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ADHD Alternative Treatments In Brooklyn

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic neurodevelopmental disorder that can be seen in millions of children and continues into adulthood for many. ADHD symptoms include difficulty focusing and impulsive behaviors that can make school and work tasks difficult. 

Most people know you can treat ADHD with medication, but there are other alternative treatments available, some with background of solid research and some that show promise but are as yet untested. In this article, we'll take a closer look at ADHD symptoms and its alternative treatments which may be able to help.

Information on alternative ADHD treatments on this page:

ADHD Symptoms

The Importance of Early ADHD Treatment

What is the Most Effective Treatment for ADHD?

ADHD Treatment Without Medication: Should You Consider a Non-Drug Alternative?

Evidence-Based Alternative ADHD Treatments

Final Thoughts on ADHD Alternative Treatment

ADHD Symptoms

The two main features of ADHD are inattention and hyperactive, impulsive behavior. ADHD symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe, and they are typically noticed before the age of 12. In some cases, symptoms may be observed in children as young as three.

There are three subsets of this disorder in which symptoms may present differently. These include:

  • Predominantly hyperactive and impulsive
  • Predominantly inattentive
  • Combination of both

Inattentive ADHD symptoms include:

  • Easily distracted from tasks
  • Frequent daydreaming
  • Dislikes or avoids tasks that require attention, such as homework
  • Forgets to do chores and other daily activities

Hyperactivity and impulsive ADHD symptoms include:

  • In constant motion, has difficulty staying still
  • Talks a lot during times when it's inappropriate
  • Has issues with interrupting or intruding on others
  • Fidgeting, squirming, tapping hands or feet when sitting
  • Runs and climbs in situations where it's not appropriate behavior

The Importance of Early ADHD Treatment

ADHD can have a negative impact on school performance, so learning to manage ADHD symptoms at a young age can be key. Kids with ADHD may find that school is unbearable due to their inability to pay attention or sit still, and developing these negative beliefs in childhood may make it difficult to foster a love of learning even after treating ADHD symptoms.

When you diagnose and treat ADHD early, the child with ADHD can experience success in a school setting and learn to have positive feelings moving forward.

What is the Most Effective Treatment for ADHD?

Most healthcare professionals will prescribe a combination of medication and behavioral therapy for ADHD treatment. There is no single test to diagnose this disorder, so if attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is suspected, the doctor will likely run a series of tests to rule out hearing, vision, or other medical issues.

For children around preschool age, behavioral therapy will be attempted before prescribing medication. if this isn't effective, then a stimulant medication like one of the amphetamines or methylphenidates will be tried.

ADHD Treatment Without Medication: Should You Consider a Non-Drug Alternative?

Working on a case by case basis, some parents and medical professionals may choose to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder without medication. Research shows that the stimulant medications used may have risks such as cardiovascular problems or psychiatric symptoms. 

While this may not be a problem for some, others may choose to look for alternative treatment options. There are non stimulant medications that can be used for children with ADHD, but some parents may want to look for a treatment plan that doesn't use ADHD medications at all.

Even an individual who is not at risk for negative outcomes with stimulant medications may choose to try a combination of behavior therapy and other complementary therapy for reducing ADHD symptoms. Some alternative therapies have a strong research background, while others may still be in the preliminary research stages. We will stick to treatments that are backed by research.

Evidence-Based Alternative ADHD Treatments

The treatments in this category are backed by robust research and are considered evidence-based treatments for managing the symptoms of ADHD.

Treating Brain Wave Network Abnormalities

Although using EEG biofeedback and neurofeedback therapy to manage ADHD symptoms is still in preliminary stages of research, a recent meta analysis of early studies has found that such treatments targeting brain waves can be effective in improving behavior. Researchers recommend further scientific studies to determine exactly why and how they work, because as of yet there is no formal, universal protocol for this treatment.

Beneficial Foods and Other Lifestyle Habits for a Child with ADHD

As with any mental health condition, a healthy, balanced diet may help manage symptoms. Certain foods can be helpful in promoting mood regulation, and while special diets aren't necessary, a combination of lean protein sources, omega 3 fatty acids, an array of fruits and vegetables, and healthy grains may decrease some symptoms. Limiting refined sugar and processed foods may also help.

Exercise is another treatment that may help reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Scientific studies have demonstrated that enjoyable exercise can improve executive function (high level mental abilities such as working memory, planning, attention, etc.).

Proper sleep hygiene may be another factor that decreases inattention and hyperactive behavior.

  • Create a sleep schedule where you fall asleep at the same time each night, and stick to it
  • Avoid caffeine at least 12 hours before regular bedtime
  • Avoid screens before bed, or use blue blockers
  • Create and follow a calming bedtime routine

How Effective is Behavioral Therapy for ADHD?

Behavioral therapy remains a first-line, and may perhaps be the best treatment for ADHD. Kids with ADHD may work with a therapist to develop strategies to help manage symptoms, and there are strategies that parents can follow to help improve behavioral problems and reduce anxiety at home or at school. Some of these include:

  • Using a fidget device
  • Limit distractions when your child is working on tasks
  • Use a personal reward system
  • Set time limits on tasks
  • Spending time with your child and showing them lots of love and attention

Talk Therapy and Support Groups As Alternative Treatments

Children with ADHD may also find talk therapy helpful when it comes to managing symptoms. Your child's doctor may be able to recommend a licensed CBT therapist who can not only offer helpful strategies for ADHD, but can also address low self esteem and anxiety symptoms that may also be present. Support groups for kids with ADHD may also help them to cope, as they share unique challenges with other children like them.

Final Thoughts on ADHD Alternative Treatment in Brooklyn

There are a number of complementary health approaches when it comes to treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but not every treatment has robust research behind it. Not that a treatment is useless, but more research is necessary before it can be approved for ADHD.

Some of these other treatments include elimination diets (cutting refined sugar, food additives, or gluten for example), a specific ADHD diet, alternative medicine options like chiropractic medicine, herbal supplements like ginkgo biloba or St. John's wort, or omega 3 fatty acids, other medications, and other alternative therapies.

The most important thing for parents to remember when seeking alternative treatments for kids with ADHD is to be in constant communication with your child's doctor. They will be able to offer invaluable advice about your child's diet, medications, and lifestyle habits, and steer you in the right direction for finding other professional help and evidence-based ADHD treatment options.

If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, or if you suspect your child may have ADHD, it's imperative that you get in touch with a Brooklyn child therapist as soon as possible.

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