I have a met a great fellow blogger; Greg Butler, who has also gone the natural healing route. He has used it to heal himself of the pains associated with ADD. Greg maintains a blog on Holistic Personal Development. Meeting Greg has been wonderful since we agree on a lot about traditional medicine, its limitations and a more integrative approach to medical practices. Meeting him also has me thinking about ADD and ADHD again which I used to give quite a lot of thought to.
After I stopped graduate school in NYC I had many jobs. It took 2 years of lots of part time jobs before I started my own desktop publishing business. MOST of the part time jobs involved working with children. I taught computers to children at 2 very different computer learning centers, tutored children privately in computers and also was an assistant art teacher for an elementary school after-school program. The exposure to kids made me very aware of the different learning styles of children and I always tried to cater my teaching towards the individual child. I was told of the kids who had ADD and ADHD and whether or not they were on medications which made me aware of how widely it was being treated. It also made me aware of some children that were on the medications seeming "distant" or "not there" with me as they went through the motions of whatever I was teaching.
I remember being concerned because SO MANY children were being medicated and that was 15 years ago. Now the US and Canada medicate kids for ADD at RECORD highs. I understand that schools are over-crowded and that teachers have their hands full. I also understand that parents are working harder than ever and have less time for their kids. But I also am aware that these drugs were not available years ago and somehow everyone got by OK. I am hoping these drugs are not being made available for the greatest purpose being controlling behavior that is challenging for parents and teachers to deal with.
I subscribe to a bunch of parenting magazines and blogs online to keep up on things involving my own 2 children. It was very interesting to me when I received one last week on how to tell if your child is "gifted". With gifted meaning ahead in one or more areas of other children their age. The tell tale signs included:
• Is relentlessly curious and never seems to stop asking questions , is unusually active, has a vivid imagination. Gifted children often create a vast and intricate network of imaginary friends with whom they become very involved.
• Is able to memorize facts easily and can recall arcane information that he learns from television shows, movies, or books.
Other signs of giftedness may be a little harder to discern. By age 3 or 4, for example, some gifted children begin to realize that they are "different" from their peers. This can make them feel isolated and withdrawn; it may also make them likely targets for bullying.
They may begin to experience intense frustration because they can think more rapidly than they can express themselves, verbally or physically. If your child appears unusually angry or frustrated, you may want to consult a mental health professional.
There are natural ways to control MANY diseases and there are many doctors who immediately jump to prescribed medications as the only means.... I think it's important kids and adults are going to doctors that look at the whole picture and the whole person and aren't whipping out the prescription notepad before other options are explored.
Please check out Greg's article on ADD. It is inspirational and eye-opening. Yes, there are many people who benefit from modern medicines but don't you want to make sure you or your child ABSOLUTELY needs it and can't be helped it some other way before starting one? Many medications taken long term have serious side effects and can be more harmful than the original diagnoses itself. Even if you decide to medicate wouldn't it be good to also know what would naturally help the diagnosis as well?
I think it's time for our schools and our doctors to take another look at ADD and offer some concrete ways that don't involve medications to deal with this illness. There are a lot of positive qualities that could be nurtured and celebrated in these children who see life a bit differently. This site offers lots of good information and treating the child with ADD and tells about some of side effects of the medications typically prescribed for it.
Thanks Greg for your story, your friendship and for reawakening my interest in the diagnosis and treatment of ADD.