The ADHD Fix
By Dr. Henry J. Svec
This time of the year as you plan vacation or time with the children, you may be wondering what structure or interventions would be helpful to take full advantage of this opportunity. Here are this year’s tips to help:
- Wind down - relax - wind up. For children this means slowly removing some of the structures and demands (doing extra homework or reading), to doing none of those - or any school work, to returning to bedtimes and wakeup times for school about a week or two before school starts. If you are going on vacation for a week or two, do the same. Wind down from work before you totally stop, then slowly wind up a day or two before you return.
- Maximize the time for treatment. If you are considering using EEG biofeedback to help improve ADHD symptoms, the summer is the time to do the work. Clinics in Toronto and our own offices provide limited opportunity to do the treatment twice a week for 8-10 weeks to get a good start on this strategy. Check out this opportunity today.
- Start an exercise program for your child. Cardio “bursts” as we use are very effective to helping improve focus and attention for up to 2 hours or more after just 15-30 minutes of certain types of Prescriptive Exercise. Pick a time that would work when school starts (in the morning-early), and get your child in the habit of doing this. You may also consider working out before you head to the office to improve your focus and concentration. Hopefully, when school starts, your child will have developed the habit and it will be easier to get them to agree.
- Monitor food intake. Usually in the summer we go off our usual food routines because of being away from the home, more outdoor cooking or trips to friends. Try to remember that routine and habit with food can easily change, so avoid some of these bad habits that can make ADHD symptoms more severe (sugars, lack of eating routine, food additives). These products don’t cause ADHD, but for some children can make them more problematic.
- Learn to loaf. If you remember when you were younger it was ok in the summer once your work was completed for the day (I lived on a farm), it was ok to just loaf and do nothing. Perhaps it was sitting at the pond trying to catch a fish, or sitting in a tree eating cookies, or on the straw stack (my favourite place other than the pond). Teach your child that it’s ok to loaf and just enjoy life.
- Job. Your child needs one. Part-time, full time, volunteer, start a small business. It doesn’t matter, but your child needs to do some work to earn some money and build work ethic.
The holidays are a great time to re-set, spend quality time with your children and those you love.It’s also a time to get started on a better ADHD lifestyle, one that will propel you to the great success you deserve.Please get started today.