Tag Archive | "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder"

How to Raise a Nature Lover: Helping Your Child Think Green

When you encourage your little one to appreciate nature, you are not only raising a child who has respect for Mother Earth, you are also creating opportunities for enhanced health and intellect. Outdoor activities help children get some exercise and they also stimulate cognitive development. A few minutes of fresh air and sunlight is a proven stress reducer in children, too. In fact, a research conducted by the University of Illinois found that a twenty minute walk can calm children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

No matter what season, it’s never a bad idea to switch off the TV and usher your kids outdoors. Below are fun ideas to help you raise a child who loves nature:

Play in the rain.

Forget about catching a cold for a minute, and let your child pitter patter in the rain. In reality, the real cause of colds and flu is dry air, because viruses travel better in it. Children love water, it’s an instinct. If it’s wet outside and there isn’t any sign of thunders and lightning, get your young ones into some rubber boots for some splashing fun.

Take the opportunity to enhance your child’s senses. Talk about how the world seems so different when it rains. Birds don’t seem to chirp, and clouds look like gray cotton. Help your child squish his or her toes into mud or run fingers through wet tree barks. Up their curiosity by asking questions like, “Where do you think the water from the rain comes from?” or “Why do puddles disappear when the sun comes out?”

When your child is done playing in the rain, have some warm and dry clothes and towel ready, but be sure he or she takes a quick shower first.

Get creative in the yard.

There’s nothing better for a young child than getting his or her hands deep in soil. Touching dirt shouldn’t scare you, so let your child play as much as he or she wants in the yard. Children can get creative in this area, plus it’s safe because it’s right where you can watch them while getting some work done.

The yard is a wonderful place for young scientists – they can observe how plants grow, and how insects move about. Give your child a magnifying glass so he or she can see everything up close in bigger size.

Plant something.

Raise a child with passion for planting. A child with a green thumb will also grow to be ecology-minded. You can start with herbs, or better yet, if you already have a place to grow vegetables, do so. A young child can help dig and older children can label plant pots and markers. There’s nothing like harvesting tomatoes and lettuce right from your garden and into your family’s dinner table. Your child will be so proud. Gardening is a wonderful way to bond with children. Moreover, it teaches children about patience, time and caring for living things.

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Health Benefits of Yoga in Children

Exercise is very much important in a person’s life no matter how old he may be. That is why even as a child, practicing an exercise routine is encouraged for the health benefits it gives. Starting healthy habits early on in life helps prevent diseases from hitting the body. And engaging your child to exercise will serve as one of the greatest teachings you have imparted as a parent.

One of the best forms of exercise that a lot of people have been engaged to is yoga. Yoga is a form of both physical and mental exercise that originally came from India. Because of the undeniable benefits it gives the body, yoga has been practiced to most countries in the world including the West.

Recognizing the advantages that yoga gives the health, many parents want their children to be practicing that form of exercise too. Just like adults, children get a lot of gains from doing yoga. Here are some of the health benefits of yoga in children:

  • Children practicing yoga helps children maintain a healthy weight. Now a day’s childhood obesity is very rampant and it makes children at risk to develop diseases early on. Diseases like diabetes mellitus that normally affects adults are now affecting children because of obesity. Exercising like yoga will help prevent your child from being obese and acquiring those diseases during their childhood.
  • Yoga teaches children the value of balance. It helps child decipher when he is already full so it helps promote healthier eating habits.
  • Yoga is good for children who are suffering from asthma because it helps strengthen the entire body including the lungs.
  • Yoga can be a great outlet for children to be relieved from the different stresses that they are in. School can be very tiring for children especially when there are so many pressures that get on the way. Practicing yoga will help your child handle these stresses well so that he can have a more relaxed state of mind needed for him to function well in school and his other social activities.
  • Because of the value of balance that it teaches. Yoga is very good in helping children to battle from depression. Many children are depressed at an early age because of parents failed marriage and peer pressure that is very common in school. Yoga will teach your child to become well rounded individuals as his mental health is developed.
  • Children who are diagnosed to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are encouraged to do yoga because the inner balance that it teaches help the child to become behaved, concentrate on activities, and have improved physical health.
  • Yoga will help the child be healthy as it promotes proper blood circulation to all parts of the body.

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ADHD Prescription Drugs

ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a chronic behavioral and psychological disorder that affects children and adults. The characteristics of children with ADHD include inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. A child who is inattentive will have poor attention to detail and is frequently careless with all forms of activity. When talking to this child, he will not listen and is easily becomes distracted and uninterested. He is very forgetful and has difficulty doing activities involving routine, logic and organization.

Hyperactive children are those that talk and play too much. They run the entire time climb on top of high objects and do a lot of inappropriate things. They do not want to stay seated or on the same position even for a few minutes. Impulsive children are very impatient. They do not wait for their turn, they love to interrupt and disturb other people’s activities.

The cause of ADHD is not yet fully known, genetic predisposition and heredity are among the possible contributing factors. ADHD as a disease can be managed using physical and occupational therapy. The sooner the child starts therapy, the better the outcome. The symptoms of ADHD can be treated using several prescription drugs and medications. There are 2 major categories of ADHD medications, the stimulants and the non-stimulants.

  1. Stimulants – Medications that work by increasing the neurotransmitter levels are classified under stimulants. The major neurotransmitter that needs to be increased in ADHD is dopamine. Medications such as methlyphenidates and amphetamines are effective in raising dopamine levels. Nor-epinephrine, another neurotransmitter involved in ADHD is increased by atomoxetine.
  2. Non-Stimulants – Non-stimulants decrease certain neurotransmitters. These medications are usually anti-depressants such as amitryptine, imipramine, wellbutrin and nortryptiline. Non-stimulants affect the levels of dopamine as well as norepinephrine.

ADHD drug therapy is ideally started when a thorough assessment and diagnosis has been made. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is diagnosed if the clinical and physical symptoms appear for at least 6 straight months. ADHD is not diagnosed by blood exams, x-rays or CT-scans. For children, the usual age for ADHD diagnosis is from 6 to 9 years old. Once started on ADHD medication therapy, the parent must be aware about the duration, frequency, dose, action and side effects of the drug used. Duration is the length of time needed for the medication. In most cases, medications are maintained for several years or even the individual’s entire lifetime. Frequency is the number of times the medication should be taken while dose is the amount or quantity of drug used.

Action and side effects are 2 of the most important considerations when it comes to ADHD medications. Most drugs are potentially addictive and habit forming; controlling the dose to its therapeutic dose prevents addiction and drug abuse. Some stimulants have side effects like cardiac abnormalities, palpitations, breathing problems, chest pain, increased pulse rate, high blood pressure and skin rashes.

 Other ADHD medications can even cause severe and potentially fatal reactions such as seizures, shock, hallucinations, psychosis and sudden death. ADHD medications should only be taken with caution and under the watchful supervision of a doctor or specialist.

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Taking Advantage of Home Environment to Manage ADHD for Kids

Children typically are always energetic. They seem to be always on the go, playing all the time and can’t stay put long enough. They act spontaneously and have a zest for life that only children can understand. They do not tire easily and they have tremendous energy levels that could last them the whole day. This is how children are and they act this way at home and in school. In most cases, adults need to keep up with their children who are obviously more active than them. When does this behavior become too much? Is it possible that something is not right for children who play too much? Is it alright if children have very short attention spans? Is it normal for children to be hyperactive and easily distracted?

An evaluation for ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder may be the answer to all these questions. ADHD by definition is a behavioral disorder characterized by unusual impulsiveness and hyperactivity. This behavioral condition is also characterized by inattentiveness and short attention spans. ADHD is about 3 times more common in males than in females and approximately 8% to 10% of the school-aged children in the United States of America are diagnosed with this condition.  Children with ADHD are observed for symptoms that indicates hyperactivity and impulsiveness. These symptoms include excessive talkativeness, always interrupts, runs or climbs inappropriately, can’t stay seated, can’t play quietly and very fidgety. These children also exhibit symptoms of inattentiveness which include difficulty following instructions, difficulty planning tasks, losing important things, being easily distracted, being disorganized and being forgetful. Usually these symptoms should occur regularly and last at least 6 months in order to diagnose ADHD in children. The cause of this condition is multi-factorial; it is a combination of physiologic, psychologic, genetic and environmental factors. Certain brain chemicals might be deficient or in excess for these children, exposure to toxins such as smoke, lead and other harmful substances during fetal development may also contribute to this condition.

ADHD is treated with prescription medications that improve the child’s concentration and attention as well as minimize his hyperactive and impulsive behavior. The doctor prescribes these medications once a positive diagnosis of ADHD has been made. Taking medications is not the only method of managing ADHD in children; home environment is also a very effective tool in addressing this condition. In order to take advantage of the benefits of a healthy home environment fit for a child with ADHD, parents and care takers can use these guidelines. First is to make a simple schedule of activities, plotting specific times for playing, eating, sleeping, and doing homework. Second is to make simple house rules. The child must be constantly reminded about them and positive reinforcement is rewarded if the rules are followed. Third is to have the child under your watchful supervision at all times, especially during social interactions with other children since they tend to be socially weak. Last tip is to make sure to give more importance on the effort exerted by the child not instant results, helping a child with ADHD is a slow and gradual process, patience is essential.

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Summer Babies Are More Likely To Have ADHD

Around the world, approximately 4 babies are born every second. The birth of babies happens all year round, it occurs at any given place, time and season. Some babies are born in spring, others in autumn or winter, and some are born during the summer. In the United States of America, summer season starts early to mid June and lasts up to late August or early September, this places summer from June up until September in the calendar. Summer is known to be the warmest time among the 4 seasons; it follows spring and precedes autumn and commonly, during this time, universities and schools have summer breaks for students to enjoy the warm weather and have a well deserved rest and relaxation. Babies who are born from June to September are called summer babies. These babies are believed to be different from other babies, some studies suggests that summer babies tend to grow taller and bigger compared to those who aren’t, others also believe that these babies are more likely to have ADHD. Are these all true or are they baseless claims?

A new study to be published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Health Economics, led by Dr. Melinda Morrill of the North Carolina State University, believes that summer babies are not likely to have ADHD. The claim that these babies are highly prone to the disorder is untrue. This study was able to observe how the misdiagnosis of ADHD took place. When a child starts kindergarten, around the age of 4, the cut-off birthday would be on September during the same year, summer babies who are born form June, July and August, tend to be younger when they enter school. They could be a few days, weeks or even months behind in terms of age; this is why teachers and even some adults misinterpret the child’s behavior and attitude as a manifestation of ADHD, instead of considering it to be a normal occurrence and closely related to their maturity level. How adults and teachers perceive the child’s behavior is the main reason, why confusion takes place. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental and neurobehavioral disease which is characterized by hyperactivity and attention problems.  ADHD is correctly diagnosed using a thorough psychiatric evaluation, a criteria is used to support the diagnosis. Other diagnostic procedures such as physical examination, laboratory tests and various imaging processes can also be done.

The statement that babies born in the summer are more prone to having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not true. This false claim was brought about by the misinterpretation and misdiagnosis of the adults in school. They over looked the fact that summer babies are generally younger compared to the non-summer ones, and because of this, they mistook age appropriate behavior and personality as a symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Now that we know where the error is, it would be everyone’s best interest to have everything straightened out and demonstrate the facts for what it really is.

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