food intolerance can be a cause of hyperkinetic activity in children. Additives, natural and manufactured preservatives, chocolate, strawberries, cola, colourings and flavourings may all cause problems. A naturopath may advise an exclusion diet, to be carried out under supervision, where the numbers of foods eaten are restricted and then slowly reintroduced.


Therapists use a variety of techniques to treat attention deficit disorder, depending on their particular train­ing. They may use a series of approaches so that the child unconsciously learns how they should be behaving. Just as it is a natural process for children to learn to talk, it can be a natural process for them to learn again how to behave.


An osteopath may carry out certain structural mechanical treatments and massage to help calm down the child. Cranial osteopathic techniques may be able to help problems caused by foetal development, a difficult birth or an accident which can affect functioning. Cerebral areas which are associated with or responsible for the child’s personality or communication skills may have been suppressed. The central nervous system and cranial system which control movement may also have been affected and will be looked at.

Traditional Chinese medicine

Studies have shown the effec­tiveness of treating hyperactivity with TCM. Some have shown great improvement in behaviour, attention span and academic records; some even being completely cured. A TCM practitioner will need to know exactly how the child acts before deciding on treatment.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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