Making a difference for those with learning differences
How can you help your ADHD child without medication?
Parents may feel obligated to consider medications for their ADHD child, because they are concerned about their lack of academic progress. All parents want their kids to do well at school. Children who have difficulty sitting still or staying on task don’t fit well in the classroom, where the expectation is often that they must sit quietly and work without disturbing others.
Do ADHD medications make a difference? There is some evidence that drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall do help improve attention, focus and self-control. However, this doesn’t always translate into better learning in the classroom, particularly in the long term.*
Living with an ADHD child can be very stressful. Exhausted and misunderstood parents can feel guilty about their ADHD child’s behaviour. Observers may put it down to bad parenting or lack of discipline in the home. “Children with ADHD do mostly what ‘normal’ children do, except it is louder, longer, more often and to the extreme.” (L. Timms, 2014)
How does ADHD look in everyday life? Disorganisation, lateness, forgetfulness, fidgeting, inability to follow instructions, boisterousness… all of these and more are familiar to parents of the ADHD child. Parents often find it hard to understand that the child who can’t pay attention for a few seconds when they’re being talked to can sit for hours totally absorbed in a video game. The difficulty is not a lack of attention, but paying too much attention to things in the wider environment. The person with ADHD seems unable to filter out things of lesser importance when they are involved in a task, so the bee buzzing at the window or the siren outside demand their attention as much as the maths problem they are working on, or getting ready for school.
The child with ADHD is a bored, but curious, child – their internal clock is going faster than the world around them, so for them the world seems to be going in slow motion. That makes them feel like they have more time to fill and they develop strategies to do so, like daydreaming or moving from one activity to another.
Is there a way that these energetic, enthusiastic, creative and intelligent individuals can be helped to curb their impulsive and over-active behaviours without taking away the positive aspects of their personality? Is there an effective alternative to medications to help the ADHD child?
The Davis® Attention Mastery Programme enables a person to take control of their behaviour and their learning, without the use of medication.
The programme addresses the underlying components of ADHD – the developmental aspect and the disorientation aspect.
Just as children with ADHD have missed out on important classroom learning, perhaps because they were distracted or daydreaming at the time, they have usually missed out on learning many of life’s important lessons and concepts, too; concepts such as change, consequence, time, sequence, cause/effect, order/disorder can be a mystery to the person with ADHD. Has your ADHD child ever been in trouble at school and you’ve asked “What did you do?” only to be told “I didn’t do anything!” That seems like the truth to a child who has no concept of consequence.
The Davis Attention Mastery programme gives people the tools to relax, focus, and adjust their own energy level to suit the task or circumstances and to better fit in to social situations. Instead of relying on drugs to improve self-control, the person learns to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
To be able to take responsibility the person needs to experience the basic concepts of change, consequence, time, etc. From this experience they can develop a new model of behaviour, based on the way the world actually works, rather than their previously incomplete or inaccurate understanding.
In a Davis Attention Mastery programme the ADHD child is involved in active, hands-on learning using real-life experiences to learn the basic concepts and put them into practice.
The success of the programme depends on the motivation of the child to use the techniques and the motivation of the family to support them as they put their new learning into everyday situations. Many children are happy to be free of the side-effects of ADHD medications, and parents enjoy having their child’s personality back again with this drug-free approach. The Davis facilitator guides and supports the family after the programme to help with this.
If you’re looking for help for your ADHD child without medications you can contact me today to find out more.
* From the Wall Street Journal, July 8 2013. http://tinyurl.com/ormjydg